(Also, for an introduction to this list check out the first post here)
15. Sleeper Agent - "Get it Daddy"
The debut track from this Kentucky-based band comes out guns-a-blazing to create a sugary-sweet yet knock you out combo
14. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Factory of Faith"
RHCP stick to what they know best - making songs that you end up bouncing and singing along to - and this track is a perfect example
13. Blink-182 - "Hearts All Gone"
The "older" Blink may not please their entire fan base, but it's hard to not like this punkish rock track. Oh, and Travis Barker is a beast
12. Lil Wayne - "6 Foot, 7 Foot"
The song is simple: An absolute banger of a beat with a list of one-liners that can leave you laughing while your bass is exploding
11. Death Cab for Cutie - "Stay Young, Go Dancing"
For an early "emo" band, "Dancing" is uncharacteristically uplifting. And it's one of the best songs they've ever produced
(more attention given; click on the title for youtube links)
9. Foo Fighters - "Bridge Burning"
"Bridge Burning" opens up the latest effort from the Foo Fighters, Wasting Light. It's the perfect track to get the album started as it features a minimal guitar intro/buildup before bursting into chaos with a Dave Grohl grow. The energy never stops, making this not only one of the best pure rock tracks of the year but one of the best pure rock tracks in general.
8. Cage the Elephant - "Shake Me Down"
The boys who brought you "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" slow it down slightly for the lead-off single from Thank You, Happy Birthday. While the debut album had some great jam sessions, "Shake Me Down" is an example of their strong writing ability. Don't worry, they still jam with the best of them but it's nice to see their song range on tracks like this.
7. Manchester Orchestra - "Virgin"
It's really hard to describe what makes a track like "Virgin" so valuable to a band like Manchester Orchestra, but it's the kind of song that captures your attention immediately. And that's good for any band that is still making a name for themselves three albums in. The Atlanta-based band up their game by adding in a horn section and children's voices to give the song a kind of vibe that would make Dexter Morgan proud.
6. Jay Z & Kanye West - "N****s in Paris"
This track was an instant favorite to most listeners of Watch the Throne. Why? Let's count the ways: a fun beat that is hard to sit still to, clips from "Blades of Glory," two strong verses from two of the best rappers in history, the creation of "Ball so hard..." and "Dat Shit Cray" as sayings and not even batting an eye when Kanye West talks about his girl ordering a fish fillet.
5. Taking Back Sunday - "El Paso"
On a personal note, I don't think any song had more of an impact on me this year than the first time I heard "El Paso." I usually hate to listen to a song on repeat, but I must have played this track 20 times the first day it was released. After years and albums of inner band turmoil, "El Paso" was a call-to-arms that the reunited TBS lineup was back and they meant business. They weren't as angry as they were at 18, but adult anger translated into one of the hardest rock songs of 2011.
4. Coldplay - "Paradise"
When "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" was released as the first single off Mylo Xyloto, the majority of Coldplay fans weren't impressed. It's a good song in its own right, but something just felt slightly off. Enter "Paradise." The song features everything you could ever want out of Chris Martin and the gang including a story that could read like a poem, plus instrumental work from the band that leaves you feeling like you are that girl the song describes.
What did you think of today's list? Were some songs overrated, were you glad some got attention? Let me know in the comments.
Be sure to look out for the top 3 songs of 2011 in