I loved this post from The Awl, which so accurately describes my approach to music.
Now that we’ve finally cleared out all of those “best of” and “year end” music lists of 2011—and good riddance!—here’s something different: most played songs. The songs that show up on your most played list aren’t necessarily the songs that defined the year for you. They can be timeless—the comfort songs you return to over and over again. Or they can reflect periods of brief, intense obsession, such as, in my case, with “My Heart is a Drummer” by Allo Darlin’, which I first listened to on a recommendation from a friend, and proceeded to play 50 times in a span of three days.
I’m an inveterate music binger. I get absolutely, completely hooked on a song or an album and then have to force myself to move on by enforcing arbitrary rules concerning the contents of my iPod – i.e. can’t add any other music until I’ve listened to everything on it, can only have 5 Essential Mixes on deck at any one time, etc. This tunnel vision also means that I’m slow to discover new music, especially since nearly every time I decide I need new music, I end up downloading music that is new to me but generally dates to the decade of my birth. Oops.
So, with no apologies, I present my top 5 artists and albums from 2011 based on last.fm play counts:
- Talking Heads
- LCD Soundsystem
- New Order
- Front 242
- Magnetic Fields
- LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening. It’s actually not worth listing my top tracks as they’re all from this album.
- New Order – Power, Corruption And Lies
- Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues
- Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs
- Talking Heads – Little Creatures
Note: I have removed The Diane Rehm Show from both of these lists as while it contains interstitial music, it doesn’t meet the ‘music’ definition used for this post. It is, however, my 4th most played ‘artist’ and 2nd most played ‘album’.