I've seen a lot of the 11 best of 2011 or 12 for 2012. I'm not that knowing. But I would like to sell you some decent music from 2011 that I may actually listen to in five years time. With luck, you might listen to it once or twice.
1. The Noah and the Whale album Last Night on Earth. These guys aren't rockstars, but the songwriter, Charlie Fink, is very good and their melodies and lyrics are catchy yet teetering on profound. Last Night on Earth has been called a concept record (oh no) and I guess it is, if you consider the idea of songs addressing similar themes as a "concept record." Don't worry, this isn't a prog rock concept album.
It's an album about the youthful desire to escape the small town or the suburbs. It's about the formative experiences of becoming a musician. Think of it like a pop rock Blakean Songs of Innocence and Experience. For example, the song Just Me Before We Met tells the story of sitting with a current girlfriend looking at old photographs as she laughs, 'At all the bad hair cuts and smoking cigarettes/ A lustless romantic trying hard to impress.' You do get the sense of young Charlie Fink nostalgically remembering the traumas of youth and wanting to be a musician, but trying hard not to make it seem too contrived a path.
In short, if you didn't buy it in 2011, consider buying the album in 2012.
My song of 2011 is by Glen Campbell. I wouldn't have predicted that the rhimestone cowboy himself would come into my heart, but alas, his bleak lyrics yet upbeat song is oddly life-affirming. The song is about a man, Glenn perhaps, in the twilight of his life, reassuring others not to worry about him. He declares:
Don't pin your own hopes
Don't pin your dreams
And guys like me
If you can listen to Lana Del Rey's Video Games than you can more than handle Campbell's Any Trouble. I hope you'll love it in a 'is this one of the saddest yet warm songs I've ever heard in my life?' sort of way.
Edited Cover of the Year. It's from a terrible 1980s song. I do the 1980s shuffle dance when I hear or think of the original- think Rick Astley style dancing. This cover of Higher Love is featured in the LOVE FILM advert, and I am fascinated by this unexpected rendition. Listening to the entire song was disappointing (slow and horrible dripping sensitivity), but edited for the commercial, it's amazing.
Bonus clip of Rick Astley in his finest hour of dancing like a hipster. The denim on denim was also a look.
What music has surprised you this year? Any that you think you might listen to in five years?