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.