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The Best Songs of 2011, Part 1

The Best Songs of 2011, Part 1

I figured since the Grammy Awards announced their ever-lame nominations last week, it was a signal I could begin one of my very favourite annual blog entries… a countdown of the best songs of the year. I’ve been geekily doing this for at least 14 years, as a I-clearly-take-this-way-too-seriously excel spreadsheet I’ve been keeping since 1997 seems to suggest (though I’m sure it goes on before that… though I’d fear the charts from 1993 or 1994 would be filled with tracks from “The Lion King” soundtrack or something of that sort). Here’s the #1s from each year, for what it’s worth:

1997 – “The Perfect Drug” by Nine Inch Nails
1998 – “Ray of Light” by Madonna
1999 – “Were In This Together” by Nine Inch Nails
2000 – “Fuck The Pain Away” by Peaches
2001 – “Emerge” by Fischerspooner
2002 – “Lover I Don’t Have To Love” by Bright Eyes
2003 – “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2004 – “Rebellion (Lies)” by Arcade Fire
2005 – “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens
2006 – “Wolf Like Me” by TV on the Radio
2007 – “Paper Planes” by MIA
2008 – “Cobrastyle” by Robyn
2009 – “1901” by Phoenix
2010 – “Ready To Start” by Arcade Fire

2011 – ???

The countdown to 2011’s #1 begins today. I slowly put this list together over the past month or so (mostly while half-sedated on planes or trains), expanding the list from a top 10 to a top 30 when it became clear that this year was actually a pretty amazing year for music, at least as far as I personally am concerned. Music is obviously a very, very subjective medium and I am also no expert (this list will probably make that clear). But it’s such a fun exercise – and time-capsule – to put together this kind of list, and will hopefully add a few worthy tracks to the 3 or 4 of you who read this’s iPods. I’ll offer more commentary when the list is complete at the end of the week…

Here we go:

30. Desire – Under Your Spell & College – A Real Hero*

*-I know, I’m cheating two times over here. First off, yes, its two songs in one slot. And more importantly: Neither of these songs were released in 2011. But I’d never heard of them until I got my hands on the amazing “Drive” soundtrack (which they are both featured on), so I’m including them anyway.

29. SBTRKT feat. Yukimi Nagano – Wildfire

28. Danielle Duvall – Ambulance

27. Jai Paul – BTSTU

26. Patrick Wolf – The City

25. Santigold & Karen O – Go

24. Feist – How Come You Never Go There

23. Bright Eyes – Shell Games

22. TV on the Radio – Will Do

21. Beyonce – 1+1

Check back for #s 11-20 on Wednesday the top 10 on Friday.

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