My Musical Discoveries of 2011

Personally, 2011 has been a disappointing year for me with respect to the music. I have reached the end listening to a lot of new stuff, but my ‘favourites’ list is mostly still the same as that from the end of 2010. Of course, there are a few additions, but they are not necessarily from the year 2011. May of the songs which I can now add to my ‘favourites’ list are old ones. But there were a few great musical pieces from this year too, (key word: few) which I will outline here.

From the year 2011:

1. Alex Turner’s soundtrack for the film Submarine – I don’t like Arctic Monkey‘s music. It just never hit me at the start, neither did it grow on me. It was, hence, a surprise when I watched Submarine and liked the music so much. He uses minimal instrumentation in creating a 6-track soundtrack which I know should get recognition, but which I know will not. Standout tracks include Stuck On A Puzzle (featured below), Glass In The Park. Actually, everything. (P.S.: Watch the film too.)

2. Red Hot Chili PeppersI’m With You – Come on! Knowing that I am a RHCP fan, did you guess this album wouldn’t be on this list? I know it wasn’t as strong as By The Way or Stadium Arcadium; I know Frusciante’s riffs were sorely missed. But the Chilis, with this album, finally grew into a unit where I could see an equal contribution from all. Chad Smith never sounded better on the drums, Flea was in immaculate form with his bass, Kiedis’ vocals took a turn for the better (and his songwriting too, for that matter), and new guitarist Klinghoffer isn’t as bad as everyone makes him out to be. Listen to the songs clearly, that guy has great potential. Standout tracks: Brendan’s Death Song (featured below), Did I Let You Know, Factory Of Faith, Police Station & Even You, Brutus?

3. Rihanna – Now I’m not much into Rihanna’s music. I liked Umbrella and Russian Roulette, and I can listen to the others, but that’s about it. This year, she appeared in two songs I liked. The first is her own We Found Love in which she had some help from Calvin Harris in creating a lovely dance number. The second song is one in which she’s featured: Coldplay’s Princess Of China (featured below). Most Coldplay fans hated the song; they hated their new album too. But I think Princess Of China was a nice little experimentation by Coldplay that went right; Rihanna’s vocals were the cherry on the cake.
P.S.: Coldplay’s Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall is a nice song too.

4. The Dewarists – When Indian music is finally on the world map majorly in a few years (and it isn’t far away), 2011 will be seen as a turning point for us. MTV put the music back in their channel name with Indian versions of famous shows like Unplugged, Coke Studio and Roots. But it was The Dewarists that took everyone by storm. From featuring famous international artists to well-known Indian ones and lesser known ones too, The Dewarists managed to cover so many genres. Rock, hip-hop, dance, electro, Bollywood; you name it, they had it. Standout tracks included Papon and Rabbi’s Khule Da Rabb (featured below), Zeb & Haniya, Swanand Kirkire & Shantanu Moitra’s Kya Khayaal Hain, Midival Punditz & Humble The Poet featuring Monica Dogra’s No I.D. Required.

5. Adele – Frankly Rolling In The Deep is a 2010 song, and I really think her earlier song Chasing Pavements is better than Someone Like You.

6. Hindi Film music – Amit Trivedi really is the reliable Hindi film composer. His work for No One Killed Jessica and in I AM (featured below: Baangur from I Am) stood out. Shaitan and Delhi Belly ran through genres and gave us some eclectic music. Rahman in Rockstar showed us why he’s the best in town. But other than these, there was hardly anything to rejoice about.

7. Others – A few other brilliant tracks that I heard. The DecemberistsDown By The Water, I4U & U4Me and This Is Why We Fight, Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues, Bombay Bicycle Club‘s Shuffle and Lights Out, Words Gone, Pentagram‘s Lovedrug Climbdown (lovely video too), PJ Harvey’s The Words That Maketh Murder, Middle Brother‘s Someday, Typhoon‘s The Honest Truth.

Three songs that make it to my favourites playlist from years before 2011 are:

1. OasisLive Forever – If I had to make a list called ‘Songs I Wish I’d Written’, this song would top. Such a happy, hopeful, carefree song.

“We’ll see things they’ll never see. You and I are gonna live forever.”

2. Porcupine Tree‘s Lazarus – The piano, the piano…

3. The RomanticsWhat I Like About You – Suggested to me by good friend (and fellow blogger) Shubhra Rishi, this short 3 minute jive number is something I couldn’t stop listening to for days. This song deserves to be on Goan weddings’ list for the Jive Session. Bonus: The drummer is the lead singer.

4. The DecemberistsOceanside – There are certain songs that come along once in a while that just transport you to another place. A place from where you do not want to come back. I found that solace in this song. Thank you Vismitha Katyayani.

So this was my list. Tell us what did you enjoy and discover this year. And here’s to a wonderful 2012 in music.

Written by Runcil Rebello.


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