After a few touch-and-go years in popular music, it’s important to start off by saying that 2011 was an AMAZING YEAR and anyone who thinks otherwise can take a one way ticket to the tonedeaf but finely autotuned fires of Pop Hell.
I am going to state for the record that after compiling this chart, I realized that a lot of my favorite songs from 2011, across multiple genres of popular music share a common thread: a major late 80’s or early 90’s inspiration. While people have been trying to recreate the 80’s/90’s sounds in recent years, it is my personal opinion that 2011 is the year when they finally got it right.
- Return of emotional lyrics: With the major success of UK crooner, Adele, airwaves in 2011 shifted ever-so-slightly away from over-processed vocalists and headed back towards real voices singing about real feelings. We also saw a lot of fantastic artists known for their emotional material release much anticipated new albums/singles this year (i.e. Kelly Clarkson, Darren Hayes, Jennifer Hudson, JoJo, Adam Lambert, etc.)
- The Summer of Sax!: Though two hit pop singles and an album track do not make a revolution, there was a small resurgence of the classic late 80’s, early 90’s saxophone solo via a couple of Pop Heaven regulars: Katy Perry & Lady Gaga!
- Classic R&B Re-Emergence: Artists like Beyonce, Jessie J & the originators; Boyz II Men brought us back to the days when r&b music still had soul and made you feel a certain glow as the influence of R&B’s last golden days in the 1990’s creeped back in. We pray to The Pop Gods that this trend continues!
- IMPRESSIVE Emerging Artists: Not only were pop veterans out in full swing, there were a LOT of promising new emerging artists producing FANTASTIC singles this year. Including: The Rescues, Sabi, Neon Hitch, Simon Curtis & Jared Lee.
Without further ado, I present Pop Heaven’s Top 100 Songs of 2011. (Ok that’s a lie, but you do get entries 100 through 75!)