Top 100 songs of 2011 – 90-71

Day 3 will be a bit more bloated as I neglected to post my playlist from yesterday. Here are tracks 90-71. As always, you can listen to these tracks online via the following spotify playlists.

90. Portable Television – Death Cab For Cutie

from the album “Codes And Keys”

I like Death Cab For Cutue, which is why I find it strange that I’m always scrambling to find a standout track from his CDs. I haven’t set down and listened to “Codes And Keys” all the way through yet, so there are probably more discoveries. However, I suspect this is still one of the standout tracks. Ben Gibberd is always best when he can flesh out one poigniant image or object as the listener’s lyrical entry point into the world of the song. Portable Television services that pursuit with above average execution. The piano work is also worth noting, as it roots the song a lot more than more recent projects where Gibbert has favored more electronic bells and whistles.

89. Human – Oh Land

from the album “Oh Land”

Realistically any of the tracks off of the debut from professional dancer EDM artist Oh Land could have made this list. You’ll see what is in essence my favorite album of the year appear 2 more times at least. This track is very much in the old school of melodramatic upbeat elecronica with the classic double disco beat. Very reminiscent of Robyn and even Ladytron.

88. Bread And Butter – Hugo

“Old Tyme Religion”

This falls into the category that a co-worker onced described to me as “White People Babymaking music.” This song deserves props alone for the lyric “gonna spread you like butter/give you all my bread/don’t want no other/laying in my bed.” but its got the grooves and the vocals on this are hot.

87. Private Caller – Sondre Lerche

from the album “Sondre Lerche”

Another track that seems in the whistle heavy sweet spot of indie music’s zeitgeist. Then again, Sondre Lerche has been making this kind of music for a while now. I think the vocals sell it here better than most though.

86. Year Of The Tiger – St. Vincent

from the album “Strange Mercy”

St. Vincent was among the most sonically adventurous artists in 2011. An album that reminded me much of Amanda Palmer’s 2008 solo record, St. Vincent continues t challenge our expectations from a female singer/songwriter. That being said, the songs themselves are meticulously put together, and Year Of The Tiger is a great example of this.

85.  Checkout Time – Nick Lowe

from the album “Old Time Magic”

A nice contemplative song about mortality from a veteran singer/songwriter who has reached a point in his career where its natural to write such things. The whole taking stock of one’s lives rarely works as well as it does here. It’s not elegiac as much as it is wistful.

84. Places To Go – Leftover Cuties

from the album “Places To Go”

There has been no shortage of girl garage band revivalism lately. This titular track from the new Leftover Cuties album backs it up with solid songwriting and soulful vocal performances.  It would not surprise me at all to see them shift away from the beach music vibe towards the British Soul wave that is sweeping the world

83. Like A Stranger – Bodies Of Water

from the album “Twist Again”

There’s sort of a old school Paul Anka thing going on on this track that I’m really digging. That’s a pretty impressive thing for a band compared with Arcade Fire and Polyphonic Spree to pull off.

82. Son – Milow

from the album “North And South”

A deep moody song about the conflicting emotions of dealing with the grief of losing a father that puts it all out on the table. I think what sells it is the restrained vocals.

81. Jealous Hands – Tallahassee

from the album “Jealous Hands”

Tallahassee is an interesting story. It was started a few years ago by former New England Patriots lineman Brian Barthelmes. Novelties aside, this is a pretty extrordinary band. Barthelemes vocals show the soul of a deeply wounded bird trying to fly.

80. Young Blood – The Naked And Famous

from the album “Passive Me, Agressive You”

Its somewhat unfair to compare The Naked And Famous to Passion Pit, but that’s the only way I can come to describe this synth pop matched with falsetto.

79.Wood And Stone – Tara Nevins

from the album “Wood And Stone”

I like my folk country nice and funky. That’s what Tara Nevins does on the title track from her solo album . Little bit of a ho-down, but not too much.

78. Face In The Crowd – Cat’s Eyes

from the album “Cat’s Eyes”

To describe what Cat’s Eyes sounds like, Imagine that Roy Orbison did an album with Ladytron, then add kick drums. Nowhere is this super hip supercool sound more evident than on Face In The Crowd. I will make a prediction: you will hear this song in marketing sometime in 2012.

77. Up Up Up – Givers

from the album “In Light”

Infectious circular hook meshed with Latin beats and horns. Etherial party music if something can exist. Maybe its just the flute, but this song sounds like a party in the clouds. Also, there’s a great Vampire Weekend-esque breakdown in it as well.

76. Towards The Sun – Alexi Murdoch

from the album “Towards The Sun”

Any year where we get a new Alexi Murdoch CD should be celebrated. In only his 3rd CD, we get this track that encapsulates everything you could want from murdoch, the soulful Irish brouge airy minimalist production and meditative lyrics. A great sleepy track.

75. No Silver – Chris Bathgate

from the album “Salt Year”

I talked about Chris Bathgate earlier. His voice expresses more than his lyrics, but that doesn’t mean the two aren’t deeply integrated into each other. No Silver is the song that illustrates the soothing conflict lurking beneath the comfort of this singer songwriter.

74. Truth – Alexander

from the album “Alexander”

Fans of Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros will love Alexander’s Truth. Its got the same Anthemic quality. There’s a great whistle line at the beginning. Once the vocals come in. Alexander nails the late 60s Motown/Psychedelic sound.

73. Somewhere In Your Heart – Jessica Lee Mayfield

from the album “Tell Me”

I’m struggling for something to say about this track. Its very haunting from its open minor guitar riff to “Jammin” Jessica Lee Mayfield’s pained yet dynamically muted vocals. The track gets under my skin.

72. Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammar

from the album “Andy Grammar”

A classic upbeat poppy “cheer up” pick-me -up song. Coming out of a less persuasive voice it would be infuriating. Then again, I’m usually a sucker for these kinds of songs.

71. Friday – Rebecca Black

from the depths of the internet

Okay, enough with the hate for this song. We need to appriciate it for what it is, a fun intentionally shallow song about something that is a truism = everybody IS looking forward to the weekend. Its catchy and admit it, you know more of the lyrics to this than you let on.


About Patrick Felton

Patrick Felton is director of the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival

Posted on December 23, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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