Top 20 Favorite Tracks of 2011 Part II.

December 21, 2011

After looking at the stats from Monday’s post, it seems as though the majority the people who visit this site listen to metal.  YOB got a whopping 16 clicks followed by Curren$y who got 11. I don’t think the Antlers got any.  That’s cool because this year I think I really fell back in love with metal once again (metal, for me is like the hypothetical crazy ex-girlfriend whom I keep going back to once I forget all the things I don’t like about her.  Easy, now.  I said hypothetical).  I broadened my expectations beyond what I believe to be “heavy” or “brutal” and began looking at everything else that metal as a genre has to offer.  I just happen to listen to other kinds of music more often.  That’s all.

Anyways, that being said I won’t expect most of you to care about most of the other tracks I list tonight (except THIS one).  But I’m thinking of doing a top 5 favorite metal releases list for this year as well.  And if you don’t like it, well . . . I don’t know.  I really don’t care.

And here . . . We . . . GO.

TOP 20 Favorite Tracks of the year PART II.

10)  Go Outside-Cults.

I enjoyed this single for exactly the same reason that I disliked the album:  it’s just so goddamn happy.  It makes me want to rollerblade around Midtown in an apron and pair of cut-off jorts and re-fill people’s parking meters before they expire.  But seriously, there were a lot of doo wop 50’s throwback groups this year and last.  Cults just did it better.  The glossy production and sing-along vocals helped too.  But you know me.  I’m one of those undercover tortured artist types.  We like hearing things that make me want drink whiskey and weep as I aimlessly gaze into the mirror while I contemplate jumping off a bridge.  Believe me, if the newest Girls album, The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost had any tracks that were fun to listen to outside of listening to the entire album then it would be here.

9) Bizness-Tune-Yards

My good friend, Sarah P first showed me this track.  I was having a shitty day and then all of the sudden I wasn’t.  I never got a chance to listen to the entire album but I heard it was also good.

8)  Money-The Drums.

80's small.

My official theme song of 2011.  If you’ve ever feverishly danced by yourself while listening to This Charming Man by The Smiths, then you will enjoy this track.  And if you’re broke, then you will surely identify with it.  If you’re both, then you’re probably me.

7) Generation-Liturgy.

Whenever I read or heard anything about this band, it was always about whether or not the band was a bunch of overly-opinionated hipsters or whether or not they were actually a black metal band.  I care about neither topic.  This is clearly not a metal-head’s metal band, which if anything made me more interested in hearing it.  It is way too easy to classify a metal band and throw them into a box with other’s of their sub-genre if they follow too many guidelines of what they should sound like.

“Hey, have you heard of (insert obscure metal group here)?”

“No.  What do they sound like?”

“Well, they sound sort of like (lists 3-7 slightly less obscure metal bands)”

“Oh. OK.”

I can’t remember what I was doing at the time, but I remember listening to this track for the first time and thinking it was nothing special.  “What’s all the fuss about?” Then after 5 minutes of the same chords being relentlessly hammered OVER and OVER again, I forgot about whatever it was that I was doing and returned to my stereo, wondering what the fuck I was actually listening to.  It’s nothing new.  You could probably learn this song.  But you didn’t write it.  You didn’t have the conversation with the other band mates, “Nah, I think we should just let this one roll.”  And at least to me, that’s what makes it interesting.  Besides that, it gets pretty damn intense.  I set many-a-PR while listening to this jam, including my FIRST 245KG BACK SQUAT.

6) Holocene-Bon Iver.

I don’t want to write too much about this one because I’m planning on writing more about the album later . . . SPOILER ALERT.  I was worried about this album.  I’ve been a big Justin Vernon fan since his first album, For Emma Forever Ago.  I didn’t like the Blood Bank EP and I especially didn’t know what to think when he started hanging out with Kanye and started releasing hipster work-out videos (I am not fucking joking).  But the song is awesome and so is the album.  But more on that later.

5) James Blake-Limit to Your Love.

Yes, I’m well aware this is a cover of a Feist song.  I just really like the way he does it.  And despite him being one of the most overly hyped artists of 2011 in my opinion, I can’t help but really enjoy this track . . .and the album.  Dammit.

4) DIRT-WU LYF.

Here’s another one of those groups that people seemed more focused on their image (or lack of one in this case) that it seemed to overshadow the music.  In the age of being able to figure out every single detail about a band in just a few clicks, this group seemed mysterious and secretive.  So fucking smart.  Also, I heard that they recorded the album in a church.  Sold.  It makes this track somehow sound even more epic.

3) Wicked Games-The Weeknd.

Really, Ben?  Fucking R&B?  I know.  Again, it’s a sign of the times we live in.  Free mixtapes spread like wildfire on the internet . . . IF they’re good.  And this one was good.  Very good.  I don’t even like R&B.  But the dark imagery, the production, the debauchery, the voyeuristic qualities of this song make for a fucking JAM.  “Bring your love, baby I can bring my shame.  Bring the drugs, baby I can bring my pain.”  You won’t be singing these lyrics to your girlfriend.  But you WILL be attempting your best falsetto while you’re cruising down the block in your Toyota Yaris or after a long night of drinking 40s on a Saturday night.

2) Get Away-Yuck.

Homage to early 90’s alt rock/post-punk?  Yes, please.

1) Midnight City-M83.

I know.  Pitchfork already chose this one as their #1.  Fuck that!  I was WAY more excited about this track than ANYONE.  I downloaded the single before the album came out.  I VOLUNTARILY subscribed to e-mail updates concerning the artist.  Whatever.  I guess this counts as my guilty pleasure of the year.  This song contains just about as much cheesy 80’s nostalgia and synth-pop cleanliness that one could fit into 4 minutes.  And yet I am not ashamed.  I enjoy nostalgia.  I enjoy danceable synth-pop.  I enjoy saxophone solos. If that makes me less credible as a fan of popular music, then I guess you’ll have to find another weightlifter/picture sketcher’s blog to help pass the time while at work.

17 Responses to “Top 20 Favorite Tracks of 2011 Part II.”

  1. Joshua Cline said

    I agree about M83. I love.the.faux.80s movement happening now almost as much as.I love 80s synth pop from the 80s.

  2. Terri with a heart over the "i" said

    Bon Iver (J Vern), sadly, is no yam house.

    I see an astonishing lack of Radiohead on this list!

    • bclaridad said

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m a BIG Radiohead guy. And I liked “Lotus Flower” off of their new album. But if I’m sifting through the ipod and I’m in the mood to listen to Radiohead, I’d rather listen to something off of In Rainbows or Kid A.

  3. Sheldon said

    Please tell me you’ve heard of Passion Pit. If you like M83 and the whole electro-pop movement in general, you will like them. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit partial as my wife’s cousin is the drummer. But they put on a stellar show to boot. I’m a big fan of this currently unreleased song that they’ve played at a few shows in the Fall (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0l7l9AEYP8).

    • bclaridad said

      Yeah, I really liked their 1st album. I’ve seen them twice and had an awesome time on both occasions. YOu know if they’re coming out with another album any time soon?

      • Sheldon said

        Early 2012 as far as I know. I think they recorded it earlier this year, practiced a few songs for their Fall mini-tour they did, and are waiting to release the full album until then. I will have to confirm that when I see him over the holidays.

  4. Lindsey said

    A song you might enjoy:

  5. bclaridad said

    Anthony lists some of his favorite singles from 2011. Some really sweet tracks on here, especially Death Grips-Takyon (free for download BTW), Do it Again-Holy Ghost!, and Ice Cream-Battles.

  6. Daniel said

    Dude I just got done watching this awesome animated movie from 1983 called Fire and Ice and think you would really dig it.

  7. Brian said

    I was scrolling through like “how does he not have midnight city on here” and then BOOM NUMBER ONE WHATS UP!

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