Thursday, 15 December 2011

Top 111 Songs of 2011, #20 - 11

Top 20 time! Well, the first half of it. Tomorrow sees our last major countdown of 2011 come to an end. Number one will be revealed (if I haven't told you or you haven't guessed it already) and the Scene Awards will begin! What tracks narrowly missed out on making the top 10 songs of 2011? Find out below, plus read about all the songs that have made the list so far.

111. Clare Maguire - Ain't Nobody
110. Ball Park Music - It's Nice To Be Alive
109. The Strokes - Under Cover of Darkness
108. Coldplay ft. Rihanna - Princess of China
107. Coldplay - Paradise
106. Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull - On The Floor
105. Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks
104. Professor Green ft. Emeli Sande - Read All About It
103. Cage the Elephant - Around My Head
102. Warpaint - Warpaint
101. Adele - Rumour Has It
100. Beirut - East Harlem
99. Ida Maria - Cherry Red
98. Digitalism - 2 Hearts
97. Washington - High Treason
96. Ben Lee - Get Used To It
95. Oh Land - Sun Of A Gun
94. Wolfram ft. Hercules and Love Affair - Fireworks
93. David Guetta ft. Sia - Titanium
92. Kimbra - Old Flame
91. Little Dragon Nightlight
90. The Rapture - How Deep Is Your Love?
89. Beirut - Santa Fe
88. Architecture in Helsinki ft. Sally Seltmann - W.O.W (Invisible Version)
87. PJ Harvey - The Last Living Rose
86. Emeli Sande - Heaven
85. TV On The Radio - Will Do
84. Dr. Dre ft. Eminem and Skylar Grey - I Need A Doctor
83. Boy and Bear - Feeding Line
82. Monarchy ft. Britt Love - You Don't Want to Dance With Me
81. Gotye - I Feel Better
80. The Drums - Money
79. Liam Finn - The Struggle
78. Little Boots - Shake
77. Neon Indian - Polish Girl
76. Kitty Daisy and Lewis - Don't Make A Fool Out Of Me
75. Beastie Boys ft. Santigold - Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win
74. Bon Iver - Holocene
73. Lykke Li - I Know Places
72. Florence + The Machine - What The Water Gave Me
71. The Black Keys - Run Right Back
70. Sneaky Sound System - Big
69. Rihanna - We Found Love
68. Florence + The Machine - Only If For A Night
67. The Naked and Famous - Punching In A Dream
66. Slow Club - Two Cousins
65. Kasabian - Switchblade Smile
64. The Ting Tings - Hang It Up
63. The Good Natured - Skeleton
62. Fever Ray - The Wolf
61. Kaiser Chiefs - I Dare You
60. Hercules and Love Affair - Painted Eyes
59. Jay-Z and Kanye West ft. Otis Redding - Otis
58. Justice - Civilization
57. Blaqstarr ft. Talib Kweli - War Of The Roses
56. Evanescence - Lost In Paradise
55. Britney Spears - Till The World Ends
54. Amanda Palmer ft. The Young Punx - Map Of Tasmania
53. Kimbra - Good Intent
52. Feist - How Come You Never Go There?
51. Yelle - Quex Veux-Tu
50. The Grates - Turn Me On
49. Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans
48. Seeker Lover Keeper - Light All My Lights
47. Matt Walters - St. Peter's Gate
46. San Cisco - Awkward
45. Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
44. Adele - Turning Tables
43. Florence + The Machine - No Light, No Light
42. Kate Bush - Snowflake
41. Sneaky Sound System - We Love
40. The Wombats - Techno Fan
39. Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Major
38. Beth Ditto - I Wrote The Book
37. Rachael Yamagata - Starlight
36. Clare Maguire - The Last Dance
35. Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Pull Out My Insides
34. Seeker Lover Keeper - If The Night Is Dark
33. David Guetta ft. Jennifer Hudson - Night Of My Life
32. Pnau - Solid Ground
31. The Black Keys - Lonely Boy
30. Marina and the Diamonds - Radioactive
29. Lady Gaga - Judas
28. Zowie - Bite Back
27. Little Dragon - Crystalfilm
26. Rachael Yamagata - Even If I Don't
25. M.I.A - Generation N.E.Y
24. Eddie Vedder and Cat Power - Tonight You Belong To Me
23. Bag Raiders - Sunlight
22. The Jezabels - Endless Summer
21. Lana Del Rey - Video Games

#20 - The Words That Maketh Murder
by PJ Harvey

What if I take my problems to the United Nations?

If you're looking for an album that actually stands for something, you can't beat what many are calling PJ Harvey's greatest album, Let England Shake. Polly Jean's critical, thoughtful and ultimately beautiful critique of her home country was comprised of 100% hits, no misses and saw her take home her second Mercury Music Prize in September. Like I said, there were no misses, but some songs hit harder, like 'The Words That Maketh Murder.' No song grew on me more over the year and a lot of people I've spoken to about it feel exactly the same. You're instantly drawn to the track with the catchy chorus and Harvey's ever evolving vocals, but the words are what will really keep you coming back for more. Plus, you'll never be able to hear about the United Nations without hearing, "What if I take my problems to the United Nations?" ever again.

#19 - Jungle
by Emma Louise

In a dark room we fight, make up for our love,
I've been thinking, thinking about you... about us.

Exciting new Australian singers emerged from all over the country in 2011 (or, in Kimbra's case, were adopted from New Zealand... because we never steal stars from New Zealand). Brisbane's greatest contribution came in the form of Emma Louise. 'Jungle,' her stunning debut, would go on to sweep the first Queensland Music Awards, winning Song of the Year and Best Pop Song.  

#18 - Crystalline
by Bjork

We mimic the openess of the ones we love...

You can always rely on Bjork to challenge all previous notions of who she is and what she's capable of with every new album release. On Biophilia she explored the relationship between nature, technology and self, experimented with new instruments and dressed like the Mad Hatter... orange wig and all. 'Crystalline' was wisely selected as the first taste of what the album would bring and on its own stands as the most engaging single from any Bjork album since the start of the new millennium. It also sums up her concept for the album perfectly; the lyrics address personal growth by relating it to how crystallisation occurs in rocks and minerals. Don't worry, no geometry knowledge is required for this one. The technologic aspect comes into play through her use of a modified Celesta, controlled externally via iPad. Watching her play the instrument (called a Gameleste) live at Bestival was mind blowing.

#17 - Into The Sky
by Howling Bells

Farewell, my darling, into the sky you go,
Again, without me, my baby, into the sky you go...

It's not all about showing off how innovative you are. Sometimes a band just needs to naturally evolve their sound to take that next step towards superstardom. In the case of the Howling Bells, they've taken steps in all the right directions but somehow superstardom continues to elude them. Why that is, I could never understand. 'Into The Sky' showcases a more confident rock group ready to take on the world. Juanita Stein is a wonder to behold; cooler than cool, sexy and everything you'd want in a rock band leading lady. So why aren't they the biggest rock band in Australia right now? Seriously... you tell me.

#16 - Don't Sit Down ('Cause I've Moved Your Chair)
by Arctic Monkeys

Do the macarena in the devils lair,
But just don't sit down 'cause I've moved your chair.

Speaking of effortlessly cool, how 'bout them Arctic Monkeys? No one else can write something like the lyric above and not only pull it off, but literally make you want to start doing the macarena. That's just me? Right. Good song but. This is another band that refuses to rest on their laurels, growing with each LP. As we know from 'Don't Sit Down,' they're just going to keep getting cooler and cooler too.

#15 - Young Blood
by The Naked and Famous

We're only young and naive still,
We require certain skills.

Yeah, yeah. It's old, I suck. Whatever. When I heard this for the first time in December last year, I couldn't stop wondering how I had overlooked such a great song from a new band that was being reported on seemingly everywhere in 2010. But I couldn't have been the only one, right? Most people heard 'Young Blood' on those beer ads for... um... I dunno. There was beer and fake snow or something. Let's focus on what we do know. The Naked and Famous knew how to make their debut and they did it in style! This is a song I'm still playing regularly today, so there was no way it wasn't making the countdown.

#14 - The Edge of Glory
by Lady Gaga

There ain't no reason you and me should be alone,
Tonight yeah baby, tonight yeah baby,
But I got a reason that you're who should take me home tonight.

This... this is how you pay homage to the 80s! 'The Edge of Glory' has a certain cheese factor to it, but all the best hits from the 80s do. By embracing everything that made that era so enjoyable in full, from the romanticism found in the lyrics to the epic chorus to the use of saxophone (!), Gaga found a way to pay tribute to the past in a way most pop artists could only dream of doing. The inspiration for the track has been pointed out (correctly) by so many as being Bruce Springsteen and it shows. Seriously, it even has a Clarence Clemons solo, which sadly would be the respected saxophonist's last. The most important point to consider when looking at 'The Edge of Glory' is that it's fun. It's everything a memorable pop song should be and just a little bit more. Without a doubt, the best track on Born This Way and her best single since 'Bad Romance.'

#13 - Holy Moses
by Washington

I know I'll pay for this,
I know I'll pay for this.

This should have been a #1 pop song. I repeat... 'HOLY MOSES' SHOULD HAVE BEEN A #1 POP SONG!!! That is all.

#12 - Someone Like You
by Adele

I heard that you're settled down,
That you found a girl and you're married now.

If Florence + The Machine's 'Only If For A Night' is the perfect way to open an album, this is the perfect close one. 'Someone Like You,' the piano ballad designed to rip your heart out, throw it on the floor and stamp on it a couple of time... just to make sure it's really broken. Sure, there's a million girls (and boys I suppose) sitting at home crying their eyes out to it every minute of the day, but I say to them, "stop crying your heart out. Instead, channel your pain into something constructive like a piano ballad and you too could be rolling in the money like Adele!" Enough about that... this is the best kind of pop song. It seems fairly straightforward, just Adele and the piano, but you find something new to love with her delivery. Is she bitter in this line, sarcastic in the next? You can question it for hours... or just enjoy the first ever piano-singer ballad to top the American music charts.

#11 - I Follow Rivers
by Lykke Li

You're my river running high,
Run deep run wild...

Do you know what made me really angry? When Glee did a total bait-and-switch by having Tina looking all cool, covering 'I Follow Rivers' and then BAM... they were just using it as a comic moment. Jerks. Lykke Li, could have seen herself break on through (to the other side) if they did it right. But I digress... Lykke Li firmly established herself as one of the most interesting female artists in a year where that would seem nearly impossible. How did she accomplish such a feat? With songs like 'I Follow Rivers.' Duh.

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