P&P’s Best Songs Of The Year 2011


We gave you our list of the best albums of 2011, but by now, one thing should be perfectly clear: the single rules. Instead of buying full albums, more and more people are picking out their favorite songs, dishing out 99 cents on iTunes, and putting together playlists of all their favorites. In some ways, it’s a sad departure from whatever connection people used to have with albums, but it’s part of who we are—an ADD generation of instant gratification-seeking consumers. And fuck, do we consume.

Nobody here at P&P has ever been in a situation that forced us to choose between our children on some “keep this one, and this one goes,” but we imagine the feeling is pretty similar to making a “Best Songs Of The Year” list. Depending on your mood, a song (for example, “N*ggas In Paris”) can be your go-to jam or the last thing in the world that you want to hear. Oh, and “Rolling In The Deep” should be on the list, but it’s not. It just isn’t. We’re okay with that. Considering that this list is basically declaring “Blunt Blowin'” a better song than “Rolling In The Deep,” we expect a few complaints, so feel free to let us know what you think.

Here’s our list of the 25 best songs of 2011.

25. Lil Wayne – “Blunt Blowin”

We know, we know, you hate this album. But you can’t act like you don’t get into this track when the chorus drops for the first time.

24. Born Gold – “Boring Horror”

Without the electronic spasticity, it could have been a really bubble gummy pop song or a corny alt-rock track. We’re glad it’s not.

23. Jamie Woon – “Lady Luck”

If Justin Timberlake had a British edge and had spent some time with Burial, it might sound something like “Lady Luck.”

22. Girls – “Vomit”

The swirling, slow build-up, the crackling guitar solo, the wistful love-lorn lyrics. All these come together to form a six and a half minute mid-album masterpiece.

21. Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”

“Yonkers” was Tyler’s introduction to the mainstream world, and it’s undoubtedly his song with the most mass appeal. It also happens to be his best.

20. SBTRKT ft. Little Dragon & Drake – “Wildfire (Remix)”

This shit was already crazy when it was just Yukimi Nagano’s vocals, but Drake matched the vibe perfectly and turned this into a party that we quite enjoyed spending a lot of time at.

19. Shabazz Palaces – “Swerve”

“Swerve” breaks most standard hip-hop rules, but despite that—or because of it—it was one of our favorite hip-hop songs of the year.

18. Alexander ft. RZA – “Truth (Remix)”

So much wisdom dropped by this unlikely but awesome pairing. It feels like something out of Kill Bill.

17. Lana Del Rey – “Video Games”

Fuck all the hate, Lana Del Rey has a handful of excellent songs. It was a close call, but “Video Games” is our favorite.

16. Lykke Li – “I Follow Rivers”

“Get Some” was the lead single, but “I Follow Rivers” has the staying power–the power to stay in Confusion’s heart, where Lykke lives for eternity.

15. tUnE-yArDs – “Bizness”

Some of tUnE-yArDs unhinged pop was a little too over-the-top. “Bizness” was just crazy enough.

14. St. Vincent – “Cruel”

Annie Clark’s quirkiness is the subtle kind, but when combined with her songwriting sensibility and guitar chops, it makes for some great music.

13. Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”

Yeah, Robin Pecknold’s lyrics may be those of a man suffering an existential crisis, but forget all that and just sing along to that beautiful melody.

12. Danny Brown – “30”

Brutally personal rags-to-riches talk with a crazy delivery and a hyperactive beat to match. It’s hard to pick a standout from the excellent XXX, but if we had to (we did have to), this would be it.

11. Kendrick Lamar – “Rigamortis”

If your mind can keep up with Kendrick’s street-wise and highly politicized speed rapping you deserve some sort of prize. How the hell does he make this sound so easy?

10. Cults – “You Know What I Mean”

It’s hard to pick just one song from an albums worth of sleeper hits, but this one has us hitting repeat every time.

09. ASAP Rocky – “Palace”

“Ungh, goddamn, how real is this?” was a hell of a way to start off a mixtape.

08. Jai Paul – “BTSTU”

A lot of people didn’t know this track until Drake hi-jacked it, and while his take on it was cool, the original stands stronger without any rap additions.

07. Drake – “Over My Dead Body”

There are a lot of songs that could have been picked from Take Care, but “Over My Dead Body” captures what we really love about that album.

06. “Frank Ocean – “Novacane”

Keenly relayed observations about getting high at Coachella and doing cocaine for breakfast (yikes) tied together by the eminently listenable voice of a soon-to-be superstar.

05. Bon Iver – “Holocene”

If For Emma was wood, Bon Iver is metal. If that doesn’t make sense, listen to “Skinny Love” then press play on “Holocene.”

04. Youth Lagoon – “Seventeen”

For a bedroom pop track, this one is really powerful—nostalgic, swelling, and moving enough to make us a lil’ emo.

03. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N*ggas In Paris”

What other song could you hear 10 times in a row and not get sick of? You know this had to be on here.

02. M83 – “Midnight City”

When we first heard this, it got stuck in all of our heads. It never got unstuck, and we never minded. Plus, this.

01. The Weeknd – “The Morning”

This song paints a picture so vivid. It doesn’t break until over 1:30 in, but when it does, it’s goosebumps, every time. The Weeknd is one of the most exciting new figures in music, and it’s all right here in “The Morning.” Tesfaye is coming with not only a unique sound, but an altered perspective, an impressive set of pipes, and a knack for excellent but not obvious music. “The Morning” is perfect, and it’s our pick for the best song of 2011. Take that, “Rolling In The Deep.”

Honorable Mentions:

Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Architecture In Helsinki – “Contact High”
The Roots – “Stomp”
Foster The People – “Houdini”
The Decemberists – “Down By The Water”
DJ Khaled – “I’m On One”
Childish Gambino – “Heartbeat”
Wye Oak – “Dogs’ Eyes”
Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire ft. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown, EL-P – “The Last Huzzah”
The War On Drugs – “Come to the City”
Common – “Blue Sky”
Katy B – “On A Mission”
Neon Indian – “Polish Girl”
Theophilus London – “I Stand Alone”
Cut Copy – “Take Me Over”
Drake – “Marvin’s Room”
Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Murder To Excellence”
Kendrick Lamar – “HiiiPower”
Azealia Banks – “212”
Jamie xx & Gil Scott-Heron – “I’ll Take Care Of You”
Julio Bashmore – “Battle For Middle You”
James Blake – “I Never Learnt To Share”

Related: The Best Songs of 2014 (So Far)
Related: The Best Albums of 2014 (So Far)

  • http://twitter.com/aboynamedandy aboynamedandy

    Yonkers #21?

    Blunt Blowin’ even on the list?


  • A guest but not really

    I’m a huge CG fan so I think “Heartbeat” could’ve definitely made the list (good look on the honorable mention) but I’m biased so i understand. My only complaint is Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” should’ve made it. All good though

  • Confusion

    Hahah Blunt Blowin’ is the jam

  • Confusion

    Yeah, Rollin In The Deep. I mean, yeah, I can’t argue against it, but it just felt wrong. That’s like, the world’s best song, not P&P’s

  • yeah i did it

    No Bieber?!

  • http://wepluggoodmusic.com We Plug GOOD Music

    OK where to begin.

    RE: Jamie Woon’s “Lady Luck”, “Spirits” and “Gravity” were miles ahead of anything else on his album plus there’s “Echoes”, “Spiral”, “Night Air” (you get where I’m going here lol) so should be ahead of “Lady Luck” IMO of course :)

    + nothing on Take Care and Carter IV should even be on this list (ok maybe “Marvins Room” but nothing else) seriously.

    Other than that, dope list fellas. Would’ve liked to see a Daughter record on honorable mention at least :)

  • C

    My only complaint is that Thinking About You was left off the list, even though Frank Ocean already had a song on it. besides that, dope list

  • CK

    Fuck Rolling in the Deep, that shit is more overplayed than any song ever. I’m glad it was just an honorable mention. I would have also included Childish Gambino, but this is a great list overall. 1-3 are certainly some of the best songs of the year by far.

  • Confusion

    Hate Bieber forever.

  • Confusion

    I love Daughter, but best songs of the year? Eh. I stand by Blunt Blowin, and Take Care was a really good album.

  • RKay

    Very nice list. Could have picked any song of Youth Lagoon, but Seventeen is pretty incredible. Definitely agree with Drake – Over my Dead Body, that song is everything i like about Drizzy. Rolling in the Deep is excellent too but i think the Childish remix is where its at. Also, i would have thrown Midnight City in the no. 1 spot. That song has it all.

    My personal faves (because you asked :)
    Clams Casino – I’m God
    The Joy Formidable – Austere
    ASAP Rocky – Peso
    The Drums – Money
    Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle
    Jamie XX – Far nearer
    Diamond Rings – It’s not my party
    Gold Panda – Marriage (star slinger remix)
    Hard Mix – Now her
    Little Dragon – Crystalfilm

  • pete

    great job guys. its weird that The Morning was also my favorite song of the year and most played. awesome

  • Confusion

    Ah “Money” is a good call. That was definitely in consideration too. Should have been in honorable mentions for sure.

  • Zach

    All of those songs have messed up picctures above them, Tune-Yards with the Weeknd picture, The Cults with a Tyler, the Creator, okay? Srry but you can fix that

  • Joyce

    @Zach looks fine on my computer.

  • http://mostlyjunkfood.com jamarcus garvey

    con, you fucked up not including JoJo’s ‘Marvin’s Room’ cover

  • Confusion

    Yeah Zach, looks fine to me too. You on drugs?

  • Confusion

    I personally wanted Bieber’s freestyle (the second most recent one) at #1, but for some reason nobody agreed

  • baltazar

    Kinda dissapointed no Macklemore – Cant Hold us Down wasnt included, and I think Gambino’s Power is better then heartbeat

  • Noory

    as much as i really liked ‘the morning’, i didn’t feel it warranted top spot. for me that should have gone to ‘video games’ but again, great list overall

  • Zach

    I dunno, maybe cuz I’m on my phone

  • Confusion

    *on drugs

  • SK

    whaaaaat? Nasty isn’t even on the list? Nas went off on that track, one of the best of the year. reminded me of his older stuff.

    I agree with pretty much everything else on the list other than blunt blowing and over my dead body, personally I liked Underground kings from Take Care better because of the line: “But I might talk that real if you ask me what I care about
    Rap and bitches, rappin’ bitches, bitches
    And rappin’, rappin’ and bitches until all of it switches”

  • Hi

    I’m usually pretty open to interpretation on year-end lists, but Lil Wayne was so so so shitty this year; Blunt Blowin was terrible, sorry Con. I would’ve at least given that spot to Adele, one of the only respectable artist on popular radio.

  • snma

    No J. Cole – Lost Ones? No Big K.R.I.T – The Vent? At least they should be in honorable mentions.

  • Confusion

    Blunt Blowin > Rolling In The Deep

  • Buddy Blank

    2 out of your top 3 are in my top 3. so I ain’t even mad. Lots of good calls here, but my top 5 are probably:

    5. Ronald Reagan Era – Kendrick Lamarr (The song that sold me on Kendrick. I love how west coast it feels.)
    4. Shuffle- Bombay Bicycle Club (Somebody already mentioned it, right on.)
    3. Pull Out My Insides- Does It Offend You, Yeah? (The fucking chorus, man.)
    2. Midnight City -M83
    1. Niggas in Paris- The Throne

  • PancakeMcKennz

    Um, guys pretty sure #1 should be Wallpaper.’s “Best Song Everr”. I mean, it’s called the best song ever… duh!

    LOL, no. Kidding. I like The Weekend but personally I like “Lonely Star” over “The Morning”.

    The Sound of Arrows “Wonders”
    Florence & The Machine “Shake It Out”
    Patrick Stump “Mad at Nothing” (even though it’s not a single)
    Big Sean “Marvin Gaye…”
    Foo Fighters “Rope”
    The Go! Team “Buy Nothing Day”
    Menya “Awkward in Between”
    Cocaine 80s “Nameless”
    and LMFAO “Party Rock Anthem” (just for the hell of it)

    … round out my Top Songs of 2011. I only recognize a few songs on your list, but looking at my list I guess we know why. haha I’m gonna have to check some of what I missed this year.

  • A guest but not really

    “that’s like the worlds best song not P&P” hahaha as always you are the man Con.

  • Craig

    Lil Wayne made the list? May as well include Nicki Minage on this too…

  • CrunchCaptain

    Very solid list. I might have put Marvins Room over OMDB, but they’re both sick. Palace was definately the best track off of livelove. And i agree with RKay about Now Her-Hard Mix. Wonderful record. Nice job

  • http://rivertems.wordpress.com River Tems

    When you wrote “Frank Ocean- Novacane” clearly you meant “Frank Ocean- Thinking About You”

  • Mitch

    When you wrote “Frank Ocean – Novacane” clearly you meant “Frank Ocean -(Everything He’s Ever Made)”

  • Stu

    Friends – “Friend Crush” shoulda been an Honorable Mention. Fun song

  • Meliss

    “that’s like the worlds best song not P&P”
    don’t forget, at one point, it was one of your favorite songs.
    yea, that was at the beginning of the year, but just because we’re all a lil bit annoyed now that we hear adele every time we turn on the radio, doesn’t discredit the fact that she really is true talent, and yea, we did love it, we felt her heart break, and we would still love it now if only it wasn’t so overplayed, overrapped, overremixed. i know that feeling, but be wary of hating it just because it’s popular.. (hipsterdom? sometimes the planes really are better than the pigeons.) can’t we set those annoyances aside and recognize it as a favorite in the year? why should great tunes released in the beginning of the year have less of a chance in making it on the ‘best of’ list? it’s at least ten stockings worth of reeses greater than blunt blowin..
    but that’s a whole nother argument

    and when it finally comes back on that radio five years from now..you know you’re gon belt it out just like you did back in january.
    what’s gon happen to lil wayne’s blunt blowin years from now? prob fall back in line and blend with his other trillion tracks, as he raps about the same things in the same ways..
    whatever, an opinion’s an opinion with regard to weezy, but i just ask you don’t leave out the beautiful voice of miss adele.

    otherwise, great list. couldn’t agree more with holocene, tyler, and shabazz, apologies for the novel of a comment; it’s four in the mornin, got the walls kickin like they six months pregnant –if only

  • Confusion

    @Meliss: Really good point. It’s one of the things I don’t like about making these lists, because it really does reflect the time when the list is made more than the past 12 months. I hate to hate things just because they’re popular, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that after almost a year with “Rolling In The Deep,” it doesn’t mean to me what it meant when I first heard it.

    And really, that may come across as “hipster” because I like it less now that it’s popular, but I think it’s more honest than a critic’s opinion who tries to “do the right thing” instead of just being like, “fuck it, I like ‘blunt blowin’ better, and i know that’s wrong, but that’s what i want on my list.

    But yeah, I think you’re probably right, and in 5 years, I will cringe at this list.

  • http://thebasseffect.tumblr.com Bass

    Wait, was “Freaks and Geeks” not released in 2011? If it was, I’m wondering why no one else is even considering it. Or am I the only one who really likes it?

  • Lucas Strandell

    this list was made irrelevant within the first choice

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