Two weeks ago, I presented my Top 25 Albums of 2011. Now…it’s time for the Top 50 Singles of 2011!

If the album list was tough, this was one step short of impossible, Shontelle style. Between rock-solid offerings from my favorite pop princesses, to stunning debut tracks from some of MuuMuse’s Most Anticipated artists, to throbbing dance floor bangers from DJs and producers worldwide–there was simply too much to love in 2011!

As a result, the list took a while. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. I haven’t bathed. I’m literally a disgusting music-minded mess right now.

BUT NOW IT IS COMPLETE!

This is a list of 50 of my favorite offerings of the year (plus one honorable mention which was never actually released as a single.) Since I am giving like the Baby Jesus, I’ve created a full playlist of all my Top 50 tracks on Spotify. You are welcome in advance.

So without further ado, check out the full list below. Remember: If you have a problem with the final ranking, please…don’t hold it against me!


LISTEN TO THE TOP 50 SINGLES OF 2011 ON SPOTIFY!

50.) Cady Groves – This Little Girl
49.) Keri Hilson – Lose Control/Let Me Down
48.) Dev – In The Dark
47.) Simon Curtis – Flesh
46.) The Wanted – Glad You Came

45.) Kelly Rowland – Motivation (feat. Lil Wayne)
44.) Girls’ Generation – The Boys
43.) Beyonce – 1+1
42.) Darren Hayes – Bloodstained Heart
41.) Emeli Sande – Heaven

40.) Sunday Girl – Love U More
39.) Penguin Prison – Don’t Fuck With My Money
38.) Swedish House Mafia – Save The World
37.) Selena Gomez & The Scene – Love You Like A Love Song
36.) Neon Hitch – Get Over U

35.) The Sound of Arrows – Nova
34.) Avicii – Levels
33.) Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Starlight
32.) Jessie + The Toy Boys – Push It (feat. Yelawolf)
31.) Demi Lovato – Skyscraper

30.) Leona Lewis & Avicii – Collide
25.) Martin Solveig – Hello (feat. Dragonette)
28.) JoJo – Disaster
27.) Rebecca & Fiona – Bullets
26.) Kelly Clarkson – Mr. Know It All

25.) Ke$ha – Blow
24.) Rihanna – S&M
23.) Lady Gaga – Marry The Night
22.) Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out
21.) Wynter Gordon – Til Death

20.) Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor (feat. Pitbull)
19.) Morgan Page – In The Air (feat. Angela McCluskey, Sultan + Ned Shepard, and BT)
18.) Sky Ferreira- Sex Rules
17.) Charli XCX – Stay Away
16.) Britney Spears – Criminal

15.) The Saturdays – All Fired Up
14.) Nicole Scherzinger – Don’t Hold Your Breath
13) Britney Spears – I Wanna Go
12.) Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend
11.) Katy B – Broken Record

10.) Lana Del Rey – Video Games/Blue Jeans (MuuMuse Review)

The gangsta Nancy Sinatra made her quiet YouTube debut earlier this year with her haunting ballad, “Video Games.” Hundreds of pop and hipster bloggers later, Del Rey’s suddenly been thrust into the spotlight for both controversy and adoration alike. But despite the hype, one thing remains true: “Video Games” is an utterly incredible showcase of Lana’s swagger-meets-standards songwriting skills and mesmerizing, old soul vocals. Go on and play your video games, haters.

9.) Nicola Roberts – Beat Of My Drum (MuuMuse Review)

The baby of the bunch stepped out swinging on top of Diplo’s bleepy-bloopy beats for the genius “Beat Of My Drum,” a fierce, chant-y anthem that utterly shattered the quirk-pop mold. Combining the Ginge-pop princess’ left-of-center musical stylings (Kate Bush, Metronomy, et al) with the stilettos ‘n’ high fashion LDN fierceness from her Girls Aloud roots, Roberts provided the strongest debut effort of the entire girl group–by far. Look how strong you’ve made her now!

8.) Will Young – Jealousy (MuuMuse Review)

Unrequited love isn’t exactly the most lush of emotions, but Will Young sure makes it feel that way. With “Jealousy,” the original UK Idol delivers a stunning torch track set to the sound of a dozen warm, throbbing disco pulsations provided by pop maestro Richard X. The result is a beautiful bout of soul-baring honesty, even if it still hurts in the end. Chills guaranteed.

7.) Marina + The Diamonds – Radioactive (MuuMuse Review)

What happens when Marina’s razor-sharp lyricism hits Stargate’s Top 40 synthesizers? A whole lot of dance-y angst brilliance–that’s what. “Radioactive” may have fallen under the radar quickly upon its release, but the brooding, brilliant dance-pop track proved that Marina’s no mere one-trick songstress (and that she sounds damn good with a little bit of a beat.)

6.) Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory (MuuMuse Review)

Forget that video, forget the obnoxious persona, and “The Edge Of Glory” is still utterly epic. The 5 1/2-minute jam finds Gaga honoring the spirit of her grandfather through a resilient air of whiskey guzzlin’ Springsteen-esque rock ‘n’ roll, dazzling synthesizers, a major saxophone solo by the late Clarence Clemons, and her most earnest, inspiring lyricism to date. Win, win, win!

5.) David Guetta – Titanium (feat. Sia) (MuuMuse Review)

Dear all “It Gets Better” anthems, please take note: THIS is how you properly defy the haters. In a song that continues to prove that indie artists mixed with dance producers equals a whole lot of awesome, Sia gets her titanium-plated armor on against anyone trying to take her down. The Aussie chanteuse’s epic wailing strapped on top of Guetta’s pulverizing beats delivers a blast of defiant energy so massive it’ll knock the headphones right off of your ears.

4.) Adele – Someone Like You

Breaking up sucks–Adele knows. When I first watched the acoustic performance of “Someone Like You” recorded in her home studio late in late January, I burst into tears. When I heard this song driving up to Boston last weekend while balancing a McDonald’s bag between my knees, I started ugly crying as I continued to plow french fries into my mouth. It was a low point, but the takeaway is this: “Someone Like You” is the tear-jerker of the year. For more proof, watch this.

3.) Rihanna – We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) (MuuMuse Review)

In late 2011, Rihanna rih-invented herself once again as a Euro-dance floor goddess, resulting in an 8 week (and counting!) run on the Billboard Hot 100 and her most successful single of all time. “We Found Love” proved that the winning pop formula doesn’t have to be complex–in fact, the beauty lies in the simplicity: Shimmering Ibiza beats + Love against all odds lyricism = Pure euphoria.

2.) Britney Spears – Till The World Ends (Review for Britney.com)

Ruminating on the apocalypse has never been quite so fun: With its arena-sized rallying chants (“Ooh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-OOH-ooh!”), stinging electro beats and those utterly killer Ke$ha-penned hooks, “Till The World Ends” not only armed Britney with her very own defining party anthem of 2011, but the highest charting radio song of her entire career. Now THAT is something worth dancing about.

1.) Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me (MuuMuse Review)

“Hold It Against Me” is THE song of 2011, if for nothing but the breakdown alone.

But it’s not just the breakdown: Every single beat, every single syllable (“little hay-zay!”) of the song surges with a heart-racing burst of adrenaline–from the song’s gritty pulse to its nearly a capella twinkling chorus, which at last explodes into one glorious, stomping affair during the song’s final minute.

While “Till The World Ends” is probably the actual song of the year in terms of sales and overall recognition (“Hold It Against Me” didn’t last as long on the charts as Britney’s subsequent Femme Fatale single), it was the strongest assertion yet that, once again, Britney was back.

The song ushered in the new era of Britney, inspired the dub-pop movement that permeates Top 40 radio today, and sounds as fresh and forward-thinking as the day it premiered. Ladies and gentlemen: The true pop revolution of 2011.

Would you hold it against me?

LISTEN TO THE TOP 50 SINGLES OF 2011 ON SPOTIFY!

—————–

HONORABLE MENTION

JoJo – Marvin’s Room (Can’t Do Better)

(LISTEN)

This was never released as an official single, but if it were, it’d be vying for #1 with Britney. Seriously.

JoJo’s cover of Drake‘s Take Care track “Marvin’s Room” is one of the most brilliant things I’ve heard this year.

Heartbroken, desolate, spiteful…you name it, she’s feeling it: JoJo’s haunting re-imagining of the track takes hurt to new levels. It’s in the way Jo’s voice breaks against the weird ambient noises floating in the distance, the bitter lyricism (“Fuck that new girl that you like so bad/And when you’re in her, I know I’m in your head”), and the self-assured sighs of “I’m just saying you could do better…”–apart from “Someone Like You,” there’s no song released this year that feels as crushingly honest. It’s the epitome of a sleepless 4 A.M. spent staring at old text messages and sobbing (not that I’ve ever done that or anything…)

Once you’ve had the best, boy you can’t do better.

See you all in 2012!


  • http://twitter.com/ULIXXXES ULISES

    TOTALLY AGREE , BETTER THAN POPJUSTICE

  • http://twitter.com/keithedwards Keith Edwards

    I was just thinking about this today: Hold It Against Me is DEFINITELY my pick for best song from 2011.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558951945 Baidar Rifat

    I couldn’t agree more on Hold it against me.I didn’t like it at first then It became the most listened to track on my Ipod for 6 MONTHS. pure perfection
    2011: year of the spears

  • Anonymous

    I love that you gave SNSD some love. Kpop for the win!

  • Dang

    No, it is not the Year of The Spears. She is over.She is simply a vapid mannequin whose music may be amazing, but will never again be emotional. Seriously, Bardley you’re way too predictable- and BTW Till The World Ends is a ridicously generic song, ’tis simply a Kesha reject, a rip of her own song Blow.

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  • PleaseThisBitch

    You sound so mad, so pressed, so bionic. Britney’s emotional state isn’t the topic of this article, it’s the music which you even say is amazing. TTWE a Blow rip-off? The songs sound nothing alike and the only similiarity they share is the lyric and stuttering of “oh” which isn’t even remotely close in melody. It would seem you’re In the minority about TTWE considering its charted consistently in the top 5 of end of year articles.

  • Alonso

    NO JESSICA SUTTA?

  • guest

    i was 100% sure that the honorable mention would be nicola’s porcelain heart….

  • Purple Crushing 2012

    popsters and hipsters alike were creaming over hold it against me.

  • Martin

    This troll.

  • http://twitter.com/DAREiADMIT ts

    FLAWLESS LIST. HIAM is certainly my pick for single of the year too. great job!

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  • d.c.

    there isnt really a point in getting upset? his blog is space to his opinion. if all 4 of B’s singles make it into his top 20 with HIAM at #1, well, that’s his call for his site, regardless of “predictability”, “vapidity”, and “ridiculous genericness”.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaPingley Joshua Pingley

    I’d swap HIAM and TTWE, but otherwise flawless list!

  • Anonymous

    …said the Christina Aguilera stan. By the way, who is our favorite flop diva working with for her comeback? Max Martin? The man who’s had a hand in quite a bit of Britney’s vapid, generic, emotionless, amazing music?

    Pot? Meet kettle.

    By the way, the only try-hard generic diva I’m seeing nowadays is your fave. First she announces her album of Adele inspired (read: knockoff) tunes, then it’s announced she’s gonna try to get on the charts by aping a producer most closely associated with her rival of over a decade. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The Christina stans need to shut the hell up and stop downing every other relevant pop diva and start getting down on their hands and knees and praying that Floptina pulls herself out of the dregs and can land a hit. Right now you guys are in no place to be badmouthing even Britney, who can at least sell enough albums to land a gold or platinum certification.

    #Justsayin

  • Jim

    This is truly a great and thoughtful list.  It’s the very reason why I visit your blog almost every day.  I also agree that it’s better than Popjustice’s list.  I don’t think you needed to give Brit the top two spots, but that’s your right as a true fan, naturally :)  The only glaring omission to me is Florrie.  How could ‘I Took A Little Something’ not make your top 50?!?!? Florrie needs all the recognition she can get and that song is a Pop Masterpiece.  Most anticipated LP in 2012!

    Thanks again for the otherwise perfect year-end collection. Keep up the great work in 2012!

  • Heyylenny

    10000000% agreed. Bowing to you rn.

  • Rob J

    this is the most fucking ridiculous ranking i’ve ever seen. maybe one or two spears songs are understandable, but not half of her fucking album…and certainly not in the top 10. you have zero credibility 

  • Guesst

    The raw vocal of HIAM shows Britney’s vocals still have personality.  I think her singing voice is the only aspect of her that has something interesting to offer.  The autotune was just overused and stripped her voice of its character.  As a production though, mainstream pop has not offered anything as aggressive as HIAM, in my opinion.  It’s not my single of the year, but this is the first end of year ranking to show it love over Til The World Ends which I personally support.

  • http://twitter.com/davidbauti David Bauti

    awesome list :)

  • http://twitter.com/MonsterAloud Eric Bennett

    Uhhh…. where’s Born This Way? -__- Anyway. I’m happy 2 songs made the list. And glad Nicola Roberts made the top 10 (: