Best Songs of 2011

Since I wrote extensively on many of these songs in my Best Albums review, I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum here. Here are my 50 favorite songs of 2011:

  1. Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes. I think this song taps into the perspective of a generation of young Americans. Brilliant, beautiful, and poignant.
  2. Rivers and Roads, The Head and the Heart. Reconciliation’s ache set to music. 
  3. Tree By the River, Iron & Wine. 
  4. Holocene, Bon Iver.
  5. Lost In My Mind, The Head and the Heart. Two songs in my Top 5…impressive. 
  6. Poison & Wine, The Civil Wars. 
  7. Rabbit In A Log, Chris Thile & Michael Daves. 
  8. Exile Vilify, The National. I wish they’d included this song on last year’s stellar High Violet LP. Instead, this is a tremendous stand alone single. If you’re not listening to The National, you should check them out.
  9. I Promise, Generationals. Breeziest pop tune of the year. 
  10. Perth, Bon Iver. Love those drums…
  11. My Way Back Home, Dawes. 
  12. Sleepless Nights, Eddie Vedder (with Glen Hansard). 
  13. Double Trouble, Jack & White. Second breeziest pop tune of the year.
  14. Alabama Pines, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
  15. Come Talk to Me, Bon Iver. This is how great this dude is: one of the best songs of the year didn’t even make the cut for his self-titled album (which, by the way, garnered my Album of the Year accolade).
  16. All Arise!, The Decemberists.
  17. Just One, Blind Pilot.
  18. Pumped Up Kicks, Foster the People. I guarantee you…I liked this song before you did.
  19. Beth / Rest, Bon Iver.
  20. Montezuma, Fleet Foxes.
  21. Sydney (I’ll Come Running), Brett Dennen.
  22. My Favorite, Gabe Dixon.
  23. Winter Song, The Head and the Heart.
  24. Home Is Not Places, The Apache Relay.
  25. Us Against the World, Coldplay.
  26. You’re Too Weird, Fruit Bats.
  27. Walk, Foo Fighters. A brawny rock record.
  28. This Is Why We Fight, The Decemberists. This could be your theme song, Iowa caucus!
  29. Open Mind, Wilco.
  30. Lorelai, Fleet Foxes.
  31. Walking Far From Home, Iron&Wine.
  32. Wonder Why, Vetiver. Amazon put out a free Sub Pop Sampler this summer and it contained several of these releases. If you’re on the lookout for great, free music, you should check out the Daily Deals at Amazon’s MP3 store. Always some good stuff to be found there.
  33. Jubilation Day, Steve Martin. Yes, that Steve Martin. And yes, this is good stuff.
  34. Dirty Rain, Ryan Adams.
  35. Midnight City, M83. I really, really love this song.
  36. Oh My Heart, R.E.M. The swan song for a rock original.
  37. We Are the Tide, Blind Pilot.
  38. Someone You’d Admire, Fleet Foxes.
  39. Minnesota, WI, Bon Iver. Resiliency as a universal human trait.
  40. Sounds Like Hallelujah, The Head and the Heart.
  41. Under Cover of Darkness, The Strokes.
  42. Pretty Things, Tony Lucca. Another Amazon freebie.
  43. Forget Me Not, The Civil Wars.
  44. Even the Rain, Gabe Dixon (with Allison Krauss).
  45. Codex, Radiohead. I was disappointed with the latest Radiohead album, but this was the best song in the batch, in my opinion.
  46. Heart Attack, Raphael Saadiq.
  47. Convict Lake, John Vanderslice.
  48. One Sunday Morning, Wilco.
  49. Daisy Mae, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
  50. Mission Bells, The Apache Relay.
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2 Responses to Best Songs of 2011

  1. Donna Mayes says:

    I think you’d like The Milk Carton Kids judging by your other picks. Both their albums can be downloaded for free on their website.

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