It will no doubt be remembered as the year of the tsunami. The year of “Arab Spring” and Occupy Wall Street. The year of killing Bin Laden, and leaving the wars. The year of the Spanish uprising, and the London riots. The year of the Royal wedding.
No doubt, “best of” lists will capture some of this significance. For example, the Atlantic continues to give us amazing large format, high res. imagery via their “In Focus” website. Here’s a link to the first of three “Year in Photos” sites they’ll provide.
I have an idea that photography is unlike most music, in that the latter provides us (more often) the opportunity to apply personal significances to collective experiences. So, the “best of” music lists never feel as well curated as the photo lists (for example) because the author never seems to know what we thought was best. I’ll add the best of lists as they come in, with the goal of posting my own 2011 track list before the turn of the new year.
Spin Magazine 20 Best Songs which includes none of the songs I will list.
20. Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues”
19. Eric Church, “Homeboy”
18. Lil Wayne, “6 Foot 7 Foot”
17. Jay-Z and Kanye West, “Otis”
16. Brad Paisley, feat. Carrie Underwood, “Remind Me”
15. Girls, “Vomit”
14. The Weeknd, “Wicked Games”
13. Britney Spears, “Till the World Ends”
12. M83, “Midnight City”; College, feat. Electric Youth, “A Real Hero”
11. LMFAO, “Party Rock Anthem” (Alesso Remix)
10. TV on the Radio, “You”
9. HyunA, “Bubble Pop!”
8. Lykke Li, ” Get Some”
7. Clams Casino, “I’m God”
6. Tyler, the Creator, “Yonkers”
5. Frank Ocean, “Novacane”
4. The Rapture, “How Deep Is Your Love”
3. EMA, “California”
2. Beyoncé, “Countdown”
1. Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
Rolling Stone has several lists, including albums, singles and movies. I don’t have the patience to scroll through 50 individual pages to get a sense of the top singles. I can tell from the thumbnails that Adele ends up at the top, and Foo Fighters in the top 5. Another list with little overlap with mine.