A large point of this blog is to put all of my writings in one place, and with that comes all of my yearly reviews. Mostly of songs but in more recent years I moved my focus to other media as well. I started these in 2011 so they will be backfilled when I get the time. I was younger when writing these and not as experienced but I would love to store them all here for posterity.
It’s quite a lot so be prepared. My blog is not made of succinctness.
Obviously much of my opinions have changed, I will only be altering that by bolding songs that should be higher (because they’re great) and underlining songs that probably should be lower (because they’re less good), the only way I will have altered them from when they were originally posted on Buzzjack.com is to improve a couple of wording things I notice and to remove references that only make sense if you are a member of that forum.The exception is BJSC, a song contest that provides many of the less known songs in this list, including songs I sent to this contest myself, I’ll pretty much always talk about them like that. But important, if you see a song that is a BJSC entry, especially if it’s bolded, and you don’t know it, check it out because it is an amazing uncovered gem. Italics are me writing now.
250. Alex Winston – Velvet Elvis
249. Cazzi Opeia – My Heart In 2
248. Washington – Holy Moses
247. Like U Like – Aggro Santos (feat. Kimberley Walsh)
246. Melanie C – Burn
245. Aura Dione – Geronimo
244. Christina Perri – Bang Bang Bang
243. My Chemical Romance – Planetary (GO!)
242. Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks (NB: this gets a big increase in 2012)
241. Simon Curtis – Flesh
240. Elizaveta – Dreamer
239. Owl City – Kamikaze
238. Gabrielle – Ring Meg
237. Take That – Beautiful
236. Willow Smith – 21st Century Girl
235. Le Kid – We Are The Drums
234. Katie Cole – Always
233. Jessica Mauboy – Inescapable
232. Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
231. Breakage (feat. Jess Mills) – Fighting Fire
230. Apple Trees & Tangerines – Can You Save Me?
229. Chipmunk (feat. Chris Brown) – Champion
228. Destinee & Paris – True Love
227. Example – Midnight Run
226. Taio Cruz ft. Kylie Minogue – Higher
225. Swedish House Mafia – Save The World
224. Wanessa – Sticky Dough
223. Christina Perri – The Lonely
222. The Modern – Sometimes
221. Laidback Luke vs Example – Natural Disaster
220. Gorillaz – Revolving Doors
219. Gotye (feat. Kimbra) – Somebody That I Used To Know (NB: same as with Little Talks)
218. Ask Embla – Ein
217. Freak Asylum – You Better Leave
216. David Guetta – Where Them Girls At
215. Human Life – Wherever We Are
214. Lady Gaga – Judas
213. Marlon Roudette – New Age
212. Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba
211. Maverick Sabre – Let Me Go
210. Shontelle – Perfect Nightmare
209. My Chemical Romance – Sing
208. Nicole Scherzinger – Killer Love
207. Trey Songz – Bottoms Up
206. Velvet – Love Struck
205. The Saturdays – My Heart Takes Over
204. Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
203. Sak Noel – Loca People
202. Jess Mills – End Credits
201. Demi Lovato – Skyscraper
200. Aura Dione – Friends
So, it’s probably fitting that I start off with my biggest one-week obsession this year. More about the rest of the album later, but along with the rather nice Geronimo, Aura managed to turn out this fairly wonderful pop/hip-hop crossover, with a rather epic hook line for an album track ‘At least I’ve got my friends’ is a wonderfully simple line. It may not be the most subtle or beautiful track on the album, but it’s the most fun. Sadly my interest in it plummeted pretty soon after hearing it.
199. Cover Drive – Lick Ya Down
One of the trashiest, messiest and utterly forgettable top ten hits of the year is this one. I reportedly rather liked it. I do, still. Anything from Barbados (which normally means just Rihanna, so hypothesis proven), I easily fall for, so despite this being trashy, and maybe even because of it, I find it rather irresistible. Still fairly forgettable though.
198. Melanie C – Think About It
Something with a bit more class than the previous two tracks, perhaps. Mel C’s efforts this year have been rather appreciated by moi, even though I’m yet to get round to getting the album, it should be a stomper based on Burn, Think About It and Rock Me. However, I’m quite pleased that Think About It managed to flop in at #93 or somesuch low number in the UK charts. I didn’t think she’d even chart; so it’s nice to see someone’s still buying into her. It’s a fun track, and has some good moments on it, but it’s not really a fave as such. (Mel C does remain my favourite Spice Girl if you asked me for that but I don’t listen to that sort of stuff much anymore)
197. Olly Murs – Heart On My Sleeve
Olly does OK with ballads, but they don’t really have lasting appeal. I didn’t expect him to have such a huge second era though, more on that later. It’s ballady. And male. And pop. Olly is actually very different from other male singers on the market, that’s what makes him stand out. He’s actually rather interesting. I still am not a huge fan, he can get the definition of a semi-one-hit-wonder for me.
196. Skylar Grey – Invisible
When 2011 started and the first few hits turned up, I was convinced that this would be Skylar Grey’s year, both for me and commercially. So I was a little disappointed with what she turned out with in Invisible. It’s nice enough, and I like the lyrics of the song, but this clearly isn’t Skylar at the top of her game, and the public don’t seem to think so. Can I steal a POOR BRAVE?
195. Clap Your Hands – Sia
Well, as far as perennial featurers go, Sia’s overtaken Skylar in my affections, particularly in the latter half of the year. This may be an 2010 track, but it’s like the only one in here, and I clearly didn’t know about it before. It’s really infectious, and like every track I’ve heard of Sia’s: amazing. I want 2012 to be Sia’s year so much (make that decade!), and as she seems to be featuring on a lot more tracks recently, it’s looking rather good for her to finally have some commercial success. If you know me, I’m sure you know that this is not the only track with Sia on it in here…
194. Carishma – Glow In The Dark
The first of quite a few BJSC (one Buzzjack reference I won’t remove as it’s too widespread) entries to show up in my top 200, and one that I still can’t believe did quite as badly as it did. When I first heard it, I was convinced it would smash and light up the scoreboard, so for it to come last in its semi, the mind boggles. Hopefully it’ll get some sort of redemption in the Rejects, and it’s one of my tips to do well. The track itself has an irresistible chorus, and what it lacks on vocal power, it makes up for in pure energy. One of the better obscure pop tracks I’ve come across this year.
193. Andain – Promises
Another BJSC entry, Andain gives us a wonderful haunting track that manages to be incredibly summery and feel-good at the same time, despite being rather slow. I’m not surprised this did so well in such a strong monthly contest, I really liked it, so it gets a very well deserved spot in the top 200.
192. Dev – Bass Down Low
I didn’t think a whole lot of Bass Down Low at first, even though I wanted to like it, as since then, I’d gotten over hating Like A G6 and Dev seemed like a good bet to get behind. As it rose up the chart though, I began to get a little bit obsessed. It’s trashy, but it’s unique enough for a club banger, and despite loads of people considering it akin to the devil when it got released, I rather love it. In The Dark wasn’t nearly as good, though. Her new one, Naked, is looking good to be a hit in early 2012 in my chart at least, though.
191. Getter Jaani – Rockefeller Street
Something happened to me and Eurovision this year. I actually watched it (and got to know the entries as well) (I’ve become a super fan of Eurovision since, one of the few less credible directions my taste has moved in since 2011). I’d done the former but not the latter beforehand, leaving my best impression of ESC 2010 being Opa! Still, that means there’s a lot of retro ESC entries for me to explore when I can be bothered. One of my highlights this year, was the rather intriguing track from Estonia, which I remember underperformed expectations. It didn’t actually grow on me until after the contest, but it is a pop TUNE.
190. Alyssa Reid – The Game
The first of my 4 BJSC entries, and, ironically, probably the most successful (I tiebroke Cady and Alyssa because I was bored, Alyssa had 14 votes, Cady had 13), I was obsessed with this for about a week, which is why I sent it. It’s a little bit generic though, and repetitive, and Alone Again is better. As shown by that disastrous chart run. Well, disastrous for both a climber and a top 3 hit. Do listen to it though, it’s infectious and energetic. I wouldn’t have sent if I didn’t like it somewhat, but yeah, my least favourite of the 4.
189. Alexis Jordan – Laying Around
And it’s the first song by the act that I LOON for (I dreaded posting this because of this alone). Well, my favourite new singer around. Well, the cutest new singer around. Anyway, this was an instant favourite when I first got the album, time hasn’t been great to it, but I still think it’s the most emotional thing Alexis has put her name to, minus some slightly embarrassing lyrics that are worse than the ‘cake moment’ on Good Girl. It has made me cry before, so it’s a sentimental favourite.
188. Inna – Sun Is Up
Inna produced one of my favourite songs of last year, Amazing, so a new one was always going to generate interest. Medium airplay, medium hype, meant I was never overly enthused with it, but it’s a decent early summer tune. I like Romanian dance.
187. Alexandra Stan – Mr Saxobeat
Oh, and look, there’s another one. The prime example. I still can’t believe how huge this got. When I first heard of it, I thought it was going to flop. A month or so later, and everyone knew it. I loved it at first. When I began to hear it blasting out of cars while walking down the street, that’s when I got a little sick of it. Since I’m not hearing that now, I like it again. Yay. Get Back ASAP I really didn’t like as much, but I do kinda hope that Alexandra isn’t a one hit wonder, because I do really quite like this.
186. Jessie J – Nobody’s Perfect
You know, I really liked Jessie J at first (my god those awful, awful words, do not listen to 2011 me!). Do It Like A Dude was catchy as hell, and Price Tag was fairly good. But then airplay ruined Price Tag for me beyond all recovery, and she just seemed to get crazier and over-the-top the more I heard. Nobody’s Perfect still has some power behind the chorus though, and it’s an enjoyable song that I really liked for about… a month. She’s lost it for me with Who You Are though. Terrible song (hurray). She’s a good lyricist and rhythmist, if only she were a better singer. There are a few bits in this song that are really annoying, judging from listening to it now. (Jessie J is a monster, ignore everything positive in this review, I am serious about this)
185. Katy B – Easy Please Me
Katy B is another act I’ve grown to really like over the year. I mean, at first, I disliked On A Mission and Lights On… Then I got the album and it all changed. Easy Please Me is a really laid back track that I think is impossible to dislike. Very lovely. More on Katy B later.
184. The Charlies – Monster (Eat Me)
An entry from the most recent BJSC that I didn’t get the hype behind at first. It has an awesome instrumental and is a rather fun track. I know nothing of Nylon, the group they used to be (Losing A Friend is a most wonderful pop track), but I thought it was a fun little anecdote that they’d had some minor hits in the UK before. The video I think is a real hot mess. No idea what’s going on there.
183. Rebekka Karijord – Wear It Like A Crown
*sigh* A beautiful track that was such a grower and ended up being one of my favourite tracks from XXXVIII post-contest. So, I didn’t vote for it. Real shame on me. I began to love it post-contest. And definitely worthy of being in my EoY chart. I love the way it just builds and builds throughout the track. According to the video, it’s a much older track, but well, it’s very deserving.
182. Lady Gaga – You And I
The first of three entries for Gaga in my EoY countdown, I maintain that it was nice to see another Gaga ballad released, even if I never loved this for very long. It’s quite a complicated song, so I do appreciate it coming along. Gaga might as well put in some depth to the songs as well as the videos.
181. Kana Nishino – Aitakute Aitakute
One of the first J-Pop things I got introduced to (lol, this is where it all started), and I loved it. The chorus comes around so many times, and is completely lovely. I have no idea what she’s saying, but I know it’s gotta be beautiful. The best thing about it is that it never seems to end, and when it finally does, you just want to go and listen to it again.
180. N-Dubz vs Skepta – So Alive
Rap haters, look away now. This is a great hip-hop song, and one of the better ones in its genre. The backing instrumental is genius and quite haunting, and while the lyrics may be typical N-Dubz, the whole thing is quite cohesive and enjoyable to listen to. One of the better songs off of Love.Live.Life. Not an all-time favourite, but one of the better hip-hop songs around.
179. Elsiane – Vaporous
This took its time to grow on me, but it’s absolutely beautiful, wonderful discovery. I use the word haunting far too much, this is really hauntingly beautiful, and while it’s the only thing I’ve heard from Elsiane, it’s awesome [/gushing about it].
178. Pia Toscano – This Time
I know of Pia Toscano as ‘someone off American Idol’. Actually, the only person I’m aware of who was recently on American Idol. I don’t even know who won. Nevertheless, this is a really nice song that manages not to be generic by sounding inspirational. I find it really hard to work out an order for the contest in which this one was entered, but beyond this, I think the ones left (4 if my calculations are correct) have some sort of semblance of order, but another day I could swap this one for Promises, Ring Meg, Wherever You Are, We Shine, or indeed any of them from that contest.
177. Take That – Love Love
The first of Take That to appear in my top 200, and they’ve had a good year with regards that. Love Love is my least favourite of the singles from the Progress era though (maybe barring When We Were Young) but it’s still pretty good. It’s just a rehash of Kidz though, which drags it down a bit, even though I loved it right at the start, it didn’t last TOO long in my affections. Progressed as a whole was a rather nice album, more on that later.
176. Wiz Khalifa – Black And Yellow
It’s brilliant in that it doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and the popularity it’s had with my friendship group probably helps me to like it. Supposedly about some Superbowl teams, the chorus is impossible not to sing along to. (This lost something with the removal of in-jokes but meh, you’ve probably heard stuff about this song before)
175. Young London – Let Me Go
I think this is Scandipop? Anyway, the duo of Young London have a very infectious song here, that I managed to quite like. Alas, by the time it was sent to BJSC, I was a bit over it, but it’s still great and I considered voting for it. The chorus is by far the best part, but the rhythm on the verses is still rather good.
174. Eminem – Spacebound
173. Alexis Jordan – The Air That I Breathe
No. #2 of Alexis ballads, and the most stripped back them. Like Laying Around, it’s really emotional, but the thing that makes this one so great, is that, out of all the songs on her album, it shows the most that SHE CAN SING! I think it’s the last album track showing up here, the rest of the Alexis tracks are singles. I’m not sure if it’s the last album track period, I can’t remember.
172. Andrea Dahle – Play For Me
Another infectious and tenacious BJSC entry here. The style of vocals are similar to Elsiane’s, I think, but a little more upbeat. The chorus is fairly brilliant, and this one didn’t take long to grow on me, which is why I gave it 10 points in that contest. Still 3 more to come from that one. Maybe it didn’t have a long chart run, but most of my obsession came the week of the final
171. David Guetta ft. Jennifer Hudson – Night Of Your LifeSo, yeah, one of the incredible promotional singles Guetta used. His promotional singles trumped all the proper singles (this was before Titanium became one of his biggest ever tracks in 2012). Easily. Night Of Your Life features Jennifer Hudson who makes this song, along with some incredible rhythm. I’d love to hear it at a party. I heard it while shopping once, and I almost danced then. A wonderful dance conclusion to a rather… hip-hop/indie selection from these ten.
170. Ke$ha – Blow
The next of my number 1s to crop up (I’ve deleted most references to my weekly charts here as I got a bit banal with them but this is relevant), it’s another one I was rather brash about assigning. But no, I don’t regret it (I do now). I was obsessed with it for 1 week back in March, and I really didn’t like it missing the top 30 in the UK. It’s going quite close up against Take It Off for my favourite Kesha single (no it isn’t). The track sounds really epic for Kesha, and I believe this is her at the top of her game, and I enjoy all 3 and a half minutes of the trashpop glory. (she would have so much better in her)
169. Britney Spears – I Wanna Go
Speaking of trashpop… Oh, I went there. Shame on me. Seriously though (no seriously, shame on 2011 me, poor Brit, who’s an artist I can now respect even her music isn’t that great half the time), I really like this. I’m quite annoyed that the best singles from Femme Fatale are the ones which really flopped though, the rule of Femme Fatale is that they got better as they went on (as long as n<=4 where n is the number of single (what this means is that the 4 are the only ones I’ve heard
168. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie Pt 2
Something from the beginning of the year here. I only put it this low because of arbitrary reasons (what am I DOING?), it’s a beautiful followup to LTWYL, I don’t quite prefer it to the original, but it’s pretty damn emotional, and was one of my original highlights on Loud. Expect to see more tracks from Loud appearing soon, I put album tracks from Loud in this year (with the exception of Only Girl and What’s My Name), just like I’ll put album tracks from Talk That Talk in next year (w/ exception of We Found Love) I make exceptions for Rihanna. Anyway, beautiful from Rihanna there. (indeed, something I’d probably still enjoy if I listened to it now, I don’t regularly listen to her now)
167. Tinchy Stryder ft. Melanie Fiona – Let It Rain
Tinchy has a rather good hip-hop track here, with Melanie Fiona providing a stomper of a chorus. I feel it’s underrated by many, even though it’s rather generic, I liked it, in fact, I liked the whole Third Strike era in general, shame it flopped. That reminds me, there’s a track with Alexis Jordan on that album that I haven’t heard because it’s NOT ON THE INTERNET ANYWHERE. I would really like to hear it in full, I’ve heard clips of it, but haven’t managed to find the whole thing (it turned out to be Tinchy’s best track haha). Maybe I’ll have to cherrypick it from iTunes.
166. Owl City – The Yacht Club
One of the highlights of All Things Bright And Beautiful, I didn’t chart it much, but it’s a brilliant duet with Lights that is infectious and epic, as I’ve come to expect from Owl City. Expect to see quite a bit more of him as we move up.
165. Loick Essien – How We Roll
Another entry, another #1 failing in the year-end chart (THIS IS MORE SERIOUS THAN THAT). I only put it at #1 that week, as I recall, because I had no other strong options (at least there’s that). So if I did sales, it would have had the lowest sales at the top all year. It’s a fairly good RnB song (uh?), though. I don’t find it generic, the build up to the chorus is rather epic, and the effects on it are rather good. I’m quite pleased that it’s Loick’s biggest hit, everything else I’ve heard from him has been utter trash, and really generic (just like this then!). I don’t think it deserved that many weeks top 10 though in retrospect. (Jesus this track is awful, I berate my 2011 self at a daily basis for putting it at #1 and there is no excuse for me)
164. Melanie C – Rock Me
Ok, it’s a bit generic, but it’s FUN! The beat is so infectious, and the whole song is rather glorious. Reminder to self to get The Sea asap. The best Melanie C song this year for me.
163. Kirsty vs Igor Blaska – Green
An incredibly interesting track, that continued to grow on me after being entered to BJSC. The contrast of the indie vocals from Kirsty, the rhythmic rapping from Igor Blaska, and the beat make this a song I have to bob along to AND get a bit emotional to (I don’t recall the emotional part.. hmmm). It’s like two songs in that respect, and I love it.
162. Katie Sky – Sweet Sweet Melody
A rather infectious, airy track from the tail end of the year, I really quite love this, Katie’s vocals sound quite unique, the song is uplifting, and it shouldn’t feel epic given the tweeness of the subject matter, but it does.
161. Shakira ft. Pitbull – Rabiosa
A little bit of a disappointment for me, I love Shakira normally, but I struggled to get on board with it, catchy as it is, it’s nowhere near the standard of Don’t Bother, Hips Don’t Lie, Whenever, Wherever, Waka Waka, or any number of Shakira classics. It didn’t help that she never got round to releasing it in the UK either. Still a rather enjoyable song (wow how wishy-washy was I)
160. Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine – Stereo Hearts
Stereo Hearts really grew on me on the weeks that it dropped through the official chart, it has some really clever rapping from Travie, it’s this year’s Billionaire, and while it’s not as great, Adam Levine does a great job on the chorus, it’s a great team effort from the both of them.
159. The Wrecking Queens – Middle And Between
My first entry to BJSC, and one I still stand by, it was either that or Sojo – I Remember, and I think the latter is rather generic. It might have done better in the contest, and maybe I’d be without a DNQ, but I prefer this one. Middle And Between is a rousing example of Finnish rock that I’d encourage everyone to listen to, it’s quite euphoric, epic, and fully undeserving of such a quick chart run. It regrew on me once I’d gotten over failing with it. Very glad I entered it though (I kinda regret it now but I do all my early ones to this contest), and I really hope it gets through in the Rejects.
158. Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris – Tonight (I’m f***ing You)
I have good memories of it being played prominently at one of the best parties of my life (really? well perhaps I’m just being old and bitter and not really remembering which party that is) It’s an amazing song from Enrique, not as great as I Like It or Heartbeat (well at least there’s that), the whole Euphoria era kind of went on a downward slope after this, but I’m pleased it managed to get as much success as it did, it’s generic, but catchy, and with a little bit of balls (and also SO cringy years on)
157. Avril Lavigne – Smile
A single from an artist I absolutely love, I thought this was actually a strong choice of second single, the only choice I could see on Goodbye Lullaby actually. So I was actually really surprised when it flopped. Push and Wish You Were Here have absolutely nothing on this, it’s inspiring, fun and with the same amount of emotion that Avril puts into her more serious songs, which are almost always her best. I’m quite proud of the stabilisation this had in my chart, that would have been with the BGT performance, shame it didn’t impact on anyone else…
156. Kate McGill – Diamonds And Waste
An absolutely soulful and wonderful song from the last BJSC. To say I was a bit devastated when this flopped.. well, I was a bit devastated. It deserved so much than that. The best bit is the last ‘We are a pack of cards’, it feels so.. otherworldly, but with emotion. I’m not sure how well it’ll do moving ahead, but I do really like this.
155. The Wombats – Techno Fan
The last single from This Modern Glitch that I bothered charting, I was quite surprised at the amount of backing this has had in the media (as in, I’ve heard it in a Doctor Who episode and a TV advert, and for a #60 hit…). It never really clicked with me like Jump Into The Fog or Tokyo did. It’s still one of the better tracks on This Modern Glitch, so I still rather like it. If I was to call a Wombats single generic, though, this would be the one.
154. Pixie Lott ft. Pusha T – What Do You Take Me For?
No, All About Tonight will NOT be appearing. Overplay killed THAT ‘thing’ for me long ago (well at least you had some sense). What Do You Take Me For is a career highlight for Pixie in terms of quality, it’s actually quite interesting, and as such, lasted a while in my chart, despite a low peak. Not quite my favourite single of hers, she’s ridiculously generic and I’m not a huge fan, but it’s up there (probably behind Broken Arrow and Cry Me Out only).
153. Drake ft. Rihanna – Take Care
Drake is very popular with the public, isn’t he? (oh how right I was, unfortunately, this is good but this aside he’s a bit crap) I heard people playing this even before it made its foray into the official charts. It’s a real grower though, I didn’t appreciate it until about last week or so. Now, it’s really infectious, and in the process, moved up quite a bit on these rankings, almost into the top 150. Rihanna makes this song, but so do the backing vocals. My favourite with Drake as the lead artist easily, I do rather like Find Your Love though.
152. Olly Murs – Heart Skips A Beat
A track that has been everywhere in real life for me. I’m not the biggest fan of Mr Murs, but I can’t deny this, it’s a brilliant pop song through and through. I also rather enjoy Rizzle Kicks on their verse, expect to see them a bit further up. Even Dance With Me Tonight isn’t too bad, ok, I do rather like his songs. Heart Skips A Beat is his second best song ever, and like I said, everyone I know knows it, and September time, I really couldn’t go a day without hearing it. What’s remarkable is that I never got that sick of it, so it deserveth (what ARE you?) better than that chart run.
151. The Wanted – Lightning
Another act I profess not to like, mainly because they are male vocals doing pop. Ok, that’s not true, but all these manufactured things that girls really like I pretend not to (boybands, really, w/exception of Take That). Except I rather enjoy The Wanted some of the time. Some of the time they really are dreck. This is one of their better offerings though, and their highest appearance here. This campaign saw a peak at Lightning, Glad You Came and Warzone were of about the same quality. Lightning isn’t interesting per se, but it’s a little euphoric, and I liked it enough to put it top 10 one week.