Top 10 Music Moments of 2011

Pixie Lott released a new album but it was 100% underwhelming. Leona Lewis? Wasn’t feeling her either. Normally, I’m all about my British divas, but 2011 was a rather lackluster year for them! No, I have not forgotten about Adele. 21 completely shook me to the core but then when everyone got displaced by this album, I had to mentally remove her and place her in a different category, a category that stands alone. It’s sort of like when you talk about artwork by Picasso or Britney’s In The Zone. It’s on another level and surpasses any regular yearly roundup list. 
 
That being said, there were tons of great moments to be had in 2011. 
 
Here is the point in this post where I tell you that I’m actually going to talk about 15 music moments. My ears came across some awesome artists, tracks and sounds this year. As much as 10 is a nice round number, I wanted to try and include as many moments as possible. And if you’re getting annoyed with me saying moments, blame Mariah Carey. It is she alone who has programmed me to say “moment” to describe virtually everything. What can I say? I’m having a moment with it.
 
The Kickdrums’ Meet Your Ghost (#15) was a total surprise that I found thanks to Spotify while Filur’s “Wielding Love [ft. Daniel August] (#14) came to me courtesy of Selected Homme. Lana del Rey blew up this year with “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” but it is “Born to Die” (#13) that will be taken from her upcoming debut album that has me all in love with her big lips and perpetually drunk eyes. X-Factor UK contestant Cher Lloyd remixed Carolina Liar’s “Beautiful People” (#12) and helped elevate the track. Will Young, the original reality TV singing sensation, returned to the scene with Echoes (#11) and while I have always felt that Young’s album have been primarily filler, this effort was solid throughout. 
 
This brings us to the Top 10! Sit back and revel in what I think was some of the smartest, most enjoyable and, quite frankly, commercial Pop music moments of 2011.
 
10. OLIVIA – DECEMBER

She had a hit years ago and fell off hard. It’s not surprising as this is somewhat the norm in an artistic industry. But when Olivia popped up on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop, I took another look at the once vaguely popular R&B songstress/rapper. “December,” released in an attempt to woo record labels and bring back a fan base, is actually a pretty fantastic track. Is it the most radio friendly? Not by a long shot. It is a track that showcases a decent singing voice that belongs to a very attractive woman who is determined to snatch the spotlight once again. 

09. FRIENDLY FIRES – PALA

Their self-titled debut LP blew my mind and Pala was no different. There was growth in terms of their sound while still maintaining what I love most about them: the ability to make a song so perfect for a high octane fashionable scenario. The soundtrack to a runway show, background beats for Gossip Girl or just staging one’s own mental rendering. And the lead singe,  Ed MacFarlane, has a voice of sex. Don’t ever cross my path, Ed, or I will JUMP you. Just stating facts.

08. THE SATURDAYS –  ON YOUR RADAR
While Chasing Lights was a solid debut, Wordshaker was an absolute disaster. I worried about my little British girl group but then they started dropping singles from On Your Radar, their strongest album to date. Each release has been phenomenal and they have a few more album tracks that could very well receive a video treatment. The tracks are full of radio friendly energy and we hear them successfully experiment with a more mature sound on songs like “Do What You Want With Me” and “Last Call.” 
 
07. NICOLA ROBERTS – CINDERELLA’S EYES
Straight up? Girls Aloud are one of my all-time favorite music acts. Cheryl Cole was always my favorite with Nicola coming in a close…third. Anyway, I was beyond excited when she announced she would be releasing solo material. Cinderella’s Eyes, a quirky Pop album, has been on repeat since its release. The first two singles haven’t burned up the charts (why, I have NO idea) but I think what is great about this LP is that it seems to represent just the type of sound Nicola wanted and since it resulted in tracks like “Yo-Yo” and “Dance In the Rain,” I am 100% on board for more.
 
06. METRONOMY – ENGLISH RIVIERA
With English Riviera, Metronomy graduated from that group with the weird guys to being players. If you are unconvinced of this, I will need you to promptly play “The Bay” followed by “The Look” and finish it off with “She Wants.” Some of these tracks how a slightly sleazy, man-with-a-mistress vibe to them and it is awesome. Call it Electronic or call it Indie but at the end of the labeling, Metronomy’s English Riviera is all bad ass.

After the jump, take a look and listen to my top 5 music moments of 2011!

05. RIHANNA – BIRTHDAY CAKE
In this year alone, Rihanna has had eight singles slap up the charts. This proves that this young beauty is the epitome of not only striking while the fire is hot, but engulfing her surroundings in flames. Near the end of the year, she dropped an absolute doozy on the world with “We Found Love (ft. Calvin Harris)” which was on repeat in my work office for days. Our holiday party? Rihanna brought new meaning to finding love in a hopeless place. However, the real shining beacon? Talk That Talk album track, “Birthday Cake.” Dirty. Filthy. Raunchy. Perfection.

 
04. LMFAO – SEXY AND I KNOW IT

Let’s just start by saying “Sexy and I Know It” has been my shit for months. This song alone has helped LMFAO’s Sorry For Party Rocking landing so high on this list. What is so brilliant about this album is it is full of douche-bag moments that are so hilarious and ridiculous that you cannot help but sing along. I tanned for nine months about 25 years ago so I don’t need to do it anymore but I sing along about bronzing my cheeks with as much gusto as  the pilgrims chasing after Native Americans when they rolled up.
03. BEYONCE – 4

“I Miss You” is one of B’s greatest songs with “1+1” coming up fast behind. Does the phrase “brought me to tears” ring a bell because it does for me when concerning these two songs. No, this album didn’t seem to be massive despite charting at #1 but Beyonce knew just how to keep us all interested, didn’t she? Album not selling like hot cakes? Perform at the VMA’s and announce you’re pregnant. BAM! Watch those album sales rise! 

And then there were all of those music videos. Didn’t it seem like we were treated to a new Beyonce music video about once every other week for a period there? Home girl knows how to work it every single album and she’s always got tunes to make any “Party” hot.

02. BRITNEY SPEARS – FEMME FATALE

I bet those who know me might be foaming at the mouth saying “Britney ain’t #1? Oh, HELL no!” but it’s a simple reality we all must face. Here’s why Britney came in at #2. Femme Fatale is chock full of absolute Pop brilliance. Each single has been a scorcher and there are more that she could release. I’ve still got my fingers crossed for a “Big Fat Bass (ft. Will.i.am)” music video!

At the same time, I really want Britney to go away and take some time for herself. Maybe her engagement is the perfect excuse! I envision her running off and having ridiculously amazing sex with her new fiance, gets married, has more great sex and then returns all limber and ish ready to spin on the dance floor like a dradle. Until then, I’ll just keep on dancing “Till the World Ends.”

 
01. KELLY CLARKSON – STRONGER

Kelly Clarkson always brings the truth, her songs packing a ton of emotion intertwined with a radio friendly element. Stronger, the fifth studio album for Kells, is an absolute benchmark album for her. It’s got track after track of insane awesomeness perfect for someone going through a breakup or trying to move on. “The War Is Over” is, by miles, my favorite track on the album. There is nothing about that song that I would change. 

So, to all of the heartbroken out there, listen to this song! If you’ve gone back and forth with someone and it never seems to get better, maybe you should end the war and move on. It might suck because there’s a comfort level in having a partner around but is it worth it if you do more crying than smiling? More arguing than laughing? More goodbye’s than embraces? 

That being said, Kelly sings the absolute truth on “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” when she says “The day you left was just my beginning…” which is why this song will most definitely be playing on New Year’s Eve at some point. And PS, I love seeing Kelly dance. Calls back such fond memories of From Justin to Kelly.

I bet you didn’t think this post would deliver end of the year therapeutic advice, did you? Well, that’s what I do! Tell me, what are some of your favorite music moments of 2011?

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