Favorite Songs of 2011

by Jeremy on 20/12/2011

Here are ten of my favorite songs of the year. They’re listed in no particular order with a brief explanation accompanying each track. Follow me on tumblr for more music throughout the year. Enjoy.

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Four Tet – “Pinnacles” // Instantly one of my favorites after hearing it on BBC radio in February, “Pinnacles” at first sounds like typical Four Tet: crazy loops, live samples, and a heavy groove. What sets it apart from his other offerings is its polish. Every thing falls into place without sounding like a science fair project. // .mp3

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Beyoncé – “Love On Top” // This track makes you want to fall in love and shout it from a rooftop. “Love On Top” is Beyoncé at her best: retro, jubilant, and flexing her vocal cords (the modulations at the end are awesome). Influenced by the Jackson 5 and early New Edition, I’m sure this track will be a staple at future wedding receptions for years to come. Even my Granparents love it. // .mp3

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Girls – “Forgiveness” // Father, Son, Holy Ghost has so many great tracks to choose from, and I was determined to put one on this list. While Girls’ “Vomit” is popping up all over ‘best of’ lists everywhere, I prefer “Forgiveness”. For now. Make sure you play it completely through. // .mp3

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M83 – “Claudia Lewis” // I first mentioned this song on tumblr back in October, and it’s still just as epic as it was on first listen. One of my favorite things about music in 2011 was alternative/electronic acts, like M83 and Toro Y Moi, digging into 80s R&B. “Claudia Lewis” sounds like Shalamar on acid, and boy is it glorious. // .mp3

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TV On the Radio – “Second Song” // TV On the Radio went through quite a bit in 2011. Along with releasing their follow up to 2008′s critically acclaimed Dear Science, they also experienced the loss of a bandmate, Gerard Smith. Nevertheless, TV On the Radio churned out some great music. The Nine Types of Light opener goes from Tunde Adebimpe giving his best Bill Callahan impression to an epic falsetto laced chorus with a horn section. My favorite band never disappoints. // .mp3

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The Weeknd – “What You Need” // This song was actually released in 2010, but I didn’t become aware of it until after I posted my previous ‘best of’ list. Sampling Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat”, it’s Portishead meets 90s R&B. // .mp3

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John Maus – “Believer” // Maus’ organ-like synths layering over a simple baseline sounds like a mushroom-fueled trip to outer space. Play it once, and it’s going to stay in your head for the rest of the day. // .mp3

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Bon Iver – “Beth/Rest (Live from NPR’s World Cafe)” // On the song’s meaning, Justin Vernon’s quoted as saying: “It’s about letting that love into your life and letting the part of you that’s selfish die. It’s like a joyful sleep if you will, but it’s a wakening, too.” The live version here improved on what was already a great song, and the meaning Vernon’s trying to convey is highlighted even more by this haunting rendition. // .mp3

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Neon Indian – “Suns Irrupt” // “Suns Irrupt” is the drug addict, hipster cousin of LCD Soundsystem’s “Someone Great,” which is a good thing. The bridge is excellent. // .mp3

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Real Estate – “Green Aisles” // Real Estate is the stereotypical band everyone discovers on Pandora. And while their previous album had great moments amongst a sea of elevator music, Days brought with it a more seasoned Real Estate who seemed to take notice of past criticisms. During a year of blaring synthesizers and drum kicks, it was nice to have Real Estate and tracks like “Green Aisles” to help you unwind. // .mp3

There are 2 comments in this article:

  1. 4/01/2012Lyn LeJeune says:

    The mysticism and religious fanaticism of the Dust Bowl era has had a profound impact on the arts. Popular TV shows like HBO’s Carnivale have brought this strange time period into the mainstream. These were years marked by war, a global depression, racial hostility, and a collective search for salvation. In author Lyn LeJeune’s new book, Elijah Rising (inGroup Press, October 2011), a man’s descent into madness begins as the world goes to war. Disillusioned with his boring life in New York City, a wealthy white heir to a railroad fortune follows a black tent-fundamentalist preacher out west. Their goal is to bring God to those uncivilized and uncharted parts of America. But as they venture deeper into the unknown, it is they who may most require the grace of God. Elijah Rising is a love story filled with captivating descriptive writing, profound characters, and a learned sense of history. LeJeune has written timeless, high-end fiction for even the most discerning tastes.
    ***Note from author: Howard Zinn – greatly missed – was one of my first readers. He wrote this to me: “I read it in two sittings, became involved in the story. You write every well!” Now who wouldn’t have pursued the book to publication? It is now published by InGroup Press.
    ISBN: 978-1935725084 http://www.amazon.com/Elijah-Rising-Lyn-LeJeune/dp/1935725084/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310946856&sr=1-1
    Or where great books are sold

  2. 14/12/2013uni-cloud says:

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