The Best of the Best Music of 2011

by Blanca Mendez

This year in music was the year of “Super Bass,” The Voice, and Watch the Throne, about everyone getting worked up over Odd Future and Lana del Rey and kind of getting over Lady Gaga. Also, Foster the People. They were everywhere. Can you believe I have successfully avoided “Pumped Up Kicks” for this long? And this year, like every year, I tried to listen to All the Music, but ended up mostly listening to All the Pop Music. Here are some memorable moments.

Best Song I Heard All Year

Azealia Banks, “212”

Is it weird to say that I love the close-ups of her mouth? Because I love the close-ups of her mouth.

Best Song I Just Heard Yesterday

It’s a tie!

Nite Jewel, “One Second of Love”

Nite Jewel is sounding kinda disco diva on this, and I like it.


Disclosure, “Tenderly”

Even with the jittery vocals-synth-percussion layers, this song is so smooooth.

Best Strut Song

Dominique Young Unique, “Hype Girl”

Walking to the bus stop in the morning on my way to work, I’m all hyped to make that paper.

Best Sound Effect Lyric in a Song


Best/Sickest Dance Jam

Al Azif feat. Gnucci Banana and Crossfire, “Sick in Head”

I’m getting outta control!!

Best Pitbull Appearance

Shakira feat. Pitbull, “Rabiosa”

This is also the only Pitbull appearance I’m not mad about.

Best Skins Fanfic Based on Actual Events

Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris, “We Found Love”


Best Song I Have Not Stopped Listening To Since I First Heard It

Grimes, “Vanessa”

I first heard this at a SXSW party, and I think it legit put me in a trance that I will never snap out of.

Best Time I Thought Shania Twain Was Back

Lady Gaga, “You and I”

You’re still the one I want for life, Shania!

Best Weird Music

Shabazz Palaces, Black Up

It’s like being in a wide open space in the dark and hearing noises but not knowing where they’re coming from, and instead of being scared you’re really relaxed.

Best Use of the Word “Hairpin”

Miranda Lambert, “Hurts to Think”

This is the bonus track on her latest album. There should be a bonus bonus track just about that hairpin.

Best Use of Xylophone

The Suzan, “Home”

This song always gives me a sugar high.

Best Piece of Pop Perfection

Icona Pop, “Manners”

I plan to sing this to anyone who ever tries to break up with me.

Best Song That Makes Me Think of Aslan

First Aid Kit, “The Lion’s Roar”

They totally filmed this in Narnia.

Best Album That Made Me Get Over My (Mostly) Unfounded Hatred Toward a Teenager

Selena Gomez & The Scene, When The Sun Goes Down

There is only one bad song on this album, which is more than I can say for most albums.

Best Album That Makes Me Wish I Owned A Gun

Pistol Annies, Hell on Heels

It also makes me feel like a bad Texan for not already owning at least two.

Best Album to Fall Asleep To

Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Because it’s boring. But also pretty, I guess.

Best Dream Come True Collabo

Rye Rye (feat. Robyn), “Never Will Be Mine”

I almost cried when I found out about this.

Best Spooky Sexy Collabo

CREEP (feat. Nina Sky), “You”

It’s like The Shining but kinda hot?

Best Song I Don’t Understand All The Words To

Wonder Girls, “Be My Baby”

I love how the dance move for “please be my baby” looks like cradling a baby.

Best “Super Bass” Cover

Sophia Grace Brownlee

Princess Sophia knows she’s fly.

Best Cover That’s Better Than The Original

JoJo, “Marvin’s Room”

JoJo murdered that track with just that one line.

Best Rhyming Skillz

Gloria Estefan, “Hotel Nacional”

She came up with three different rhymes for “hoochie coochie.”

Best Moombahton Remix of a Gloria Estefan Classic

DJ Javier Estrada, “Conga” Remix

This makes it a slightly less exhausting song to dance to.

Best Mixtape That Was Technically Released in 2010 But Whatevs

M.I.A., Vicki Leekx Mixtape

Because it’s about the Internet.

Best GIF From a Music Video

Blanca Méndez loves that song!