Premiered on Mistajam’s show on Radio 1xtra last night, this is a beautiful track, courtesy of Delilah along with Liam Bailey. Have a listen to this, and try not to get taken away by it! Such a soulful track which needs to be heard by all of you. Obviously, both featured on Chase & Status’ ‘No More Idols’ massive album, on two of the singles actually. Liam on ‘Blind Faith’, and Delilah on ‘Time’ – both two of the stand out tracks of one of the best albums of 2011. Both look set to have big 2012’s!
The darker, underground twist that pop music is craving for.
Delilah dropped her newest project on Mistajam’s 1xtra show last night. And boy is it a good’un. ‘2-4am‘ shows the pure class many have come to expect from the extremely talented singer/songwriter.
It’s incredible. Despite being classed as ‘pop’, Delilah has managed to maintain that typical mixtape feel. A sense of the underground, even a darker side in some tracks – all surrounded and enhanced by the brilliance in the production.
It kicks off with ‘Never Be Another‘ – a track produced by Balistiq, which had been released early this year (Delilah – Never Be Another | Review). A great track to start the mixtape off with, even if you’ve already heard it, because in no way has lost that fresh first listen feeling.
Then second track, which also had already been released, but again, a lesser known one. ‘Love You So‘ was Delilah’s next single, after the success of ‘Go‘. And it featured a brilliant remix from Joe Goddard – of Hot Chip and The 2 Bears. It was so good, Delilah placed it in her new mixtape.
After the two tracks many people will have heard, Delilah throws in a beaut, ‘The Gospel‘. Possibly my favourite track on the whole mixtape.
‘Closer‘ follows. And continues where the last track left off. Delilah’s voice has something purely unique about it – perfectly shown in tracks like ‘Closer‘ – and if you can’t love the uniqueness, you should be able to at least appreciate it.
Next up is ‘Love Drug‘. Well, yeah, I’m going to start running out of positives soon. Also looks like there will be no negatives. Especially judging by the lack of them on Jam’s 1xtra show last night. He couldn’t find one down-beat comment sent in. Which in this day and age, is properly surprising!
‘Lay By‘ follows. It was first played on Mistajam’s show almost exactly a year ago. So you’d be forgiven for thinking it may be a weaker track, as it’s surrounded all these new ones. I mean, you shouldn’t be forgiven really. Because ‘Lay By‘ is such a strong track. Despite being another strong track, it was heard a while back, so it does show the pure consistency Delilah has. Great track, after great track, after great track.
And surprisingly, another great track follows ‘Lay By‘. ‘Wish I Had Your Life‘ further showcases Delilah’s exceptionally talented vocals. Just pure uniqueness pouring out of this mixtape’s track-listing!
And unfortunately, this next track is the end to this project. By, it’s not all sadness here, as ‘21‘ is just as brilliant as the previous 7 tracks. Another contender for my favourite track off ‘2-4am‘. Also, you can always just replay the mixtape? Seems to work well.
If you couldn’t tell from my slightly ‘over-the-top’ love for ‘2-4am‘, then I’ll say it now. This mixtape showcases some of the best music the UK has to offer right now! Sublime vocals, singing out the perfectly crafted lyrics, along side the immensely tight production. Yes, I love it.
In these first couple weeks of February, we really are greeted with brilliant, new, exciting music. Firstly, this Delilah mixtape, ‘2-4am‘, then over the weekend, Maverick Sabre’s debut album, ‘Lonely Are The Brave‘ is out, then the weekend after, BRITS Critics Choice Award winner, Emeli Sande releases her hotly anticipated debut LP – ‘Our Version Of Events‘.
I hope for the sake of ‘pop’, that Delilah is able to take it in her own way.
I’ve waited to review this track for a few days now. Basically me not being able to operate Hulkshare meant I couldn’t actually put a copy of the track into the review to listen to – which I always try and do. So I had to wait ’till I’ve found a radio rip on YouTube, and now I found that radio rip (it’s at the end of this post). So here you go…
Oh, quickly see if you can guess which radio DJ’s show it was premiered on…
Mistajam’s. Like so many great tracks are now!
Eric Turner will predominately be known for his superb feature on Tinie’s ‘Written In The Stars’, but my favourite track I’ve heard him on, was his collaboration feature with Sway on Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Break The Chain’. To be fair, both were, and still are great tracks. But now we have something he can credit himself on. Eric Turner (Featuring Kardinall Offishall, Wretch 32, and Professor Green) – Style Changer.
This is the first track heard off of Eric Turner’s upcoming mixtape, and the production is courtesy of iSHI, who is also responsible for some other great production work, funnily enough, for each of the artists in this Eric Turner track. My two favourite album tracks from Wretch’s ‘Black And White’ album were produced by iSHi, ‘Sane’s The New Mad’, and ‘Don’t Be Afraid (ft. Delilah)’. iSHi has also notably produced ‘Game Over’ which in my view included Pro Green’s been ever verse (the Kerry Katona line gets me every time!). He also produced the ‘Break The Chain’ track I mentioned earlier, and helped produce ‘Read All About It’. Devlin’s ‘Brainwashed’, Example’s ‘Two Lives’, and 4 tracks off Tinie’s debut album (including Eric’s featured track, ‘Written In The Stars’) were all, also, done by iSHI! So, with a list like that, it’s no surprise that the production on this track is supreme!
Wretch’s verse is top, and so is Pro’s – I wouldn’t say their best feature track verses, however. My favourite feature verse from Wretch, was on the remix of ‘Hitz’. And I’ve already told you that I think Pro’s was in ‘Game Over’! But, those set very high standards, which will be very hard to top! So, I’m in no way saying they’re lacking here – and the fact you can hear them on the same track, along with the brilliant Kardinall Offishall and Eric Turner, is more than enough talent for me!
If this level of production and featured artists is kept throughout the upcoming mixtape, then we shall count ourselves lucky!
As good as 2011 was in music, 2012 hints it might even top it. Slightly ignoring the BBC Sound of 2011 longlist – not because I’m a stuck-up, know it all music blogger, but because I’m a big fan of three artists in particular, and I’m sure will all have massive upcoming years.
Hackney born, Maverick Sabre, is a real contender for best newcomer. I say newcomer, but Maverick’s already had a big couple of years, with features on big tracks with Professor Green, Chase & Status and True Tiger, his ‘The Travelling Man’ mixtape – including ‘Sometimes’ ft. Wretch 32, a live performance on the Jools Hollans show, debut single ‘Look What I’ve Done’ from the ‘Lost Words’ EP, which reached number 2 on iTunes, after the first of two appearances on the Chris Moyles Show, where he performed a cover of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ and on his second, more recent appearance, a cover of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ – both of which were absolutely stunning.
If those highlights weren’t enough, he’s also released two further singles, both of which show the broad range of his talent. ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘I Need’ peaked at number 16 and 18 respectively. These two, and the upcoming single ‘No One’ are in the lead up to the hotly anticipated album, ‘Lonely Are The Brave’, due for release around early February. It’s an album which promises a lot, and I can’t see it disappointing at all.
Another artist with a big 2012 ahead of them is the supremely talented, Emeli Sande. She first came to most people’s attention with her feature on Chipmunk’s, ‘Diamond Rings’, in 2009. Then again, in 2010, with her feature on Wiley’s, ‘Never Be Your Woman’ – both achieved the top 10! She also featured on Professor Green’s ‘Alive Till I’m Dead’ album opener, ‘Kids That Love To Dance’. But it was her second track with Pro that caught her the most attention, arguably, so far. ‘Read All About It’ was one of the biggest number 1 singles of the year, and it was a track where Professor Green went deep and personal, so the featured artist had to be a careful choice. Emeli was the perfect choice, her voice is just incredibly hair-raising – which added to the whole personal feel to the single.
Obviously, it’s not just her featured work that’s got her the rightful attention. Her 2011 singles, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Daddy’ peaked in the charts at 2 and 21 – to be fair, I thought ‘Daddy’ deserved a position like ‘Heaven’ got, but wasn’t to be I guess. These were both in the build up to her debut album, ‘Our Version Of Events’, expected to be released in early February.
But I think what shows her talent the best is her recent BRITS Critics Choice Award (Maverick came runner-up notably). This award has gone, in previous years, to Adele, Florence and the Machine, Jessie J – all of which, have had amazing recent years. What more could hint at her talents?
Finally, in my big 3 to watch next year, Delilah. Singed to Atlantic Records since the age of 17, Delilah has most notably featured on the Chase & Status single, ‘Time’ – which she co-wrote with Chase & Status, as well as Plan B. Following the success of ‘Time’, Delilah joined Maverick Sabre on the Chase & Status tour.
But much like Maverick and Emeli, Delilah has also released a couple of amazing singles in the lead up to her debut album. ‘Go’ produced by London duo, Ballistiq being the first. It incorporated lyrics from Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ – with added material from Delilah. Chaka actually described ‘Go’ as ‘genius’! Then the next single, the simply brilliant, ‘Love You So’, which proved her consistency to come out with stunning tracks.
She’s also been included in the short-list for MTV’s ‘Brand New For 2012’ – which before, has featured the likes of Tinie Tempah, Lady Gaga, and Wretch 32!
Maverick Sabre, Emeli Sande and Delilah all promise to have unreal success in 2012. Obviously there will be other artists that will have similar standards of achievement. But these 3 are my suggestions for you to really get to know – to be fair, most of you probably do, because I’m definitely not the first person to say this, but I won’t be the last!
This opening is effectively a disclaimer. These are my Top 50 Singles, I didn’t get any outside opinions, as I really couldn’t be bothered to spend time putting a poll together. Also, the shortlist was put together in a couple of hours, so I may have made a big mistakes in leaving a couple of great singles out. But I’m pretty pleased with the 50, and I could reorder them tomorrow, and they’d probably come out in a different order – so keep that in mind. Right, on with the countdown.
50. Chris Brown ft. Benni Benassi – Beautiful People.
I’d like to state for the record, that I thoroughly despise Chris Brown, especially as a person. He’s nicked one of my favourite all-time tracks, ‘I’m Not Alone’, and used it in one of his ‘own’ songs. And the obvious reason, of being a woman-beater. But to be fair to him, this is a belter (all puns intended). Even Calvin admitted he loved it, despite Brown earlier taking parts of his track – apparently they’re ‘best mates’ now?
49. Katy B – Broken Record.
There’s been a lot of hype around Katy B this year, and for good reason too. NNE, The Guardian and lots of other critics loved her album. Which, if I’m honest, I found strange. I mean, I liked the album, not loved, just liked. But I thought it would have been an album critics would’ve slated? Anyway, ‘Katy On A Mission’ is by far her most recognised, and my favourite, track – but it was released in 2010. So, this is my second choice, and it’s a very good second choice. I could’ve also picked ‘Lights On’ or ‘Easy Please Me’, which shows the multi-genred singer’s consistency to produce great singles.
48. Jai Paul – BTSTU.
Released: 21st April 2011/Charted: #139
This track went absolutely massive in late 2010/early 2011, with seemingly every Radio 1 DJ expressing their love for it. Zane Lowe had it as his ‘Hottest Track In The World’, and I’m pretty sure Fearne Cotton had it as her ‘Record Of The Week’ too. Annie Mac also include it on her ‘Annie Mac Presents 2011’ compilation album. And perhaps most impresively of all, Drake and Beyonce have sampled it on their own tracks.
47. The Vaccines – Norgaard.
Released: 19th August 2011/ Charted: #84
The surprisingly short single release (1:39) off their brilliant album, ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines’, features, in my view, one of the best hooks of the year: “Her mind’s made up/ She don’t wanna go steady/ She’s only 17/ So she’s probably not ready.” It’s not the most intellectually challenging hook – but since when did that matter. I see it as a great song to sing, especially when drunk.
46. Fenech-Soler – Stop And Stare.
Released: 15th April 2011/ Charted: ?
It’s been a right up-and-down year for the amazingly talented Fenech-Soler. In March, Ben Duffy, was diagnosed with testicular cancer – which luckily, he fully recovered from. But it did result in the cancellation of their planned 9 date UK tour – but obviously on the wider scale of the things, it didn’t really matter. All proceeds of ‘Stop And Stare’ were donated to ‘The Teenage Cancer Trust’ – which I think is just amazingly thoughtful. The band would have been forgiven for slowing down, but they came back in the summer, and remarkably played at 23 festivals, including V Festival and Glasto.
45. Kasabian – Re-Wired.
Released: 20th October 2011/Charted: #96
Re-Wired is the second single off of Kasabian’s album ‘Velociraptor!’ Obviously, the decline in guitar/band based music has meant it didn’t achieve anywhere near what their previous albums did, which is an actual shame. But chart positions aren’t everything, and to be honest, it was just great to see Kasabian back. Especially in this track, as it beautifully features Noel Fielding on a bike.
44. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream.
Released: 3rd March 2011/ Charted: #136
It was always going to be tough for James Blake to follow up ‘Limit To Your Love’ – which drew in large amounts of people, and it seemed to split people down the middle. Some loved, some hated. Well, I loved it – and the album, which is one of the best from 2011. It didn’t have the success it deserved, probably as it was available on the album before the single release date, but it just didn’t get the same hype that his previous single had rightly got.
Released: 21st February 2011/Charted: #76
‘Mirrorwriting’ is Jamie Woon’s debut album received a great reception, and it backed up the 4th place in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 poll. It’s so obvious he’s talented, and Lady Luck has always been my favourite from him. If you haven’t heard or listened to Jamie, then please buy ‘Mirrorwriting’ – you really cannot go wrong.
Released: (digitally) 16th April 2011/Charted: #28
This, I’m sure would have been a contender for number one. But it was released the day/day after of it’s first ever radio play, and only digitally. This meant there was very little promo time, and they were limited in how many people could buy it. But it’s Arctic Monkeys, anything they do is right in my view. It was the lead single to their ‘Suck It And See’ album, which again for me, doesn’t do what the Arctic Monkeys do best. But as I said, it’s the Arctic Monkeys, they can’t be bad – ever.
Released: 7th March 2011/ Charted: # ?
Much like James Blake, how Aloe Blacc could ever match the success of ‘I Need A Dollar’, I don’t know. But this track gives it a fairly good go at matching it musically anyway. It’s one of the many great songs off Aloe’s album ‘Good Things’ – a much recommended album to buy.
Released: 17th June 2011/Charted: #51
Similarly to Kasabian, we saw a return from the brilliant Hard-Fi in 2011, with their album ‘Killer Sounds’. I was lucky enough to catch them at V Festival where they put in a great set on a small little stage. But I can’t help imagining the size of stage they would’ve been on off the back of their debut album ‘Stars Of CCTV’ though. However, the sinlge is great and so is the album, so check out both if you haven’t already!
Released: 19th August 2011/Charted: #1
This is the first UK Charting #1 in my Top 50, but if this was a year ago, an Olly Murs song would’ve been no-where near my Top 50. But his 2011 campaign has converted me some-what. I find him so lovable, so hard to dislike now. Even Example realised how nice he was this summer at V Festival, after hating him for so long. Also, the way he added to Rizzle Kicks’ budding success in summer was a great touch.
Released: 28th October 2011/Charted: #4
Got to admit, didn’t know anything about this track, or where it came from. All I know is, it’s such a great summer anthem. Just a shame it’s been released in late October really. But I really look forward to what the Swedish house producer has to offer next!
Released: 8th May 2011/Charted: #13
I’ve been a big fan of Yasmin ever since she was announced as a support act for Example on one of his earlier tours – and there’s no doubt of her immense talent! If she doesn’t have a very successful 2012, I’d be very surprised!
Released: 29th April 2011/Charted: #21
Truly brilliant track this. But what more could you expect from Chase & Status and Delilah. Time is just one of the great collaboration on one of the biggest album of the year, ‘No More Idols’! Oh, and it’s not the only time (this time there was not pun intended) Chase & Status or Delilah feature on this Top 50!
Released: 22nd July 2011/Charted: #50
Originally released on Magnetic Man’s self-titled album, Anthemic was then released as a single, but this time incorporating P Money. It’s really worked a treat, possibly an unexpected successful collaboration. It still keeps the, funnily enough, anthemic sound from the Magnetic Man trio, but also then added a grime edge to it – which worked brilliantly.
Released: 12th September 2011/Charted: #2
Like ‘Don’t Sit Down…’, ‘Paradise’ didn’t get the immediate chart success, as it was available for free when pre-ordering Coldplay’s newest album, ‘Mylo Xlyoto’. But since is chart eligible date, it’s had great success, and is currently riding high in the iTunes charts still – when I last looked it was above Little Mix. Thank God. It is a really addictive track, which has to be one of my favourite Coldplay tracks, just after ‘Fix You’.
Released: 5th August 2011/Charted: #1
The track which took Dubstep to number 1. It’s a massive song, and not just in terms of it being a great single – it’s effectively a landmark for Dubstep, in a year which has seen it take of massively. Partly down to Nero. Number 1 album and single really showed doubters that Dubstep can be properly commercially successful.
Released: 22nd April 2011/Charted: #8
A Nero double here. I imagine if I reordered some time in the near future, I would’ve placed ‘Guilt’ and ‘Promises’ a bit higher, but ah well. 32 and 33 isn’t too bad really. ‘Guilt’ is, well, just massive. There’s not really a better way to describe it. Nero at their best for me! (They will also feature as the producers of a single later on, ant guesses?)
Released: 11th November/Charted: #5
This single is the first entry from the immensely talented Ed Sheeran! (Read here about his ground-braking 2011: https://willackrillmusic.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/who-does-2011-belong-to-ed-sheeran/) It may seem low, but he has 2 other singles in my Top 50 so, it’s not too bad. This one will probably be remembered for it’s video. Staring Rupert Grint as a weird stalker of Ed Sheeran. It’s just an instant classic!
Released: 27th November 2011/Charted: #21
Emeli is by far one of the most talented singers in the world. That’s a big statement I know. But watch her this year, and you’ll be agreeing very soon! Her album will put so many other artists to shame early next year. But for now, we have to make do with ‘Heaven’, and her latest single, ‘Daddy’. I was unsure which to put in here, but went for ‘Daddy’ as it shows her amazing consistency. (Again, she’ll be back on this list, as a featured artists this time.)
Released: 5th April 2011/Charted: # ?
A single release from Wiley’s 7th (yes, 7th!) album. And he kept the standards we expect from one of the most influencial grime artists -if not raised them! Great beat, and ever greater lyrics. Oh, and the video’s great. Just generally great really.
Released: 20th July 2011/Charted: #28
The lead single from the massive ‘Watch The Throne’ collaboration album. And surprisingly, the single was massive as well. Jay and Kanye at, if not their best, very close to it! Get ready for more collabing between these two in 2012! (https://willackrillmusic.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/jay-z-and-kanye-to-release-solo-albums-oh-and-a-second-watch-the-throne-all-in-2012/)
Released: 6th September/Charted: #17
An amazing debut single from the beautifully talented Delilah. Obviously known from her collab with Chase & Status with ‘Time’ featured at Number 36 earlier. This time it’s her track which enters the Top 50. It really is a stunningly soulful track from her! Much like Emeli Sande, watch out for her in 2012! (again, not the last time you’ll see Delilah in this post!)
Released: 23rd May 2011/Charted: # ?
One of the hottest producers out there right now, already with a brilliant, and critically acclaimed studio album out! If you haven;t bought it, I now urge you to! Wildfire was released as a single, and luckily it also happens to be my favourite from the self-titled album.
Released: 4th December 2011/Charted: #19
Another showcase of the diversity of British music in 2011. I can’t really think of anything similar to ‘Still Speedin” really. Which again shows the originality, which can often be ignored when pummelled with X-Factor finalists. Wish it charted higher to be fair, 19’s great, but it deserved more!
Released: 16th December/Charted: #18 (so far!)
This is the first of two individual entries from the hottest duo in music right now. Their rise of success has been failry sudden. In the last 6 months, it’s really taken off for them, and right so! I’ve met them, and they are so down to earth, and exactly how they seem in the cheeky, yet great, videos and songs – and Mama Do The Hump epitomizes that!
Released: 8th July 2011/Charted: # 86
A fairly unknown track, unless you’re big fans of these artists. But it’s a track all of you should learn about! Premièred on Mistajam’s show a while back in summer, it showcases UK at it’s finest. Ed was still fairly unknown at this point, so it was even more underground than you might have thought.
Released: 22nd July 2011/Charted: #16
The debut single release from the versatile and massively talented Maverick Sabre. A release which drew large amounts of new fans in, especially the Chris Moyles Breakfast Show Team, who’ve had him on the show a couple of times – most recently to perform a cover of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ – which was stunningly beautiful. Again, another one to expect big things from!
Released: 11th December/Charted: #49
The first of 4 entries from Wretch 32 in my Top 50! In my view, despite the shunning from the MOBO Awards, he’s had a massively successful year. Forgiveness has the added brilliance of Etta Bond! (who’s singed to Labrinth’s record – so you know she’s good!)
Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #3
Some of you may be surprised to see this single at 20, amybe it should be higher? But I see it as released in 2010, on the ‘Loose Change’ EP – so to me, it’s already been there for ages. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, and it’s the song that got Ed to where he is now, so it’s obviously important!
Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #52
True Tiger deserve all the accolade they will rightly get in 2012! I’m certain things will really take off for them, and I really hope I’m right! This track sees them collaborate with Pro Green and Mverick Sabre again, after the success of Pro’s single, ‘Jungle’. It was performed live on Radio 1 from the Olympic Stadium – and I think they boys managed to get a cheeky 100m race in too! The video’s also worth watching, showing a mad mass of pigeons chasing someone. Yeah, it really does.
Released: 19th August 2011/Charted: #2
This was the last song I saw performed at V Festival in the summer, so I have a real connection to this song. It was the perfect set from the Scottish producer, and ‘Feel So Close’ was the perfect way to round off an amazing weekend. Calvin is featured again in the Top 50 again, so keep looking!
Released: 28th August 2011/Charted: #1
This is the first entry from Example – an artist who has had an incredible 2011, with a number 1 album, and two number 1 singles – ‘Stay Awake’ being one of them! It’s produced by the immensely talented Nero, so you couldn’t really have a better combination. Another track which was a real highlight of the summer just gone!
Released: 18th December 2011/Charted: (charts on 25th I think?)
The third inclusion of the supremely talented vocalist. ‘Love You So’ is my personal favourite of her ever growing collection of tracks, and I’m really looking forward to see what her album in the new year will be like! (I bet it’s probably pretty good?!)
Released: 3rd July 2011/Charted: #1
Probably helped by it’s inclusion in the Lucozade adverts, DJ Fresh’s track, ‘Louder’ went down an absolute storm! Played all over radios, watched all over TV, played everywhere by DJs! It was definitely another massive summer track!
Released: 10th June 2011/Charted: #8
This was their second single, but their first to get properly noticed. I remember not being to sure of the newly produced version of ‘Down With…’, (yes, there is an older version…) but it really grew on me, and I was so glad they were finally, and deservedly, noticed for their talent – especially after Fearne Cotton had it as her ‘Record Of The Week’.
Released: 4th December 2011/Charter: #30
My favourite album track (until it was then released as a single off the back of the ‘Playing IN The Shadows’ album obviously). The EP features some amazing remixes of ‘Midnight Run’ by the way – especially courtesy of Example’s bassist, Sheldrake! The production from Feed Me (who’s on the Deadmau5 label!) is unbelievable too!
12. Calvin Harris ft. Kelis – Bounce.
Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #2
This is the second time Calvin has featured in the Top 50. It’s also the second no.2 hit he’s had this year. Both times I think he was beaten by Example, with his two number 1 singles. But despite that, ‘Bounce’ was heard everywhere over summer, a properly addictive track!
Released: 13th September 2011/Charted: #6 (US Billboard)
An unbelievable record from my two favourite Hip-Hop artists of all time. The beat is just indescribably good! Apparently Jay and Kayne performed it about 8 times in 1 set – got to say, I really wouldn’t mind that, at all! My favourite off the ‘Watch The Throne’ album by a mile!
NOW WE’RE GETTING INTO IT! TOP 10:
Released: 23rd October 2011/Charted: #2
Labrinth is without doubt, on of the biggest producers out there, so it’s no surprise that the beat he created to his single, ‘Earthquake’ was unreal! Tinie also showed us that he will never forget his roots and the people who helped him – obviously Lab produced and collabed with Tinie on his debut album. Labrinth’s going to be huge in the upcoming year, I’m sure of it! It was the highest selling number 2 single of the year, losing out only to…
Released: 23rd October 2011/Charted: #1
…to this single. The incredibly emotional ‘Read All About It’. Which features the chillingly talented vocals of Emeli Sande, whilst Professor Green spills his heart out on one of the deepest records he’s ever made! Rightly his first massive number 1 hit – and rightfully in the top 10 on here too! (It was also the first track I reviewed, ever!)
Released: 28th August 2011/Charted: #4
Despite charting one place lower than ‘The A Team’, it sold more copies in it’s first week, and helped promote the number 1 smash album, ‘+’. This sing has so many different versions, and it was great to finally see it get some rightful accolade. My favourite Sheeran song? Well, maybe. But definitely my favourite Sheeran single.
Released: 14th August 2011/Charted: #1
This is Wretch 32’s second entry into this Top 50. And it was his first number 1, at the third attempt, he’d finally done it! Helped by the little known Josh Kumra. Little known, but hopefully not for much longer – his beautiful soulful voice really added to the single! (Expect to see Wretch again in the next few tracks…)
Released: 4th November 2011/Charted: #18 (Official Single Version)
Right, this is technically a remix. Technically. I wanted to include ‘I Need’ in the Top 20 or so, but I though the New Machines remix deserved a Top 10 place, so there you go! This is by a long way, one of the best remixes of the year! It’s hard to improve an already beaut of a track, but these guys managed it! (Look out for a New Machines feature on the ‘Soundhall‘ blog soon!)
NOW FOR THE TOP 5!
5. Flux Pavilion and Doctor P – Superbad.
Released: 9th December 2011 /Charted: #61
As I’m writing about this track, I can’t help but listen to it on repeat, and just sing it to myself. It’s the most addictive track I have ever heard! I mean, the lyrics are simple, but that’s good – as I can actually remember them. But the beat created by these two amazing producers is incredible! Can’t wait to see what they come up with in 2012!
Released: 16th January 2011/Charted: #5
This was Wretch’s first big hit. Right back in January, before touring with Example, a tour of his own, and many massive festival performances. At all of these, ‘Traktor’ was live! Famously featured on Jamal Edward’s Google Chrome advert as well! The beat, incredible. L’s vocals, incredible. Wretch’s lyrics, incredible. It was the start of a roll which saw him rise and rise in popularity!
RIGHT, FINALLY, THE TOP 3!
Released: 5th June 2011/Charted: #1
Example’s anthem. Everyone knows or has heard this track somewhere. Whether on radio, TV, or at the typically ravey end to an Example set! It’s by far one of the biggest tracks of the year, and was a proper contender for my number 1! It really was the start of the fame for Elliot Gleave, but it wasn’t a sudden rise to fame – he’d worked for this, and got the number 1 album spot, which he considered more important – correctly so!
2. Wretch 32 ft. Example – Unorthodox.
Released: 17th April 2011/Charted: #2
Yeah, so that wasn’t the last time Example features on the Top 50. His epically catchy chorus on Wretch’s second single – the follow up to ‘Traktor’ enhanced the brilliance! Sampling the ‘Fools Gold’ track from the Stone Roses was such a good idea, and it really didn’t harm the orginal in my view – Ian Brown even said he liked Wretch’s version!
SO, NUMBER 1?
Released: 15th July 2011/Charted: #39
The perfect combination between underground and commercial. The Chase & Status production, in my view, at it’s best, and also Tinie at his hardest too! I didn’t really want a number 1 track, which already would have massive attention being my number 1 as well, and this was my favourite track off ‘No More Idols’. Also, no joke here, it was the highlight of my life, seeing this track performed live TWICE with Tinie Tempah there as well! A full deserved winner in my view!
WELL, YEAH, THAT’S THAT THEN…
Well 2011 has been a mentally good year for music, especially for the UK scene – partly down to Jamal Edwards and SBTV. We’ve seen rises from great arists this year, and small rises from even newer artists, who will have stunning 2012’s. Click here to read further about the biggest stars of 2011!
2011 has been one of the best years for music in a very long time. With so many artists finally ‘making it’, how can you say who has had the better year? Do you base it purely on chart positions? If so, it counts out some artists. Do you base it purely on breaking through? Again, that counts some artists out. So you have to try find that middle ground. This post is effectively like a ‘BBC Sound Of’ post, but for the year just gone. So often we’re caught just looking forward, rightly so on occasions, to the new, fairly unknown, exciting artists. However, we need to hand out some credit to the people responsible for the music that shaped 2011. Shaped it in the good way, by the way. (Don’t expect to see a section on LMFAO.)
In terms of charts, it’s hard to look past Adele. ‘Someone Like You’, off of her ’21’ album took the worldwide charts by storm – number 1 in 24 separate countries! ’21’ also overtook Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’, as the highest selling album of the, funnily enough, 21st century. I mean, that’s quite a good year, I guess.
But so many artists have had a really good 2011. Calvin Harris, with the massive summer anthems, ‘Bounce’ and ‘Feel So Close’, not forgetting his Rihanna earworm collaboration, ‘We Found Love’. Also, Chase & Status, with the massive singles, like, ‘Let You Go’ and ‘Blind Faith’, off one of the biggest albums of the year, ‘No More Idols’. This list is endless! (Obviously it isn’t endless, but yeah, you get the idea.) There’s just been so much great music in 2011! It did seem to be some of my favourite music was finally getting recognised, Professor Green finally getting a massive number 1, with ‘Read All About’, Example smashing the summers festivals, with 2 number 1s, ‘Stay Awake’, and possibly many peoples’ favourite single of the year, ‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’ – not to mention the number 1 album spot, with ‘Playing In The Shadows’. Rizzle Kicks have really grown in the past 6 months. Their rise to success was fairly sudden. I met them outside the Barfly in Camden ahead of their gig. This was in July – just 5/6 months ago. This was around the time ‘Down With The Trumpets’ took off, not long after this, ‘When I Was A Youngster’ was released, and also their feature on Olly Murs’ number 1 single, ‘Heart Skips A Beat’. Their newest single, ‘Mama Do The Hump’, off the back of their brilliant album, ‘Stereo Typical’, features James Corden in the video. Just another example of their progression. They’re now one of the hottest duos out there. An album which went fairly, and annoyingly, unrecognised, in terms of acclaim, was ‘Black And White’, from the supremely talented Wretch 32. For me, it’s one of the albums of the year. It flows together better than any other album I’ve heard in a long time, let alone 2011. ‘Traktor’ hit number 5, bringing in a wide range of new fans, as well as touring with Example in early 2011 – it set out where Wretch was going. The second single release followed – ‘Unorthodox’ feat. Example. In my eyes, this is one of the best tracks of the year. (Oh, and Adele agrees with me.) Unfortunately though, it only charted at number 2. I remember the first set I saw at V Festival, was Wretch 32’s. It was also the weekend that the beautiful ‘Don’t Go’ feat. Josh Kumra, charted at number 1, and you could tell from the performance he gave that he was enjoying all this success so very much. Soon after the album followed, but for some reason, it didn’t have the success that other artists were rightly getting around that time, and even more strangely, Wretch didn’t receive any MOBO Awards. But even so, he’s definitely had one of the best years imaginable. As I’ve mentioned, many artists have broken through in 2011. But Nero have been influential in the break through of a whole genre. A year ago now, Nero were included in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 longlist. But no-one could really have imagined how they’d progress. They brought Dubstep to number 1. Single charts with, ‘Promises’, and album charts, with ‘Welcome To Reality’. Even Lupe Fiasco featured a couple of Nero’s tracks on his latest mixtape! There’s almost too much choice! Jessie J was the eventual winner of the ‘Sound Of 2011’, giving her much deserved acclaim. ‘Do It Like A Dude’ was released in 2010, but Price Tag’ was one of the biggest singles of the 2011! In fact, it was the biggest collaboration single of 2011, with B.o.B. As well as that, her album, ‘Who You Are’ is the biggest selling debut album of the year! Obviously, you’ve got the likes of The Vaccines, Katy B, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Jay Z + Kanye, who have all had good years as well – and I’ve probably left a few out, but there really has been so much success this year in music!
Tell you what though, 2012, will be even bigger! Maverick Sabre, Emeli Sande and Delilah are definitely three to watch out for. But you should probably know that by now.
But there’s one artist I’ve significantly left out of this review so far. Ed Sheeran…