Just the other day someone told me that they think I just hate everything. Strong words with just a touch of hyperbole and a basis around the fact that the new albums by Common, Young Jeezy and Drake are some lame horseshit. Well, the Jeezy album is more boring than terrible. But that Common album. Oh my lord. But if you go through the archives on this very blog you’ll find that more often than not the compulsion to post to the internet was to shit all over something like Law Abiding Citizen(which I’m discovering has it’s share of defenders) or Transformers 3 and not sing the praises of, say, Drive. A valid criticism. So in a show of acknowledgment to my critics here are twenty songs that I enjoyed in 2011. I’m sure you’ll be kind in the comments.
20. Cher Lloyd – “Swagger Jagger“
Apparently a celebrity in the U.K., Cher Lloyd is repeatedly stalked by critics, haters and sycophants. To combat them, she made this song where she cutely raps about how they can’t get enough of her because they be jealous and are simply jocking her steez(Or swagger jagging) and then she sings the chorus over a pulsing electro beat that rocks so hard the ground shakes in the video. This dumb thing stole my heart.
19. Rihanna – “Where Have You Been“
No Rihanna, where has this song been? I know it’s made up of other songs and it’s not really all that original but it’s a fucking banger and anyone who knows me knows I love fucking bangers. She’s screaming “Where! Have! You! Been! All my liffffffeeeee!” and synth lazers are firing under her and then the world explodes. Oh, production by Calvin Harris? That makes sense.
18. Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “The Last Huzzah!” feat. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown & El-P
The beat to “Huzzah” is hot as fuck so Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire invited all his bestest friends over to rap on it. And rap they do. El-P spits fire, Danny Brown makes me reconsider everything I’ve ever said about him, Das Racist kill it as usual and this Despot guy is pretty good too. eXquire gets the last word because hey, it’s his song. Necro produced this? Thrilled I can enjoy something he has created that isn’t sad or disgusting.
17. Rival Schools – “69 Guns“
United By Fate was my shit in 2002. This was unsurprisingly my shit in March.
16. Justice – “Helix“
My favorite song on that new Justice album everybody didn’t like. I don’t fux with 70’s radio rock but I enjoy Justice’s decision to smash and chop it into danceable guitar solos. Y’know, like Daft Punk used to do. Remember them?
15. Young L – “Bottle of Rose’“
Sifting through the myriad of hip hop mixtapes that come out every two days is worth it for those moments when some marginally talented misogynist gets ahold of a wrecking ball beat and kills that shit dead. Really, what would you say over a beat this sick? Nice things? No you wouldn’t.
14. Foo Fighters – “Rope“
This band has three guitarists now. Three! I think they all get to do something fun here.
13. Limp Bizkit – “Why Try“
In which Fred Durst spends the entire first verse and chorus literally killing you only to have you come back to life in the second verse just to get killed all over again. Nothing if not thorough. Wes Borland approximates an actual buzzsaw guitar, everyone else does their job and I pretend I’m in 11th grade again.
12. Beyoncé – “Love On Top“
Listen, I like “Countdown” just fine. More than fine actually. But when it comes down to it, I will always pick the songs that choose Off The Wall as their inspiration.
11. Lady Gaga – “Bad Kids“
I have to say that the bad behavior displayed in the track is pretty benign. Much like Lady Gaga in general, best to just move on and not dwell on it. But the Hi-NRG meets hair metal tableau works, despite the horror that is hair metal. I won’t call it magic. Maybe luck?
10. SebastiAn – “Kindercut“
For everyone who was disappointed that the new Justice album didn’t sound like the old Justice album, SebastiAn has a banger for you.
9. The Rapture – “How Deep Is Your Love“
Five years gone The Rapture pop back in with a straight up disco floor filler, acting like they haven’t been gone a millisecond. Good work, gentlemen.
8. DJ Quik – “Ghetto Rendezvous“
Only DJ Quik would air out his grievances with his sister on a beat this funky. Enjoy the groove while DJ Quik tells his sister she has a yeasty vagina.
7. Das Racist – “Michael Jackson“
I feel you. Holla.
6. Sloan – “The Answer Was You“
Picking a standout from an album of standouts is a challenge (a delightful challenge) but hey, Jay is on fire here. His best song since “Don’t You Believe A Word”.
5. Spank Rock – “Race Riot“
XXXChange is my dawg 4 lyfe. I’ve been eagerly awaiting an actual recording of this song since seeing Spank Rock perform it live four years ago. Worth the wait, Spank Rock and XXXChange channel the Yoyoyoyoyo era with blaring horns and cowbell. Of course the centerpiece is the “Shake it till my dick turns racist” instruction. Yeah, this is a song about cumming.
4. WIN WIN – “Interleave With You” feat. Alexis of Hot Chip
Hey, it’s XXXChange again. The guy is great. Alexis has a great, sad vocal here but the MVP is that distorted bass synth line that creates a subtle background melody. You know the one. This is the song you play at your cyborg wedding AFTER you play “All Is Full Of Love“. Respect.
3. The-Dream – “Body Work/Fuck My Brains Out“
Originally a teaser for the now set for release in 2012 new The-Dream album, “Body Work/Fuck My Brains Out” is a nine and half minute career high. The first half all midtempo slow grind, The-Dream yowling and moaning out his desire, stopping and starting the beat at his discretion for emphasis and to do one his trademark “Ohhhh”‘s. So intense is his obsession for this woman at one point he admits he can’t even defecate if she isn’t around. Damn. “Fuck My Brains Out” is the raunchiest earworm this side of Prince’s “P-Control” and it’s “Listen to me baby” line has become a personal lyric meme between my wife and I.
2. Friendly Fires – “Hurting“
Is it going to hurt some feelings if I say that “Hurting” is Friendly Fires best song? The truth hurts.
1. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Niggas In Paris“
They did this song five times when they played Pittsburgh but I certainly could have heard it a few more times. Basically, Jay-Z starts off killing it, Kanye comments that Jay just killed it so hard that it’s kinda crazy, then Kanye kills it, more affirmation of said craziness, then the world explodes. Let’s do that again! My wife played this in the car about five or six times in the last two days, and it was the first song that played on random when she drove to work this morning. THIS MEANS SOMETHING. What it means is that this song is great and we listen to it all the time.