End Of Year

Backfill: 2011 EOY Part 4 of 4

And we’re finished with the oldest and worst of my backfill posts. Future ones of these will be far more tolerable to actually read through for my commentary then and not now. I really hope so at least. Also there should be almost entirely good songs in this top 50. I’m sure I wasn’t that bad of a tastemaker. I say this before diving in.

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.

50. Tinie Tempah ft. Ellie Goulding – Wonderman

I tend to love most things Tinie put out, and most things Ellie puts out (and for the most part this has remained true, even if I don’t follow either as closely as I used to), so the two of them together was always going to be good. I didn’t expect it to be this good though. Ellie’s chorus is uplifting and fits in perfectly with the song, while Tinie’s lyrics are I think, arguably his best. Coupled with the fact that it was on radio enough for me to really like it and not get fed up of it, this leads to a song I really enjoyed in those first few months of 2011. A worthy 3rd best Tinie (after Written In The Stars and Invincible) (probably the second best Tinie now)

49. Chase & Status ft. Delilah – Time

Another massive changearound of opinion, C&S are lucky in this regard (yeah but it’s not better than Blind Faith). Time is sublime though, and its where the wonderful Delilah got introduced to me. It was a perfect choice of single, and I began to love it about a few months ago, after having almost forgotten about it. There isn’t much production, but what there is is just enough to make this almost perfect.

48. Cady Groves – This Little Girl

The last of my 4 BJSC entries, the only one to eventually make my top 100, although Emmon came close, and by far and away the one I’m most proud of (and lately seen a resurgence in popularity because of nightcore, how appropriate for me). I can’t remember how I found Cady, it was mainly through searching Youtube, she has a large amount of videos on there. This is her newest single, so I went for it. In structure, it’s similar enough to On A Mission, in voice, well I’ve had trouble finding a voice to compare Cady’s to. It’s a bit like Ellie Goulding’s but with power. The sort of power needed to do glorious trashy uptempos like this. It may not be everyone’s favourite, but I fell in love with the song, and it’s the standard I’m trying to measure up future potential entries to (this standard would quickly disappear, This Little Girl is probably the most pop I ever went). Which is proving rather hard. Hmm… Best moment was when this got through to TBO semis somehow. It was more than I ever expected. Here’s to a good year for Séyetana (my BJSC country name, we do that, make up countries instead of our identity, we’re cool) in 2012. With entries like this to round off the year, I’ll have to find some good songs for 2012.

47. Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull – On The Floor

Longevity counts, children. I think this is one of the last to have a crap chart run (but it’s long…). It is, however, one of the few big hits this year that I never ever got sick of, and as a pop song, it is generally quite amazing. Not much to it, but it’s a long-lasting hit, and it’s perfect for a party song in almost every way. One of my favourite #1s of the year too, I believe. Who’d have thought J-Lo would have had a song this big again? I like her comeback, it produce good music, this good for mood. (I guess it’s good but not top 50 worthy)

46. Florence & The Machine – Shake It Out

Never at the beginning of 2011 would I have thought that a track by Flo M would end up in my top 50 at the end of the year (partly because I hadn’t thought of the concept of doing one, but COME ON) (and we are all so glad you decided to do one this year). It’s the song that finally sold me on her though. I even thought What The Water Gave Me was a fluke and didn’t bother with this for a few weeks. That was a shame, because it’s one of the most well-constructed and epic tracks I have heard throughout all of 2011. This is proof you can reach high in my EoY chart, even if I never see fit to put you top 10. Well done, Florence.

45. Nicole Scherzinger – Try With Me

My second favourite track from Scherzinger this year. It wasn’t one of the many great ones from Killer Love, it was on the re-release. I’ve been rather harsh to Scherzy this year, most of her tracks fell outside my top 250, only Killer Love, this and her most successful track on my chart made it in. This is a wonderful ballad that deserved FAR more success in the charts, though, it took a little time to grow on me, but it is rather pleading, and pleading is great.

44. Far East Movement ft. Ryan Tedder – Rocketeer

MY VERY OWN GOOD TIMES OF 2011! (in reference to the chart run) This was quite honestly my theme track of March 2011 and almost gone after that, so I don’t regret that run. Using the same backing track as Bieber’s Somebody To Love (The best Bieber track, which isn’t saying much) (why do I mention HIM in my 2011 chart) it’s the vocals of Ryan Tedder on the chorus that do it for me. Far East Movement aren’t bad either, and this track changed my opinion on them for the better, as has been said, I wasn’t fond of Like A G6 when it premiered. The chorus is sound at its best, I couldn’t put this any higher, like Roll Deep for the UK in 2010, it fails to make my top 40 due to ‘low sales weeks’ when at the top spot. (okay, this is easily the best FEM track but I do regret getting so in love with it a little)

43. Loreen – My Heart Is Refusing Me

Did I mention that I LOVE LOREEN? (and still do from her first album for the most part) I didn’t hear this until after Sober won BJSC, so I had to check it out. It was better than Sober. I was honestly rather surprised. But it was a good surprise. I thought ‘I can’t put this all the way to the top ten’ but I wouldn’t have minded it. I shall be paying attention to Melodifestivalen 2012, in the hope of finding something like this. Loreen has a 100% hit rate in making excellent songs, come on, be more successful! biggrin.gif (my wishes came true)

42. Lady Gaga – The Edge Of Glory

Gaga’s highest entry this year. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Gaga (exactly, why is she so high?), but I can’t deny she makes good music (only sometimes). And when this came out, unlike Born This Way and Judas, it wasn’t pretentious, it wasn’t accompanied by a hugely long video where Gaga does weird stuff (although Judas’ video was good also), it was normal. It was a throwback to Telephone, Paparazzi and Just Dance Gaga, a brand I tend to love far more, when just good songs are being produced. The only single of hers I didn’t like was Poker Face, I’m not a hater, but I’m not a massive fan either, hence why I never got her albums. This however, I believe is Gaga’s crowning triumph from Born This Way, it was her most successful single in terms of longevity, and it achieved that not through the attention-seeking, or any weirdness at all, but for being a good song. And that’s all that should matter. (to be fair, I do like this wording but Edge hasn’t aged as well as that paragraph suggests)

41. Rihanna – Fading

My second favourite entry from Loud. We aren’t done with Rihanna entries, there are A LOT of them still to come in the top 40 (well, thanks for ruining my day), but this song is quite amazing. It’s the underrated gem for me on Loud, a Bajan ballad the likes of which we haven’t really seen since A Girl Like Me, and throughout the whole song, it’s incredibly enjoyable. It was in my chart when I first started on Buzzjack, and it stayed there for ages, I never hoped it would be released as a single, but I do think it’s one of the better songs Rihanna has put her name to. I tend to really enjoy RiRi ballads, this is one of them. (and honestly, Fading is definitely one of the Rihanna songs I still listen to, it’s really sweet)

// 40. Owl City – Deer In The Headlights // (I changed my formatting for the top 40)

Kicking off the top 40 is one of the singles and one of the strongest tracks on All Things Bright And Beautiful. It’s probably the best received in the wide world also, it’s no Fireflies, but it’s more this albums equivalent of Umbrella Beach, lots of glorious instrumental, a lot of uptempo. It’s also unusually dark in lyrical matter for Owl City, and while I may have overplayed it a little bit, it’s one of Adam Young’s best songs, even though it took a while to grow on me. One more entry for the urban night bird to come.

// 39. Avril Lavigne – What The Hell //

It’s the best thing salvageable from Goodbye Lullaby (bit harsh on that album honestly), it’s classic Avril, but it has a charm that makes it far better than Girlfriend. And it’s uptempo enough for me to bloody love it, all of it. The success it got in the UK was enough to make me happy, I can’t help but feel it’s Avril’s last impact on the charts though. (not quite, but close)

// 38. Ed Sheeran – The A Team //

It’s possibly a bit surprising it ended up this low (bit surprising it’s this high), especially since I didn’t get bored of it until recently. I do feel the 37 songs above are better though, and that’s the only justification. It’s beautiful and classy, it first clicked with me in Switzerland, when some friends played it to me, the week it entered the charts, and it was ultimately the success story of 2011 for me, I expected it to be a one-week wonder, but it managed to outlast all the songs it entered the top 40 with, and become a future classic in the process. One of the best successes for me in 2011. He still has one more entry to come.

// 37. Nicki Minaj ft. Rihanna – Fly // (are you serious right now?)

When I heard Nicki Minaj had collaborated with Rihanna, I expected it to be good. I wasn’t prepared for how good it was (it was crap, and you know it was crap). It features what is Nicki’s best rapping by far (Me against enemies, me against friends wub.gif), and it feels like there is meaning behind it, while Rihanna’s chorus is a bit lacklustre by her standards (yeah, exactly, why is it top 40?), but still very powerful. And the concept of flying is quite beautiful. I was obsessed with it for a long while. (why is this is in my top 40? I don’t even know)

// 36. Kelly Clarkson – Mr. Know It All //

I wrote this off at first. I don’t know why, because every song I’d heard from Ms. Clarkson up until then had been nothing short of perfect. It clicked with me after her X-Factor performance (I give up on myself) , I believe, and I re-entered it, giving in to Kelly and her brilliance. It’s a good run, maybe not the best, it’s not Kelly’s best, but it’s getting near there. Really love Kelly, it’s the strongest track off of Stronger, and one I really enjoyed in the latter part of the year (which was the strongest part in general).

// 35. Yasmin – On My Own //

My favourite song from Yasmin, it took a long while to grow on me, but when it did, I truly loved it. It feels inspiring all the way through, I can relate to the lyrics, well, not so much personally, but because they are really epic. I can’t believe how much this got forgotten about, when I thought it might go top 20 at first. sad.gif Ah well, I’ve done it justice, I think.

// 34. Vanbot – Make Me, Break Me //

I didn’t come across this glorious piece of electropop until the last part of the year, and then only because it was entered into BJSC earlier. However, I instantly fell in love with it. Make Me and Break Me, it ended up being the song I played SO much at my 18th party, which kind of did make me/break me (lmao real-world references). Anyway, it’s glorious, perfect in almost every way, and I couldn’t have put it any lower down.

//33. Bad Meets Evil ft. Bruno Mars – Lighters //

I liked this from the instant I heard it, I thought of it as this year’s Airplanes, and in many ways it was. Although it didn’t have as good a singer on the chorus, nor was it as good overall, but it is very good nonetheless. I kept in my chart for so long, because I didn’t get tired of it, until it finally got successful. Figures. But it was amazing throughout all of the summer, Bruno gives one of his best choruses, but its Eminem and Royce that make this what it is.

// 32. Same Difference ft. Alcazar – Karma Karma // (yeah, no underline for this one, it’s a tune and remains so)

Again, I was obsessed with this for a good while when I first heard it, it’s joyful, and ridiculously happy, and it’s this love in the first part of the year, with some excellent Alcazar production (and I would discover yet more goodness from Alcazar in the future) and some good lyrics from Same Difference that make this one of my favourites. I haven’t been able to get back into it with the same love since, but seeing as it is rather undeniable, it needed to get up this high.

// 31. Nero – Guilt //

Yes, yes, yes. By far and away the greatest song done by Nero. The sound they have balanced on this record is just right to be incredibly pleasing to my ears, I do prefer the album version, I think, as opposed to the radio edit. The difference in quality, for me, between this and the likes of Promises and Me & You, is so different I wonder if I’m listening to the same producers. In any case, Guilt is one of my favourite UK hits this year, my favourite dubstep hit and one of the best around for purely the instrumental.

(I agree with all this wholeheartedly and wish that I’d put Guilt top 10 because it would be up there now)
// 30. Owl City ft. Shawn Chrystopher – Alligator Sky //
Yep, it’s Owl City’s comeback single. I was a little wary at first seeing the verses were being carried by a B.O.B clone, but to my surprise, it worked, especially since one of the verses from the non-rap version got carried in, and the rap fitted in with the Owl City sound quite nicely. It grew on me rather steadily, and eventually I loved it. The excellent video coming out helped matters too, its just a shame it seemed to get ignored by everyone else. Alligator Sky as a title… don’t ask, though. Again, it’s no Fireflies, I think Adam Young will have outdone himself if he ever comes up with a masterpiece like that again.// 29. Dr Dre ft. Eminem, Skylar Grey – I Need A Doctor //

Eminem’s highest entry, obviously Dr. Dre’s highest entry, but not quite Skylar’s. This was a #1 for me in February, it was the first #1 to be backdated, but it could have been nothing else back then. It also remains the ONLY song in 2011 to spend 2 weeks consecutively at #1, without any further runs at the top (stop talking about my chart, no one cares that much). Eminem and Skylar have the best parts of the song, I’m not a huge fan of Dre’s last verse, but it’s Skylar’s pleading vocals really that sell this song to me. Eminem’s verses seem to have real meaning behind them too. I was so happy when this went top ten, especially as I thought it would fail at first.

// 28. Chart Music – All My Life //

I can’t seem to find this on the internet any more. sad.gif (‘Chart Music’ is Johan Agebjorn, you can find this song under Sally Shapiro – All My Life, but the vocals are different from the version I have and treasure on MP3, the production is not as present there) This song really drew my attention to BJSC, and the great songs you could discover from it. I wasn’t even sure if I’d join before I heard this, after it, I was certain I wanted to join in. I got into it after it won, but it remained an irresistible force in my chart for the next few weeks. To date, it remains my second favourite song I have discovered from BJSC, my favourite will be up in a second. The production on this is quite brilliant, and the vocals have a wonderful touch to them. A solid 10/10 for me, and I look forward to seeing how well it does in the TBO final.

// 27. Diddy Dirty Money ft. Skylar Grey – Coming Home //

This is Skylar’s best feature for me, even if it got stuck at #2 behind a chart force that INAD didn’t have to deal with. I love both Diddy’s rapping in here, it’s incredibly pleasant to listen to, and then the chorus is even more epic. The Skylar only version I’ve recently come across doesn’t seem to have the same power behind it, like INAD, the easy-on-the-ears chorus coupled with some rapping with emotion built into it make a brilliant song, and in this song is one of my favourite hits of the year.

// 26. Kyla La Grange – Heavy Stone // (would completely be top 10 for me, probably #2 behind Midnight City now)

Heavy Stone has ended up becoming my favourite discovery from BJSC, and will remain that way for a good while, I think (there is one song in the top 25 that was entered into the contest, but I didn’t discover it through the contest). A late entry to my EoY chart, it’s done very well to make it this high up, but I was and am still very in love with it. It took two listens. And I thought it sounded like a grower at first. I was really tempted to enter it early, in fact, but I decided to let a few other songs get the #1. I have listened to it at least 60 times, which is huge for me, and I still don’t get tired of it. Epic all the way through, it picks up brilliantly at the end to reach a tantalising climax. And Kyla’s vocals are so amazing, yet so different and alternative, it brings the song home to you. (be aware that this version is the Chess Club remix which is found in the main video on Youtube, if you get the album Ashes, the version given on there is a slow acoustic version which is very much inferior to this version)

// 25. Noah And The Whale – Tonight’s The Kind Of Night //

Another #1 for me, one which I seem to be alone in saying is better than L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N (mmm, still actually is), both are great, but Tonight’s The Kind Of Night is slightly better for epicness and emotion (not clichés with me at all, no no). The lyrics paint a lovely picture that I’m sure is why I love it so much, it was painful for me when it only got to #67 in the UK charts, but that week was doubly painful as I loved the #66 even more.

// 24. Alexis Jordan – How You Like Me Now //

Not related to that last note at all. Well, yes, it only peaked at #17, but it had a huge chart run for me, and I was king of giving it second chances. If Happiness was Alexis’ Rolling In The Deep in my chart and Hush Hush was my er.. stop with the analogy now, eh? then this is my chart’s Set Fire To The Rain. Despite never going top 10, I really loved it, and charted it throughout the period where it should have been announced as the 4th single. I don’t know what the record label did with the 4th single, firstly it was this, then it was Laying Around, then they finally gave Say That a video with no fanfare at all. I don’t mind, but as for me, this is my 3rd favourite track off that stunning album. It took a little while to grow, but it’s never grown off me. (and actually, to be fair, that Adele analogy is great, only missing a slot for Good Girl, I’ve made my peace with this having too much Alexis)// 23. Example – Changed The Way You Kiss Me //

My 4th favourite UK #1 in this countdown, and definitely one of the best we’ve had this year in an lineup that was rather awful looking back at it at the end. I was quite glad when it finally netted Example his first #1, he’s extremely big in my friendship group (this time I am accurate in saying that, or at least that was the case,  I doubt they think of him now), and this was a song I really quite enjoyed, his first album’s singles were OK, but nothing standout. This was standout, unique, well, it felt unique, and something I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, the remainder of the singles from his album have been rather samey, well, they do have interesting things about them, I’ll grant (Midnight Run is a very unique track), but it’s the sound in general I’m getting tired of (as would the rest of the world). Fortunately, I still really enjoy Changed The Way You Kiss Me.

// 22. Kanye West ft. Rihanna – All Of The Lights //

A song I literally rejoiced about when it finally hit the UK top 40 (okay, okay, calm down), I honestly thought it was going to flop. It is added to the endless list of Rihanna features that I love unconditionally for hopefully more reasons than it just being Rihanna. And the cast list is impressive on this one, I haven’t bothered typing it all out, but it certainly stands out, and collectively, it’s the best thing I have heard from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Tbh, the best part are the bits at the end with Fergie and Alicia Keys, my Rihanna looning can be restrained. And the glorious instrumental all the way through. Runaway was nice, but this, this is my Kanye West highlight (and yes, I know my Kanye taste is not for everyone, his best is Stronger for me, which also has more energy than the Daft Punk song it samples, but I’m going off on a tangent here). Kanye should do more things like this, I haven’t really liked a single thing I’ve heard from Watch The Throne (aca-excuse me? I guess this was early on in that particular venture and I hadn’t heard Niggas In Paris or No Church In The Wild yet).

// 21. Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris – We Found Love //

And it’s another Rihanna just missing out on the top 20. This may have had some looning factor in me putting it all the way to #1 (definitely did, thank goodness I’ve stopped doing that), but of the biggest hits of the year, it’s the one I love the most. The video is amazing, the release strategy as a whole has been amazing, spending 6 weeks at #1 is nothing short of amazing, Rihanna rules all. And I love it. I think Where Have You Been is slightly better, so that’ll appear high in next year’s chart as I felt I couldn’t put it in here, but in any case, this is one of RiRi’s best lead singles, third only to Umbrella and Russian Roulette in my affections, and it’s a great club track which I do think I’ve had the pleasure of hearing at a party, can’t remember if I did though (oh my gosh you were so wild). In any case, its loony run is entirely deserved (hahahahahaha no).

// 20. Nightwish – Storytime // (would probably be #3 now, also I’m letting the videos stay from now on as it looks nice to finish off)

Late November this year saw the reawakening of a band I now love. See, I had this little song called End Of All Hope on my iTunes through seeing it in a few Youtube videos, and I rather liked it. Then I noticed Storytime in Ghosty’s chart (Thanks, btw), recognised the name, and tried it out. And it’s become one of my favourite songs of the year, one of the best rock songs I’ve heard recently, and my current #1. Woo. Nightwish is the closest I will ever get to metal (haha that statement is now completely untrue), but it’s pleasant on the ear, there is the rule of female-fronted rock (as in, I will always like a rock beat if a female voice is singing over it) (that rule also did not survive 2011), Finland is one of my favourite foreign countries for music, and this is great in every way, especially the epic… er.. storytelling. I love the amount of fans they seem to have on the internet, I’ve found so many around. (and hopefully y’all are reading this right now and appreciating my love of the greatest band ever)

// 19. Coldplay – Paradise //

I awaited the premiere of Paradise with anticipation. Every Teardrop had disappointed me a little, it was rather good, but nothing special, and I expected Coldplay’s 2nd single to be better. It was. It was epic. The shimmering instrumental wouldn’t tire on me, nor would the lyrics, which got better and better each time I heard them. And it finally got to #1!  It’s one of Coldplay’s finest works, one of the best on Mylo Xyloto, and it’s one of the most enduring tracks of the year, for me. (all of this is correct)

// 18. Jessica Mauboy ft. Jay Sean – What Happened To Us //

It was a recommendation from last.fm. I don’t know how, but it was all I could listen to for the week I heard it. The instrumental accompanying Jess Mauboy’s vocals (and Jay’s as well, ok) and it’s the best thing I’ve heard from her. Inescapable has nothing on this for me, WHTU is excellent. It keeps wheeling through the song, never stopping, and it’s great. (actually going to avoid the underline because this is a pretty wonderful pop song and though it probably shouldn’t be quite this high, it’s not a major regret putting it here)

// 17. Jojo – Disaster //

Again, I was looking forward to hearing more Jojo, as she can produce some CHOONS (really? no disrespect to her but that’s not how I think of her). Disaster did not disappoint. It’s actually better than Leave (Get Out) for me and I really like that. With a chorus that is absolutely undeniable, maybe the most out of all the tracks in here, Disaster is another of those great pop songs that I had to put up here for simple power behind it. And it really sounds nice as well. (basically the same as What Happened To Us, there was a reason this came up so high originally and it is Jojo’s best song, despite the production sounding a little dated now)// 16. Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You //

From my point of view, Ed Sheeran’s best single. Now, I like The A Team, a lot, but I wasn’t blown away by it. This however, 21 places up, I was. It’s a completely different Ed Sheeran, and it feels better. Utterly brilliant lyrics aside, it’s catchy, and while it’s mostly rapping, it’s incredibly pleasant to listen to as Ed rambles along. This actually only rose to #1 originally on the, IMO, inferior version that was floating around before + got released. Then I got +, and when I listened to the version on there, it was like discovering the song for a second time, hence the sudden revival from 6 to 1. Particularly the lyrics I’ve highlighted above, they bring a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic song. It’s a little lower than a few other #1s, but hopefully, when you see the competition, you’ll understand. Every song in the top 15 reached my top 3, no more chart turnarounds, and indeed, 11 of them reached #1. (wow that’s some stats, this sort of thing wouldn’t really hold for future years, that is, referencing the chart in nearly every song)

// 15. Take That – Happy Now //

So. 3rd single from Progress. Kidz had comparatively flopped. I thought it was the best thing they’d put out for a long time. I didn’t see how they could better it. And then, along came Happy Now. Almost the opposite of what I expected from a song with that title, the lyrical intricacy of the verses drew me in and I stayed there. I wouldn’t say I relate to them, but the lyrics are both dark, mechanical, and uplifting at the same time. I don’t know how they did it, but a band who I normally only like on occasion, who I’d never bought an album of before (but have since changed this), had just put out the (second) best song of their long career. And I loved it. (I’d forgotten I’d put this this high and I’m so glad I did, it probably deserves #15 but it is Take That’s best song bar none now and always a pleasure to listen to)// 14. Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah – Earthquake //

So. Labrinth. Last year, made a brilliantly simple song with Let The Sunshine. Didn’t think he’d better it. Never expected to see a solo track of his again, to be perfectly honest. But then, he comes back. And he did better it. Firstly, there’s that unmistakeable bassline, then there’s the fact it’s been used gratuitously at every party I’ve been to in the latter part of 2011, it’s a track everyone seems to know and love. And it sounds great coming out anything. LABRINTH! COME IN! (shouldn’t be quite this high but it’s not bad by any means and was a great club track for that year, I was still exploring music, y’see)

// 13. The Saturdays – Faster //

Oh yes. My favourite album track of the year. It may sound similar to Alexis Jordan, yes, and this may be what drew me to it, but there’s also the fact I played it near enough 20 times straight after first hearing it. It’s the finest thing on On Your Radar, I may need a break of it soon, it’s soundtracked my life for the past few weeks, but it’s one of the best things the Saturdays have ever done, and likely will ever do. Hyperbole, maybe, but BRING THIS OUT AS THE 4TH (or any) SINGLE NOW!! There, done. (Honestly while #13 is a little excessive, this is my favourite Saturdays song after Up still so I can understand why it came so high. Not bringing this out wrecked their careers. Or something. I sound like HIM)

// 12. Christina Perri – Jar Of Hearts //

Christina Perri is probably my favourite new singer that I discovered this year. Not only that, she’s easily my favourite of the piano ballad movement. She works emotion into her songs, what so many other singers of her ilk lack. Of all the big sellers of 2011, this is the one I was most surprised, and then exceedingly happy at its success, and likelihood to go down as a future classic. As it began to appear from nowhere into the top 10, where I thought it would stall outside the top 40, I fell in love with it. And then, while still riding high in my affections, Craig Colton delivered a heart-wrenching performance of it in the X-Factor (oh don’t ruin it with X Factor, you were doing SO well), which got me listening to the song so much more. Stay in the charts forever, Christina, you are very welcome there. (But yes, this remains one of my favourite songs from 2011 and one that should easily be in the top 10 so I suppose just outside is fine)

// 11. Adele – Set Fire To The Rain //

And it’s Adele who misses out on the top 10. I’m only a casual fan of Adele. I like 21, don’t think it’s a masterpiece or anything, Someone Like You has been killed by overplay for me, and 19 as an era is rather boring on the whole, the singles from it aside. But this, this is perfect. I heard that Set Fire To The Rain was an album highlight as soon as 21 was out, it was only when I got the album that I began to see for myself. It wasn’t boring at all, it was everything I wanted in a song. The feeling that washes over you when it is playing is brilliant, and while it never got to the UK top 10, I am still rather pleased at how it’s success went, it’s become nearly as big as the other singles from 21. Most certainly, for me, a career highlight for unarguably the biggest singer of 2011. (this career highlight would be overtaken later by Rolling In The Deep and I rarely listen to Set Fire these days. Strange how that changes but I don’t resent it being up here, it’s just a natural change of opinion)

10. Paramore – Monster

My favourite song this year that one could call a rock song (and it only came 10th? do I even know you?). I’ve always liked Paramore, but perhaps not as much as I should, given that they are a female-fronted rock band the likes of which I normally go silly for. Monster kind of changed all that. A week or so after hearing it, it was irresistible for me, and is one of the best things Paramore have ever put out, second only to Brick By Boring Brick, I think. It’s epic, Hayley William’s voice is definitely at its best on this, and while I don’t know much about the band troubles (I thought Playing God was more of a stab at their ex-members than this) there does seem to be an air of revenge in this. Which is good. I thought this might have gone top 10 at first, so its flopping in the charts was a little upsetting, but hey, at least I can like it. (like, as good as Paramore are and as good as this song is, they have many better songs than this so I’m not feeling a bold)

9. Katy Perry – The One That Got Away

It has now become by far my favourite Katy Perry song. I didn’t actually get this until about a couple of month ago, even past the X-Factor performance (hurrah) and its first attempt at the charts. It suddenly clicked with me one week and it was all I could listen to. Even now, it’s still, as a ballad version of Teenage Dream, beautiful. The way Katy sings ‘In another life’ is both brilliant and heart-wrenching. It was this that finally persuaded me to get the album, and at least it’s getting some form of success now, even if will probably end up being Katy’s lowest-selling single. It’s epic all the way through, the video is, in my opinion, easily her best, it fits so easily with the poignant lyrics, and, for once in her career, Katy Perry has released something that I can find nothing to criticise about whatsoever. Choked. (and it does remain her best song, excellent)

8. Coldplay ft. Rihanna – Princess Of China

As soon as I heard about a Coldplay and Rihanna collaboration, I knew I was going to like it. Paradise was at the time riding high in my affections though, so I didn’t see how it could better that. It kind of did. The frantic pace that the opening verses go through, with the instrumental that Coldplay have worked on perfecting for the Mylo Xyloto era have made for a great pop song. Release it asap, Coldplay, it’s a song that I’m still enjoying even now (it would get a release the following year but I wouldn’t really put it in my 2012 chart because of its success here), and it gets a well deserved place in my top 10 songs of 2011, because it is just THAT good. (Also it’s not quite as good as Paradise. They’re both super strong, but Paradise is better – also why if Paramore could be rock, could this not be?)

7. Christina Perri – Arms

Christina’s second entry in the top 15. This was slightly better than Jar Of Hearts for me, there seems to be even more emotion in it. Falling, coming home, it has all the elements of a ballad I really love, and I even changed my avatar and things for it, something I don’t normally do (hahaha I’d do that so many times over the course of the next few years). I was really quite taken with this beautiful song when I finally got around to listening it, and despite its release getting cancelled in favour of A Thousand Years, which, while good, isn’t nearly as good for me, I don’t mind, if this is kept as a gem on Lovestrong, then so be it. It’s an easy 10/10 for me, and as out of the tracks left, there is only one more ballad, it is my second-favourite ballad of 2011, no mean feat, as I love the things. (that would change. but this is beautiful and almost better than Jar Of Hearts but not quite)

6. Nicole Scherzinger – Don’t Hold Your Breath (because basically any change to the top 10 should technically mean they all get underlines I’m only underlining for this one as it’s the only that really shouldn’t be up this high)

And my favourite UK #1 of this year goes to Don’t Hold Your Breath (actually it’s all a pretty sorry lot so I don’t think I’d change that statement). When Nicole came back, I loved Poison, so so much, and then she released this track. Indeed, of all the regrets with regards silly chart runs and all, my biggest regret is only giving this two weeks top 10, because as you can see from that run, I couldn’t dump it off my chart for a good age, indeed, all but two of the tracks that knocked it out of the top 10 were long gone before Don’t Hold Your Breath was gone. And there was no beating those two. I never, ever, ever got tired of it, it’s the best thing that Nicole has done throughout her long career, it’s perfect that it got a #1 for her, it’s at exactly the right tempo for me to love it (no speeding up remixes please (I don’t know you, I really don’t know you. Speeding up remixes are ALWAYS good)) and my favourite success story of 2010. (lmao no, this is okay but top 10 of a year, nah nah nah)

5. Rihanna – California King Bed

By far my favourite song from Loud, and a perfect single choice for me. The video is absolutely perfect in terms of viewing and appreciating Rihanna *ahem* (one last time, you PERV), and the part where the song builds up to the climax and the video turns black and white brings back good memories of Unfaithful. Whenever Rihanna does a ballad, I will go after it and love it almost without fail (to be fair, I do like her ballads a lot to this day), I always think she carries off ballads superbly, even better than many of her upbeat songs, and California King Bed is the Loud example of this. Following on from S&M, having fallen in love with almost every other song on the album, I was keen for her to release any of them, but it’s fitting that Rihanna chose my absolute favourite from the album. A welcome return to my year-end top 10 for Rihanna (Unfaithful, Umbrella, Live Your Life, Disturbia, If I Never See Your Face Again and Russian Roulette have all made it in the past, but she was notably absent from 2010). Hopefully she’ll make it again in 2012. (she would, I think that’d be the last year she was top 10 of the year for me though)

4. Sean Paul ft. Alexis Jordan – Got 2 Luv U

For a weird unexplainable reason, this is the only Sean Paul single I’ve heard that I really love (and would nearly continue to be). Nothing to do with that brilliant chorus by some unknown female singer, is it? (stop it, you’re embarassing yourself) Despite myself, I couldn’t help but get obsessed with this, I will admit that it’s fairly generic (good), and the video is a complete On The Floor rip-off. But I really like this. I charted it way before its late UK release, and despite it not doing brilliantly here, I don’t believe I heard it once on radio outside the Chart show, but it sounded great on there. I never got tired of Alexis’ big chorus, and at one point, this may have been in contention for the top 3, but it just got edged out by the #3.

3. The Wombats – Jump Into The Fog (and what the hell, if Paramore is rock then why are The Wombats not rock?!!)

Ah yes. The Wombats. The band that I was prepared to hype to high heaven when I arrived here, but I got Alexis’ album and CHANGED HISTORY. Probably for the better, I mean, if me looning over Alexis Jordan is a little bizarre, but I do enjoy it, standard landfill indie band that has nothing to do with pop is even more strange (aca-excuse me? this would have been way for the better, I could totally spin that as something normal straight teenagers do). But I really like the music. Jump Into The Fog I have already announced in my top 100 thread as being in my top 100 songs of all time, so, at the moment, only 3 songs from 2011 have made my top 100. More will follow eventually as they get older, 2011 wasn’t that bad (it was worse, this EOY has made me realise what a poor year it was on the whole, normally I would be complimentary to most even with my poorer older taste). I could just copy a bit from there, but I’ll try and write a decent bit about this, it’s got a haunting perfect-for-winter-walks instrumental, it’s got a title that is lovely to look at and is replicated perfectly in the chorus, and is almost the epitome of a brilliant guitar song for me. More indie than rock (so as not to invalidate Monster being my best rock song (oh that’s your excuse. It’s indie-rock you fool)), it’s still a great song that I still enjoy even now. (this is a tune though, although not quite as good as their best song, Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves))

2. Alexis Jordan – Hush Hush

Alexis doesn’t make the #1! (and thank goodness for that) In fact, nice little fact for any fact fans, The Wombats and Alexis were #3 and #2 in my 2010 chart last year, beaten by a different act to #1 both times (and that just shows how unvaried your taste was over those two years, but Tokyo and Happiness are way better than these two). The looning for Hush Hush in my chart is nothing short of epic, and indeed, so is the song itself (sigh, it is a great pop song though). The lyrics are so quotable that I’ve used them around the site as much as I can without becoming annoying, it’s my most mourned flop in the UK probably ever (ONLY #66 INDEED!) (jesus, get a hold of yourself), she may not have made it to #1, but she did a damn good job of producing yet another brilliant song. Maybe she’ll produce a song in 2012 to make my EoY #1. For now, you’re going to have to be content with the silver Alexis. Enjoy the gold from the albums chart though, it’s shiny.

And so my #1 is….

1. David Guetta ft. Sia – Titanium (yes, it’s a 2012 song to a lot of people but I listened to it so much in 2011 it gets a pass up here)
In the end, it couldn’t have been anything else. Hush Hush wasn’t even close (although if I had done a points system, Hush Hush would have won, the top 5 would be the same, except Titanium would have been in 5th). It’s by far my favourite song that has appeared on the scene this year, and that it’s looking likely to become a hit soon as I write this means it’ll probably stay in my chart for a long time to come. I had been disappointed with Guetta before I heard this. It all sounded the same, all very generic. Then I heard this as a promotional single and I was dumbstruck. I also couldn’t stop playing it, I’ve played it over 80 times and counting, by far my highest play count for a single song since I started my last.fm and iTunes counting. Sia’s vocals are absolutely sublime, the production is brilliant, it’s made me fall in love with Sia as a singer, it’s amazing. Go Titanium. It’s already a future classic for myself, and it will stay with me for ever. (well, nearly, I do still really count this as a fave and definitely the best thing Guetta ever did and I do credit it for starting my Sia love)

Actually, quick impromptu top 10 based on songs from this list were I to redo this:
1. M83 – Midnight City
2. Kyla La Grange – Heavy Stone
3. Nightwish – Storytime
4. Coldplay – Paradise
5. Nero – Guilt
6. The Wombats – Jump Into The Fog
7. Chase & Status – Blind Faith
8. David Guetta (feat. Sia) – Titanium
9. Christina Perri – Jar Of Hearts
10. Take That – Happy Now
So basically clearing out the top 10 for songs just a bit below them. That sounds about just the right amount of regret. I really hope 2012 is written a bit better.
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