In time-honoured tradition December is the month that a ‘best singles of the year’ post must be made and ours will go online in due course. As popfools has only existed since 2013, we thought we’d bring you some archive footage in the meantime to share with you our favourite singles from previous years.
2011 Top Songs
Originally posted 23rd December 2011. Edited for publication December 2013.
35. Will Young – Silent Valentine
A cute song. We saw it live too. It was amazing, needless to say.
34. Patrick Wolf – Time of My Life
33. Nicola Roberts – Gladiator
Deserving of a spot in any end-of-year list sheerly for the ‘Pardon – did she just say THAT?’ reaction caused by the lyric ‘I’ve got some KY, time to open open open wide’, this song is our favourite non-single from Nicola’s album.
32. The Sound of Arrows – Longest Ever Dream
Part of a trilogy of songs, this song is wonderful.
31. Patrick Wolf – Bermondsey Street
30. Will Young – Lie Next To Me
Our favourite non-single from his album hands down. This song is so sublime. It’s just lovely.
29. Nicola Roberts – Yo-yo
This song sums up everything that is great about Nicola.
28. Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory
Generally speaking we’re not massive Gaga fans and we can live with that. There’s no denying that this song is really good though. It’s our favourite of the singles – Judas is also a little bit fun in a singalongy way – but this is clearly Gaga’s best of 2011 and anyone who doesn’t agree is wrong.
27. Rihanna featuring Britney Spears – S&M (The Britney Remix)
Make no mistake about it: the ordinary mix of this song is good. ‘Good’ is not enough to make the year’s top 35 songs. The Britney remix of this song elevates the ‘good’ classification to ‘all kinds of amazing’. Brit’s vocals may be a bit ropey in places in a ‘quick-let’s-rush-this-out-so-Rihanna-gets-another-Number-1’ kind of way, but at the end of the day it doesn’t seem to matter. The combination of Riri and Brit turns out to be a slightly odd one but one that works wonders nonetheless.
26. Britney Spears – Trip To Your Heart
‘Trip To Your Heart’ is Britney’s first solo entry in the top 35 and it is divine. It is ‘Heaven On Earth’ Part II, it is amazing and lovely and gorgeous, and all the things we want Britney to be in 2011. If every Britney song sounded like this we wouldn’t be too upset about it. We’d be very happy in fact.
25. Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
This song is clearly no ‘We Found Love’. Next to said song it sounds inferior. However it is still, in fact, very good. Perhaps it would be better with a Rihanna vocal on top. It still wouldn’t be a ‘We Found Love’ though, that’s for sure.
24. Example & Skream – Shot Yourself In The Foot Again
More dubstep and more wobbles than anything else on this list and probably in the charts as a whole. This is how to do dubstep right.
23. The Wanted – Glad You Came
The Wanted were glad you came… no sniggering at the back there, thank you very much. We love how this song was clearly banged out in a ‘We know it’s a bit shit and cheesy but it sounds slightly Eurotrashy so might do well in the States and in Eastern European countries’ kind of way way. The video is just so bad it’s bad, as is the song… Very much a guilty pleasure.
22. Cher Lloyd – Want U Back
This song is due to be released as a single next year, probably with some absurd guest rapper, but for us it’s just fine as the album version. The song is Cher at her best, or technically her third best, as shall be revealed below…
21. Cher Lloyd – Swagger Jagger
This song was radio friendly in a ‘Let’s cram everything in the current top 40 into one song and see if it works’ kind of way. A song that we initially hated, and then danced to whilst drunk several times, and then decided was AMAZING and loved it. We accept, however, that ‘Swagger Jagger’ isn’t for everyone. Having said that it’s video is fantastic. It made number one. AMAZING. Cher just may be the saviour of UK pop.
20. Cher Lloyd featuring Mike Posner – With Ur Love
This song is so radio friendly it almost offends us in its willingness to please but at the end of the day we keep coming back for more like a fat person who just can’t say no to Mars bars (or cake.)
19. Will Young – Jealousy
In ‘most unexpected but pleasantly surprising’ news of the pop year Will made a massive comeback with this song. We say ‘massive’ because his UK radio airplay was all but over before ‘Jealousy’, a song which seems to have restored radio’s faith in Will. He decided to go electronic with new best mate and legendary producer Richard X, thus risking alienating a good proportion of those who buy his records, namely the mothers and the grannies. However the risk paid off and this song in particular is immense. We would have liked a much stronger video though.
18. Snoop Dogg featuring David Guetta – Wet
This song is an awesome one to wake yourself up to, preferably by blasting it loudly, and then manically dancing around your room.
17. Kele featuring Lucy Taylor – What Did I Do?
Lucy Taylor may be an unknown vocalist, however Kele’s foray into dubstep was successful, because we really really like this song. Kele sure knows how to make captivating music. Check out ‘The Hunter EP’ for a variety of different sounds, not just dubstep, from Kele.
16. The Saturdays – All Fired Up
‘We make the party / Super naughty’ sing the ‘The Saturdays’ girls, and we don’t have any doubt that with this song blaring in gay clubs across the land, the boys are indeed acting super naughty. This marked a welcome return to the sharp end of the UK Top 40 for popfoolish producers Xenomania, who have sadly been rather quiet since Girls Aloud went on hiatus. Hopefully Xenomania have plans for songs like this, but better, for the Aloud’s rumoured return in 2012. We can dream…
15. Example – Changed The Way You Kissed Me
From the fact that Example got the name of this song from a line of dialogue in legendary UK soap opera Hollyoaks, to the fact that there is absolutely nothing subtle about it, we like this song. Example comes across like a bit of a twat on Twitter, and we loathe how seriously he seems to take himself in the music video, but the actual song is ‘very good indeed’ and you can’t argue with that.
14. Chris Brown – Yeah 3X
Midway through 2011 we had an argument over whether this song or ‘Beautiful People’ was better. There was a period of a good three or so months when we were hammering this song and absolutely adoring it. And of course it’s a great song to hear whilst on the dancefloor.
13. Britney Spears – How I Roll
This song is amazing and if it Brit’s favourite, as hinted at on tour, then it must be good because Godney seems to have impeccable taste in (her own) music. Brought to us by producers Bloodshy & Avant a lot of Britney fans are divided between loving and hating this record. We genuinely can’t see why anyone wouldn’t love this song, with it’s extremely enjoyable ‘If you know what it takes to be my man / we can go make love together / you can be my (thug/fuck) tonight, we can tear it up tonight’ refrain and the fascinatingly odd combination of sounds.
12. Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me
Whilst the concept behind this song may have been God-awful, particularly the piss poor play on words, and whilst the video was a letdown of the greatest order, the song is still ‘good.’ However the ‘Britstep’, as Popjustice termed the song’s dubstep breakdown, is too amazing to be able to comprehend the amazingness of it. We wish it was extended for about 2 whole minutes as that’s how much we love the Britstep breakdown. And that is how to improve an average song.
11. The Saturdays – Notorious
The Sats have had another disastrous year haven’t they? They have survived such adversities as Una falling pregnant and hence requiring baby leave, and Frankie going conspicuously missing for half the year, which does show strength in (lack of) numbers. They now are the UK’s biggest girlband, thanks to ongoing Sugadrama, and with the Aloud still on hiatus. Yet their album and singles just haven’t performed as the band would have hoped and they’re still chasing that elusive number one. Nonetheless ‘Notorious’ is a great single.
10. Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi – Beautiful People
The beauty is inside you…
This record could have worked without Chris Brown present for it’s easy to imagine a number of different guest vocalists releasing the song. Yet Brown fronted it, and whilst we don’t condone his beating of Rihanna and think he is generally a pretty disgusting human being, Rihanna seems to have somewhat forgiven him. Therefore, judging purely on the merits of the song, this is top notch. Really top-notch. Very European. We like it. Even if it does have copious amounts of auto-tune on it.
9. Nicola Roberts – Lucky Day
Say that you love me / say that you need me / best you’ve ever had
Ginger Spice, sorry, we mean Ginger Aloud, struck out by herself this year and didn’t let ‘the gays’ down with her material. This song had it all: cheap-looking video with Nicola pulling an array of amazing facial expressions, Nicola singing ‘MWAH MWAH MWAH’, and generally making noises like ‘OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!’ all over the record. It is awesome how individual, quirky and ‘Nicola’ it sounds, yet how catchy it is despite, or maybe because of, that.
8. Patrick Wolf – The City
I take you in my arms / wish you the top, top, top top of the morning
This song is incredible. The video was a tad disappointing as, given the title of the song, we assumed it would be city-based but no, it was filmed on an empty-looking beach in an open goal moment. Never mind though because the song is still wonderful as is the whole ‘Lupercalia’ album. We highly recommend it.
7. Britney Spears – Till The World Ends
I notice that you got it / You notice that I want it
Euphoric is the only word for this song. Whilst some point out to Ke$ha’s vocals on the remix and suggest the song might sound better sung by her, no one can deny that this song marked Godney’s proper return to pure popfoolishness. The performance of this song was pretty captivating even on tour where she was generally quite shit. We find it physically impossible to listen to this song without stopping whatever we are doing and having a dance. The video for this song was epic after the disaster of the ‘Hold It Against Me’ video. Even the invasion of Nicki Minaj on the remix couldn’t ruin this song. And that’s not a thing you can say about most songs.
6. Labrinth featuring Tinie Tempah – Earthquake
Labrinth, come in
‘Labrinth, come in’ has to be the pop world’s catchphrase of the latter half of 2011, offering many a moment of hilarity, whether intentional or not. This may have been latching onto the dubstep wagon a little, but how can you fail to like this song?
5. Rihanna & Calvin Harris – We Found Love
We found love in a hopeless place…
This song is stunning. As Billboard pointed out, it was written especially for Rihanna’s ‘weedy’ voice and that is why it works so well, it goes with her strengths and abilities as a vocalist, rather than against. And it’s just immense.
4. Rizzle Kicks – When I Was A Youngster
Than I lost the desire man, The second I got old enough, To buy myself a cider can
This song is just so cheering. It’s hard to listen to this song and remain grumpy. That’s why we love it so much.
3. The Sound of Arrows – Magic
Seize a chance, follow a dream / be yourself don’t plan and scheme
This is possibly a controversial choice for inclusion on the 2011 list, for ‘Magic’ was first released in one way or another back in 2009, but has been reswizzled and (re)released ‘properly’ in 2011 on Geffen. This song reminds us to enjoy our time on the planet, for it is a world full of ‘Magic’. The video for the 2011 release was cute, and we are expecting even greater things from this duo now.
2. The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness
Don’t go that way / I’ll wait for you
We wanted a proper comeback from The Strokes and it was a PROPER COMEBACK that we got with an incredible lead single. This song has got it all. Literally everything you could ever want from a ‘The Strokes’ song, and then just a little more thrown in for good measure. Amazing.
1. Nicole Scherzinger – Try With Me
So don’t say, you leave your keys on the counter
This song goes from epic piano ballad to Eurotrance midtempo in about the time it takes an average family car to get from 0 – 60. The way it gently, gracefully and prettily starts off as a ‘boo-hoo poor old Nicole’ song, before then changing gears and turning into a Eurotrance ‘sad at the disco’ party is just magnificent. We love singing along to it. We love Nicole. It’s pure bliss. The (UK) X-Factor performance was sensational too. The song was released soon after Nicole had split up with Lewis. Some Mexican bandits held Nicole at gunpoint during the shooting of the video, which is also incredible, and was shot in a beautiful place. It is the best song of 2011. Why this song flopped on the charts we will never ever comprehend.