Top 100 Songs of 2011 (75-51)

75. Noah & The Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.

Life goes on, and so do Noah & The Whale, continuing to make pleasant, melodic, and carefully-crafted pop ditties.

74. Little Dragon – Ritual Union

A fairly simple tune, but a cracking one at that. A slithering electro r’n’b croon. Fresh to death.

73. The Go! Team – T.O.R.N.A.D.O./Apollo Throwdown

Energy. Piled on top of energy. After eating 10 king-sized Snickers’ bars. And drinking Forty Four Loko’s. With an injection of liquid enthusiasm. And blissed-out happiness. Sounds about right.

72. Mates of State – Sway/Total Serendipity

“Sway” is classic, gratifying Mates of State. “Total Serendipity” is too, but adds a healthy dose of doo-wop/50’s pop construction. There’s nothing they wouldn’t excel at.

71. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Brendan’s Death Song

Divagating from all other offerings on I’m With You, and much of their back catalogue in general, “Brendan’s Death Song” is a fitting eulogy, one that hopefully doesn’t reflect the demise of this all-time great rock band. This song is so good it almost exonerates them from making this average album. Almost.

70. Araabmuzik – Streetz Tonight

Turning Kaskade’s “4 am” on its ear, “Streetz Tonight” bends, prods and pokes the aforementioned song until it becomes a stunning, warped, pace-changing chameleon. And makes it better than the original. Smooth.

69. Digitalism – Circles

I’d always had a soft spot for rectangles, but “Circles” made me see the err of my ways. Probably the most fun on Digitalism’s “I Love You, Dude” LP.

68. Washed Out – Amor Fati

The sound of waves cascading upon neverending waves. The sound of bliss at the beach. The sound of a nostalgia-propelled love. The sound of caribbean-blue waters. Washed out indeed.

67. Rebecca Black – Friday

Not even being ironic. Ok, well, slightly. Actually, not even. Sure, many might consider “Friday” a throw-away piece of superficial pop, while many more might consider it something much worse than that, I choose to subscribe to the idea that it’s a fantastically simple and ear-wormy pop song. Irrevocably part of the pop-culture Zeitgeist of 2011, “Friday” was always meant to soar. Produced by a Nigerian and a Sri Lankan, the Swedes are killing themselves for not having a hand in this.

66. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Stamp

Those frenzied drums. That galvanizing vocal. A wonderfully turgid affair. I stomp to “Stamp” anytime I hear it.

65. Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites/All I Ask of You f. Penny

Skrillex the Illest, The Nimblist Turntablist, The Rumpelstiltskin of Tuneage. Oh My God!

64. Siriusmo – Einmal In Der Woche Schreien

The sound of the kitchen sink being fixed as you’re doing dishes. This song offers a lot, not least of which is a mantra we could all benefit from living by: whatever comes to you, wherever you go, make sure, under any and all circumstances, to scream once a week.

63. Eisley – I Wish/Please

“I Wish” and “Please” are such soft, lilting, delicate beauties. Awash with gorgeous harmonies. Eisley are a treasure.

62. The Vaccines – Post Break-Up Sex

The sound of lover’s excoriating one another. The Vaccines are having post break-up sex, and a lot of it. If subway is a porno for Interpol, well, for The Vaccines, their porno is way less public but no less impassioned. This song is awesome.

61. Beirut – Santa Fe/The Rip Tide

“Santa Fe” is a salient, sun-drenched and sonorous piece of Beirut lore. “The Rip Tide” is calmer, more brooding, more pastoral, and just as good. Zach Condon is limitless.

60. Foo Fighters – Rope/White Limo

“White Limo” is a firecracker wrapped inside a molotov cocktail thrown into a gas leak. “Rope” is the scallywag who threw it. They’re too smart to be caught, so luckily, we can expect more from these seminal rogues.

59. Young The Giant – Cough Syrup

“Cough Syrup” that, unlike Buckley’s, tastes great and also works. Goes down easier than Kim Kardashian on a famous athlete. An impressive debut offering from these California lads.

58. The Ropes – Love Is a Chain Store

A little messy, carrying a heft of ominous and a whole lot of formidable, “Love Is a Chain Store” is essentially a Ladytron song with a focus on guitars and bass. I’m setting up shop.

57. Smith Westerns – All Die Young

A pinch of The Beatles and a smidgeon of MGMT makes a bona fide hit for these young Chicago lads.

56. The Wombats – Jump Into The Fog

It’ll be tough for them to ever reach the dizzying heights of “Moving to New York”, but they put in a yeoman’s effort on “Jump Into The Fog”. A rousing track.

55. Kasabian – I Hear Voices/Goodbye Kiss

Kasabian have come a long way. Their maturation is a pleasure to hear. “I Hear Voices” and “Goodbye Kiss” are melodious, straightforward samplings of their newfangled direction. The music is impeccably constructed on both tracks. Sounds like the beginning of a thrilling chapter in the book of Kasabian.

54. Young Galaxy – Cover Your Tracks/B.S.E.

My favourite part of the Knife-like “Cover Your Tracks” is how Catherine McCandless omnisciently coos, “throw away your letters and numbers and make sure to cover your tracks…” “B.S.E.” is a colourful chimera. The first part of the song is a cozy, catchy, fun little ditty. The second is a serious, stellar-bound statement of intent.

53. Britney Spears – Till The World Ends/How I Roll

Femme Fatale is a slithering shuffle of a sexy record. It’s the best and tightest album she’s ever recorded and these are two of the three best songs on the LP. “Till The World Ends” is a sex maniac, a lewd cavorter, part of a party-hopping hegemony. Good ol’ hedonism. “How I Roll” is fresh, crisp, and Brit is clearly enjoying herself on the track. Kudos to Bloodshy & Avant (a.k.a two-thirds of Miike Snow) for the pristine production.

52. Ricky Martin – Mas

On the list because a) it’s his best song in ten years, and b) he combines the words “boricua”, “Manhattan”, “subway”, “beatbox”, and “electric guitar” — all in the opening line. Mas por favor.

51. Billy Joel – The Downeaster Alexa

Sure I’m over twenty years late discovering this ode-to-the-troublingly-low-reserve-of-fish-in-New-England-waters-for-the-hard-working-fisherman-to-fish banger, but thanks to the Hangover 2, I’ve been enlightened. “The Downeaster Alexa” is simply scintillating.

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