It was a pretty eclectic year in music, and that’s reflected with the best songs of 2011. A little Adele, a bit of Kanye and some more than welcome Katy Perry. And what would a year be without a song to go Gaga over.

So here’s the ten best songs of 2011.

1. Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”
Undeniably powerful, soulful and sincere. Sometimes, with the right lyrics and right vocals, a song just hits home. Read the lyrics if you must, or to feel it’s true impact, simply sing at the top of your lungs, “we could have had it alllllllll!”

2. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
Song of the summer. Light and breezy, the perfect soundtrack to play at the beach while enjoying the cool ocean breeze. That is, of course, until you really listen to the Columbine-ish lyrics. No matter, just nod your head along to the beat in blissful ignorance, and you’ll be just fine.

Katy Perry and Kanye West perform on AMERICAN IDOL - Season 10 - Final 7 elimination night | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

Katy Perry and Kanye West perform on AMERICAN IDOL - Season 10 - Final 7 elimination night | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

3. Kanye West – “All Of The Lights”
Kanye went from one of hip-hop’s most original, inspiring rappers to one of the most reviled almost overnight. Thank his spotlight stealing interruption of Taylor Swift’s VMA speech for that one. His genius, however, can’t be denied. In truth, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in its entirety could be listed on here. With its ambitious video/movie to accompany the album, Kanye reaches for new levels of creativity. “All of the lights” captures Kanye’s anger, confusion, self loving and self loathing in a single brilliant snapshot.

4. LMFAO – “Party Rock anthem”
Okay, this is the other The Song of the summer. No secret double meanings. No hidden political agenda. Just endless summer fun. Everyday I’m shuffling.

5. Rihanna – “We Found Love”
A late entry to the year, but it just proves how good this song is. It’s both a joyous and mournful mix of hope and desperation. Rihanna’s vocals find a way to dig deep into your bones.

6. The Strokes – “Under Cover Of Darkness”
The first release off The Strokes comeback album Angles. It’s classic Strokes all the way: catchy guitars, insanely sing-able chorus, and a simple but oh so cool video to go along with it.

Chris Brown at the Los Angeles Premiere of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never | © 2011 Sue Schneider

Chris Brown at the Los Angeles Premiere of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never | © 2011 Sue Schneider

7. Katy Perry – Anything by Katy Perry
Has anyone had a bigger year than Katy Perry? Teenage Dream was released August of 2010 and has spawned five number 1 singles, with a sixth, “The One That Got Away” steadily creeping up the charts. She may be pop bubblegum, but darn it all if all if you don’t find yourself singing along to all of her songs while driving in your car.

8. Lupe Fiasco – “The Show Goes On”
Lupe Fiasco is one of the best hip-hop artists out there today. Like seemingly every rapper, he does a little boasting and bragging, but he also infuses some real lyrics into his songs, giving him more credibility than any bravado he puts forth. A great lyricist with a smooth flow and style, let’s hope Lupe decides to stick around for years to come.

9. Chris Brown – “Look at Me Now”
Not gonna lie, listening to Karmin cover this song is what really pushed it over the edge. Funny thing is, before Karmin crushed it with their version, everyone was talking about how Busta Rhymes absolutely killed it, outshining Lil Wayne and Chris Brown himself. Who would of though a little white girl from Boston would punk all three of them?

Lady Gaga - BORN THIS WAY | ©2011 Interscope Records

Lady Gaga - BORN THIS WAY | ©2011 Interscope Records

10. Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
Lady Gaga has become a master of making everything she does an event. From meat clothing to egg incubating, the Lady knows how to put on a show. This was the lead single off the album of the same name, and while it got bashed by some critics while adored by others, it did one thing perfectly: kept Gaga at the tip of your tongue.


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Article: The Ten Best Songs of 2011

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