Some bands couldn't put out a whole killer album that knocked my socks off. But for whatever reason, they came up with one track that nailed it. Or it was a band that peaked a looong time ago but decided "screw it, what else are we gonna do with our free time?" so they kept recording. Or it was a new band that's figuring out what they're all about, what their sound is, etc, and that first album just managed that one thing that clicked...stay tuned for further developments. And then there were the solo artists or bands who may not have that natural ability to crank out a substantial catalog but whether it was full moon, or there was something in the water that night, or whatever...they got one great song made in 2011. Here's my list of those that got it done.
Nazareth: "Big Dog's Gonna Howl"
Okay, so it ain't "Love Hurts" but it's pretty damn good.
Washed Out: "Eyes Be Closed"
Hooray for shoegaze! This is a big warm blanket tossed over my ears on a rainy, windy night. Ahhh....
Kasabian: "Days Are Forgotten"
Remember Britpop? Me too, and I'm still waiting for the resurgence. In the meantime, here's some snotty Brits laying down a groove that we can shake it to without feeling too foolish.
Patrick Stump: "This City"
Way more 'mainstream' than I usually allow into my headphone space. I guess it was an Allmusic.com review that convinced me to put this on hold at the library. What can I say? It's just very good. (Better than Starships "We Built This City, at least!) It made me think of my hometown (Portland) with some pride, in spite of complaints that it's too small, too dark, too wet. Nice anthem for anyone who likes to stroll their city's streets and soak in the vibe.
Ivan Julian: "Hardwired"
One of the last honest rockers. No overdubs, lyrics that get right to the point. I miss this kind of music.
Amy Lee: "Halfway Down The Stairs"
A cover song recorded for the Muppets Revisited soundtrack, this song was personally relevant with lyrics based upon an A.A Milne poem, understatedly (and seductively) sung by Ms. Lee.
The Men: "Who Am I To Feel So Free"
Oooh, Gang of Four style beat through a Bikini Kill filter. Love it! Keep it going, please! I miss this style as well. (One YouTube post described them as "the spiritual successor of Le Tigre." Yeah that's pretty close.) p.s. Not to be confused with The Men of 1992 who released one great album featuring a killer single "The Church of Logic, Sin and Love."
Primus: "Lee Van Cleef"
Musical tribute to actor Lee Van Cleef. That guy was kicked ass, and so did this song.
The Sounds: "Best Of Me"
Swede-pop with a bit of Muse-lite. Keep it coming!
Meat Puppets: "The Spider or the Spaceship"
Classic MP lyrics, simultaneously non sequiter and making perfect sense. They're back, and we need them now more than ever.