2011 is not a bad year for music because of the diversity of hits released this year, coming from different sources [The Music Industry, Underground, TV, Youtube (and the Internet in general) and even video games]. Sadly though, there aren’t a lot of standout artists and songs this year, making it easier for me to filter out my choices. Many sites are also proclaiming the death (it’s probably just hibernation [–,] ) of rock this year (but at least we’re fine, according to one site.)
Enough with depressing news. Here are my favorite tunez last year:
- Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song
The last two years were a banner year for the half-Filipino singer and songwriter, making a lot of achievement for the typical metrics for success: A Grammy, #1 hits and album sales; he even sang the main theme for part 1 of the Breaking Dawn movie. And of all his hits, choosing this track is a no-brainer. For a white-collar worker like me, it’s a dangerous song to be listening to on a rest day. I can relate to the lyrics, and the original music video was also very entertaining despite its simplicity (it looks like most Youtube videos, and the chimps … uh, never mind; it really captures the Lazy aspect of the song). However, it also made some reference to another song, and it just so happens that the song was prolly the most annoying song this year: Teach Me How to Dougie.
- The London Philharmonic Orchestra – Angry Birds: Main Theme
2011 was the year when Angry Birds really exploded. Available on nearly all smart devices and even on the Web and Facebook, the game is nearly as universally recognizable as Mario. I was also skeptical about the game at the beginning of 2011, but I played it one night on my PC and instantly got hooked. And to attest to the gigantic success of this game, the main theme was included in the playlist for the Video Game Heroes concert last September 1. The orchestral arrangement is simply stunning, and it’s easily the best performance in the concert. Later, I checked the album and unfortunately, I was disappointed because even though all decades were covered and there are other excellent picks (namely, The Ocean on His Shoulders and Gusty Garden Galaxy), I found the other tracks to be very literal.
- Bad Meets Evil – Lighters
I only chose this due to the non-rap part (which was also contributed by Bruno Mars, BTW. He also did the song parts in Nothin’ On You, another one of my favorites). To be honest, it’s a very annoying trend. The rap parts were nothing more but fillers, and is generally unnecessary. Still, there are some of these kinds with excellent songs for the past few years, like Airplanes and Pyramid (Ft. Iyaz).
- Adele – Rolling In The Deep
The song (and, oh well, Adele) deserved all the acclaim she got this year, but I actually chose this song for another reason. The song was perfectly made, and Adele sang it flawlessly, but it’s another thing when it’s interpreted by another artist and actually top it. Every once in a while, I come across more than a dozen versions for a song, just like in 2005 (Crazy for You) and 2007 (Umbrella). In 2011, it’s RITD and we’re lucky that there is, not one, but two, excellent covers of the song. The first one was made by Linkin Park. And the second? It’s the Glee Cast version.
- Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
For all the flak that Pop Music receives every microsecond, I still need to pick maybe one or two hits from the POP Machine, referring to artists (usually a female with a killer figure, usually artificially sculpted as well) who can churn out an album every 6 months and have no difficulties posting a hit on the charts due to a very dedicated and huge fanbase, with their songs having a heavy reliance on Autotune (considered as the PhotoShop of music. I actually have nothing against it, for me it’s just another instrument or tool, just like guitars, microphone and the human voice). Anyway, this year is an easy one. After two albums, Lady Gaga run out of gimmicks and ended up with a mediocre album. And after listening too long, Taylor Swift‘s latest songs sounded recycled. Hold It Against Me was actually good because it’s a deviation from her previous hits, I almost ended up choosing California King Bed because it’s mellow rather than upbeat, and it’s already tiresome and irritating to listen to Beyoncé crooning about female empowerment. So why this? It was supposed to be Firework, but I changed my mind the last minute, and it’s only because it’s refreshing to listen to after five days of work.