I’ve never been a music snob, despite fancying myself a music aficionado, something of an artist, and an expert mix-tape giver. So I was not surprised when I a quick review of my ‘most played’ songs on i-tunes revealed it wasn’t the critical darlings of 2011 like Lana Del Rey, Penguin Prison , and The Sound Of Arrows that dominated my i-pod last year, but rather it was the unabashed pop charms of Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne that ranked highest among my ‘most played’ songs. For your enjoyment, I’ve listed all ten of my most played songs of 2011 below, in the hope that you may discover a great pop song or two you might have missed out on over the course of last year. Enjoy everybody!
Michael’s Top 10 Year End Mix-Tape Playlist:
1. “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light . Robyn’s Dancing On My Own dominated my i-pod last year, and this track by openly queer artist Rod Thomas sounds like it’s sequel. By far my favourite song of 2011.
2. “So What You’re Happy” by Baker. The lyrics about his ex-partner’s parents having never liked him is my favourite part of this break-up club track, with the emotionally voyeuristic lyrics in the bridge a close second. "It hurts to know that you won't ever call me/ And now I'm letting go but I'm wondering/ If you still love me."
3. "Synchronised" by Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Wistful, electro-cool, pop-balladry.
4. "Dancing In Houston (Divide & Kreate Mash-Up)" by Robyn vs Whitney Houston . My favourite song of 2010 in a new guise.
5. "Wish You Were Here" by Avril Lavigne. Thank God for producer Max Martin.
6. "Trip To Your Heart" by Britney Spears. Unsurprisingly, long-time Britney collaborators Bloodshy and Avant produced and co-wrote this Femme Fatale album highlight. Surprisingly, it was covers of many of the album’s tracks that I ended up enjoying, and listening too, more than Britney’s originals. Be sure to check out Baker covering “Hold It Against Me”, and openly queer artists Eddie Razaz covering “Criminal” and Eli Lieb covering “Inside Out” respectively.
7. "Obsession" by Shane Ward. Released in the States on the 8th of February of last year, Shane Ward’s Prince inspired pop balled deserved to be a much bigger hit on both sides of the Atlantic than it was. (You’d think posing nude and appearing on the cover of Gay Times soaking wet, in a white t-shirt, would have at least assured him a top 40 hit in his native U.K., but instead he got dropped by his record label!)
8. “Atlantic” by The Midway State. I heard this song on Proud FM and immediately went home and downloaded it. P.S. Fun fact, lead singer Nathan Ferraro is Canadian and looks like Glee’s Darren Criss if Darren Crisis had sex, smoked too much pot, and experienced black-outs caused by too much drinking. Ie. Nathan Ferraro is totally fuckin hot. (And for those who are impressed by Lady Gaga, he dueted with her on an unreleased Peter Gabriel cover (hyper link:) a few years back!)
9. "Don't Give Up" by Darren Hayes. I’m all about this song on the treadmill for some reason.
10. “Quiz” by Markus Riva. Technically released in 2010, I didn’t discover it till last summer, and consequently, it became my summer jam. His latest single “How It Feels To Be A Man” was also a summer favourite.
Honorable Mentions: “The City (Richard X Remix)” by Patrick Wolf and “Love” by Kazaky.