Top 11 Songs of 2011

11 Jan

Something else I had to get out of my system:

Technically its top 8, but I encountered 3 older songs that I felt were worth mentioning.

 

1. Luna  (unplugged)– Zoe and Lo Blondo from Hello Seahorse!

Even after listening to this song for the five hundreth time, I still get chills at hearing the opening guitar strums. Lo Blondo’s voice is flawless blended in with the beautiful cello. The chorus: a climactic peak of musical emotions foreshadowed with Lo Blondo’s vocal ornaments. Definitely one of the best songs I have ever heard recorded. And it’s live.

 

2. Espiral- Porter

Technically it’s not a 2011 song, but it was a new song to me. The 3 descending notes at the beginning of the song automatically create the haunting mood of the song. Juan Son’s voice works wonders in the mysterious song. The changing time signature make this song almost unpredictable. It’s a perfect combination of a rock band with almost minimal orchestral arrangements that are only used when needed. And that guitar. Its almost telling a story of its own. Just wait for the second half of the song. The narrator’s desperation and anxiety almost appear right before your eyes. It slowly oh so slowly builds to the climax of the song.  Check out the youtube version at Vive Latino of this band.

 

3. Muralismo –Aparato!

The live version of this song floating around youtube is better than the recorded version. The song is a combination of the mariachi guitarron, dreamy guitar, jarana, powerful vocals, socially conscious lyrics and creative drums combined in one. They had me at guitarron with rock band, but this song takes much more than one listen to truly digest. This is a fusion dream. I can’t wait to see them live.

 

4. Velo de Novia – Hello Seahorse!

The last track of Hello Seahorse’s latest CD, I simply thought, “why would they leave this song at the end of the CD?” Lo Blondo’s vocals are amazing once again. She has vocally developed so much from the first HS CD. In this song, its hard not to get sucked into her operatic beautifully haunting voice. This is a mariachi song at its core, if you ask me. The girl could do an opera or mariachi CD without a problem.

 

5. Daphne – Porter

Also not a 2011 song, but I just encountered Porter. “I don’t know why I love it down here.” Perfect lyrics for a chorus of a melancholic CD.  Porter has a knack of using changing beats and meters to engage and emphasize certain lyrics especially the chorus. The song is quite minimalist with few instruments, but it’s a great melancholic song.

 

6.Born this Way – Lady Gaga

Hey, the song is covered by mariachis and has been embraced by so many people. Add the flash mobs and you’ve got a song that will stick around for a long time. I really like the song has such a positive message. A happy song! This is the mariachi version:

 

7. La Negra- La Santa Cecilia

LSC makes me proud of being a Latina from SoCal. They embody innocence, happiness, excellent musicianship, creativity, and traditions all in one. Who else can blend norteño accordions, cumbia, jazz guitars, and powerful vocals? Again, a fusion dream.

 

8. Somos Mas Americanos- Los Tigres del Norte y Zach de La Rocha

A norteño song with the modern twist. Can you think a better way of unifying generations than with music and a socially conscious message?

 

9. Obstaculo – Ana Tijoux

She sounds gangsta’ with her beats and flow, but she’s got a message in almost all her songs. Her flowing skills are superb at 0:49.

 

 

10. So Easy- UnDVided

This group of 13 year olds is one to watch. I’m completely biased because Klarissa, the lead singer, is someone I know off stage. The lead guitarist (Jakob/Logan) is phenomenal.  Can you think of many 13 year olds that can write a song complete with amazing guitar solos and a great chorus? “Getting over me was so damn easy” are the lyrics that will stick with you even after you’re done listening to the song. Listen to the song and remind yourself that they are only 13.

 

11.  Melodia de tu Alma – Paulina Rubio

Also not a 2011 song, but I just bought the CD. La Pau still has it in her to create meaningful songs that are beyond radio friendly hits.

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