2011 was quite a year for music – some of the biggest albums of our time hit the shelves, legends were made, and newcomers burst onto the scene with feverous vengeance. Listed below are the top ten tracks Tragic Kingdom played on repeat all year long.
10. Foster the People: Pumped Up Kicks. These electronic rockers had a big year and whether you liked it or not, you had to bob your head to the controversial single that seemed to play every 5 minutes on radio all over the country. It’ll be interesting to see where these guys take their next project, but for now let’s retire this catchy number and look forward to something new in 2012, shall we?
9. Kelly Clarkson: Stronger. The album, of the same name, was packed full of catchy pop anthems, but the second single from the pop diva is an instant pop classic. The flash mob-inspired video that accompanied it could have been better, but I’m hopeful we’re only beginning to see the life of this jam.
8. Lana Del Rey: Born To Die. Had this single not dropped in late December it would have likely been towards the top of the list. As one of 2012’s most promising new starlets, my hunger for more music from this newcomer is insatiable and the title track from her upcoming album satisfied that hunger for the time being. Her full album drops at the end of the month.
7. Ryan Adams: Lucky Now. Ryan Adams returned with his album Ashes & Fire, his most mellow and stripped down album to date. And while the entire album is a clear masterpiece, the lead single kicked it off quite nicely.
6. Lady Gaga: Electric Chapel. One track that has yet to be released to radio from Lady Gaga’s massively successful Born This Way was one of my favorite tracks of the year. The electric guitar, heavy synth, and even heavier beat is a pure work of art.
5. The Black Keys: Lonely Boy. The Nashville rockers’ new record is flawless and the lead single from El Camino is a perfect jam. Maybe it’s the pivotal bridge in track that seems to connect their consistent sound to an insatiably infectious hook, allowing credibility on the pop charts this year. And it’s that track that have music enthusiasts – like me – (and music supervisors) salivating.
4. Watch The Throne (Jay Z & Kanye West): N**gas in Paris. One of the greatest rap collaborations in history of the genre and the single was a great way to kick off one of the most hyped games of the year. And if rumors are true, there may be a Watch The Throne Pt. II, which would clearly be another solid move.
3. Coldplay: Princess of China (feat. Rihanna). When Coldplay’s new record Mylo Xyloto hit my inbox it was like Christmas had come early. The more uptempo album is good from start to finish and includes some massive radio friendly hooks, but none as captivating as the duet the band turned out with R&B Princess, Rihanna. I can only imagine what this track does when it is brought to life in an artistic video and hits radio.
2. Britney Spears: Till the World Ends. It’s Britney, bitch. A term that seemed more relevant this year than when her Blackout album, from which it was featured, was released. For years the world watched as their pop starlet tried to recover from a highly public breakdown, but in 2011 when her Femme Fatale album was released, it seemed the never-ending support of her fans paid off. Well that, and the incredibly infectious hook that the other pop-starlet Ke$ha helped write. “Till the World Ends” will likely end up as infamous as her “oh baby, baby” from the previous decade and will remain on my “party playlist” for years to come.
1. Adele: Someone Like You / Rolling in the Deep. No surprise here. And while it pains me to follow suit from what every other list is doing, it’s undeniable that Adele is the winner of the year. And not only that, but I can’t even decide which track had more of impact. The lead track “Rolling In the Deep, from her album 21, is clearly worthy of years of praise. And the follow up single “Someone Like You” is so heart wrenching and honest, even SNL had to poke fun at it’s impact on the country.