“We Are Young,” the anthemic single from New York indie pop outfit fun., was released in September without a great deal of fanfare, but quickly exploded in popularity when the song appeared on a December episode of Glee. The Gleeks consequently stormed the iTunes store en masse, rocketing the song straight to #1 in the Alternative category. And now, with the group’s second LP, Some Nights, due for release in February, there’s an official music video to whet your appetite.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, ourVH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Your regularly scheduled Top 20 Video Countdown show is on a break until 2012, but be sure to tune into the Top 40 Videos of 2011 tomorrow evening when it airs on VH1 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. This week Jim gives us his top 10 albums of 2011.
10.) Love & Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation, Murs
Sometimes Murs’ albums have the propensity of being too laid back, but on Love & Rockets he strikes a nice balance, weaving between more chilled out tracks like “Remember 2 Forget” and heavier callouts like “Let’s Go.” The highlight of the album though is its closing track “Animal Style,” the boldest hip-hop song I’ve heard about homosexuality (which sadly, is traditionally never discussed in hip-hop).
9.) The Road From Memphis, Booker T. Jones
Indeed, this is the same Booker T. from Booker T. & the MG’s, an outfit responsible for making one of the greatest instrumentals in modern music: “Green Onions.” Jones’ trademark Hammond organ licks backed by The Roots’ rhythm section and legendary funk/soul guitarist, Dennis Coffey, play out splendidly on the all-too-fun covers of Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything,” Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” and Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend.” And not to diss, but Lou Reed’s collaboration with Jones on “The Bronx” sounds better than anything he did with Metallica this year.
8.) Watch The Throne, Kanye West & Jay Z
At the beginning of 2011 word on the street was that Kanye West & Jay Z were going to release an album together, while Dr. Dre was set to put out the final recording of his stellar career. I was skeptical of both, but at year’s end I’m happy to say we did get a solid debut from hip-hop’s premiere super-group, although I’m still waiting for Dre’s Detox, which is quickly, or slowly, becoming hip-hop’s version of Chinese Democracy.
What a year, right? As we get ready to put the finishing touches on the year that was, it’s time to look back at the music videos that define the year 2011. Tonight, we’ll be airing a supersized edition of the VH1 Top 20 Music Video Countdown that takes a look back at the Top 40 music videos of the year. Be sure to tune-in to VH1 tonight at 7 p.m. ET/PT to see your favorite videos of the year in all of their widescreen, HD glory, but we couldn’t resist giving you guys a sneak peek at the list here on VH1 Tuner this morning.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top 40 Videos of 2011…
If you missed this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, you’re in luck. Not only is it re-airing tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. on VH1, but we’ve got this week’s complete list of the week’s 20 hottest videos for you. After narrowly missing out on the top spot to Usher and David Guetta last week, Katy Perry‘s wistful “The One That Got Away” has snatched this week’s top spot. Check out the complete list of videos in the final Top 20 Video Countdown episode of 2011 below.
A reminder: VH1′s Top 40 videos of 2011 will be airing at a special time: Wednesday night, December 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Watch this space for more details!
Because December is a month full of year-end lists, for your blog-viewing pleasure, today I give you my favorite singles of 2011:
10.) “Blow,” Ke$ha
Yes, this single was featured on Ke$ha’s 2010 mini-LP, Cannibal, but the track didn’t fully explode (or blow-ow-ow) until the beginning of this year. Because “Blow” stayed away from Ke$ha’s polarizing sing-annunciate-rap formula, it became her first single that I couldn’t stop listening to.
9.) “Michael Jackson,” Das Racist
For some reason, underground/indie-minded hip-hoppers tend to shy away from slick production and repetitive hooks, but on “Michael Jackson” Das Racist embrace these elements with fantastic results.
8.) “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
Dan and Pat of The Black Keys add bass and keys to their two-man sound, creating one of the most fun rock tracks of the year (which will surely still be in heavy rotation come 2012).
Foster The People just released a video for their new single “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls)”, and it’s just as fun filled and irreverent as we’d expect from one of our favorite You Oughta Know bands and the most talked about electro-pop act of the year. The video, which will make its television premiere oh our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown show this weekend, features actress Gabourey Sidibe as an unwitting student on a driving lesson, and Mark Foster dressing himself down via a dorky dad suit and suspicious 70s pornstache.
At first, it appears that Mark is Gabourey’s driving instructor but lo! Of course he’s not! This is a Foster The People video we’re talking about, and there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Gabrielle reveals Mark’s stache as an impostor and uncovers a bag filled with bank notes, just in time for a high energy police chase to ensue. And what would a Foster The People video be without explosions of colorful paint? “Nothing!”, you say, which is lucky because the video sees the getaway car careening though a construction site, simultaneously coloring life! We don’t want to give too much away before you watch the clip, but we will say this — there’s a climactic ending and a healthy dose of Stockholm Syndrome.
Promoting his hit single “Without You,” David Guetta appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, joined by Usher, who brough some serious dance moves to the stage. Spinning, u-turning and collar-popping, Usher employed all the signature moves he’s known for, all the while singing over Guetta’s trancetastic beats. With a team of back-up dancers, flashing lights, psychedelic visualizations and shooting flames, the stage was transformed into a Euro-techno party with Usher and Guetta revving up the audience. No wonder this song is shooting towards the top of our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown!
VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown is premiering Kid Rock‘s video for his new song, “Care,” featuring Angaleena Presley & T.I this weekend, and it’s just in time to get you into the spirit of giving this holiday season. The video is cast in black and white and features a moody looking Kid Rock perched in front of a brick wall, crooning and playing guitar. Footage of Kid Rock jamming is interspersed with images of the everyman, and the message is clear — there are people suffering. Kid Rock’s lyrics urge us to “care” about the less fortunate, with lines like, “I can’t change the world and make things fair, the least that I can do is care.” It’s an anthem for the holiday season to give the more fortunate some serious perspective, championing hope for empathy and humanity.
If you missed this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, you’re in luck. Not only is it re-airing tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. on VH1, but we’ve got this week’s complete list of the week’s 20 hottest videos for you. After losing the top spot to Adele last week, our brand new VH1 Unplugged star Kelly Clarkson is sitting pretty in the top spot of this week’s countdown with “Mr. Know It All.” Check out the complete list of videos below, and be sure to visit Top20.VH1.com to vote for your favorite videos all week long.
The Fray is back with “Heartbeat,” which picks up where their hit “You Found Me” (off their self-titled, Grammy-nominated sophomore effort) left off in 2009. With such a lag time between new albums, the October release of “Heartbeat” as the first single off their forthcoming album, Scars And Stories definitely got pulses The Fray fans racing again.
Now the Denver quartet has collaborated with director Justin Francis (Weezer, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas) to create a video companion to the Billboard Hot 100-cracking track. In the clip, the guys frolic on the beach with some lovely ladies. A bonfire, night swimming and a jam session ensues. For such a moving and sweeping song—the lyrics were inspired by the despair lead singer Isaac Slade witnessed while traveling through Rwanda and South Africa—the visuals are definitely on the lighthearted side, but the ethereal loveliness of the tune definitely shines through.
So, the good news is that we’ve got a new single and a new video. The bad news? The album doesn’t drop until Feb. 7. Way to dangle a carrot, guys!