Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The 25 Best Singles of 2011

Thanks to my week on the road and the very big project still calling my name from the bowels of my laptop -- one that needs to be finished before deadline next Tuesday -- I have no choice but to keep the best singles list short this year. No, I'm not shrinking the countdown itself, just my commentary on the songs that made it into the top 25.

2011 was a damn fine year for music: We saw the popular rise of chill-wave and the domination in the states of dubstep, and the ethereal shoegaze sound that was so big in the 90s suddenly seemed to be reasserting itself everywhere. Also, interestingly, the very best singles of the year were down-tempo tracks -- some lush and lovely, some powerful and passionate, some just plain heartbreaking.

So let's begin our look back.

25. Beady Eye -- Bring the Light

Liam won the battle between the Gallagher brothers to see who could release the better post-Oasis record by being something Oasis hadn't been in years: fiery and a hell of a lot of fun.

24. Portugal. The Man -- Got It All

Big, irresistible hooks that would make ELO's Jeff Lynne proud, these guys were living proof that at least something good can come out of Wasilla, Alaska.

23. Cat's Eyes -- Face in the Crowd

From the Wall of Sound production, to the ominous horns, to the swinging 60s girl-group vocals, this song was like a goth Bond theme from the Connery era.

22. Yuck -- Get Away

Who knew there was a love for Dinosaur Jr. among Britain's indie underground? While we've heard this sound before, rarely have we heard a reboot/homage that's this catchy and refreshing.

21. Fucked Up -- Queen of Hearts

Honest to God, ferocious punk rock that was as audacious in scope as it was joyously blistering in its delivery.

Tomorrow: 20-16


LK3 said...

I love and appreciate so much that you do this Chez - I discover awesome music every year! Happy New Year! Enjoy LA

em said...

Can't believe it's time for the countdown already. Looking forward to the next picks.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being the ONLY person in the world who thinks Liam won the battle between the Gallagher brothers. Have a happy, if completely deviated, holiday season.

Chez said...

The High Flying Birds record is good. The Beady Eye record is better. And song for song there's nothing Noel did that was as good as Bring the Light. And I don't care what anybody else thinks.

Deaddancer said...

Yuck is an amazing new band. Then again, yeah, I'm a J. Mascis guy from way back. How can that be a bad thing, though. Just saw them play Bug a few weeks back. Talk about a wall of sound. Makes me wish I could go back and see Swervedriver.