Weezy doing what he should have done a lot more often on Tha Carter IV: Going absolutely insane over a cold beat.
Battles operates in two major modes: Playful and Kick-Ass. This is the former, glowing, goofy, and filled with youthful exuberance.
98. Arpeggiated Love---The Field
Bouncing, spinning, swirling around in a weary ten minute plus sound world all its own.
97. Morning Mr. Magpie---Radiohead***
The band's signature taut, ghostly dread, set to tantalizing hyper-speed.
96. Shit-Hawk in the Snow---Moonface
Some strange sort of zombie/disco/dance track. Just as confusing and fun as it sounds.
95. All I Need---Clams Casino
A nocturnal beat that places the weight of the world square on your shoulders, all while employing the Dubstep Wobble.
94. Tomorrow Has to Wait---Peter, Bjorn and John***
A cheesy stab at an epic opening number that just works on me, plain and simple.
93. Too Far Too Late---CANT
The best effort off of Chris Taylor's solo debut, TFTL is the trippy, sweaty breakdown that the rest of Dreams Come True should have been.
On an album stocked with one catchy tune after another, this guy-girl callback is one of the catchiest.
91. Far Nearer---Jamie XX***
Jamie XX's first release under his name alone, Far Nearer is as warm as electronic music gets, guided by clever samples and a plentiful helping of marimbas.
90. Pencil Pimp---Sepalcure
Like Ratatat's LP3 and LP4 albums played at twice the speed. Exciting, fun, and never taking its foot off the gas.
89. When Will You Go?---The Dodos
A lovely, melancholic shuffle, rising up from its gentle chorus into some impassioned axe-work from Meric Long.
Strange Mercy was an album about fury, and the weighty chorus of this one is its most furious moment, twice-over.
87. No Church in the Wild---JAY Z & Kanye West
Massive dollops of filthy bass, Frank Ocean's suave hook, and two of the biggest names in music today. Huge, in a good way.
86. Ffunny Ffriends---Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Fuzzy, Record Player nostalgia applied to one absurdly catchy melody by one of Portland's brightest young prospects.
Killer Dope---DJ Quik***
One of the most jubilant, smiling boasts of the whole year in Hip-Hop, featuring a sunny, retro beat, and probably the most hilarious shout-out I've ever heard.
84. French Exit---The Antlers
The Antlers can do cheery and bright with the same sparkling beauty as they do endless misery. Who knew?
83. Space is Only Noise If You Can See---Nicolas Jaar***
Jaar's spacey, echoing voice with only slippery, bass-happy synths and occasional clicks beneath turns out to be the perfect combination for hypnosis.
82. Motivation---Clams Casino
Enormous, subtle, splashy, subdued: Motivation is a beat that has it all, and sometimes, stunningly, at the very same time.
81. Tomboy---Panda Bear
A psychedelic march into the unknown. One of the only darkly-hued tracks on the album that shares its name, the contrast working in its favor.
Beautiful but harsh, traveling from raspy-voiced gloom, to confessional release, possessing one of the year's most powerful repeated phrases.
Don't let Doorstep's lack of sonic bombast fool you; This is one of the most impassioned, fiery Fight the Man tracks of 2011.
78. Serve the People---Handsome Furs***
A building, electro-pop stomp of an defiance anthem, lent extra gravity by the band's pre-recording stay in Burma.
77. What You Need---The Weeknd
The Weeknd did dirty, sweaty, druggy, and sexy better than anyone else in 2011, and this is their banner example.
76. Keep Me There---Nicolas Jaar
Like much of Space is Only Noise, Keep Me There is at first more fascinating than genuinely enjoyable, but it's weirdo groove eventually settles down into your bones.
75. The Birds Part 1---The Weeknd***
Everyone: Hey, Weeknd Singer Abel Tesfaye, just how amazing and passionate can your voice get? Tesfaye: Well, watch this...
Quirky, guy-girl indie pop sing-a-longs that somehow avoid cloying territory altogether, thanks to a palpable sense of heart and meaning, not to mention Sore Spores' shimmering slow-down outro, and Somebody That I Used to Know's Impossible-Not-To-Shout Chorus. They're such strong incarnations of what is essentially the same thing that I can't pick one over the other, so I won't.
72. Cruel---St. Vincent
Ironically bright with a sinister core, it's true nature revealed in its dark lyrics and post-chorus guitar spaz-out.
71. Lord Knows Best---Dirty Beaches***
One man's world-weary confession of love, set to a gorgeous, repeating piano loop, recorded at the bottom of a well.