End Of Year

Backfill: 2011 EOY Part 2 of 4

As always with this, modern edits berating my old self (who was 18 years old when writing this, may I remind you/warn you, and still should have known better a lot of the time) are in italics. Bolded tracks are those that are better than their position suggests, underlined are worse. This is a mostly direct copy of my posts from Buzzjack.com, with a few obscure references removed.

150. Avicii – Levels

A very good instrumental, much better, in my opinion than the Flo Rida track, so it’s pleasing it’s getting similar success (should have been the only success, who were these people who buy into Flo Rida). I find the chorus holding up the song rather weak, to be perfectly honest, but the music in between is so classy that I have to dance along to it when it comes on, and it has at a party, which is a great barometer for me liking songs.

149. Blue – I Can

A fourth number 1, but not my favourite entry from Eurovision this year, even though it was the only one to go to the top spot on my chart. Admittedly it might have been in a bit of patriotic fervour, but there’s still a good song in there from Blue. I’ve barely listened to it since the contest though, and it isn’t hugely great on reflection. It’s very epic sounding (bit of a contradiction there), and I do wish it had done slightly better, out of ESC UK entries that are recent that I am familiar with, Blue>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Josh whathisname (the 2010 guy) by far. (to be fair, it was about the best the UK could do since I’ve been watching)

148. Calvin Harris ft. Kelis – Bounce

The first of my #2 hits, I think, and with four #1s gone already (Blow, How We Roll, Friends and I Can if you were keeping track) … Anyway, this is a very well produced track with an infectious as hell beat. I do really like it, and I was pleased with the success it got. It’s also far better than the followup Feels So Close, which I never really liked at all, to be quite honest. Can’t touch I’m Not Alone or Flashback though.

147. Lonely Island ft. Michael Bolton – Jack Sparrow

And so… we come to the first of two entries by The Lonely Island for this year. A comedic rap troupe, they are exactly the sort of thing I’d rave about, and this is all kinds of epic. I think it’s either a parody of how songs take themselves seriously, or a parody of popular culture references in songs (Mr D Contostavlos, take note). There’s a brilliant contrast between the members of the Lonely Island and Michael Bolton’s over-the-top singing, and I love it. I only found it after it had been and gone, so it didn’t get a proper chart run in my chart. But it should have. (this glorious beauty should been way higher, who doesn’t like Lonely Island)

146. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Another #2 for Nicki, and the first of 3 entries for her (this is incl. features btw) (jesus, 2011 me, what were you doing here). Super Bass being the song that got her big, it took a bit of time to grow on me, shot up the chart, then suffered from airplay and shot back down again. It’s a very catchy tune, and I was in love with it at first, but not quite enough. She has better, but I’m pleased this ended up being so successful in the end. (I mean, it’s not her worst song but well, it isn’t that great)

145. Oh My! – Kicking And Screaming

A quite wonderful girlband (girl duo?) that have come to my attention this year (and sadly split not long after this, RIP), Kicking And Screaming is a strong entry for Oh My. The progression in this song is amazing, especially when they switch to semi-rapping up to the chorus. It’s one of my favourites from the BJSC into which it was entered, and it will stay like that. Oh My!

144. Ola – All Over The World

Something that is quite epic, especially the drawled out chorus. I didn’t expect to like this, but it’s infectious. *generic comment*. I do remember hearing this on Radio 1 a few month ago (really? that actually really surprises me, go Radio 1 I guess), which did move it up in my affections a little bit. But yes, a fairly brilliant song, and exactly what I want from scandipop.

143. Nicola Roberts – Lucky Day

Something I charted rather late, but has continued to grow on me ever since is, is this brilliant song from Nicola. The backing instrumental that holds this song up is really glorious, and the lyrics do a lot to help it.
At least it got to #40 officially. (haha, down with Girls Aloud)

142. Owl City ft. Breanne Duren – Honey And The Bee (this definitely stuck around for me into the following year, it’ll be way higher on 2012 from memory)

The Saltwater Room of All Things Bright And Beautiful, as in, the duet with Breanne, Honey And The Bee is even superior to that great song. It took a long time to grow on me, in fact, it was the last track on the album for me to properly fall in love with, but when I did, well… heart.gif The way Adam and Breanne swap their lines seamlessly makes this a brilliant song, one with a great feeling, and one I’d recommend to anyone who hasn’t heard it. If it wasn’t an album track, and if it had grown on me sooner, it might have been even higher, and it might have grown on me even more than some of the Owl City tracks left in the mix here.

141. Rihanna – S & M

At the time, I really began to hate this because it was getting played everywhere. I like things getting played in public, as long as they aren’t overdone. S&M was overdone. No obvious jokes, please (yay jokes about bondage). Rihanna doesn’t sound as amazing on this as some of her other songs, and it isn’t among my favourites on a very strong album, but it is still very good (this was basically a negative review and it was your 141st favourite song of that year?). I like the video (oh my god you perv). A lot of Rihanna still to come. (well that was to be expected but still… eh)

140. Lana Del Rey – Video Games (still one of Lana’s weakest so surprisingly not a bold)

A track that took an absolute age to grow on me. The BJSC it won was the first one where I looked at the tracks properly. I was preferring several other tracks to this when it won. Had I been in that contest, I likely would have given it no points. And fast-forward a month or two where it’s getting released in the UK. Becomes exceedingly beautiful and I’m quite glad it got top 10. Born To Die is currently in the process of growing on me. This is happening a lot quicker, so I think I like it even more. It took a while for me to get bored of it, for a track I thought I disliked at first, very impressive. (I go through real phases with this track, most of the time I think it’s one of the dullest songs in existence despite liking Lana generally and then at times I can find it quite beautiful, I guess I was in one of the rare latter moments with this, I’m really quite surprised at such a positive review from old me)

139. David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj – Turn Me On

While Night Of Your Life was the purple track from Nothing But The Beat (Adored that single cover BTW) this is the dark blue track (bold colours get my heart racing). Those two are my second and third favourite colours. So, my 2nd and 3rd favourite tracks from the album… Anyway… Turn Me On has the most power behind it of any of Nicki’s tracks, and this alone makes it awesome (mmm… I don’t listen to this anymore). It was only a brief foray into my chart. I wasn’t hanging around for it to become a single. Some album tracks, however…

138. The DNC ft. Miss Amani – Electric

My favourite hip-hop track… that I’ve discovered through BJSC. The rhythm of this track and the powering through of the track, that never, never stops. Except when it briefly does. The rapping fits perfectly, and when Miss Amani comes in, the whole thing becomes a work of art and I have to sing along.

137. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

One of the most interesting tracks of the early year for me. I never thought much of Limit To Your Love, nor have I tried any other James Blake, but this, this is quite haunting. The title is such a good one, I think of it as the thoughts that instantly go through the mind of someone uttering ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ (as in they’ve just been killed and these are their final thoughts) stretched over 4 minutes. When you do that it becomes quite poignant, and I’m quite sure that was the intention.

136. Matt Cardle – Run For Your Life

What I actually thought was a rather good debut single from Mr Cardle. It’s quite beautiful. There isn’t a whole lot too it, but it certainly didn’t deserve its miserable failure in the charts. It kept having random revivals with me, so I suppose it’s a surprise to see it this low. Ah, well, Matt Cardle did something even better than this. He released Starlight. And it’s a rule of X-Factor winners that their second single is better than their first (not counting winner’s singles). It still tugs a little at my affections just listening to it now. (eh, though I would normally go full out on my past self for liking an X-Factor track, this one is fairly inoffensive and not the worst)

135. One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful

First of all, f*** Gotta Be You and all it stands for. That damp squib of a ballad has quite easily brushed aside ALL competition to become my most hated track of 2011 (wow, some strong feelings there, albeit directed at true crap). And that’s all I’m doing regarding hate. I’m an optimist at heart.

Back on to pleasanter things, this is a CHOON! (ah no no no I REGRET EVERYTHING) You have to sing aloud to the chorus and I have done quite unashamedly at social gatherings. I’m still straight (nice you felt the need to emphasise that there). Through its utter euphoricness, and the fact I don’t see it taking itself seriously, it’s the best thing One Direction could have come out with. And while Gotta Be You has made me want to never hear another track from them again (Although I will take recommendations from their album (no you won’t) ), they can take pride in themselves by having made a good song. Baby you light up my world like nobody else… (I… don’t want to be associated with this anymore, why am I even publishing this)

134. Tinie Tempah – Simply Unstoppable

Just when I thought the DISC-overy era was over, Tinie went and released the only good unreleased track on the album. And I was very pleased, it’s classic Tinie, sounds like all his previous singles combined into one, but it’s pretty epic. Tinie is one of the most talented new rappers on the scene, it’s just a shame that Til I’m Gone was largely rubbish in comparison to everything else.

133. Alexz Johnson – Trip Around The World

A track that is almost annoying in it’s optimism and lightness, I love it. It gives off such a carefree vibe, I thought this was one of the stronger tracks in its monthly contest, so at the very least it’s getting some form of redemption in the Rejects. I listened to it so much, so when it failed, I jumped it straight into my top 10. One of the more finely-crafted tracks I’ve come across through BJSC.

132. Nicola Roberts – Beat Of My Drum

A very catchy track from Nicola Roberts, who pulled off a rather successful campaign, if not commercially, than critically. Anyway, she’s pulled off an absolute floor stomper that I rather loved. Not quite enough to be in the top 100, but we’re getting close to it there. (fine, you can have the brief niceties with Nicola Roberts, but this is not a great song)

131. Pitbull ft. Marc Anthony – Rain Over Me

I DID give Give Me Everything a good chart run initially but unfortunately I find it unlistenable now, so I cannot in good conscience put it into an End Of Year chart (at least that’s something). This however, I can (oh no). Marc Anthony produces a undeniably glorious chorus, not bad. And Pitbull’s rapping gives the whole thing a good rhythm and holds it together. If this had gotten big instead of GME, I might have liked it a little less, but it’s such a good chorus I don’t think I could have grown bored of it. I think partly the bad chart run was in disgust at how well I’d charted Give Me Everything. I’d quite happily swap what I did to them in my charts. For reference, here is Give Me Everything’s chart run. 40-x-39-42-19-17-21-33-46. Such an overplayed song doesn’t deserve such a pretty run (Although Nayer’s bits are quite alright, the rest is tiring as I listen to it now and I don’t think it’ll ever regrow). But they have the same peaks. However, Rain Over Me>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Give Me Everything. I think that was the point of this long-winded paragraph. (I’ll leave the chart stuff in here too because I’m enjoying the absolute destruction of that awful song Give Me Everything. Rain Over Me is inoffensive at worst and it’s telling that I made its paragraph about the bigger song)

130. Twenty Twenty – Love To Life

Another #1 that I was obsessed with for only a very short time, Twenty Twenty gets a pass this high because it’s actually aged rather well for me. Twenty Twenty are actually about the most euphoric boyband with instruments around, and I love them for it. Love To Life is an anthem, and I think it’s a very deserved #1 for me. Not going in my top 100 though. (a surprisingly good buried gem actually, would recommend if you like pop-rock)

129. Take That – Kidz

Another boyband track that HASN’T aged quite as well (only now it’s aged BETTER, lovely how my mind works), but at the time, I thought it was one of the best works they’d ever done. I stick by saying that the video is their best. The track is again uplifiting, and it sets the tone of Progress rather well, but there’s a couple of better tracks on the album.

128. Jessie J – Who’s Laughing Now (what, there was another one still to come?!!!)

Jessie J’s best track (no). I, like a lot of others got rather bored of her antics rather quickly, but this, this is great (no, it’s not, she is the source of all that is evil). It didn’t suffer from overplay, which has ended up being a defining factor in my EoY, the track has a good rhythm to it, and the delivery of Jessie J’s lines feel both impassioned and expertly well done (I suppose I’ll give it that, from what little I remember). Most of the time she only does one or the other, which leaves her songs either feeling dry or hurting your ears. Who’s Laughing Now has aged the best out of all the singles from Who You Are (I haven’t heard Domino yet though), Do It Like A Dude might run it close, I’m not sure, but that doesn’t matter since DILAD was 2010 for me. (look, I don’t mean anything against her personally but her music is some of the worst to ever grace the pop charts, let’s not encourage her any more from now on (DILAD is the only one I still tolerate))

127. Owl City – Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust

My initial standout when first hearing the clips of All Things Bright And Beautiful, Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust reminds me somewhat of Owl City’s film soundtrack foray To The Sky, but a little bit more epic. And with a chorus that starts with ‘This picnic will soon depart’, you know you are in for a brilliant buildup. Don’t worry, tiger eyes won’t make you blush, not just by listening to it. *.* (<- as this is the first disco I’ve seen, I should just explain that it’s an expression that signifies what you’re talking about is awesome, not to be confused with its opposite number *_*)

126. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA… What A Life

A track that took a long while to grow on me, in fact, when it was getting success in the charts, I didn’t get it at all. Of course, it’s the second track in a row to feature tigers in some way. Woo. Beyond that, it’s unique, has a bit of self-importance, and one of the best rock tracks I have heard this year. Far better than the Oasis copycat track The Death Of You And Me, it’s pleasing that this seems to have become the lasting hit for Noel. (I love indie-rock like this, this’d be easily top 100 if I were doing this now)

125. Roniit – Now Or Never

A track that took a while to grow on me, but when it did, it became glorious. It’s quite a shame this didn’t qualify in BJSC, as I think it would have grown on a lot of people by the final and done rather well. It’s become one of my favourite tracks from the competition, and it most certainly has an ethereal feel to it, that enhances it hugely. Very atmospheric as well, I love the idea of Roniit.

124. Monarchy – We Were Young

I think, had I been participating in XXXVI (yeah, we use Roman numerals in BJSC) and had the time to think about it, this would have been my 12-pointer. It’s simply quite epic. Monarchy deliver a song that never stops, in fact, you are halfway through it, amidst all the sounds, before you’ve realised it. I think it stayed in my chart longer than any other song from that contest, meaning I had definitely fallen in love with it early. One thing I will say, XXXVI was strong, it didn’t have a huge standout track in it though, everything was kind of equally strong. So all 4 of the songs I have so far given 12 points to are still to come. Also, two of my own entries… meh. (this IS epic to this day, I’m glad that’s remained.)

123. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
Yes, it was amazing for those first few weeks. I didn’t really get sick of it either (except you would because it’s dire). It’s one of the best songs to dance to over the whole of this year, and I can really see why it’s been so successful. It stands out, because it’s not generic (it completely is). And LMFAO clearly aren’t taking it seriously (that is correct). This is their only good song though. Champagne Showers was alright, Sexy And I Know It is pretty awful. (and now, they have no good songs, funny how that works)

122. Agnes Obel – Riverside

Another beautiful track here, and I can see why it won the BJSC, although there is another track from that contest still to appear. Actually, Agnes is only my 6th favourite of the ten winners (there are ten contests a year), and as Inescapable and Video Games have already been in my top 250… It’s absolutely beautiful though, entrancing, takes you to another world. (indeed, another great gem and she’s still producing good music, check out Familiar from her)

121. Alyssa Reid ft. P Reign – Alone Again

I didn’t chart this until after I’d sent The Game. It’s better. Mainly because the chorus samples one of my favourite songs of all time (good choice), maybe because the verses are simply a slower version of The Game. It was a big hit in Canada, and a version with Jump Smokers instead of P Reign is getting released in the UK in the New Year. I doubt it’ll do anything, but wouldn’t mind if it did. (if you’ll remember this song actually DID hit #2 the following year and I couldn’t have been more shocked)
120. Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

When I first heard this track, it was Greg James’ record of the week. I said to myself something along the lines that it was nice to see Greg supporting yet another indie band that would get nowhere (interesting insight. I have of course completely forgotten that). Fast-forward about a month and everyone across the entire world is loving this track. And I am quite pleased. It’s not the strongest, but Foster The People manage to create a good feeling with this track that makes one love it.

119. Scarlette Fever – Elated

I’ve just checked, and there are still 20 (!) more tracks entered into BJSC to come after this. Not all of them I discovered through the contest, most of them though I did. Shows how influential it’s been, even if only in the latter half of the year. Anyway, this is a beautiful ballad that I really love getting emotional to. I was honestly quite surprised when it didn’t win, but it was only in my first contest, I had yet to get used to it. So why am I, still building sandcastles in the sky…

118. The Saturdays – Notorious

The first of 3 entries for the Sats in my top 200. With My Heart Takes Over narrowly missing the top 200 as well. Notorious was not the strongest comeback single for them, but over time, I grew to love it. It feels a bit artificial (oh you’re on point there), but the video is brilliant, and with all the members having a big part, which is something I hadn’t noticed before in their songs, it’s a good middling quality hit for me. (middling quality about describes it, why is this so high then?)

117. Lonely Island ft. Akon – I Just Had Sex (part of me wants to curl up in a ball, the other half is thinking ‘awesome’)

This passed me by at the beginning of the year, but it’s a CHOON. The rapping from Lonely Island is rather hilarious and has some brilliant flow in it, while the track is ridiculously happy. It doesn’t even feel like a parody, it’s a good song in it’s own right. The video makes it (oh you utter perv, stop thinking about sex), but it’s still an enjoyable song on it’s own.

116. Professor Green ft. Emeli Sande – Read All About It

I really like the formula of rapping surround by a big loud hook, so while it took me a while to get into this, I really liked it in the end. Emeli sounds amazing on the chorus, and the only thing is that I wish it hadn’t deserted the charts so quickly, it quite deserved to be a massive #1, but it’s chart run after that is rather shameful. One of the better British tracks this year.

115. Alexis Jordan – Good Girl

I suppose this might be a bit of a shock, this not making my top 100. While I loved it at the time of release, it hasn’t aged as well as everything else on Alexis’ album, and so I think this is rather fair for it. The ‘you might mistake me for a heartbreaker’ bit is heart-wrenching though. (probably did deserve a bit higher to be honest)

114. Katie Cole – Sunrise

A lovely slice of country-pop (credit to Buzzjack’s gooddelta), it really made a good impression on me, and while there isn’t anything AS good on her EP, one of my favourite discoveries of the year. It’s quite epic as well.

113. I Am A Camera – Endless Storm

BJSC XXXVII entries are all here, aren’t they (that includes Sunrise and Elated if you’re interested). Anyway, this is a very strong atmospheric piece that I again, really loved, and was quite pleased it ended up doing so well. I was quite obsessed with it for a couple of weeks, it wore off a bit, but it was and still is one of my favourites.

112. Dappy – No Regrets
Yes, this is here. Dappy knows how to make some good music (why are you saying these words?). Well, at least, catchy music. All the cheesy pop culture references actually help it (okay, I did like the cultural references in the way they were delivered here), even though on this song they feel literally shoehorned in. The best thing is the euphoric chorus, which is one of the better ‘sung-by-a-rapper’ choruses around. I still couldn’t help laughing at the dire CiN perf though. (that was a thing I watched?)

111. Charice – Louder

I RATHER like Charice. And so, Louder. It’s not quite as good as one little remix of Pyramid (that almost completely eliminates Iyaz) is (true, true, I do still like that Pyramid edit. ‘Barry Harris Radio Edit’ if you’re interested), but it’s the best Charice track in it’s raw form. Charice gives a pure pop track that it’s almost impossible to deny. One of the first few gems I came across through BJSC (I was only listening to the winners at that point) (it really hasn’t aged well is all that underline’s for)

110. What The Water Gave Me – Florence & The Machine

When I heard Flo M were coming back, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat for material (well I do run hot and cold for them to this day so I guess that’s accurate). I could barely tolerate You’ve Got The Love, and I didn’t think that much of Dog Days Are Over (which I have changed my mind about since). This changed my mind. Surprisingly, I really liked it (YES, probably one of her best ever tracks, certainly should be higher here). It didn’t last a very long time, it’s a superb buzz single, but just that, a buzz single, and it’s rather slow (no, stop it! you’re ruining a good thing). A certain second single changed my mind about Florence and The Machine for good though…. (a certain second single that is not AS good but still worth it, I forgot I’d put it higher)

109. Lady Gaga – Marry The Night (wait what, I charted Gaga?)

Similarly to the above, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat for a 5th single from Gaga. The era had comparatively disappointed me, and I hadn’t even got the album. This, especially after the X Factor performance (oh, I see… :/ ), changed my mind a little about the era. Marry The Night is a little generic, but it’s quite uplifting too, and easily the 2nd best track I have heard from Born This Way. (that’s not saying much… but it’s not that anymore)

108. Oh My! ft. Scrufizzer – Dirty Dancer

Kicking And Screaming is good, yes, but this, if possible, is more interesting. The rapping has a bit more life to it, and Scrufizzer’s addition makes for an excellent flow through the bridge. It’s incredibly infectious, and if it wasn’t a busier time of year in Q4, I would paid more attention to this.

107. Thea Oskarsen – One Of A Kind

Quite an inspiring song. The ‘one of a kind’ bit, it evokes such great feelings in me, I had no choice but to give it my 12 in BJSC. Even though it’s a little generic, it stood out from first listen, and I know it’s absolutely brilliant. (definitely another feel-good underground pop song to check out)

106. Tinchy Stryder ft. Dappy – Spaceship  (okay seriously what the actual fuck?)

Tinchy Stryder, oh you. Rochelle and Pixie? (yes, Tinchy is a bit ridiculous) It’s a very good hip-hop track though. Not quite Tinchy’s best track, that has to be Number One (let’s not get into a discussion about the best song from Tinchy sodding Stryder), but it runs it quite close. The pair are quite talented (in what universe?), and I loved this when it first came out.

105. Bruno Mars – Grenade

For a long while, until recently, this was Bruno Mars’ best track. Grenade actually feels quite epic, and not soppy and or inconsequential and ridiculously sickly like much of his other work. Bruno works far better when he’s doing serious and dark stuff, and I would love to see him continue doing so. While my chart was a bit messed at the time it was out, it was one of my favourite tracks of the first part of the year and not worth the massive hate that seems to come with it.

104. Azealia Banks – 212 (would destroy all competition in 2012, despite Ms. Banks successful character assassinations of herself ever since this track, this is probably one of my favourite ever rap songs now)

Amazing. One of the best rap tracks I’ve heard this year. It’s low because it’s rather new, and I only really began to love it hugely a week or so ago, but I’m hoping this’ll really blow up in 2012 (another point for foresight, I guess, I can’t remember how the signs were looking). I really didn’t think much of this when I first heard it, in fact, I gave it no point in BJSC XXXIX semis (yes people, BJSC occasionally has actual hits come from it, if they’re entered early enough), but 7 points in the final, and I would probably give it 12 now (oh yeah, it operates on a points-scoring system, think Eurovision). The video makes it better than it already is. Azealia’s facial expressions are amazing. (STILL think that so much)

103. Britney Spears – Criminal

And the best that I’ve heard from Femme Fatale almost makes the top 100, but not quite. I got obsessed with this with for one week, and it’s one of the better Britney ballads, so I do really like it. It fell rather quickly, probably even before she got the video out. (it’s only okay, not better than I Wanna Go)

102. Emmon – Distance

The second-highest of my entries, and the only one to make it to #1. It’s an amazing slice of scandi-pop/dance with some slight crossover leanings (I mean, it is all that but I had far better to come in my unearthing of obscure music tracks). Clearly not a whole lot of people liked it, it underperformed what everyone said it would do, and while it should have left me disappointed with it, it doesn’t really. Because it’s still amazing and all that. There are a few tracks from that contest that are better though.

101. IU – Good Day

Like this one. Actually, it’s probably quite lucky it ended up being my 101, because I’m stopping the singles countdown after this to do my albums of the year (I will copy all of the albums into the bottom of this post with less comments, there’s less to comment on really) My favourite K-Pop discovery of the year, I believe, it’s a genre I’ve begun to really like, and I’ve been drawn back to listen this post-contest so much. I believe the people of Korea have good taste as well (because they propelled this track to the amazing success it deserves? I suppose). IU is lovely! And Good Day is a stomper of a track that I have to like.


 

Albums (a few comments, but bold means nothing)

40. Maroon 5 – Hands All Over

Top.. 2:
1. Never Gonna Leave This Bed
2. Misery

I got this album for my 18th. Unfortunately, this was at the time where turning on commercial radio, you were more likely to hear Moves Like Jagger than not. Adam Levine’s whistling really began to grate on me. I didn’t mind getting the album, as I thought Misery and NGLTB were both fairly good songs. Unfortunately, nothing else on the album really stood out. I know it’s from last year, as a few here are also, but like I said earlier, the era continues into 2011, so it’s justified, and I got all 40 of these in 2011 itself.

39. The Script – Science & Faith

Top 5:
1. If You Ever Come Back
2. Nothing
3. Science & Faith
4. This = Love
5. For The First Time

It’s a decent effort, but only the top 3 on that top 5 really stand out as good tracks. The rest I don’t really rate as anything more than nice things to listen to. If You Ever Come Back is lush though and about the best thing they’ve put their name to.

38. Last Night On Earth – Noah And The Whale

Top 5:
1. Tonight’s The Kind Of Night
2. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N
3. Life Is Life
4. Give It All Back
5. Waiting For My Chance To Come

I was honestly expecting more from this album. The first two singles had really grabbed my attention as both being rather amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t find myself being drawn back to listen to any of the other tracks. The tracks I’ve highlighted are rather good, but the others are generally skippable. It’s a little samey throughout.

37. Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans

Top 5:
1. Grenade
2. The Other Side
3. Talking To The Moon
4. Just The Way You Are
5. Runaway Baby

This album is a strange one. It veers from being amazing and epic (as in The Other Side and Grenade) to being bloody terrible (Our First Time and Count On Me). It’s really quite hit and miss. Considering it’s filled with soppy love ballads, it’s surprising I don’t dislike it more. More songs in the vein of Grenade, The Other Side and It Will Rain for your next album please, Bruno. Of course, he won’t listen, because he’s made his name doing the other thing.

36. Nero – Welcome Reality

Top 5:
1. Guilt
2. Doomsday
3. Scorpions
4. Promises
5. Innocence

A patchy effort on the whole, Guilt is naturally quite amazing, Scorpions and Doomsday are two bloody brilliant tracks, but from there it all gets a bit average. I don’t see the attraction of Me & You, for example. It has a nice feel to it though.

35. Scissor Sisters – Night Work

Top 5:
1. Fire With Fire
2. Any Which Way
3. Invisible Light
4. Sex And Violence
5. Skin This Cat

Barely counts, I suppose, but I only got it this year. It’s good in places, I haven’t let loads of the tracks grow on me though, so it’s probably a bit low in all fairness. The top 3 tracks are all superb though.

34. Alyssa Reid – The Game

Top 5:
1. Alone Again (ft. P Reign)
2. The Game
3. Talk Me Down
4. Live To Tell
5. The Dark Side

Another rather patchy album, the only one of my 4 BJSC entries I’ve bothered to get an album from. Nomme and Before The Fall (Emmon and Wrecking Queens) should be on my list though. It’s full of electropop ballads, and it’s nothing amazing, but Live To Tell and Talk Me Down are real highlights beyond the singles.

33. Katie Cole – Lost Inside A Moment EP

Top 5:
1. Sunrise
2. Always
3. Breakout
4. Lost Inside A Moment
5. Found You

The only EP in here, I believe, so it might have been disadvantaged by there being so few tracks. It’s a really good effort, even if Sunrise is the easy standout. The top 4 are all really quite enjoyable tracks.

32. Olly Murs – Olly Murs

Top 5:
1. Please Don’t Let Me Go
2. A Million More Years
3. Heart On My Sleeve
4. Busy
5. Don’t Say Goodbye

LOL. I’m cheating, I guess, but I have no plans to get the second one, even if this is rather good. Again though, I only really love about half the tracks.

31. Gorillaz – The Fall

Top 5:
1. Revolving Doors
2. HillBilly Man
3. Amarillo
4. Phoner To Arizona
5. Little Pink Plastic Bags

When Demon Days is my #1 album of all time, really, to come #31 here is disappointing. I like it a bit more than some other people do, but there’s still not a whole lot to come back to. It feels a bit like a tour album, and it’s nowhere near the masterpieces of Demon Days or Plastic Beach. Bye bye Gorillaz.

30. Matt Cardle – Letters (okay I said no comments but what the hell was I doing putting Matt Cardle and sodding N-Dubz ahead of Gorillaz?)

Top 5:
1. Starlight
2. Run For Your Life
3. Walking On Water
4. Beat Of A Breaking Heart
5. When We Collide

It’s a rather strong debut from Matt. But… not much has drawn me back to listen to it. Starlight, Run For Your Life and Walking On Water are all extremely strong tracks though.

29. N’Dubz – Love.Live.Life

Top 5:
1. We Dance On
2. Best Behaviour
3. Lovesick
4. So Alive
5. Love Live Life

A rather strong album on the whole. Yes, there are a few unlistenable tracks on it, which gets it marked down (because I’m not able to sit through the awfulness that is Living For The Moment, Toot It And Boot It and that Skit), but it’s a fun last effort from the band, and any track that you CAN listen to is some rather amazing hip-hop. Mentions also go to Cold Shoulder, Took It All Away and Scream My Name for also being rather fun. Yes, I’m a fan of the band everyone hates. Shame sad.gif. It’s a great album.

28. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

Top 5:
1. Princess Of China
2. Paradise
3. Charlie Brown
4. Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
5. Us Against The World

Well… they got the singles right. Incredibly right. Similar to all the other Coldplay albums though, they get the singles right and the rest of it is mainly filler (is now their best album, okay I will do comments). I can’t see anything else that is worth anything from here. Princess Of China and Paradise rank among some of the best things they have ever done, however.

27. Le Kid – Oh Alright

Top 5:
1. Mr. Brightside
2. We Are The Drums
3. Oh My God
4. Seventeen
5. Kiss Me

A rather strong effort from Le Kid. I wouldn’t say they are amazing, but that cover of Mr Brightside is. The rest of the tracks are fairly good scandipop. There isn’t anything that’s a huge favourite though, it’s all rather consistently good.

26. Aura Dione – Before The Dinosaurs

Top 5:
1. Friends
2. Geronimo
3. America
4. Masterpiece
5. Before The Dinosaurs

A rather strong effort from Aura, I think. And this one has the better America, Le Kid. tongue.gif It’s not strong from beginning to end, the first 3 tracks are nice, it falters a bit in the middle with the exception of Masterpiece, and then picks up towards the end. The 5 tracks there are easily the best. Just be thankful I didn’t post the artwork, although I do rather like it. blush.gif

25. Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullaby

Top 5:
1. What The Hell
2. Smile
3. Everybody Hurts
4. Push
5. Goodbye

*sigh*. Just like The Fall, it’s another of my favourite acts coming back with a rather sub-par album. There’s not much on it, besides What The Hell and Smile (both amazing), although mid-album ballad Everybody Hurts is quite something. Her other 3 albums are better overall. sad.gif

24. Take That – Progressed

Top 5:
1. Happy Now
2. SOS
3. Kidz
4. The Flood
5. Beautiful

So.. the singles. Beautiful was the best thing to come out of the re-release, I think. Anthemic and a little emotional, it defines the album. It’s OK, I suppose. I’m counting both Progress and the extra things in here, fyi. Eight Letters, When We Were Young and Love Love are also rather good, but besides those 8 tracks, there isn’t much else…

23. Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

Top 5:
1. The One That Got Away
2. Teenage Dream
3. Firework
4. E.T
5. Circle The Drain

Hey! I only got it this year. It’s a really strong pop album, I probably subconsciously docked it a few places because of the age, but it’s a solid album throughout. I don’t think there’s a weak track there. There may be a few that have suffered from overplay *cough* Cali Gurls, Last Friday Night *cough*, but it’s a very enjoyable listen.

22. Beyoncé – 4

Top 5:
1. Best Thing I Never Had
2. End Of Time
3. Countdown
4. Party
5. I Was Here

Something that wasn’t docked anything. It’s patchy. It has a few amazing tracks on it. Some really amazing tracks on it. Then it has that opening mess (1+1) and that closing mess (Run The World). I have come to expect better from Bey. sad.gif Even Love On Top is a bit generic. So it doesn’t quite make my top 20, even though there are some beautiful ballads on it that I really love.

21. Ed Sheeran – +

Top 5:
1. You Need Me, I Don’t Need You
2. The A Team
3. Lego House
4. The City
5. Grade 8

Another album that’s taken it’s time to grow on me, but it’s still a bit patchy in places. The singles have been right, really, and The City and Grade 8 show the side of Ed that I’m probably a bit more interested in, that is to say, like Bruno, the side of Ed that’s a bit darker and faster. So while I love the two single ballads, I prefer his fast stuff. The rest of the album doesn’t interest me as much, I’m sorry to say.

20. Florence & The Machine – Ceremonials

Top 5:
1. Shake It Out
2. No Light No Light
3. What The Water Gave Me
4. Breaking Down
5. Heartlines

A rather strong album, this is the region we start getting to them. Like I said for What The Water Gave Me, Florence wasn’t one of my favourite acts before this year. She is now. The 3 singles are all absolutely superb, No Light No Light shall be something for next year, expect to see Shake It Out in the top 100 though. Breaking Down is also really good. The album tracks haven’t, for the most part, grown on me properly though, but it’s still a very enjoyable effort.

19. Katy B – On A Mission

Top 5:
1. Broken Record
2. Easy Please Me
3. Go Away
4. Perfect Stranger
5. Witches’ Brew

Another strong effort that I really wasn’t expecting to like quite this much, as I didn’t particularly rate Katy B before 2011. Then she comes up with Broken Record and I fall in love. Fortunately, the album had more of the same on it, with the glorious Go Away being the best of the album tracks themed in that way, Easy Please Me being cute as hell, and Perfect Stranger benefiting from excellent production.

18. Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes (??? at least there’s an eyes reference in the title)

Top 5:
1. Beat Of My Drum
2. Lucky Day
3. Gladiator
4. Take A Bite
5. Yo-Yo

A pop album that I held off for a while before getting, but when I did, I was rather glad. Gladiator in particular was a wonderfully produced track. It’s not quite the pop revolution I heard everyone on the internet (what seemed like it at least) proclaiming it to be the second coming. That does remind me though. With that Amazon gift card I got for Christmas, I ought to invest in Melanie C and J.Lo’s albums. They seem rather similar. Just a silly reminder…

17. The Saturdays – On Your Radar

Top 5:
1. Faster
2. All Fired Up
3. Get Ready Get Set
4. Notorious
5. White Lies

The most recent album on this list that I’ve listened to, and I love it already. It’ll probably be even higher in my next EoY, but for now, it’s a great pop album. Get Ready Get Set is particularly cute, and Faster is all kinds of awesome. It’s a very strong album overall, so it jumps straight above the halfway point of my albums as it’s already become one of my favourites of the latter half.

16. The Wombats – This Modern Glitch

Top 5:
1. Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)
2. Jump Into The Fog
3. Techno Fan
4. Our Perfect Disease
5. 1996

Making it almost to the top 15 mainly on the strength of Tokyo and Jump Into The Fog, This Modern Glitch is still a rather enjoyable listen. It’s a little high on indie filler, but I’ve got used to all the tracks now. It’s better when they don’t try ballads, however, Schumacher the Champagne and Anti-D are the weak links on the album.

15. Tinie Tempah – DISC-overy

Top 5:
1. Written In The Stars
2. Invincible
3. Wonderman
4. Pass Out
5. Simply Unstoppable

Another 2010 album sneaking in, DISC-overy is a very enjoyable mainstream listen. Singles are the highlights, but there’s only a couple of weak tracks on here, then again, he released half the album, didn’t he? It’s still leaving me salivating for a follow up though.

14. Same Difference – The Rest Is History

Top 5:
1. Karma Karma
2. The Rest Is History
3. Shine On Forever (Photo Frame)
4. Souled Out
5. Euphoria

An album that is stronger than I first expected, highlight is obviously the Alcazar collaboration though. The bottom half of the album is also a little weak compared to those first 5 tracks. It’s all great pop though, so perfect for me. And remarkably more mature than I expected. Same Difference remain one of my favourite X Factor acts, they are probably gone after this sold about 10 copies or so though… Didn’t deserve that.

13. Nightwish – Imaginaerum (I was super surprised that it was this low, and then I remembered I made up for it by putting it #1 in 2012, spoilers)

Top 5:
1. Storytime
2. Imaginaerum
3. Turn Loose The Mermaids
4. Taikatalvi
5. Ghost River

A favourite act of mine that got reawakened after my love for them laying dormant for so long. I rediscovered them and their new album last month, and it is a rather trendy effort. Storytime is by far the standout, but there are several moments of symphonic brilliance on here, and I’m glad I finally managed to get it.

12. Far East Movement – Free Wired (okay seriously NO NO NO. No way is a far east movement EVER superior to Nightwish. I’m actually quite insulted, I guess Imaginaerum must have been new?)

Top 5:
1. Rocketeer
2. White Flag
3. 2 Is Better
4. If I Were You
5. Like A G6

If you told me last year that Far East Movement would produce a good album, let alone my 12th favourite of 2011, I would have laughed in your face. Like A G6 being all over the airwaves had grated on me something fierce. But Rocketeer was superb, and the amount of good collaborations on the album is quiet amazing. White Flag is especially enjoyable, as are some of their club tracks. While it’s not the best thing on the album, the Keri collab is rather good also. It’s an album that I bought on a whim and it surprised me with its strength.

11. Christina Perri – Lovestrong.

Top 5:
1. Arms
2. Jar Of Hearts
3. Bang Bang Bang
4. The Lonely
5. Bluebird

Surprisingly, it missed the top 10. That’s because it’s half parts AMAZING ON SO MANY LEVELS, and half parts dreary ballads. Bang Bang Bang and The Lonely, along with Mine, Bluebird and the singles are worth keeping. The others aren’t… So it’s with regret that it misses my top 10, but the 10 are all incredibly strong masterpieces.

10. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (oh yeah I did images and full ratings for the top 10, that’s cool)

Mr. Know It All – 10/10
What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – 10/10
Dark Side – 9.5/10
Honestly – 8/10
You Love Me – 8.5/10
Einstein – 9/10
Standing In Front Of You – 8/10
I Forgive You – 10/10
Hello – 9.5/10
The War Is Over – 8.5/10
Let Me Down – 9/10
You Can’t Win – 8/10
Breaking Your Own Heart – 8/10
Don’t You Wanna Stay – 7.5/10
Alone – 7.5/10
Don’t Be A Girl About It – 8/10
The Sun Will Rise – 8.5/10

An album I got towards the end of the year, and quite a while after it got released, it has made enough of an impression on me in a few short months to become one of my favourite albums of 2011. I hadn’t gotten an album by Kelly Clarkson before this, so when I got this and Breakaway together on Amazon I was rather impressed. The highlights are Mr Know It All, Stronger and I Forgive You, Stronger especially took a little while to grow on me before I was going to admit this though. Dark Side and Hello also really stood out. The rest of the album is consistently rather strong throughout, (with a rather generous rating system), and the extra tracks on the end are the weakest, but it’s an album I’m incredibly glad I bought. I wasn’t considering it at first. As for what I hope is the single pattern after Stronger, it should definitely go I Forgive You, Dark Side, Hello. That is if Stronger doesn’t flop. The best thing is that I have a feeling it isn’t Kelly’s strongest work. Breakaway is for sure greater than this, and I bet that one of the other two is better than this too.

9. Adele – 21

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Rolling In The Deep – 10/10
Rumour Has It – 8.5/10
Turning Tables – 9/10
Don’t You Remember – 8/10
Set Fire To The Rain – 11/10
He Won’t Go – 8.5/10
Take It All – 8/10
I’ll Be Waiting – 9/10
One And Only – 7/10
Lovesong – 7/10
Someone Like You – 9/10

When I first got this album, at the point where it was selling bucketloads every week, I didn’t know what to expect, and I was, to be honest, a little disappointed. It felt quite weak throughout, a lot of the songs felt samey, and it was hard to see why everyone was falling in love with it. Fast forward about 8 months. I go listen to the tracks again. Most of them are quite amazing. While the album falters its pace after the great I’ll Be Waiting, with Lovesong and One And Only not being quite up to par with the rest of the album, the rest of the tracks are rather superb. It’s less consistent than Stronger, but it’s a well-crafted album, and has far better highlights. Set Fire To The Rain is by far the best thing Adele has done. Certainly a better effort than 19 for me, which singles aside, was rather boring. (I don’t particularly like Adele any more and wouldn’t really listen to this but it is her best effort, true)

8. Chase & Status – No More Idols

No Problem – 7.5/10
Fire In Your Eyes – 8/10
Let You Go – 10/10
Blind Faith – 10/10
Fool Yourself – 8.5/10
Hypest Hype – 9/10
Hitz – 9/10
Heavy – 9/10
Brixton Briefcase – 7/10
Hocus Pocus – 8/10
Flashing Lights – 7/10
Embrace – 7/10
Time – 10/10
Midnight Caller – 8.5/10
End Credits – 11/10

Another album I got on a whim, it turned out to be a great listen. I love all of Chase & Status’ singles, even though Blind Faith *ahem* took a while to grow on me (I despised it at first (and thank God you admitted your transgressions)), End Credits is a flawless song, Let You Go and Time are at opposite ends of the scales, but they are both wonderfully produced, Hitz, Hypest Hype and Heavy are very catchy, as are No Problem and Fool Yourself. Midnight Caller is a great penultimate track, and it’s only towards the middle of the album where quality falters, if at all. The guest list is very impressive, and as such, each guest artist brings something different to each song, which in some ways, is what really appeals to me about this album, each track can be sifted from the others extremely easily, even after only a few listens. And I’ve listened to all of these quite a lot. Even though, as I said, each track is different from the next, it still works as a coherent effort. A very well produced album, and my favourite from the drum and bass and dubstep side of things this year. (amazing album, so glad I put it up here)

7. Rihanna – Talk That Talk

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You Da One – 8.5/10
Where Have You Been – 11/10
We Found Love – 10/10
Talk That Talk – 9/10
Cockiness (Love It) – 9/10
Birthday Cake – 5/10
We All Want Love – 8/10
Drunk On Love – 7/10
Roc Me Out 8/10
Watch N Learn – 9/10
Farewell 10/10
Red Lipstick – 7/10
Do Ya Thang – 8/10
Fool In Love – 8/10

Comparatively disappointing. I know Rihanna’s capable of producing better albums than this. Having said that, this is still a very enjoyable listen all the way through. Obvious standout is obvious in Where Have You Been. We Found Love is a strong lead single, Talk That Talk is incredibly catchy, Watch N Learn is underrated, Farewell is the Rihanna ballad this era that I will fall head over heels in love with. It’s really good. You Da One isn’t perhaps the best choice for a second single, but it’s still passable. It’s overall rather pleasant, but it’s only her 4th best album all things considered. I wouldn’t mind if Rihanna takes a slightly longer break after this, she’s been going all out. I love her dominating the airwaves, but even so, I think a break would produce a slightly better album than this. It’s amazing, but she’s capable of better than amazing.

6. Alesha Dixon – The Entertainer

Baddest Chick – 9/10
Radio – 11/10
Every Little Part Of Me – 10/10
Drummer Boy – 7/10
Take Control – 10/10
The Entertainer – 8/10
Colour – 9.5/10
Tug Of War – 9/10
On Top – 8.5/10
La La La – 7/10
Cool With Me 9/10
Radio Remix – 9/10
Love In A Box – 8/10
Download Me 8/10

A very strong album that should absolutely not have flopped on its arse the way it did. (well, maybe) With the exception of lead single (laugh.gif) Drummer Boy and La La La, it remains a very enjoyable listen all the way through. While I haven’t actually listened to The Alesha Show, this has sated my need for Alesha enough. I love her as a singer, so it’s quite criminal that this’ll probably be her last effort, with Radio, one of the best songs of her career sitting in pride of place. Radio is even better than her wonderful Breathe Slow for me…
The rest of the album is rather more electro, but Baddest Chick, Colour, Tug Of War, and On Top are all very catchy with some lovely backing instrumentals, and early standouts The Entertainer and Every Little Part Of Me are still good, even though they peaked in my affections a long while ago. Cool With Me sums it up best, a beautiful ballad to close the album with, and it really makes me happy. It’s stayed with me throughout the whole of 2011 ever since I got it in February and will for a long time; it may be a bit generic, but it’s on the good side of generic. (as you might have guessed, I don’t really like Alesha that much anymore either, I’ve grown. But again, this is her best work, even though I never listen to it now)

5. Nicole Scherzinger – Killer Love

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Poison – 10/10
Killer Love – 9.5/10
Don’t Hold Your Breath – 11/10
Right There – 8/10
You Will Be Loved – 7.5/10
Wet – 9/10
Say Yes 8/10
Club Banger Nation – 9.5/10
Power’s Out – 8.5/10
Desperate – 9.5/10
Everybody – 9/10
Heartbeat (Open Heart Remix) – 9/10
Casualty 9/10
AmenJena – 7/10
(Try With Me – 10/10)

NICOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A ridulously strong album from start to er… Casualty. The opening 3 tracks give the most power to that vox from Flopzinger-no-longer, and are all extremely impressive, Poison is all kinds of *.*, and Don’t Hold Your Breath has been my favourite UK #1 this year, more on that later though. Urban (kinda) single Right There isn’t as great as the other singles, but still rather good. Wet I struggled to get into, but it’s still a rather good song. Club Banger Nation and Desperate stand out among the rest, and Everybody is rather beautiful too, on a par with Casualty, which is one of the more interesting tracks on there. It’s an excellent pop album, and while I haven’t tried the deluxe, a superb decision to get this. Don’t know what she’s done with the deluxe part of the era. It was all going so well for her when Killer Love was released.
DAT BAD GIRL POWAH I GOT…

(I’m so sorry, this looks so embarassing looking back, why am I even unearthing this? Have a good laugh at my 18-year old self. Again, barely listen to this now)
4. Rihanna – Loud

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S&M – 8.5/10
What’s My Name – 9/10
Cheers (Drink To That) – 9/10
Fading – 10/10
Only Girl (In The World) – 9.5/10
California King Bed – 11/10
Man Down – 10/10
Raining Men – 8/10
Complicated – 7.5/10
Skin – 8.5/10
Love The Way You Lie Pt 2 – 10/10

The highest album on here that was released in 2010, it was the first album I bought for myself. Ever. In January of this year. And it’s one of the greatest pop albums in existence. I wasn’t completely sold on the first 3 singles at first either. But Only Girl has grown on me throughout the year, I do rather like What’s My Name now and S&M is fairly good, if still one of Rihanna’s weakest singles. Many of these tracks are still to come in my top 100 at some point, I’m probably covering half the tracks on here at some point in my single rundown (this is not a good thing). California King Bed is amazing. Like Teenage Dream, I think it could be read as a mini Greatest Hits, all of these tracks are so good, and yet they never get old. The weakest link is Complicated, but even that is good enough, there isn’t any REAL weak link on here, like there was with Birthday Cake on Talk That Talk. Also, LTWYL Pt 2!

 

3. David Guetta – Nothing But The Beat

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Where Them Girls At – 9/10
Little Bad Girl – 6/10
Turn Me On – 10/10
Without You – 8/10
Nothing Really Matters – 6/10
I Can Only Imagine – 8/10
Crank It Up – 9/10
I Just Wanna F – 9/10
Night Of Your Life – 10/10
Repeat – 9/10
Titanium – 11/10
Lunar – 9/10

Yes, it has two 6/10s, but the rest of the album is total amazingness. Where Them Girls At was a good lead single, even if it did get a bit overplayed at the time, I Can Only Imagine is the best thing I’ve heard Chris Brown on this year, which wasn’t hard (don’t strike it, say it like a man), Crank It Up was a worthy successor to Sexy Bitch, in fact, more than a worthy successor, it’s rather brilliant. And then we come to the rest.
Turn Me On has the power of Nicki in action, Night Of Your Life and Repeat are lifted by J. Hud and Jessie J quite brilliantly, Titanium is well… Titanium, and Lunar is easily the best of the instrumentals (and the only one I’ve bothered ranking, although Little Bad Girl’s instrumental improves it happy.gif). I Just Wanna F is a strange one. It’s very well produced, and Dev’s parts are INCRED. catchy, so it’s good, but I feel like it’s a guilty pleasure. All in all, almost everything on this album could and should be a single, although I’m relieved he’s finally chosen Titanium for early next year, it should have been there from the start, as has been shown by it’s overwhelming success abroad. Yes, the female vocals in general beat the male vocals, but it isn’t just that. Titanium in particular has some of the best production I’ve ever seen Guetta do. More like this for the next effort please. It was very appreciated.

(meh, barely listen to this now but it does have some good tracks for Guetta on it, I will give it that)

2. Owl City – All Things Bright And Beautiful

The Real World – 9/10
Deer In The Headlights – 10/10
Angels – 8.5/10
Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust – 10/10
Honey And The Bee – 10/10
Kamikaze – 9/10
Galaxies – 8/10
Hospital Flowers – 5/10
Alligator Sky – 10/10
The Yacht Club – 9/10
Plant Life – 9/10
How I Became The Sea – 9/10
Shy Violet – 8/10
Lonely Lullaby – 8.5/10

Now, the reason I’m an Owl City loon: My brother loons for Owl City FAR FAR FAR MORE than I do. It’s rubbed off on me, and I have to admit, he’s quite good when he wants to be. I would recommend anyone who was bought Ocean Eyes and was put off by the patchiness, or even just liked Fireflies to invest in this cruelly underrated album (It only got to #50-something in the album chart).

While it doesn’t have a huge standout like Fireflies on it, hence why I haven’t assigned an 11/10, it’s far far stronger overall. The one track I skip at all is Hospital Flowers (note to Adam Young, leave medical issues alone, Dental Care was the weakest track on Ocean Eyes too). The rest I would give any time of the day to. Honey And The Bee, Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust, Deer In The Headlights, and Alligator Sky are all almost perfect tracks, and exactly what I wanted from a follow-up album. Kamikaze is wonderfully different from all else he’s done, Plant Life and The Yacht Club have perfect progression, and the latter is rather good at the end. Of the bonus tracks, How I Became The Sea is rather good.

I didn’t expect to enjoy the album this much. Through the proxy of my brother, I have every Owl City album (and probably every Owl City track ever created) and I can safely say that this one is by far the best. Why he’s lost all commercial appeal in such a short time after Fireflies really baffles me.

(All Things…, unlike most in this top 10, does remain amazing to this day. Most of this was no indicator as to where my music taste would go, I still very much enjoy stuff like this now)

1. Alexis Jordan – Alexis Jordan (oh, yeah, enjoy my embarassing affiliation to this woman, hi Alexis, if you see this, I used to be in love with you… still am kinda but not so much the music, although it does remain some of the better RnB-pop I know)

Happiness – 11/10
Good Girl – 9/10
How You Like Me Now – 10/10
Say That – 8.5/10
Love Mist 8/10
Habit 8/10
Hush Hush – 10/10
High Road 9/10
Shout Shout – 9/10
Laying Around 9.5/10
The Air That I Breathe – 9.5/10

Of course.

The singer I loon over. Would it be anything else? It’s partly because she’s about the CUTEST person to walk this earth, and it’s partly, and more importantly, about the wonderful music. It doesn’t have a flashy title, which I do tend to like, but hopefully, her next one will give us both a good title and some more amazing music.
Every track on here I have played at least 14 times on my iTunes, which is the highest collective plays I have for an album ever, according to my last.fm (Heh!) There is also not a single track below 8/10 on here for me, it’s really consistent.
Happiness and Hush Hush are the best two tracks on the album as can be shown through their success in my singles chart. I’ve been wanting an excuse to show off Happiness’ chart run (You’ll see Hush Hush’s later, and that isn’t fabricated) so here it is: 20-7-1-1-1-2-1-6-1-2-3-6-7-5-11-12-26-29-46, and that’s just the initial one It’s all fabricated, but I did it because I wanted to see how much of a loon I would have been if I kept a chart back then. It’s.. weird.
Anyway, enough about chart runs (WHO’S EVEN INTERESTED IN THAT STUFF ANYWAY?) (lol, too right), some of the tracks on the album…
How You Like Me Now is one of the most inspiring tracks I’ve ever heard, Say That is a beautiful gift from Alexis to the fans that I accept with open arms, and I think it’s one of her favourite tracks on the album.
Love Mist and Habit are, if anything, the weaker ones, but they are still rather incredible.
High Road and Shout Shout are another great pair of upbeat tracks, while the two ballads at the end are beautiful beautiful beautiful.
I don’t know what else to say, except that this album is by far the best cohesive 11 tracks I have heard in 2011, and while it’s not my favourite album of all time yet, it’s going quite close to the top. Maybe it’s an album of pop fluff. Maybe Alexis doesn’t have much to her. BUT a brand of pop fluff that is all very appealing to me, and as unlikely as it may seem to myself a year ago, Alexis Jordan has become my favourite minor singer just through this alone. And she’s very sweet on Twitter too.

If you were afraid of looning, you can look back now. I’m done.

(Good good, I’m glad we got albums out of the way, that was more embarassing than I had thought it would be. Only up from here, folks)

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