Thursday, January 5, 2012

Songs of 2011

My favorite songs of 2011:

The Honest Truth - Typhoon

Give Me Everything - Pitbull (also my choice for Song of the Summer 2011)

Helplessness Blues and Grown Ocean - Fleet Foxes

God is God - Steve Earle

Ciao Monday - Emm Gryner

Honey Bee - Blake Shelton (a contender for video of the year)

Barefoot Blue Jean Night - Jake Owen

Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO (FUN listening to it immediately after the ball dropped on New Year's Eve, to ring in 2012!)

Best Thing I Never Had - Beyonce

Hosanna - Andrew Lipke

Wash. - Bon Iver

Mean - Taylor Swift

I Need a Doctor - Dr. Dre and Eminem (duets remain a favorite genre for me, and I love the back and forth on this one)

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Although there's no single favorite for 2011 (a la Domani (2009) and Freyda's trio of lullabies (2010)), if I were forced to choose I'd put The Honest Truth and Give Me Everything at the top of the list.

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My preferences aside, Adele was clearly the musician of the year: her album transcended taste/genre in a way that I cannot recall happening for a number of years. Rolling in the Deep, in particular, will be a classic for years to come, and I do love those shaking water glasses in the video.

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I continued to listen to lots of All Songs Considered this past year, and I maintained my love-hate relationship with Bob Boilen et als. I love the way they talk so passionately and enthusiastically about music. They also introduce me to new artists and have definitely expanded my music horizons. 

That said, they frustrate me with their single-minded focus on "indie" music and their (implicit, sometimes explicit) refusal to acknowledge good music in country, hip-hop, pop, etc.  That's why I was particuarly amused at the writer this fall who said that indie is the new adult contemporary -- and I found it hilarious that just as I've actually gotten into certain Boilen-esque music (Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver), it's being described as bland and middlebrow.

I also got a kick out of the predictability of the most-popular "indie" releases of 2011, when it came time for All Songs' year-end review: the top 5 included Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, The Decembrists, and Radiohead (with Adele as the only outside-the-box selection).

For me, Pitbull is the entertainer of the year: I love his charisma and the way that he appears to be a genuinely nice guy -- the Jerricho Cotchery of pop music. And I will always get up and wave my hands when I hear Give Me Everything!

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