Friday, January 13, 2012

LeapBackBlog 2011 Music Awards – Part 3: Ten More Essential Songs (Deep Cuts)

Music in 2011 saw the further domination of hip hop and indie rock as the principal forms of ‘good’ music. Forms of electronic music have also taken up a much more mainstream appeal in recent years, and there is certainly evidence of this in what was great in music in 2011. Here are ten more of my favorite songs not of my Ten Essential Albums.

Artist: Cults Song: Go Outside Producer: Cults Featuring: N/A Album: Cults Why It Made the List: The New York duo deliver a fun little indie pop song with Go Outside, and it has an interesting aesthetic to it. Available: Here

Artist: The Horrors Song: Still Life Producer: The Horrors and Craig Silvey Featuring: N/A Album: Skying Why It Made the List: England’s post-punk group The Horrors bring back a great 1980s nostalgic sound with Still Life. Available: Here

Artist: Joell Ortiz Song: Battle Cry Producer: Just Blaze and The Audible Doctor Featuring: Just Blaze Album: Free Agent Why It Made the List: On Battle Cry Joell Ortiz makes a claim for the throne of hip hop, and on this Just Blaze track he makes a strong argument.  Available: Here

Artist: Meek Mill Song: Tupac Back Producer: Mike Will Featuring: Rick Ross Album: Self Made, Vol. 1 Why It Made the List: Off the MMG compilation, Tupac Back is my favorite street banger of the year. Mike Will’s beat is just too good and Rick Ross’s hook is perfect. Available: Here

Artist: Pharoahe Monch Song: Let My People Go Producer: Fatin “10” Horton Featuring: N/A Album: W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) Why It Made the List: Phoroahe Monch has one of the best flows in hip hop. WAR is a great album, and Let My People Go is my favorite track off it. Available: Here

Artist: Random Axe Song: Random Call Producer: Black Milk Featuring: N/A Album: Random Axe Why It Made the List: Black Milk, Sean Price and Guilty Simpson make for a hip hop super group. Their debut album together has lots of very good moments, but Random Call just stands out. Available: Here

Artist: Tech N9ne Song: He’s a Mental Giant Producer: Seven Featuring: N/A Album: All 6’s and 7’s Why It Made the List: It is hard not love He’s a Mental Giant and respect Tech N9ne’s flow. It is the best of what he can deliver. Available: Here

Artist: Tinie Tempah Song: Wonderman Producer: Labrinth Featuring: Ellie Goulding Album: Disc-Overy Why It Made the List: While there are a number of catchy tracks on Disc-Overy, Wonderman stands out for me because of Ellie Goulding’s fantastic hook. Available: Here

Artist: Washed Out Song: Amor Fati Producer: Ben H. Allen and Ernest Greene Featuring: N/A Album: Within and Without Why It Made the List: Another entry from the chilwave genre, Ernest Greene’s Amor Fati captures both a 1980’s nostalgic sound (reminds me sort of Duran Duran) and an atmospheric sadness. As a fan of the 1980’s new wave sound, this song instantly attracted me. Available: Here

Artist: XV Song: Textbook Stuff Producer: Seven Featuring: Kendrick Lamar Album: Zero Heroes Why It Made the List: Zero Heroes has many great tracks, but Textbook Stuff has a musical and lyrical connection that just appealed to me a little more, plus it has a great verse from Kendrick Lamar. I am looking forward to XV’s first commercial release, hopefully dropping 2012. Available: Free Online Here

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