The time has come! The end of the year is approaching so that means the end of the year lists must start. And what better way to kick all that off than with the first installment of my favorite songs of the year? As always, I had a difficult time narrowing my list down and placing them in the proper order, but after moving songs back and forth around the list, I threw in the towel and stopped fiddling with the order. I decided to split this list in two this year because I wanted to write at least a little something about each of the songs and I didn't want the post to become dauntingly enormous. So please do enjoy this list and let me know what you think about my inclusions. And stayed tuned for the Top 20 coming soon!
Honorable Mentions: Demi Lovato "Skyscraper" | Natalia Kills "Free" | One Direction "Gotta Be You" | CocknBullKid "Hold On to Your Misery" | Will Young "Jealousy" | Britney Spears "Hold It Against Me" | Alexandra Stan "Get Back (ASAP)" | Eric Saade featuring J-Son "Hearts in the Air" | Selena Gomez & The Scene "Love You Like a Love Song" | Alexis Jordan "Hush Hush"
50. Simon Curtis "Superhero"
The moment I first saw Simon Curtis as a legitimate pop star.
49. Leona Lewis & Avicii "Collide"
Not quite the "Outta My Head" dance jam I was expecting, but it's nice to see Leona push herself out of her power ballad comfort zone.
48. Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer "Give Me Everything"
Commercial as hell? Yes. But that chorus saves the day. You actually forget Pitbull is on this song!
47. Alesha Dixon featuring Jay Sean "Every Little Part of Me"
Alesha's career is deader than Floptina's at the moment, which is a shame when she's still releasing songs as fresh as this one.
46. Beyoncé "Run the World (Girls)"
My feelings on this song went from "What a piece of shit!" to "Ooooh, the video's interesting. Maybe this song isn't so bad after all" to "Who run the world? Beyoncé."
45. Bingo Players "Cry (Just a Little)"
This song is as barebones as dancehall songs get: a pounding beat and a couple of lyrics from the 80's song "Piano in the Dark" repeated over and over. But its simplicity is what makes it one of the most irresistibly catchy songs of the year.
44. CocknBullKid "Asthma Attack"
The new critical darling of the indie pop world, CocknBullKid burst on the scene the first half of the year. "Hold On to Your Misery" caught my attention first, but "Asthma Attack" is the song that I keep going back to.
43. The Sound of Arrows "Nova"
This sort of synth pop isn't always my thing. But when I think it works, it really works for me. "Nova" is absolutely gorgeous, as close to a hymn as pop music gets.
42. Alexis Jordan "Good Girl"
The moment Alexis Jordan truly arrived. Who knew she would be one of the freshest popstars of the year?
41. David Guetta featuring Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj "Where Them Girls At"
Even with Guetta and Flo Rida at their generic worst, Nicki Minaj classes up the joint with one of her most wicked verses ever. She's so good spitting out lyrics like, "No, no, I don't endorse that/Pause that, abort that!" she elevates the material surrounding her.
40. Wynter Gordon "Buy My Love"
Last year's "Believer" proved that Wynter had promise. And she makes good on that promise with this ode to becoming a kept woman.
39. Rebecca Black "Friday"
Somewhere in the past nine months this song went from a hilarious joke to heralding the arrival of the next big teen pop star. Whether you think it's a classic or a sign of the apocalypse, Rebecca carries this song with her infectious personality and the ability to sing the silliest lyrics alive ("Tomorrow is Saturday/And Sunday comes afterward") with a straight face.
38. Taio Cruz featuring Kylie Minogue "Higher"
This track is all about Kylie. She elevates this flaccid Taio solo into a sexy, sultry duet.
37. Frankmusik "The Fear Inside"
Vincent first attempt at a more commercial sound. It didn't exactly set the charts ablaze but it did solidify him in my mind as one of the few legitimately great male pop stars we have today.
36. Frankmusik & Colette Carr "No I.D."
In this age of guest rappers and female popstars belting choruses on rap songs, "No I.D." is one of the few legitimate duets around. Vincent & Colette's chemistry is blazing, turning this simple pop track into a repeat worthy jam.
35. Robyn "Call Your Girlfriend"
She still makes the best Dancing Through the Tears pop songs. And the video is to die for!
34. Joe McElderry "Someone Wake Me Up"
La Joe finally found success as Classic Joe this year. An unfortunate situation, it would appear, as this means that Popstar Joe is more or less on permanent hiatus. How sad. Who in the fuck actually prefers him doing opera shit over stuff like "Someone Wake Me Up"?
33. Agnes "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
Agnes, of the Carlsson variety, thankfully returned to the music world with this in-your-face jam. That opening riff is legendary in its own right.
32. Rhianna featuring Calvin Harris "We Found Love"
I originally fell in love with this song because it showed off Rihanna in a subtly different light, pushing herself away from the hard edge of the Rated R era and the Back to Commercial-ness of the Loud era to something far more DJ/rave friendly. But I stayed interested in this song was because hidden under the insane Harris production, there's a tender, almost mournful love story about falling out of love.
31. Florence + The Machine "Shake It Out"
Florence is an artist I tend to admire more than I actually like, but there's something honest and ever-so-gripping about this power ballad.
30. Alexandra Stan "Mr. Saxobeat"
It's exactly the type of Eurotrash pop song most people who know nothing about European pop music assume all European pop music is...yet I can't help but be infatuated with "Saxobeat" for the very same reasons it's hated.
29. Katy Perry "E.T."
Outside of the album track "Circle the Drain," this is by far Katy Perry's most adult track. And the fact that she picked it as a single at all over the pandering "Peacock" is further proof of her maturity as both an artist and an icon.
28. Dev "In the Dark"
Dev's limited vocal range works far better in this sexy track than in "Bass Down Low" or in any of her umpteen featuring credits during the year.
27. Foster the People "Pumped Up Kicks"
Have we come across a unicorn with Foster the People: an act both the indie kids and the pop lovers can agree on? I couldn't begin to tell you what this song is about, and it's low key nature would normally annoy the hell out of me, but, like most of what Foster the People does, it just works. Sometimes you just can't explain it.
26. Take That "Love Love"
Who knew that in 2011 not only would I care about Take That post-"Back For Good" but I would also actually really love one of their new songs? The world is tricky like that sometimes.
25. Jessie J "Do It Like a Dude"
Forget about the annoying, wailing twat she has become. For a brief second, Jessie J looked the toughest pop star to come along in ages with this hard-as-nails anthem.
24. Ola "All Over the World"
This Swedish import was released in Ola's homeland back in 2010 but made it's way to the UK this year. It's three and a half minutes of pure, unadulterated joy, aka everything a pop song of this nature should be.
23. Britney Spears "Till The World Ends"
If the upcoming apocalypse in December 2012 is anywhere near as amazing as this song, the world will be ending on a high note.
22. Christina Perri "Jar of Hearts"
One of those tragic, old fashioned ballads that come along every few years and knocks the socks off everyone. Perri's version will no doubt become the standard, but "Jar of Hearts" is so brilliantly written nearly anyone can sing it and sound like they are a legend.
21. The Wanted "Glad You Came"Every bit as poised as "California Gurls" to be an Easy Summertime Anthem but with a wicked, deviant sense of humor and clever wordplay (thanks in part to co-writer Ed Drewett).