Continuing my series on the best of 2011, here are ten of my favorite songs from 2011. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that these were the best songs of 2011. Some of them aren’t. But these are ten songs that, in the future, will define 2011 for me personally. Again, these are my picks and my picks only. So, if you think my taste in music sucks (and, admittedly, quite a few people do), direct your scorn at me and not at anyone else who writes for the Shattered Lens.
By the way, I was recently asked what my criteria for a good song was. Honestly, the main thing I look for in a song is 1) can I dance to it and 2) can I get all into singing it while I’m stuck in traffic or in the shower?
Anyway, at the risk of revealing just how much of a dork I truly am, here are ten of my favorite songs of 2011.
1) What The Water Gave Me (performed by Florence + The Machine)
Musically, 2011 was a good year for me because it’s the year that I first discovered Florence + The Machine.
2) Only In My Double Mind (performed by Centro-Matic)
This is a great song from one of the best bands to come out of North Texas.
3) Man or Muppet (performed by Jason Segal and Walter)
Featuring lyrics from the brilliant Bret McKenzie. This song makes me cry every time.
4) Immigrant Song (performed by Karen O, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross)
Say what you will about David Fincher’s rehash of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, it had a good soundtrack. This cover of Immigrant Song made the film’s first trailer bearable. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really featured in subsequent trailers, being replaced by Daniel Craig going, “I want YOU to HELP ME catch a KILLER of WOMEN.”
5) Friday (performed by Rebecca Black)
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a terrible song and you know what? That’s why I can’t help but love it. Listen, there are thousands of terrible song released every year but there are none quite as a terrible as Friday. The genius of Friday is that it took everything that we associate with terrible music — nonsensical lyrics, insane autotune, a socially irresponsible message, creepy rappers who show up out of nowhere and for no good reason — and then just smashed it all together into the YouTube video that refused to die. Add to that, a few months ago, me and my BFF Evelyn got like totally drunk and then wandered around the streets of Dallas singing this song at the top of our lungs and I swear, every guy who passed by yelled words of encouragement at us.
(And, by the way, if you’re going to hate someone, hate on Fred Phelps. Leave Rebecca Black alone. Life’s too short.)
6) Hold it Against Me (performed by Britney Spears)
Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone loves to hate on Britney blah blah blah. This song is fun to sing in the shower and you can dance to it. And, quite frankly, that’s all I need.
7) Beard (performed by Burning Hotels)
This is from another North Texas band.
8) Fucking Perfect (performed by Pink)
An anthem. (Yes, I know this song came out in 2010 but it was important to me in 2011 so I’m listing it here now. So there.)
9) Love Is The Drug (performed by Oscar Isaac and Carla Gugino)
From the Sucker Punch soundtrack comes this sneakily subversive cover.
10) No Light, No Light (performed by Florence + The Machine)
Finally, what better way to end this list than with some more of Florence + The Machine.
Finally, I want to close this list with a song that came out long before 2011 but it’s an important song to me and it was sung by someone who we lost far too early this year.
Coming tomorrow: ten of the best things I saw on television in 2011.