My favorite songs of 2011

Mark has already shared his favorite tunes from the past year. Now, it’s my turn.

To be honest, I had a difficult time with my list, because I spend most of my time stuck in the 80’s and 90’s and my playlists consist mostly of metal bands (with a few surprises thrown in for good measure). But, as I looked back on the songs that helped shape my 2011 soundtrack, I realized that a handful were actually songs from the past year!

So, here they are (not in any particular order):

Party Rock Anthem/LMFAO – I first heard this song on a commercial that confused me, because I couldn’t figure out what they were trying to sell: cars or video games. I’ve never heard the song in full and I don’t care to. Just give me the dancing hamsters!

No More/LL Cool J & Ne-Yo – I’ve loved LL Cool J since he first hit the scene in the 80’s. When he branched out into acting, I wasn’t sure what to think until I saw him in action. I love his acting talent, but was thrilled when a recent NCIS: Los Angeles episode ended with this song. I love it more than I can say. BTW, if you’re on Twitter, LL is one of the most positive and inspirational/motivational people there. Follow him: @LLCoolJ

Starlight/Rachael Yamagata – I first heard this song when Rachael performed on the show I work on. I immediately fell in love with her unique vocals and the stripped down accompaniment. The fully electric version is just as awesome, although the beginning is a little repetitive. Wait for her to reach the chorus, then listen through to the end of the song. You won’t regret it.

Make Some Noise/Beastie Boys – I love love love love love love love the Beasties! They could rap the alphabet and it would make my list. The video really makes this song. There are so many cameos that I had to keep watching over and over just to see everyone. Okay, that’s the excuse I’m using, anyway.  I will say this: Ted Danson was quite the surprise. I would never use his name and the Beasties in the same breath.

Up/James Morrison – I sometimes call James a “guilty pleasure,” then I think he doesn’t really fit that mold. I also like Leif Garrett and think he fits more into the “guilty pleasure” mode. So, James is stepping up and taking his place along the likes of Beasties, Coldplay and other “mainstream” acts. “Up” is one of the songs from his new album. I like the message, the tune and the duet he does with Jessie J.

More/Usher – I thought this song was older than 2011, but it was on a list of 2011 songs, so I’m sticking it in this list. I love love love this song. I first heard it as a promo to NBA playoffs and even though I hate the NBA, I liked the ad because of the song. If you think I watch a lot of TV, including commercials, you’re right (see the dancing hamsters above)

Bad As Me/Tom Waits – Listening to Tom Waits is like doing shots of whiskey all night without getting drunk or waking up with a hangover the next morning.

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall/Coldplay – I like this song because it gets my toes tapping and lifts my spirits. I feel like dancing whenever I hear it.

Accidents Can Happen (Acoustic)/Sixx: A.M. – The electric version of this song is also very stellar, but the acoustic version seems more intimate and personal. I love this song for many reasons. If you know me, you’ve read the post I wrote on my Tumblr site explaining my connection to this song. The thing that really blows my mind about Sixx: A.M. is hearing that the singer (James Michael) doesn’t consider himself a “singer.” He identifies himself more as a producer. Listen to this song and you’ll see what I mean when I say he’s full of shit. He’s one of the most incredible singers I’ve heard in a long time.

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