Judgement Day (Special Edition): Pop Heaven’s Top 100 Songs of 2011 (Part 2 of 4)

Welcome back! I’m just listening to some selections from our Top 100 while I prepare for a New Year’s Eve PAR-TAY and I must say that while I had a lot of difficulty ranking the songs I selected, this is a set of songs I truly think are among the best this year. Obviously I am only one man and I don’t get around to checking out a lot of great music I see mentioned on my own favorite blogs but I am only a vessel for The Pop Gods and when they call on me I deliver their word to you.

In case you’re just joining us, click here to see entries 100 through 75 in Part 1!

The next 25 entries in our list of 2011 favorites delve into a bit more pop-rock and R&B/Soul and see me admit to a guilty pleasure or two. Let’s get on with it, then… shall we?


Show Me – Jessica SuttaThis was a big surprise for me this year; Nicole Scherzinger was not the only Pop Heaven-worthy Pussycat Doll. Sutta’s summer dance chart hit is completely infectious and is better than most of the attempts at solo success that her former frontwoman has produced since the group split.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


I’m Into You (Feat. Lil Wayne) – Jennifer Lopez
I wasn’t terribly fond of “On The Floor” which seemed to be a major hit with others, but “I’m Into You” was majorly in my brain this year. Welcome back J-Lo, it’s been a while. (Though I confess I kind of adored that hot mess single-that-never-was: “Louboutins.”)
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Wrecking Ball – Frankmusik
The second entry from 2011’s more mainstream turn “Do It In The A.M.”, “Wrecking Ball” is an upbeat outcry for a lover who constantly tears you down. Oh so catchy and well-produced!
YouTube) (iTunes)


Blow – Ke$ha
Anyone who knows me, knows that for a very long time the mere mention of Ke$ha sent me into a fury of bitchiness. While my problem was mostly with the “drunken-glitter-whore” image she puts forward, I’ve had to admit that after accepting she wasn’t going to be a flash in the pan, she’s started to grow on me a little. With this track from album re-release “Cannibal” she not only had a GREAT dance floor anthem but she pulled off one of the most memorable music videos of the year. Credit where it’s due…
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Casualty of Love – Jessie J
The second of several tracks from Jessica Cornish’s debut, “Casualty..” revisits a classic 1990’s r&b slow jam formula and makes me re-live my favorite moments from the golden days of Mariah Carey.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


No One Gonna Love You – Jennifer Hudson

While at first I was disappointed with Hudson’s sophomore album “I Remember Me”, with each single and repeated listens I’ve come to love many of it’s tracks. This was the second single and the video featured *some* chair choreography which was a new direction for her in a video. She also looked gorgeous.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


It’s Over (Goodbye) – Jared LeeDiscovered by The Pop Gods when Queen JoJo recommended him on Twitter, I’ve fallen in love with this talented (and super adorable) young singer’s EP “Falling Through Holes.” This is the first single and sounds like a hit to me.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Invincible ft. P. Reign – Hedley
2011 saw a lot of artists release songs inspired by the recent focus on teenage bullying and it’s sometimes-tragic consequences. Canadian pop-punk group Hedley released this inspirational ballad on their new album “Storms” and the single mix features Canadian rapper: P Reign. It has a great melody and it rather beautiful, don’t you think?
(YouTube) (iTunes) **Canada Only


The Last Goodbye – David Cook
It seems that David Cook hasn’t made many waves since winning American Idol in 2008. This, the first single from his second album “This Loud Morning” is a “Since U Been Gone” esque pop-rock sing-along anthem with great vocals and a great melody.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Crazy – DaughtryOn November 21st, pop-rock’s Daughtry snuck up on me with their new album “Break The Spell.” While I have always admired Chris Daughtry’s voice I was never so taken with the band’s material. This album is pretty amazing from start to finish and “Crazy” seems to channel some golden age Bon Jovi. Just one of MANY memorable melodies and hooks from one of my favorite albums of the year!
(Stream) (iTunes)


Fool for You (feat. Melanie Fiona) – Cee Lo Green
This song was a solo track on Green’s album “The Lady Killer” however the single version featuring Fiona’s ICONIC verse vocal elevates this song to new heights. It’s fresh and soulful and and Fiona’s delivery is passionate and sexy. Aces!!
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Don’t You Wanna Stay (feat. Kelly Clarkson) – Jason Aldean
When it was rumored that Clarkson was making a move toward country music there was mixed reception. While her own material didn’t sway entirely in that direction, this duet with Jason Aldean is all country and it’s one of the most beautiful ballads released this year. Fantastic vocals and lyrics. (YouTube) (iTunes)


Losing My Mind – Daughtry
Another GORGEOUS track from “Break The Spell”, this one is laden with melodic hook after melodic hook. The song’s pre-chorus and chorus are stellar and Chris Daughtry’s lead vocals are completely on point and like most songs on the album the harmonies are as tight as a Mutt Lange production – which it is not.
(Stream) (iTunes)


We Owned The Night – Lady AntebellumThe first single from the groups latest album “We Own The Night” has everything the group is known for. Fantastic melodies and harmonies, simple and beautiful sentiments, great lyrics.. and that gorgeous, sexy-voiced Charles Kelly. He’s a gift from The Pop Gods. That CD cover is goddamn fierce as well, by the way.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Paradise – Coldplay
With the release of “Mylo Xyloto”, Coldplay won me over more than ever before with two solid singles and the promise of more with a solid, fresh album. “Paradise” was a hit with me even before the odd but delightful video (think guy in elephant costume..). The song has a great beat and is sonically very interesting and unique.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Best Thing I Never Had – Beyonce
So it seems like this – the second of many singles from “4” is generally panned but I have to admit it’s my second favorite to be released from the album to date. Perhaps it’s a little too “Irreplaceable” for some folks but I have grown to really love this song and she SLAYS the vocals on the bridge leading into the song’s climax.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Start of Something Good – Daughtry
This UBER-Romantic song about being afraid of a budding new relationship but feeling like it’s going to be good just makes me feel really great inside when I listen to it. Again with the gorgeous vocal arrangements, this is the last of Daughtry you’ll see on the chart but trust me – this album is a must have!
(Stream) (iTunes)


Boyz II Men – More Than You’ll Ever Know (feat. Charlie Wilson)
If you’re anything like me, you think that modern R&B in the last few years has lost itself in sex and materialism. In 2011 there seemed to be a hint of nostalgia for the good ol’ days and nowhere is that more clear than on this wonderful love song. So faithful to the vibe that made them famous that this song could have been released in 1994 and been a massive hit, this song is simply: love.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Next 2 You (featuring Justin Bieber) – Chris Brown
I expect some may throw shade my way for this one, but I’m gonna be honest here: Chris Brown did a bad, bad thing – but I’m not going to refuse to listen to good pop music because of it. Rihanna’s forgiven him; It’s not my place to hold a grudge. As for Beiber; Sorry Beliebers, he can’t stay in Pop Heaven, but we’ll let him visit for New Year’s Eve because this is a great song and the video was decent too.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Marvin’s Room – JoJo
The flawless Queen JoJo’s much-awaited (and eternally delayed) new album “Jumping Trains” isn’t due until 2012 but JoJo kept us fed with lots of wonderful treats this year including this now-legendary cover of Drake’s “Marvin’s Room”.  As it was a free-download at the time, this one’s not available for purchase. Sorry folks. 😦


I Won’t Let You Go – James Morrison
The second entry from Morrison’s album “The Awakening,” this track has a certain motown sensibility and sounds “old” in both tone and recording quality. It’s a gorgeous song with soulful, emotional vocals and one of my favorites. Great video, too!
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Sara Ramirez – The Story
A cover of the 2008 song by Brandi Carlisle, this track was featured on Ramirez’s EP and on the musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy, though the recordings were different. Sara’s voice soars on this track and I’ve come to adore it more than the original. Enjoy the Grey’s version at the YouTube link below or purchase the EP version. You won’t regret it!
(YouTube) (iTunes)


All of the Lights – Kanye West

West’s “My Dark Twisted Fantasy” was one of 2010’s most amazing albums and this 2011 single seemed a shoe-in to be a massive success. A great song featuring an all-star line up of collaborators including Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Alicia Keys and many others. The video, however, was a bit of a seizure-inducing letdown.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Where You At – Jennifer Hudson
This R. Kelly penned and produced track wasn’t a winner for me at first but since it’s on B.E.T. everytime I change the channel it’s worked it’s way into my consciousness. When you really listen, it’s overwhelming how fantastic of a vocalist Hudson really is. A modern day legend like Aretha and Whitney. Someday, you’ll all agree.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft. Christina AguileraAt our halfway point is one of the only good things to come out of the NBC competition “The Voice” so far. “Moves Like Jagger” at first seems like kind of a stupid idea, but then that melody line whistled at the beginning (almost just to taunt you) reminds you that you’re not likely to get this song out of your head until 2012 so you might as well enjoy it and sing along. Also, for those of you that like ’em thin, Levine is scantily clad throughout most of the otherwise un-inspiring video.
(YouTube) (iTunes)

And that’s all for now… Come back tomorrow for the final two installments of Judgement Day (Special Edition): Pop Heaven’s Top 100 Songs of 2011.

Have a fabulous. safe and fun-filled New Years Eve! Cheers from PopMessiah.com and The Pop Gods!!

Read entries 49 through 26 NOW in Part 3!

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