The Best Songs of 2011 – A Brief Preview

6 Dec

Yes, it’s Tuesday, and despite my intention of profiling another obscure classic rock band, I just simply do not have the time. But that’s alright. I do have the time to provide some excellent news. Excellent news if you enjoyed the post stylings of last year at around this time.

Last December saw the inception of the Top 10 songs of the year list. Click here for the rundown of the top 10 songs of 2010. I wasn’t sure if I was going to have it become an annual end-of-the-year event, but, because of a great response from you fantastic readers, I have decided to bring it back…with different songs obviously. So, starting on Tuesday, Dec. 20 (supposing everything goes according to plan) I will start profiling the top 10 songs of 2011 (my opinion of course). This year saw the release of some excellent albums and songs and I look forward to sifting through potential list makers and picking the top 10.

As you may have taken from the picture at the top of this article, I do plan on previewing the list with a song. Will “Shell Games” by Bright Eyes, a song off of their February (oh how it seems so long ago) release The People’s Key, the band’s first in four years, be on the top 10 list? I’m honestly not sure. But it is a great song released in 2011 so I wanted to profile it for your listening pleasure.

Bright Eyes is led by the pained croon of Conor Oberst and his catchy melodies and lachrymose lyrics propelled Bright Eyes to Indie fame before the Indie genre was even in diapers. “Shell Games” moves to the tune of an obsessive piano, 80’s synth, heavy drums, and a distinct melody. It provides the Bright Eyes flavor we have all come to enjoy – a dark infectiousness. And the lyric. Goodness.

“I was dressed in white, touched by something pure
Death obsessed like a teenager
Sold my tortured youth, piss and vinegar
I’m still angry with no reason to be

At the architect who imagined this
For the everyman, blessed Sisyphus
Slipping steadily into madness
Now that’s the only place to be free”

His scholarly and literary lyrics depict a tortured bibliophile, a somewhat bookish musician who combines quasi-existential philosophy with rhythm. Intelligent music that is also enjoyable. I love that.

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