On Saturday the Trash Lounge Top 50 Singles of 2011 began, starting with Jennifer Lopez at No. 50 and wrapping up with Charlene Soraia at No. 41. Catch up in full here.
The list continues today with a handful more of the year’s finest pop hits, and if you have any issues to raise then remember the voting is still open on the readers’ poll – you decided the shortlist, and you’ll decide the winners.
So, here we go with Numbers 40-31…
40. Katy Perry – ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’
June, Peak #9
Katy continued to milk Teenage Dream for all it was worth in 2011, with a further three singles. Two of them appear in the TL Top 50, and here’s the first. With a video featuring cameos ranging from Glee’s Artie to Rebecca ACTUAL Black, ‘Last Friday Night’ was another effortlessly cool, bright and breezy slice of Perry Pop. Singing about the nights out we all enjoy (or rather, wish we all enjoyed), Katy writes another killer chorus and puts her own quirky quirkiness on it by chucking in a saxophone solo.
39. One Direction – ‘What Makes You Beautiful’
September, Peak #1
The band you know you should hate but you just can’t, One Direction propelled to No. 1 in September with this ‘Summer Nights’-esque tune written by Glee favourite Savan Kotecha. Does it cynically aim for the target audience knowing damn well it’ll make thousands of pounds from them? Yes. But is it hands-in-the-air sing-a-long-able anyway? Yes. The term ‘guilty pleasure’ often sounds ridiculously snobby, but in this case it couldn’t be more fitting.
38. Selena Gomez & The Scene – ‘Love You Like A Love Song’
July, Peak #58
The TL review of Selena Gomez “& The Scene”s latest album When The Sun Goes Down – their THIRD UK LP release in just over a year – was, in hindsight, a little too harsh. It didn’t set a new boundary for pop music as we know it, but it was a lot more of a slow-burner than it was given credit for, and ‘Love You Like A Love Song’ is a stellar example of a track that is, quietly and without anyone really noticing, rather brilliant. With fantastic production that makes the most of Gomez’s limited vocal ability, it’s “the band”s best single release so far.
37. Ed Sheeran – ‘Lego House’
October, Peak #5
Ed made an impressive début in 2011, and though he’s not quite as un-commercial as he sometimes gives the impression of wanting to be, his tunes are undeniably lovely. ‘The A Team’ and ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ may have been very different but equally very good, but it’s ‘Lego House’ that is his personal best so far. Simple, effective and heart-warming, it shows off the ever-growing talents of one of Britain’s most promising emerging artists.
36. Beyonce – ‘Love On Top’
December, Peak #22
The first half of Beyonce’s comeback album 4 was a massive let-down, but then, as if from nowhere, the second half was freakin’ brilliant. ‘Love On Top’ is the highlight, not least because it showed the happily married Lady B taking a break from singing laborious break-up songs and just being happy. With a deliciously uplifting FIVE key changes, it may not have set the charts up in flames, but it certainly deserved to.
35. Nicola Roberts – ‘Beat Of My Drum’
June, Peak #27
The baby of Girls Aloud took her Team Ginge mantra to the masses in 2011, as she launched her tepidly-received solo career. Commercially she may not have done anywhere near as good as Cheryl Cole, but by critics she was universally applauded. Sounding like a slightly maturer Daphne & Celeste single, ‘Beat Of My Drum’ got her off to a flying start, with a gloriously bonkers chorus and a bizarre-but-cool video to match. Let’s hope her record label look at the reviews rather than the sales figures, and let her make more tunes like this.
34. Lana Del Rey – ‘Video Games’
October, Peak #9
Bombarding the international One To Watch lists for 2012 is Lana Del Rey, an intriguing American songstress with a haunting vocal and a penchant for harps that only Florence Welch can really understand. ‘Video Games’ arrived in the Autumn with masses of critical acclaim, and with a slot on Jools Hollands’ show to get her off the ground, her status as an Officially Cool Maker Of Pop was secured. To everyone’s liking? No. But you’ve got to be at least a little bit curious as to what she’ll do next…
33. Calvin Harris – ‘Feels So Close’
August, Peak #2
Progressing his sound from the whacky space-out-pop of ‘I Get All The Girls’ etc, Calvin pulled off a corker with ‘Feels So Close’. Falling victim to the fanbase-heavy appeal of Olly Murs, this was a deserving No. 1 that may have been lyrically basic, but the sound of it spoke for itself. Good enough to make us forget that he occasionally comes across as an arrogant nob in the media, it was a good go-to for anyone who found Kelis hook-up ‘Bounce’ a little too weird.
32. Nicole Scherzinger – ‘Try With Me’
November, Peak #18
The X Factor performance may have been bizarrely all over the place considering it was just her, the music and a small platform, but The Scherzinator’s under-appreciated ‘Try With Me’ proved that, despite the naffness of ‘Right There’, she has a good ear for a properly good pop tune as well. Written and produced by the brilliant duo Nervo, this brilliant track started as a twinkly piano ballad before exploding into an all-out electropop floorfiller, without losing an ounce of its emotional resonance.
31. Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris – ‘We Found Love’
October, Peak #1
Ah, Rihanna. In case you’ve been living under a rock all year, she’s a relentlessly hard working popstar who’s developed a would-be-tiresome habit of bringing out a new single every 14 minutes. That’s “would-be” because, as ‘We Found Love’ shows, she still has the odd tendency to be amazing. Thanks to some more fantastic work from Calvin Harris, this chart-invader stayed at No. 1 for what felt like a thousand years, but never felt over-played. At least not to these ears.
Coming up in Nos. 30-21, two ladies who made impressive debuts in 2011, two very different bands, and one of our best-loved talent show winners. Find out who they are on Wednesday…