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

The time has come! We;re about to reveal Pop Heaven’s top 25 songs of 2011!

In case you’re just joining us, you should catch up!!:
Read entries 100 through 75 in Part 1!
Read entries 74 through 50 in Part 2!
Read entries 49 through 26 in Part 3!

Now, if you’re all caught up.. check out the conclusion of our year-end charts after the break…


Cruel Cruel World – Darren Hayes
“Secret Codes and Battleships” in it’s entirety took a bit of time to set in for me but album track “Cruel Cruel World” had me from hello. Lush, sometimes melancholy and sometimes sweet and uplifting, this track really has it all.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Aftermath – Adam Lambert

While Lambert’s album: “For Your Entertainment” was released in 2009, a lot of attention in the media on the bullying of gay teens caused a number of musicians to speak out against bullying. Lambert released a new version of his album track “Aftermath” (Billboard Remix) in March as a charity single for The Trevor Project. While I admit that I don’t love the alternate mix near as much as the 80’s rocker album version – it remains a beautiful song with a strong message and breathtaking vocals from Adam.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Titanium (Feat. Sia) – David Guetta
David Guetta’s second album “Nothing But The Beat” could easily have been a re-hash of the same sound he’s been toting over the last 3 years as the current dance music craze has seen him become one of the most sough after producers. Instead, we got some of the same but also some beautiful, unexpected UNIQUE gems like this one, now a single. Mary J Blige had also recorded this track (which Guetta composed with Sia) but ultimately it was decided to go with Sia’s vocals. I haven’t heard Mary’s but this one is flawless!
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Radioactive – Marina & the Diamonds
While I had definitely heard lots of buzz about Marina and the Diamonds, I hadn’t really caught on to her first album but with “Radioactive,” produced surprisingly by Stargate, she’s catapulted herself into pop consciousness. Solid, captivating lyrics and sexy, alluring vocals combine with a euphoric almost trance-y musical backing. Defintely a 2011 highlight!
(YouTube) (iTunes **Not avail in US Store)


Night of Your Life (Feat. Jennifer Hudson) – David Guetta
Despite some melodic similarities in the instrumental to Guetta’s “Only Girl (In The World)” with Rihanna, “Night of Your Life” manages to completely transcend any criticism one might initially have for the self-reference. Hudson is at her very best and this is a complete diva-fest. One of Guetta AND Hudson’s finest!
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Before It Explodes – Charice
Another amazing single from “Infinity”, this track was written by hitmaker Bruno Mars and is one hell of breakup song. It tells the story of a couple who feel love slipping away and this is one person’s plea to the other that they just get out before it’s too late and they end up hating each other. Totally smash hit-worthy, this song is a victim of radio trends not favoring a love song at present.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Limbo – JoJo
As previously mentioned, JoJo’s “Jumping Trains” has experienced multiple delays in getting released. In addition to label troubles, a series of unfortunate mass leaks of the work she’d been doing on the album have contributed to the delays. While no fans ever want to see an artist they love struggling because of leaks, “Limbo” is far too breathtaking to feel bad about loving it. It features some of the strongest vocals she has ever recorded, but unfortunately it’s been revealed that it will probably not appear on the album.


4 AM – Melanie Fiona
Like her previous feature on “Fool For You” with Cee-Lo, the vocals on Fiona’s “4 A.M.” are flawless. Over a pulsating electro-urban beat, she coos her lament for a lover who stays out all night and ignores her calls while she waits for him in bed.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

I’m sure most of you expected this one to be coming! “Super Bass” was one of the biggest songs of the summer and was accompanied by a great video which featured Minaj and several look-a-like dancers with matching outfits and Barbie pink hair.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


See No More – Joe Jonas
Never would I have expected that someday I would come around to appreciating a Jonas, but after only one listen I was hooked on “See No More.” Co-written by Chris Brown, this track does have his stamp all over it but Jonas shows some vocal prowess on this mid-tempo urban jam about wanting to forget in the wake of a lost relationship
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Better Than I Know Myself – Adam Lambert
Just when most bloggers have already written their year-end charts and I’m still trying to convince myself that I’m not putting the “PRO” in procrastination, Lambert sweeps in a few days before Christmas and drops a SCORCHING new single from his upcoming 2012 album: “Trespassing” that is worthy of year-end 2011 gold despite the fact that it’s moment will almost certainly be in 2012. With soaring, powerful vocals and a deeply personal and heartfelt lyric, this one should be a smash for Lambert within a couple of weeks.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) – Rihanna
Rihanna\s “Talk That Talk” album campaign was so swift on the heels of that for last album “Loud” that many didn’t realize it was from a new album at all. That being said, however, “We Found Love” is like nothing Rihanna has released before. A career best, in my opinion and perfectly represented in it’s controversial and powerful music video that features an actor styled very much like a certain famous ex boyfriend.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Mr. Know It All – Kelly Clarkson

One of the more underrated singles this close to the top of my chart, “Mr. Know It All” is a much better song than it seems to have gotten credit for. It is one of the most satisfying songs out this year to sing-along with and shows a more soulful side of Kelly we haven’t heard from in a while. Like the rest of “Stronger”, this song is a gift from The Pop Gods.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Marry The Night – Lady Gaga
While I always knew this was a great song, I don’t think I really absorbed it’s utter GREATNESS until the release of the epic, “autobiographical” music video that chronicles Gaga’s being dropped from her first label and re-inventing herself and becoming the star she always dreamed she would be. The final climax of the song when she wails “The Ni-ii-ii-iiight!!” over and over is a blissful eargasm.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Disaster – JoJo

In September, so many Train Jumpers finally got their wish when Interscope finally launched a lead single from “Jumping Trains.” A pop/rock ballad, the single is completely cohesive as a next step from “The High Road” JoJo and despite failing to really impact charts after the video was released in November it remains one of the best tracks released this year!
(YouTube) (iTunes)


E.T. – Katy Perry
While the single version included a guest spot by Kanye West, I suspect many would agree that this track is much stronger without it. West’s usually great lyrics and delivery are clumsy, nearly offensive and don’t offer anything extra to the song. On it’s own, E.T. is a cleverly penned metaphor about an attraction to someone is almost super-human.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


You Love Me – Kelly Clarkson
With many songs on “Stronger” Clarkson managed to re-capture bits of the 80’s and 90’s that we haven’t heard referenced in recent years. With “You Love Me” she channels a bit of Annie Lennox or Tina Turner in a sassy kiss-off song where she confronts a man who has been mistreating her.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Surely the most played song of the year, even now “Rolling In The Deep” is just as inspiring as it was on the first listen. I can’t listen to this song and NOT stomp my foot. It’s a modern day classic. Don’t hate.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


The Edge Of Glory – Lady Gaga
Despite the trainwreck of a video that resulted from a scrapped three day shoot, “The Edge of Glory” managed to make it to #3 on the hot 100 and felt like it was everywhere this summer. I truly think the world simply couldn’t resist the exquisite saxophone solo by the late Clarence Clemons, who passed shortly after the song’s release as a single from “Born This Way.”
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Someone Like You – Adele
One of the only contenders that might have been played more than “Rolling In The Deep” is Adele’s second single from “21”. This tear-jerker was everywhere this fall and is a frequent top 10 finisher on many year-end charts. If you don’t think this is a great song, I truly think you have no heart. I’m sorry. 😉
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Bloodstained Heart – Darren Hayes
Enter what may be the most romantic and beautiful song of Darren Hayes’ career. This epic and lush production is equal parts Coldplay and U2, but just pop enough to make it all Darren. A masterpiece!
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Yoü And I – Lady Gaga
My first exposure to this rock n’ roll track was at the Monster Ball in Montreal in 2010. Gaga’s “Born This Way” had not yet been completed and she had recently written the track on tour and a recording of her performing it at a private function ended up on YouTube. While it felt a little rehearsed, it was played off as if she heard someone in the audience ask for it and she decided to randomly play it. At the time, it was a piano rock ballad and hadn’t been turned into the country-pop bar anthem it became in the hands of Mutt Lange, but in time I came to love the final version as much as the original live performance. This was also one of the best videos of the year in my opinion, but one that made the least sense! 🙂
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Who You Are – Jessie J
My first exposure to this song and to Jessie J was when someone suggested I check out the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_pnFhFjNtY which features Jessie performing this incredible song in an NYC subway station along with a backing tape on a ghettoblaster. What I saw was a stylish and sort-of street young lady with one hell of a set of pipes singing one of the most beautiful songs about self-respect that I have ever heard. “Who You Are” is not only one of the best songs of the year but one of my favorite songs of all time.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Set Fire To The Rain – Adele
Announced to be the third North American single from “21”, this is my personal choice as the best track from the whole album for it’s beautiful lyrical metaphors. While I’m certain that if a video is shot it will never compare to the visuals in my head, this song is a beast with it’s swelling string arrangement and haunting piano. Perfection.
(YouTube) (iTunes)


Black Out The Sun – Darren Hayes

For my top song of 2011, I chose the unlikely second single from “Secret Codes and Battleships”. Darkly melancholy, “Black Out The Sun” is raw, emotional and heartbreaking. The honesty in exploring grief in the lyrics is almost startling and Hayes’ voice has never conveyed so much pain and longing. The clip, which is coincidentally among my tops of the year as well, ties perfectly into the overall album artwork and promotional campaign and is dark, symbolic and cinematic. (YouTube) (iTunes

It was much harder than I thought trying to rank my favorite 100 songs of the year. Right up to the moment I have hit “publish” on each of the four posts I have been making last minute changes in the rankings. There are songs and artists I know I’ve left out but in the end, I definitely believe in the finished chart. I’ll say one more time that 2011 was a hell-of-a-great year in pop music and I suspect that we have more great to come in 2012.

To each and every one of you who have been reading my blog, I want to thank you and wish you the best of luck in 2012. Please let me know your thoughts on the chart and if maybe I introduced you to someone new!

Congratulations to all of the artists in the chart! This is a supreme honor bestowed by The Pop Gods. No matter how many haters try to say otherwise, these songs are…

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14 thoughts on “Judgement Day (Special Edition): Pop Heaven’s Top 100 Songs of 2011 (Part 4 of 4)

  1. RobertWeston says:

    I love Adam Lambert’s CD. I had the great pleasure of catching him in concert when he was doing his world tour. It was interesting how he changed some of the songs up. Soaked is amazing live! You can catch it on youtube if you didn’t see him like. Sleepwalker was another amazing one performed live.

    • Artists who change arrangements of their songs are often the most exciting live performers! I have no doubt that Adam puts on a great show. I love all of the acoustic arrangements he’s done live in the past!

      Thanks for reading, Robert! Best wishes for 2012!!

  2. Darren Lensherr says:

    Darren Hayes! Finally! Love the album “Secret Codes and Battleships”, all the songs are fantastic, not to mention its B-sides and demos. Thanks for appreciating Darren’s work!

  3. Clairikine says:

    Oh wow, I had the exact same reaction to the Darren Hayes album (#25)! Cheers.

  4. Alicia says:

    All of Darren’s new songs should be in the top 100 but I guess that wouldn’t be fair. Awesome CD!

    • I definitely think the whole album is stellar! I just didn’t want to include TOO many non-single tracks so they could possibly appear in the 2012 chart at year’s end 😉

      It was SUCH a fantastic year in music and Darren’s album is certainly among the TOPS!

      Thanks so much for reading!

  5. Debbie says:

    I hadnt heard of any new Darren Hayes stuff now I need to give it a listen

    • Definitely DO, Debbie! “Secret Codes & Battleships” is a beautifully written, produced and orchestrated collection of songs! Highly reccommended!! Thanks so much for checking out our year-end charts!

  6. Layla says:

    Darren Hayes is brilliant, the epitome of a true artist! This man impresses me musically and humanly. I’m so glad he’s number one, he deserves it so much! I love Secret Codes and Battleships it’s such a great album-all his albums are! Thank you for making him number one!!

    • Hi Layla! I love all of his albums too 🙂 Especially the last three! (and S.G.’s “Affirmation” was a classic start to finish as well).

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing the Darren love!

  7. Thanks darlin’! THIS year, 2012, will see Adam Lambert dominate the charts! Better Than I Know Myself is total ear-wormy, radio-ready pop candy! There are other tracks like the title one “Trespassing” that has been compared to Queen’s classic “Another One Bites the Dust” and a FUNKY track with Nile Rodgers of “Chic” on guitar (“Shady” is that track) that Adam describes as “Nine Inch Nails meets Saturday Night Fever” Yaaay! Hubby & I have met Adam and seen EIGHT of his live performances! Can’t wait for this next tour! YES! \o/

    • Hi Rose! The more I hear about “Trespassing” the more excited I am! I will be sure to write a track by track review when it’s released 🙂

      Thanks for commenting! Much MUCH appreciated!


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