So after Lisa Marie’s list of favorite songs I decided to finally finish up and post the list I had been working on as the year closed. Obviously not everyone will like my picks. Music is a very subjective art form and all of are tastes tend to vary greatly. Still please feel free to comment.
So without further ado…
10) “That’s My Bitch” – Jay Z & Kanye West
This tenth pick was the hardest. Too be honest I probably would have rather gone with a song from an artist mentioned below, but I wanted to mix it up a bit and add something from a different album. So I decided to go with ‘Watch the Throne’ which was met with both praise and a lot of hate. I personally fall somewhere in the middle. Much of it is unbearable, even if I enjoy Kanye West and Jay Z’s solo stuff. But still a few stood out, including ‘”That’s My Bitch”, and that is almost entirely because of Elly Jackson and Justin Vernon.
9) “Paradise” – Coldplay
Many have claimed that Coldplay has sold out, maybe they are right, personally I hate that label. I also pretty much hated their latest album, but one song stood out, and maybe it is because the radio played it on a loop, ‘Paradise’ is a track I fell in love with. I think it best captures the essence of some of their greatest hits and is a joy to listen to.
8) “Hard As They Come” – CunninLynguists
Easily my favorite hip-hop group/performers around, CunninLynguists always blows me away and their new album did just that. Now I wasn’t sure which song to pick for the list, but I want to add at least one and decided to go with the one posted above. Under the production of the brilliant Kno, it is easily one of my favorite songs of the year. Can’t get enough of it.
7) “Immigrant Song” – Karen O (with Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)
I think it is safe to say that anything Karen O releases will end up somewhere on my “best of” list of that year. For 2011 it was her rocking cover of Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song” that she did with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the opening credits of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, and say what you want about the film this song nails the tone.
6) “New York New York” – Carey Mulligan (“Shame”)
I guess some could question whether this cover by Carey Mulligan for the film “Shame” qualifies for a list such as this but there is just no way I could not include it. For those who haven’t seen the film it might not be very impressive, her vocals aren’t what some would call “American Idol” worthy, but within the context of the film it is a beautiful and emotional song, and although we might not be able to see all that emotion on character’s faces as we do in the film, I still believe a lot of it bleeds through even with just the audio. Heartbreaking.
5) “Misty” – Kate Bush
So to be honest I know very little about Kate Bush, even if she has released the same amount of albums as I have fingers. What drew me to her latest album ’50 Words for Snow’ had nothing to do with its critical praise or my knowledge of her previous work, but actually it was the inclusion of Stephen Fry on one of the tracks…yes leave it to one of my man crushes to lead me to one of the years best albums which included one of the years best songs. Sadly it can only be found, without being thrown onto some weird amateur video, in a small clip but it still gets acorss the beauty and atmosphere of the dreamlike song.
4) “Two Small Deaths” – Wye Oak
I loved everything about Wye Oak’s latest album ‘Civilian’ and could have posted a few songs from it on this list, but the one that stood out was easily ‘Two Small Deaths’. Just beautiful stuff, give it a listen and find out what I mean.
3) “Surgeon” – St. Vincent
These is just something so mesmerizing about St. Vincent that I can’t put my finger on. This isn’t to say I love every song she has released, but each of her albums contain a handful of tracks that just blow me away, as did the one posted above. I find it to be so hauntingly beautiful.
2) “Holocene” – Bon Iver
As a huge fan of Justin Vernon and his atmospheric ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ it is no suprise that his latest album, ‘Bon Iver’, won me over completely. I loved every track but this beautiful and hypnotic song always stood out. I’ve listened to it more times than I can remember.
1) “I Follow Rivers” – Lykke Li
To be honest, at any different moment I could have claimed that one of the top three listed here was my current favorite and at various times during the year they definitely switched places a few time. The reason I’m going with “I Follow Rivers” for this list is that of the three it is easily the most catchy, the one most likely to be stuck in my head for about a week and although the quality of these top three are pretty much equal in my eyes, I think being the one that stuck the most should be labeled my favorite. Beautiful stuff. Love it to death.