1. Adele – “Rolling In The Deep.” Adele is the standing ovation artist of 2010 and 2011. Her songwriting and vocal abilities not to mention the message of her songs propelled her further and further into fame after her sophomoric album 21 was released.
“Rolling In The Deep” was her first single to hit number one in the states AND beat out every other song of 2011 as the longest-running chart topper. It may not be the “happiest” song of summer, but it is the most memorable of the entire year. Adele revived white lady soul and after Amy Winehouse’s passing she is one of the only ones we have to turn to.
2. Katy Perry “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” Is this song avoidable? No. Do you hate it? Yes. Do you love it? Yes… Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is what happens when you pair up the man who wrote Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” with the man who co-wrote Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” and Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.” Holy crap, this song is like the disclaimer below the definition of pop music. (Am I the only one who thought the beloved empress of cleavage was simply craving some late night T.G.I. Fridays?) Enlisting Rebecca Black, Kevin McHale, Debbie Gibson, Hanson and Corey Feldman for the video didn’t hurt either.
3. Britney Spears “I Wanna Go.” Femme Fatale is scientific proof that Britney Spears knows how to survive in the ever-changing music industry. Or, her people know how to survive in the industry, the people she hires/approves. Good enough. “I Wanna Go” is the third single off Femme Fatale, Britney’s seventh full-length album, and believe it or not, this single caused her CD to be the first in her discography to have three top ten singles. I never thought I’d say it, but bring on the heavy basslines, vocoders and techno-influence.
4. LMFAO – “Party Rock Anthem” Feat. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock. Those guys that you heard in the intro to the Kardashian spinoff series Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami – they’re the ones who sing “Party Rock Anthem.” Bet you never thought they’d make it, with their spandex, kitchy sunglasses, overwhelming use of gold and leopard-print sasquatch body hair. But they did, and “Party Rock Anthem” is as big as it gets. Typical paint-by-numbers club song.
5. Pitbull – “Give Me Everything” feat. Afrojack Ne-Yo and Nayer. Getting sued by Lindsay Lohan barely hurt the Cuban star’s throttle into chart topping-vertigo, it may even have helped him. He performed at the VMAs, and with the help of A-listers like Marc Anthony, Ne-Yo and Akon, his sixth album Planet Pit turned out to be his most successful yet… “Give Me Everything” stood out over the entire watered-down wreck, with Pitbull licking his lips and spouting innuendos like a dirty bald fountain of mischief…
6. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass.” After appearing on every notable rapper’s song of 2010, Nicki Minaj made an even bigger splash in 2011 with her official debut Pink Friday and the hit single “Super Bass.” In all simplicity and sensibility of the idea, I couldn’t predict that what the radio needed was a female MC. Funny how you don’t know what you’re missing until you have it. I don’t think touring with Britney Spears OR having an ass that rivals J-Lo’s AND Kim Kardashian’s didn’t hurt much either.
7. Lady Gaga – “Judas” Despite containing songs like “Highway Unicorn (Road To Love)” Born This Way sold one million copies in its first week. The CD featured anthems that averaged four-minutes-long, ranging from the inane to the bizarrely insane. “Judas” was no exception, cause oh oh oh oh ohhhh we were all tricked into being in love with that leather-clad bad boy momentarily, weren’t we? It was the best and closet thing to “Bad Romance,” and the little monsters take what they can get.
8. Katy Perry – “E.T.” feat. Kanye West. I never imagined that the pairing of Katy Perry of the empty glazed-over doll corneas and megalomaniac Kanye West would result in the entire world belting out the lyrics, “Infect me with your love and fill me with your poison,” but it did. I also never imagined that the alien-porn anthem of 2011 wouldn’t be by Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj.
9. Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks.” Perpetrating the trend of seemingly optimistic songs that are actually about pain and suffering, Foster The People nailed it with their single “Pumped Up Kicks.” The wide-grinned, hand-clapping indie anthem of the year that turned out to be about shooting people. I like to refer to Mark Foster as the male Florence Welch, based on the sudden wildfire and never-ending appeal of their hit indie singles. I will be happy to see this replace Mumford & Sons.
10. David Guetta – “Where Dem Girls At” feat. Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida. A 43 year-old DJ plus the aforementioned snarling, long-nailed, pink-headed oddity (Nicki Minaj) plus Flo Rida of apple-bottom jeans/boots with the fur skill = “Where Dem Girls At.” A shallow magnifying glass held over R&B, this song is juicy, but lacking in pulp.
11. Jennifer Lopez – “On The Floor” feat. Pitbull.”Jennifer Lopez’s choice to enlist Pitbull, who was already on a hot streak, for her millionth “comeback” album and first since 2007 was brilliant. Not that anyone seriously
forgot her since her stint on American Idol but “On The Floor” proved to be one of the sexiest songs and videos of summer. J-Lo’s still got it. When are these look-alikes/vibrate-alikes – J-Lo, Shakira and Beyonce going to make a video together? “Beautiful Liar Part II.” I’m waiting.
12. Beyonce – “Who Run The World (Girls)” Let’s be honest, we’d like to pretend that girls run the world but the gender wage gap hasn’t completely closed and Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are the two biggest female names in politics. Beyonce’s place of power in Jay-Z’s arms is clouding her vision of society. God bless you Queen B for gyrating so diligently, but your bizarre girl-power messages are tired, time to sing about going to kitchen and making Jay-Z a BLT. (Let men run it, then we can blame it on them when they fuck it up)
13. Rihanna – “California King Bed.” You realize by now that half the songs on this list are devoid of sentiment, right? Let me point out that Rihanna wrote absolutely none of the songs from her latest musical effort, Loud. Let me also point out that it spawned four substantial so-good-they’re-bad top 40 hits, “Only Girl (In The World),” What’s My Name,” “S&M,” “Man Down,” and “Cheers (Drink To That)” not to mention this Cali-king beach-bed anthem with its 70 million+ Youtube hits. This is a message to all hard-workers and college students, from Rihanna – work half as hard, do twice as good. Eh eh eh.
14. Jason Derulo – “Don’t Wanna Go Home.” First Jason Derulo, the danciest mofo since Chris Brown, samples Imogen Heap, and then for “Don’t Wanna Go Home” steals a Harry Belafonte/Jamaican folk-song for use in this pounding R&B hit? What sample could he possibly use/ruin next? Bob Marley? Simon & Garfunkel? “99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall?” Weirdo.
15. Lady Gaga – “Edge Of Glory.” The third single off Lady Gaga’s second actual album, the silly half-assed religious mess that is Born This Way turned our to be a pretty big hit with the masses. Like “Judas” and “Born This Way” before it, the music video for Glory was overhyped.
Besides the excellent Clarence Clemons cameo it was just Gaga looking like a slutty Egyptian skunk with a bunch of gland steam in the background. Regardless, it had a clear positive message and the saxophone is priceless.