Sexy Rexy's 11 Best Singles of 2011

Let me start off by saying is that you are going to disagree with this list. I know you are going to disagree with this list. If you agree with everything on this list in the exact order, then the world will probably collapse on itself. Music is inherently subjective and no matter how hard we try to make it objective, it will never be.

So don't be an a-hole when commenting. If you're truly upset (which you probably will be) take a deep breath, calm down, do other activities, and THEN tell me what an idiot my selections are.

Also, some lists say that in order to be on their list, that the song has to be released that year. Not so with me. My qualification for the year is this- when Vh1 inherently does a special on I Love "insert year here", which year will they choose for the song. A lot of times a song will get released late in one year, but it really won't start having an affect on people and society until the following year (which is true for some of my selections). Music is not like movies where it can be released in a year (even late in the year) and still have an effect on that year.

11) "Shake Me Down" by Cage The Elephant

I'm very cynical of rock music nowadays (or what little rock music there is in the past decade or so) so it's refreshing for me to hear good 'ol fashioned 90's style rock music rear its head through the pop-dribble played at bars are clubs. Cage The Elephant is one of my favorite bands right now and "Shake Me Down" just feeds my love of them.

Admittedly, part of the reason I like Cage The Elephant so much is that they remind me of my favorite band- Nirvana. In fact, "Shake Me Down" sounds like a track off of In Utero. The song is reminiscent of youthful revolt and the song specifically has the soft/loud balance that Nirvana helped pioneer.

Cage The Elephant doesn't need keyboards or electronica which dominates rock music today. All they need is a strong rift and lyrics that make high schoolers wanna rock out after a long day at school

10) "Walk" by The Foo Fighters

DME texted me one day and said, "Doesn't the opening riff of Foo Fighter's "Walk" sound exactly like the opening to "She's So High" [by Tal Bachman]?" I couldn't agree more. In fact, that was my first reaction too when I first heard the song.

While the opening might not be original, everything else about "Walk" is pure and classic Foo Fighters. To me, Foo Fighters is pure rock through and through. Most rock is influenced by something or another. The White Stripes is influences by the blues. Red Hot Chili Peppers is influenced by funk. Most indie bands this decade is influenced by the 80's or synth in some way or another. Not the Foo Fighter. FF is just power chords and Dave Grohl letting loose.

The music video is also classic Foo Fighters. Inspired by the 1993 Michael Douglas movie "Falling Down", Foo Fighter's "Walk" brings back the great music videos they had like "Learn To Fly" when the band gets to dress up and play different characters.

9) "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry

I know this is a country song (although I actually did NOT know that the band was country until I looked them up on Wikipedia) but sometimes country/pop crossovers (like "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum last year) are just so beautiful and so touching that they earn on a spot on this list.

The song is sung so beautifully and with so much emotion with the classic slow drum beat and a non-powerful string section that gives the lyrics the emotional balance it needs.

What can I say, sometimes I'm a sucker.

8) "E.T." by Katy Perry f/ Kanye West

Katy Perry had a huge year with E.T. and her album Teenage Dream. E.T. was the most downloaded song of the year, second highest single sold, and it was one of five singles off of Teenage Dream that hit #1. The last artist to have five #1 singles off of one album?: Michael Jackson and "Bad".

Kanye is actually a fantastic lyricists (see: Graduation) but his lyrical talent has waned over the years (see: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). I think he comes back strong in his two verses in "E.T." He has fun with the song and thinks up as many sexual references involving space as he can. Obviously the lyrics aren't as heartfelt and emotional as his earlier work but that doesn't mean his verses in "E.T." aren't just as creative.

But what I love most about the song is the thumping beat. The double bass drum thumps twice in the beginning to set the tone and tempo and never lets up throughout the entire song. Katy Perry does a great job not overpowering the song. She keeps a low, constant tone and range to match the catchy beat.

And here's a bonus version of the song for you by Sing Off Champion's Pentatonix

7) "Howlin' For You" by The Black Keys

If there was ever any doubt in your mind how influential The White Stripes were, The Black Keys are it. They're just a blues influenced drummer and guitarist making sweet, sweet music. Except in the Black Keys case, the drummer is the one who is the more talented one.

"Howlin' For You" is just what the Black Keys are. They're one drum beat and one guitar riff that plays throughout the entire song. And you wouldn't want anything more.

6) "Pumped Up Kicks" By Foster The People

It took me a long time to realize the awesomeness of this song, but I've finally come to my senses. Music has always been led by the youth. From "Let's Spend The Night Together" by The Rolling Stones to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana and "Pumped Up Kick" falls in the same vein. While I am certainly not saying "Pumped Up Kicks" is as good of a song as either of those songs, it's a song about a troubled teen. Kind of like how you were bobbing your head to "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind without knowing what the actual lyrics are (it's about doing meth and having unprotected sex) I bet you did the same with "Pumped Up Kicks".

The song is about a troubled kid who finds his dad's gun and starts shooting people. Don't believe me? Well, here's the chorus: All the other kids/ with the pumped up kicks/ you better run better run/ out run my gun/ All the other kids/ with the pumped up kicks/ you better run better run/ faster than my bullet.


But these are the types of rock songs that I can respect. Not ones that advocate shooting others but ones can that try to speak for the youth.

Some other fun facts for you that I saw while watching this video on "Pop Up Video" on Vh1. The lead singer's name is Mark Foster and the original band name was Foster And The People but apparently that name got too long to say so since everyone else was calling them "Foster The People", they decided to call themselves that. Also, Mark Foster actually was offered to sign with Dr. Dre and his record label a few years back but he declined because he didn't want to be the token soul white on the record label.

5) "Blood Pressue" by MuteMath

Sometimes, I just like The Raconteurs more than The White Stripes. As much as I love the simplicity of the one drum and one guitar, I like the full sound of the band. Well, MuteMath's "Blood Pressure" is like The Raconteurs to The Black Keys' White Stripes.

This is a song that I heard once while randomly watching Vh1 at the gym and I love it. I can't really find it anywhere and I'm sure it's a song you've never heard of, but give it a chance. It's got the heavy blues style mixed in with hard rock, moving drums, and a guitar riff which seems to be lost from music and rock and roll nowadays.

Plus, come on, how cool is that music video huh? Kind of gives you a headache but I love it.

4) "F**k You" by Cee Lo Green

I know this song was released last year (in October in fact), it was used in Glee in November of last year, and even made my top 15 last year. However, even though my post came out in January the song was still really young and we didn't quite know it's influence. This song was still played on the radio late in the summer of 2011 and I swear I heard it on "new" stations at the beginning of my fall semester. This song was played forever and played well more into 2011 than 2010 which is why I believe this song earns a spot on my list.

Fun Fact: Gnarls Barkley (a band that consists of Cee Le Green and DJ Danger Mouse) actually pulled their amazing song "Crazy" from radios because they did not want it to be overplayed. I guess that was all Danger Mouse's idea.

NOTE: This video is NSFW because of language

Here's a bonus for you. It's a hilarious Saturday Night Live sketch when Gwyneth Paltrow hosted and Cee Lo was the musical guest:

3) "The Show Goes On" by Lupe Fiasco

The best rapper and lyricist around title right now belongs to Lupe. Lupe doesn't just have skills, but he uses what he has in a powerful way. Lupe mocks the commercialization of the rap world in his 2010 song, "Dumb It Down" and "The Show Goes On" is a perfect representation of everything Lupe stands for and some of the very best of what rap music is.

Sampled from the great Modest Mouse song "Float On", the lyrics from "The Show Goes On" tells an anthem of how to pick yourself up and look at the positive sides of life. Lupe will help you along the way. I would give up everything/ even start a world war/ For these ghetto boys and girls/ I'm rappin' 'round the world for


2) "Rolling In The Deep" by Adele

Another example of a song technically released in 2010, but be honest. You had no idea this song was released in 2010 because the first time you heard it was in 2011.

Was there ever any doubt that you would see an Adele sighting on this list? For anyone that knows me knows how much I love Adele. Adele had an amazing year and "Rolling In The Deep" helped propel her to that. Her album "21" was the best selling album of the year and "Rolling In The Deep" was the best selling single of 2011.

Fun Fact 1: Did you know why her album is called 21 and her first album, 19, that had "Chasing Pavements" on it was called those? Because that's how old Adele was when she recorded those albums. If I only I could be that amazing and that talented when I was that young.

Fun Fact 2: Adele technically sings incorrectly. She sings from her vocal chords as opposed from her diaphragm which is why she had throat problems this year and had to cancel some tour dates. I wish her all the best because she's such an amazing talent.

When I first heard this song on the radio I thought it was Amy Winehouse. All I heard was this beautiful soulful voice. I just assumed it was Winehouse because who else could it have been? I found out days later it was actually Adele. Who know that girl who sang that one song "Chasing Pavements" a few years back and won all those Best New Artist awards would actually make more music and make it better than ever?

1) "Someone Like You" by Adele

I'm not like Vh1 that create lists that only have one song by one artist. If you create the two best songs of the year like Adele did, you're going to get recognized for each individual act.

"Someone Like You" is just a beautiful song. That's all there is to say. The song literally leaves me speechless. It's songs like this that help reaffirm my love of music in today's day and age.

I will say this though about Adele and right now it's the only negative thing I can say about her. As Jay Caspian King said about Adele in his Grantland article, she needs to stop singing about boys and heartbreak if she wants to reach the next level of diva stardom. Now "Rolling In The Deep" and "Someone Like You" have put Adele in a stratosphere all her own and what she's doing should damn well be respected, but she has the potential and upside to be even better.

We'll see what the future has in store for Adele and I wish her nothing but the best because I am a huge fan of her. I hope she and her music do evolve and I am anxiously awaiting to see what she does next.

12) "The Cave" by Mumford and Sons
13) "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars
14) "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 f/ Christina Aguilera
15) "You Are A Tourist" by Death Cab For Cutie


- "Just Can't Get Enough" by The Black Eyed Peas
As Robert California said on The Office "The Black Eyed Peas are rock for people who don't like rock, rap for people who don't like rap, and pop for people who don't like pop". Holy shit are the Black Eyed Peas the biggest reason why music today blows.

- Anything by Lady Gaga
I think people are finally getting off the Lady Gaga bandwagon once "Judas" hit and "You and I" is just a terrible, terrible song. Even by today's pop standards

- Busta Rhymes verse on Chris Brown's song "Look At Me Now"
I've never heard so little words being said in so little amount of time and have them not say anything at all

- "Gucci Gucci" by Kreayshawn
Clearly you have not heard this song to realize why it's terrible

BONUS: "Michael Jackson" by Das Racist

This song is not a good song. Their performance of this song on Conan was one the worst performances I have ever seen. I would rather watch and listen to Miley Cyrus perform a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit than watch Das Racist perform on Conan. But after listening to the song normal and straight through, it's stuck in my head.

Das Racist performs "Michael Jackson" on Conan

Official Music Video of "Michael Jackson"