Monday, December 26, 2011

The BEST + WORST of 2011

Music of 2011

10 // Zola Jesus Conatus
A little lighter than her last album, but still trademark sythy Zola.
Best track: Hikikomori

09 // Kimbra Vows
A great debut from an underrated artist. You'll be surprised at how easily she can go from popstar to soul singer.
Best track: Good Intent

08 // Gotye Making Mirrors
I can't believe it's taken me all these years to finally discover him. I love the cinematic feel of the production on the album.
Best track: Somebody That I Used To Know

07 // Nero Welcome Reality
It's a shame David Guetta and Calvin Harris get more radioplay than these guys, i really enjoyed this album, best dance record of the year for me.
Best track: Guilty

06 // Natalia Kills Perfectionist
What Natalie lacks in personality and charisma she makes up for with great production and melodies. For those who like their pop a little darker.
Best track: Wonderland

05 // Jay-Z & Kanye West Watch The Throne
There were big expectations for this collaboration, and not surprisingly, the guys delivered.
Best track: Murder To Excellence

04 // Katy B On A Mission
Haven't heard this sort of downtempo club sound since the first Sugababes album over a decade ago. Great debut.
Best track: Witches Brew

03 // Florence + The Machine Ceremonials
Florence doesn't tread any new ground with this album, but it does expand nicely on her previous record. It's bigger and better than her debut.
Best track: Leave My Body

02 // Lady Gaga Born This Way
Gaga explores some new sounds while still staying close to her trademark style. My favourite "popstar" album of the year.
Best track: Heavy Metal Lover

01 // Adele 21
There isn't one song on this album i can fault, it's perfect from start to finish. The only problem with 21 is she may never top it because she set the bar so high.
Best track: Someone Like You

Honorable Mentions:
Electric Lady Lab Flash!
Bjork Biophilia
iiO Exit 101
Beyonce 4

Avril Lavigne Goodbye Lullaby
Avril Lavigne has become a bit of a by the numbers type of act nowdays. She follows the same formula with each record, going between annoying upbeat first single and dull and uninspired second and 3rd singles following. She's gone as far as she can creatively, at this point, no one cares anymore, and one has to wonder how long she can keep dressing like a 15 year old emo as she edges close to turning 30 and selling her tweeny tinged product.
Songs of 2011

20 // David Guetta & Sia Titanium
Epic chorus, Sia's vocals are beautiful on this.

19 // Kelly Rowland Work It Man
I prefer Kelly doing r&b over dance.

18 // Taryn Manning Turn It Up
One half of Boomkat, Taryn is going solo!.

17 // Bjork Crystalline
Love the dupstep outro and melody on this.

16 // Wynter Gordon Till Death
Best dance track by a girl this year [yes, even better than than God awful 'We Found Love'].

15 // Zola Jesus Vessel

Love me some Zola Jesus!

14 // The Rapture How Deep Is Your Love

Caught onto this one a bit late, but better late than never i suppose.

13 // Electric Lady Lab Follow You
Could have used a couple of there songs on here, but i went for this one, underrated duo.

12 // Adele Someone Like You
Overplayed, but still such a great song.

11 // Calvin Harris Feels So Close

I'm not usually into his stuff, but this was a great track.

10 // Florence + The Machine Shake It Out
An epic song to compliment an equally epic album.

09 // J. Cole Work Out
His album disappointed me, this track was oddly missing from it, but i loved it anyway.

08 // Example Changed The Way You Kissed Me
Love the alternative style vocals mixed with the hard dance production.

07 // Katy B Witches Brew
Catchiest chorus of the year?

06 // Ms Dynamite Neva Soft

The UK is really delivering with underground acts this year. Love this song.

05 // Kimbra Good Intent
I fell in love with it the moment i heard it. Also became my favourite music video of the year.

04 // Beyonce Run The World [Girls]

I know pretty much everyone hated this, but i loved it.

03 // Natalia Kills Wonderland
It's an old track, but her debut album came out this year and this was on it.

02 // Gotye & Kimbra Somebody That I Used To Know
For a while it was my #1 song of the year. Amazing song and i love Kimbra's part. 

01 // Lana Del Rey Video Games
She came out of nowhere this year, and Video Games became a sleeper hit on iTunes all over the world. The production on the song is beautiful and her voice is very haunting. 2012 will be a big year for her.


Cher Lloyd // Swagger Jagger
It's hard to believe this song was actually a serious release. It sounds like a cheap Black Eyed Peas attempt with a video that's one of the most cringe worthy things i've ever seen. Worst song of the year.

Bruno Mars // The Lazy Song
Bruno is a talented guy with a great voice, but i can't stand his music. It's annoying "songs for my cute sweet girlfriend" crap that bores me to tears. 'The Lazy Song' however the worst of the worst when it comes to his single releases. The annoying video that goes along with it makes it even more unbearable.

Jason Derulo // Don't Wanna Go Home
You may not want to go home, Jason, but i want you to. Awful use of a cringe sample.
Movies of 2011
 10 // Toast
This will no doubt fly by a lot of peoples radars, which is a shame because it's a great little feel good drama. Helena Bonham Carter always adds a little something "extra" to films she's in, i loved her in this.

09 // We Need To Talk About Kevin
Kevin is one fucked up kid, and this movie will no doubt leave feeling ill afterwards. Tilda Swinton was amazing in this, probably one of the best performances of the year.

08 // Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2
A fitting, if slightly short end to a mostly entertaining series. What really sells this finale is the emotional aspect of the story, which much like the book, is quite powerful.

07 // The Woman
Definitely not a film for everyone, but if you can handle the graphic nature of the story, you're in for an intense and dark movie experience.

06 // Rise of the Planet of the Apes
I love that Andy Serkis is causing an uproar in the film industry by bringing up the debate over whether motion cpature is a legitmate form of acting. His work in The Lord of the Rings and King Kong was fantastic, but he really hit his peak this year with 'Apes', he brought a lot of genuine heart to his character, Ceasar. A surprisingly moving film. 

05 // X-Men: First Class
I've loved all the X-men films, but the franchise did need a bit of an adrenaline shot after ther rushed 'X-Men: The Last Stand'. 'First Class' gave the franchise the life it needed. We haven't had a X-Men film this strong since the brilliant X-Men 2 almost a decade ago. 

04 // Black Swan
I know this came out in the U.S. in late 2010, but the rest of the world got it early 2011. It's a dark mind bending experience into madness with Natalie Portman giving the performance of her career. You literally watch a girl lose her mind for 2 hours, you almost feel tired by the end of it all.

03 // 50/50
The mixture of serious drama and comedy was done so perfectly, you'll find yourself laughing and crying at the same time. Joseph Gordon Levitt proves he's still one of the best young actors in Hollywood, Seth Rogen is hilarious, Anna Jendrick is as charming as always, and Angelica Huston was fantastic but sadly underused. I had this film stuck in my head for days afterwards, i loved it.

02 // Jane Eyre
I'm unfamiliar with the book and the previous film adaptations, so i'm not sure how this stands up against them. As a stand alone film though, i thought it was beautifully shot and the chemistry on screen between Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender felt very natural and genuine. It was very romantic, i even cried like a baby in the end *turns red*.

01 // Bridesmaids
It's not common for me to pick a comedy as my #1 film of the year, but this is one of those rare moments. Not only was this my favourite movie of the year, but it's also one of the funniest movies i have ever seen in my life. I haven't laughed this hard non-stop over a movie in a long time. The film doesn't just bring the laughs though, it also addresses some relatable depressing moments in peoples lives, especially around the main character, played brillianty by Kristen Wiig.

Honorable Mentions:
The Help
Wasted On The Young
Martha Marcey May Marlene
Cowboys & Aliens
Is it just me, or has Steven Spielberg been attaching his name as a producer to some SHOCKING work over the last few years? First the last 2 Transformers movies, and now this mess? You'd think cowboys shooting lasers at aliens would send your imagination wild, but this ended up being a massive bore.

Sucker Punch
Visually it's fantastic, and the soundtrack is great too, the rest however is the biggest clusterfuck mess of ideas i've ever seen. Nothing flows, nothing makes sense, nothing feels like a complete film. The sexy, yet cardboard thin characters didn't help either.

Tree of Life
Congrats to anybody who can sit through this over blown, boring as hell, pretentious mess of a movie. Shots of buildings, people whispering endlessly, and footage from "the best of National Geographic" is all you'll get from this load of self indulgent garbage.

Green Lantern
There were some great comic book films this year, Green Lantern wasn't one of them. Who's idea was it to cast Ryan Rynold's as a serious superhero? the guy cannot do drama, he constantly look like he's trying not to laugh, he has that face in ALL his films. And don't even start me on the mess that was his costume.......glowing green eyes, pouty lip glossed lips, perfect hair, practically naked body suit, he looked like a gay Mardi Gras float character. Awful.

Music Videos of 2011

 05 // Robyn Call Your Girlfriend
It's nothing but one continuous shot of Robyn freestyle dancing. Simple, but strangely re-watchable thanks to Robyn's energy.
Directed by: Max Vitali

04 // Gotye & Kimbra Somebody That I Used To Know
It's art house to the max, but it's still great. Gotye really does need to clean his feet next time he chooses to film them though.
Directed by: Natasha Pincus

03 // Lady Gaga Marry The Night
Gaga channels David Lynch and Kubrick in this dream-like biographical story of her rise to fame. As a first time solo directing effort, Gaga shows a lot of promise with an interesting eye for detail.
Directed by: Lady Gaga

02 // Kimbra Good Intent
She makes great use of having a low budget with her music videos, this one features some fantastic choreography and a great 1950's noir style.
Directed by: Guy Franklin 

01 // Lana Del Rey Born To Die
The only way to match the rich production of the song was to create an equally grand music video. With dynamic colours and wide sweeping cinematic camera work, Lana and Woodkid have created a beautifully visual music video that captures Lana's haunting vocals perfectly.
Directed by: Woodkid


 Cher Lloyd Swagger Jagger
It's bad enough that the song is so horrendous, but Cher seems to have made an even worse music video, yes....i didn't think it was possible either. She acts and looks ridiculous, it feels like a parody from a comedy sketch show. Unfortunately for Cher, it's not. 

Kat DeLuna Drop It Low
You'll find it so unintentionally hilarious that you'll no doubt watch the whole thing. From the awful attempts at looking sexy, to the weird choice to wear helmets during bizarre crotch thrusting dance moves and a random piano dance breakdown that will have you laughing off your chair. It's like watching a train-wreck right before your eyes, but most of what Kat DeLuna does is like that, so i can't say i'm shocked.

People of 2011 

BEST Person of the Year: Adele
No one is more deserving of the success they've achieved this year than Adele. With so many artists in the pop world vying for the cameras and their need to be #1 and make history at every moment of their careers, Adele casually walked through her blindingly huge year as the biggest artist on the planet, and she did it all without a gimmick or a controversial story behind her.
Her reign hasn't even stopped, she no doubt has another huge year coming up in 2012 as her album continues to break records and the demand for her music keeps on thriving.
My only regret is that i never got a chance to see her live since she's been plagued with medical problems and has had such a lazy approach to her tour for most of the year. Touring doesn't seem like something that sits well with her, seeing one of her shows seems to be a lucky opportunity for those that manage to catch her on one of her good days. I'm sure i'll get another opportunity in the future with her next record [whenever that may be].

WORST Person of the Year: Kim Kardashian
Throw in the rest of her horrid media whoring family under this title as well. I'll never understand the weird obsession the world has with Z list celebrities who filter every corner of the media for doing absolutely nothing.
Kim has been the worst offender of that this year, from her horribly scripted and acted "reality" TV show, to her endless need to try her hand at every possible thing, whether it's doing television, releasing a song [God help us], or shoving her face onto any product she can to make a buck. We haven't seen pointless fame from anyone like this since Paris Hilton 5 years ago. This is a style of celebrity i thought had died out with the last decade. Sadly, it hasn't.

I'm the first to tell people to "look away" or "change the channel" when it comes to being bombarded with people they can't stand who are in the public eye. However, with someone like Kim, it's hard to get away from her. Every magazine cover, every news report, every tv channel has SOMETHING to say about her or her family. The family members have about 10 shows between them, they may as well call the E channel, the Kardashian channel considering how many times a day they appear on a different program.
And just when you thought Kim couldn't get anymore ridiculous, she showered the world with her self indulgent need to showcase her 10 million dollar wedding, which was then followed by a divorce only weeks later.
Thankfully, the public responded with mostly eye rolling, as people finally started to get sick of the fuckified lifestyle Kim kept opening herself up to so everyone could give her the attention she so desperately craved. Since then, she seems to have started her slow decline into irrelevancy, which imo can't come soon enough.


That's all. Till next year :)