My Top 10 Musical Highlights from 2011

As this post’s concept clearly isn’t rocket science I shall jump straight in…

10. StooShe – Fuck Me

New for 2011, StooShe are a London trio who combine hip-hop laced pop with a real sense of fun in their lyrics & delivery. Ordinarily, this type of fun can often equate gimmicky one-hit-wonders, though with their subsequent cover of Ini Kamoze’s Here Comes the Hotstepper and recent single Betty Woz Gone they seem to be building on their momentum, going from strength to strength.

9. Kelli-Leigh – Missing You

As mentioned in a recent post, the sublime Kelli-Leigh is an up-and-coming British singer/songwriter with a stunning voice and has recently released her début EP, I Am Here, which contains the wonderful Missing You. The quality of this EP combined with her vocal talent means she’s surely a safe bet for great things in 2012.

8. Jodie Marie – On The Road

Jodie Marie is a 20 year old talent, hailing from Pembrokeshire in West Wales. On The Road was a track I had the pleasure of reviewing earlier in the year for So So Gay, and quickly got shoved on repeat. Her vocal power unexpectedly hits you in the chorus of this delightful little song. The single also came bundled with a brilliant, darker version in the shape of the Summer Camp Remix. I very much look forward to hearing more from this newcomer.

7. Anuhea – Higher Than The Clouds

Higher Than The Clouds is the most recent single to be taken from For Love, Anuhea’s second album, set to be released early 2012 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. This young Hawaiian’s brilliant blending of pop and reggae is always a joy to listen to, as exemplified by her superb self-titled début back in 2009 and perpetuated by this great single.

6. Avril Lavigne – Wish You Were Here

With Goodbye Lullaby, which Wish You Were Here is taken from, Avril Lavigne really outdid herself. While I own her previous efforts, the precursors to this album were often hit and miss affairs; Goodbye Lullaby is a very consistent album, with Wish You Were Here being the stand-out track for me, with an impressive vocal from Avril.

5. Jennifer Lopez – One Love (Album track)

I do love me some J.Lo. Love? was her seventh studio album, released earlier this year and contains a number of brilliant catchy pop songs as we’ve come to expect from a J.Lo album. My personal favourite remains One Love, an as yet unreleased track from the album, which has one of the strongest vocals from our little Jenny from the block. The constant “a-woah-a-woah-a-woah” of the backing vocals around the chorus means this song gets happily lodged in your brain.

4. Marsha Ambrosius – Far Away

Of the ten tracks I’ve listed here, this is the most lyrically powerful. It’s a very sad but also truly beautiful track. Ex-Floetry member, Marsha Ambrosius is an artist I only discovered at the top of the year thanks to this soulful track. Far Away is her emotional ode to a gay friend who committed suicide and comes from her début album, Late Nights & Early Mornings. Excuse me, I have something in my eye…

3. Sophia Somajo / SoSo – Wristcutters Inc.

I love Sophia Somajo. Like many of my fellow SoSo fans, I’m desperate for that new album of hers, That Time I Dug So Deep I Ended Up In China, which hopefully will be with us sometime next year – the sooner the better. The lead single to come from it, Wristcutters Inc., is yet another masterpiece, released earlier in the year. More recently, she released the equally brilliant Who’s Gonna Love Me….JUST HURRY UP AND RELEASE THE ALBUM, SOSO!!

2. JoJo – Disaster

I never really though about how much I love JoJo’s music and voice until, having signed up to Last FM, she was listed as one of my most listened to artists (currently number six).  Having played her excellent (and 100% free) mixtape, Can’t Take That Away From Me (which I gushed about here), JoJo is finally releasing a new official album, Jumping Trains, set to come out some time next year. The lead single from it is this track, Disaster, which contains yet another (unsurprisingly) killer vocal from the young American.

1. 4Minute – 거울아 거울아 (translation: Mirror Mirror)

2011 has definitely been all about me finding and fuelling my ridiculous obsession with 5-piece girl group, 4Minute. Mirror Mirror is taken from the group’s wholly excellent first album, 4Minutes Left, and is obscenely addictive (in case you are interested in what they’re singing you can find out here). Judging by the high play counts I’ve accrued in the few months I’ve been listening to 4Minute for, my New Year’s resolution should definitely be to learn me some Korean.

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