My Top 10 Songs of 2011:
10. I Care - Beyoncé - 4
A standout and sadly NOT a single from “4″, “I Care” just adds to the desperation of “Start Over” but seems to be in more of a rut. It’s a raging ballad that could bring tears to your eyes. It’s a story about doing all you can for someone and getting nothing in return. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? And the bridge is one of the most brilliant vocal riffs Beyoncé has ever produced. She even does it better live. I remember replaying that very part right before to “oohs” so many times. It’s so juicy and emotional. Best part of the song.
9. Till The World Ends - Britney Spears - Femme Fatale
What the fuck kind of drugs did Ke$ha have to take to produce this type of pop brilliance? The ‘Ohs’ in this song sound oddly depressing. The video is underground sex and produced mucho money for the Britney camp. It topped off “Femme Fatale” as a success for Britney and will hopefully give Britney and her team the confidence to take more riskier advances next time around. The trio Fatale Remix of this featuring none other than Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj is slamming. It doesn’t bad mouth the solo version, just adds more star power but it’s still great except for the occasional grating pronunciations from Ke$hit. But thankfully this prompted Britney to add Princess Nicki to her tour, which I gladly got to attend and they both were very entertaining in the 9th row.
8. Start Over - Beyoncé - 4
Bey’s most personal and emotionally inspiring songs on “4″, “Start Over” encapsulates the uncommon sad summer angst and puts it in a song that you put you on first every morning to get the day started, somehow. It questions the state of a relationship with an optimistic message but a desperate expression. My most played Beyoncé song reigns over the whole album in my opinion. It’s the epitome of the surprisingly sad “4″.
7. Hold It Against Me - Britney Spears - Femme Fatale
Godney is back and harder than ever in her musical efforts. This simple electro-pop song deserves more praise than it gets. I believe it’s better than “Till The World Ends” simply because of it’s subversive nature. Now yes, Britney isn’t trying to really say anything with this song but another artist could easily take this song to the next level. It would be perfect for a new gay male pop star who wants to utilize the Madonna-age-pop-music-era to his advantage. Who cares if it has a dubsteppy breakdown? It’s hot nonetheless. The song is epic and will be on Britney’s tour list for years to come.
6. Heavy Metal Lover - Lady GaGa - Born This Way
Erotica 2011 folks. Need I say any more? The lyrics are to die for and the sound entrancing and endlessly catchy, as a GaGa song should be. The auto-tune on her voice is beautifully placed NOT bad considering we know GaGa can sing her ass off.
5. Marry The Night - Lady GaGa - Born This Way
This HUGE and daring mix between electronic music and rock riffs has got to be among the best songs that GaGa has ever made. That ending is beyond epic and takes you on an emotional journey throughout GaGa’s ambition. There may be a bit too much of the pushy “I wear leather boots and fuck in cars so that makes me cool” lines in the song, but that’s Post-The Fame Monster era GaGa so get used it. My favorite part starts at “come on and run, turn the car on and run”. That was my FUCKING SONGGG last summer when I would run. It was such an amazing and chilling experience to push myself to the song. Although I did almost get hit by a car backing out of it’s driveway because of ‘the zone’ I was in, but I’m still alive so whatever. The video’s message is beyond retarded and unnecessary but the cinematography may be her best which is surprising seeing as she was the sole director for the video.
4. Drunk On Love - Rihanna - Talk That Talk
Oh my fucking god is this song emotional or what? And can you even believe that the instrumental is actually an intro to a The xx’s album? As cringeworthy as some people say the chorus is, it’s Rihanna getting closer to her “Te Amo” and “Cold Case Love” days. This song shows off just how depressingly self-aware Rihanna can be. She’s taking the theme from “We Found Love” and making it real and NOT into some club stomper. This song deserves a video that’s sexier than Bey’s “Dance For You” and just as dark as “Te Amo”. We need to see Rihanna crying black makeup tears, writhing around on some expensive couch with a gallon of Jay-Z Vodka. This song reminds me so much of her Rated R days in the way that when you first listen to it, your ears have to adjust after a few listens before you fall in love with it. But to me that’s what makes a great Rihanna song.
3. Only If For A Night - Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
This song sounds like Florence is in a rainy tower somewhere in England, reminiscing about the past in a beautifully melancholy way. It’s my most played Florence song, simply because it’s so memorable. It’s even Florence’s favorite track. Another little thing I noticed (or thought up in my own mind) is that the chorus that is singing goes perfectly with the album artwork. If she does a video for this she should certainly consider using that look and concept.
2. Where Have You Been - Rihanna - Talk That Talk
The only phrase that seems to truly fit this song is “Personal, Desperate and Speed”. It’s a fast playing dance beat that sounds like Rihanna is somewhere in Downtown New York conquering the subways on a cool Summer night. It’s a stand out track from “Talk That Talk” and is meant to be a single. I feel like it’s Rihanna’s “Marry The Night”. That HUGE record that’s waiting to become a single. Except WHYB is sexier, just as sonically innovative but strikes a different nerve that makes it soar higher than MTN.
1. No Light, No Light - Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
That was REALLY hard to choose between the Rihanna and Florence tracks, but nothing beats this beam of desperation, nostalgia and complete fierceness. It’s a song that SHOULD be reigning over everything on the radio, but instead it’s just on all our iPods getting scrobbled on Last.fm.
Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Love” and “Masterpiece”.
Anything this old hag does is gold. I don’t care if you think GAYMALE is stupid pop and lacks any significance cause guess what, you’re wrong. When you turn 53 we’ll see if you’ll be able to pull off sounding like a 15 year old and do the inevitable high kick cheerleader moves in the music video. The song is nothing short of catchy and does exactly what Madonna wants it to do. It WILL infest the playlists of college and teen parties, jocks and theatre dorks alike. Some of the criticism the song has endured is about it’s “current” sound and how it’s nothing new. If I can recall, Confessions was, nothing new. So shut up cause you know you were shitting yourself when it came out. And the fact that it has elements that songs on the radio have now is perfect for her artistic intention. In the context of this song those elements are genius and if you can’t see that, you’re just a tad arrogant. And the fact that this is JUST a demo and William Orbit, M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj haven’t even had they’re hands on it makes it even more anticipated for. “Masterpiece” on the other hand is a throwback to the days where Madonna was gunning to be “Evita”. It’s a beautiful ballad that vaguely paints a beautiful image of Madonna in an art gallery, teary-eyed over a work of art. Whether it be her new boy toy’s dick or a Warhol painting, it doesn’t really matter. The song is amazing, although my only critique is that it sounds like an unreleased gem rather than a single or a track off an album. But we’ll see how it all adds up in 2012.
Notable Songs Still Relevant:
Cosmic Love - Florence + The Machine - Lungs
I’ve recently become a Florence freak and this song is her best, no doubt. As epic as “No Light” and “For A Night” are, this song takes you to a much deeper place. It’s brilliant. I admit, when I first heard this I was watching the video and I cringed at a lot of things she was doing. But I love it all now. I take it all back Florence. You aren’t some annoying weird hipster Zoey Deschanel wannabe. You are Florence Welch and you are a visual and audial Goddess. Keep on making music forevers. My favorite part is “And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat. I tried to find the sound but then it stopped, and I was in the darkness. So darkness I became.” I admit, tears have fallen from that very part in my eyes. This song is just a huge, bare all mix of a loving revenge. I could listen to it forever.
X-Static Process - Madonna - American Life
What can I say? I’m just speechless at how personal and naked this song is. It’s still a Madonna song in theory. The “Jesus Christ, will you look at me?” is nothing short of a “Like A Prayer” flashback mixed with current feelings. The song is most enjoyable in the “I’m Going To Tell You A Secret” film, video here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1xRSqI5crY) I also covered this song to the best of my ability if you’d like to take a listen. (http://soundcloud.com/mykayspage/x-static-process)
Frozen - Madonna - Ray of Light
I’ve listened to this song about 1,000 times since 2 years ago when I first heard it. And with good reason. If you don’t understand why I’ve listened to it like a crazy lunatic Madonna stan, then you haven’t heard it. It’s M’s most addicting, relatable, imaginative and graceful songs ever. The same goes for the video. Although neither had any real influence on culture, it’s years ahead of itself. It’s a classic pop song in the sense that it’s simply about love and doesn’t have complex meaning, but the music is nothing short brilliant. The Evita vocal training did nothing but help this song and thankfully didn’t trap Madonna into the technically perfect category either. There’s nothing more I can say about this song to convince you of it’s greatness if you haven’t already. If you don’t like it, I deem that you have no heart.
Songs to Cast Off into Oblivion:
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Fuck my life. Why did Katy Perry sell out? Why did she have to tie Michael Jackson with this as a #1 using the rent-a-rapper technique? WHY? We DO NOT need this type of Katy in 2012, so go along Katy and either have a baby with Brand or divorce him and show us who you really are.
Mr. Know It All - Kelly Clarkson - Stronger
I love Kelly to death but her new album is nothing but generic shit on top of generic shit. Nothing interests me and most makes me cringe at it’s dated attitude. I’ll take “All I Ever Wanted” or even “Thankful” over this.
Anything Bruno Mars
He’s the epitome of that guy who always seems to have a guitar and starts singing in the middle of the cafeteria in college JUST to bang a girl and break her heart. That kind of guy is an annoying little cretin anyways so for him to be on the radio is an even worse thought and sad sign of the times. He has no place in pop culture. Get out.
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO - Sorry for Party Rocking
If you’ve lasted this long throughout my review of the year, I think you already know why they need to go. They were cute on GaGa’s “LoveGame” remix, but they’re surprisingly old family members who are nothing but a gimmick that DJ’s play way too much on the radio and at clubs. Next.
Overall Yearly Score: 7/10