Friday, December 9, 2011

Top 50 Songs of 2011: Part 4 (The Finale)

We have finally found the end of our countdown here at The Sight of Sound. Just in case you have missed a couple posts, here is a recap.

Now bring on the final three.

(EDIT: If you are a Spotify user, here is all 50 songs in a handy-dandy playlist. Well, the ones Spotify would let me add that is.

3. Foster the People - "Pumped Up Kicks"
Whether you absolutely loved the song or you think it’s one of the worst you’ve ever heard, whether you’ve been a fan since 2010 or only recently heard it and have abused the replay button, whether you think it’s a unique track that shows promise for new artists or is a cheap rip-off of MGMT, one thing is for sure – “Pumped Up Kicks” was HUGE in 2011 and if you’re reading this you most likely have some kind of opinion on it. It was the debut track for Foster the People that came not only before a proper album was even released, but before an album was even recorded. “Kicks” also pulls off something that newer artists are becoming better and better at. That is, recording vocals that if read on a sheet of paper would be disturbing but sung as a folkish electronic track give off a bouncy feel good vibe. Speaking of electronics, for as much as the debut album relied on non-traditional instruments the band has a stellar way of displaying amazing acoustic range, giving the songs new life. The acoustic version of "Kicks" is a perfect example.

2. Kanye West featuring Bon Iver, Rick Ross, Jay Z & Nicki Minaj - "Monster"
Before this year’s Watch the Throne, Kanye West came out with an Album of the Year-snubbed solo release in My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in late 2010. In a foreshadowing of one of the biggest rap releases in history, two songs on that release featured Jay Z, fittingly back-to-back. “So Appaled” was a minimal effort and reflects on the down tracks of Throne. Meanwhile, Jay’s verse on “Monster” left everyone salivating for what the two could REALLY do together. Add in the fact that they had a little bit of help in everyone from Rick Ross to Bon Iver and also featured one of the better verses from Nicki Minaj’s short career. Everything came together to create a monster track, pun intended, that carried well into 2011.

1. Adele - "Rolling in the Deep"
There are countless “best of the year” articles going around right now and the one thing that the majority all have in common is Adele placed somewhere at the top of the lists. And it’s for good reason - she deserves it. The only way you can realistically deny she was in the top talent, or THE top talent, this year is if you also admit you don’t want to like what is “popular.” Case in point: the fact that you have to make a decision between “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You.” Ultimately, “Deep” gets the nod because of its longevity. Oh, and the fact that everyone from John Legend to Linkin Park has covered it, along with Go Radio for Punk Goes Pop Vol 4 . Don’t forget to include the remixes like this one that has a 60s roller-skating kind of vibe. Or the sample from Lil Wayne. Or the remix/sample from Childish Gambino. It’s one of the catchiest songs in history and the #1 song of the year.

1 comment:

  1. All upstanding picks. Can't say I'm a huge Adele fan, but you had TONS of homeruns on your last few posts! They definitely all embodied 2011.


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