After much deliberation...
If you're on Spotify, this soundtrack is uploaded to my account. If I know you in person and you want an actual CD, let me know. I purposely limit the playlist to the length of a CD - otherwise I could never narrow it down!
1. Radioactive - Kings of Leon
To me, this song is what going fast on a boat would sound like if it was translated to music. :) Add the references to family and "the water where you came from," and it basically plays over a photo montage of my childhood in my head.
2. Strip Me - Natasha Bedingfield
One of the MANY empowering pop songs I loved this year.
3. Rolling In The Deep - Adele
This was the most covered song of 2011 for a reason. Despite the overexposure, I'm still not tired of it. I loved the video too.
4. Take Me Or Leave Me - Glee Cast
I've performed this in the car (and the shower) countless times.
5. Die Alone - Ingrid Michaelson
Yeah. I can relate.
6. Animal - Neon Trees
I just generally love this.
7. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here - She & Him
In a sense, I dedicate this to the entire male race. :P
8. Bright Lights Bigger City - Cee-Lo Green
This song must have subliminal messages, because it makes me feel carefree and like a million bucks. I heard it in many dressing rooms this year, so I doubt I'm the only one who responds to it. If anyone ever needed me to model, they could play this (and hand me these shoes) and I could OWN IT all the way down the runway.
9. Super Bass - Nicki Minaj
I cannot explain my love for this song. It just makes me happy.
10. Ready to Start - Arcade Fire
One of only two Arcade Fire songs that truly grab me.
11. Machine Gun - Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles wrote this about one of her critics (Sara being on the receiving end of the machine gun). I often listened to it with my own everyday critics in mind. :|
12. Good Life - OneRepublic
On one of my many drives to Nashville, this song came on the radio and really defined my jet-setting summer.
13. Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner
Josh Turner is dreamy. We do a dance to this at line dancing that's my current favorite dance. It's really swingy.
14. Pumped Up Kicks - Foster The People
People seem to either love or hate this song. Well, I love it. I read that Mark Foster purposely wrote it to combine gangsta rap-esque lyrics with a mellow melody. Weird juxtapositions are irresistible to me.
15. Captive - Sarah Harmer
My most-played from the brilliant album Oh Little Fire. It was hard to pick just one!
16. Momma's Boy - Elizabeth & The Catapult
E & the C (as they're known on Twitter) opened for Sara Bareilles on her Kaleidoscope Heart tour. I liked them right away.
17. Baggage Claim - Miranda Lambert
Like many Miranda tunes, this makes me smile uncontrollably and thank God for, uh, lost luggage. :) It's already on my mental karaoke short list.
18. Hurts Like Heaven - Coldplay
Again, almost impossible to choose just one from Mylo Xyloto, but I keep coming back to this. Use your heart as a weapon!
19. Valley of Tomorrow - Needtobreathe
I first heard of Needtobreathe in May. A few months later, I owned all of their albums. They're amazing. 2011 has been a year of soul-searching and re-direction for me, and I like the final song of my soundtrack to summarize the old year AND set a tone for the new one. This pretty much does it.