My 10 Favorite Albums / Songs of 2011

I’m an unapologetic fan of pop music, so those alternative music snobs out there that only appreciate “good music” will find themselves in disagreement with my list at points. I grew up in Nashville, and I know good songwriting when I hear it. That’s the reason I pay my respects here both to Taylor Swift, who is vastly underrated as a songwriter, to Kenny Chesney, and to Bon Iver. But I also know what music makes me feel good, what artists and songs make me want to dance, and which ones cause me to celebrate life. For me, that’s usually a pop artist or a pop song. I include a full range of genres here, for they all spoke to me in different ways in 2011.

I rarely download a whole album on Itunes, so I’m only picking my favorite five albums below. These are the ones that got my attention and caused me to download the full album. I then list my favorite 10 songs of 2011.

My Top 5 Albums of 2011:

5. Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, The Harrow and the Harvest

4. Lady Gaga, Born This Way

3. Adele, 21

2. Taylor Swift, Speak Now

1. Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Honorable Mentions: The Decemberists, The King is Dead; Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto, Over The Rhine, The Long Surrender

Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2011:

10. Taylor Swift, Our Song

9. One Republic, Good Life

8. Foster the People, Pumped Up Kicks

7. Florence and The Machine, Shake It Out

6. The Black Keys, Lonely Boy

5. Katy Perry, The One That Got Away

4. Rihanna, We Found Love

3. Adele, Rolling in the Deep

2. David Guetta and Usher, Without You

1. Lady Gaga, The Edge of Glory

The Next 10: Taylor Swift: Mean, Kenny Chesney: You and Tequila, Sugarland: Tonight, Lady Gaga: Born This Way, Katy Perry: Last Friday Night, Demi Lovato: Skyscraper, Coldplay and Rihanna: Princess of China, Jennifer Lopez: On the Floor, Britney Spears: Til the World Ends, Rihanna: California King Bed.

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