It seems that with each passing year, the swelling amount of hype and buzz that surrounds certain bands and musicians eclipses and eventually drowns out any of the music that they produce. That is certainly not the band's fault (in most cases), but a lot of music fans get turned off by seeing and hearing certain artists everywhere they turn. But at the same time, a LOT of people buy into the endless hype and promotion of these bands, making the artists themselves very famous and wealthy in the process, which only feeds into the backlash.
So while I'm sure that for every person who agrees with some of my selections of the most overrated bands and musicians of this year, there will be three people that love those very same artists passionately. But who knows, by this time next year, they might be sick of them too. I know I am.
2011 was a damn good year for music. When compiling this list of what are, in my opinion, the best songs released this past year, I had to continually keep myself on task, resisting the temptation to listen to the full album by each of these talented artists. Their collective work is just that good.
Photo by Stacy Schwartz The Joy Formidable at SXSW 2011
And while any year-end list is clearly up for debate, I believe that if all music lovers give another listen to the vast array of stellar releases that came out in '11, everyone can agree that this year had plenty of stirring, striking music that will continue to move us all for years to come.
So take a listen with me as I present to you my favorite songs of 2011.