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11 Greatest Things From 2011

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Nicola Roberts

VIDEO GAME
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Yes, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a video game, but it’s the best one ever and has to be included as a highlight of the year. Since this is a music site, I’ll link to a clip of two talented young ladies blending Jeremy Soule’s haunting soundtrack with that of its predecessor.

SONG
Nicola Roberts – ‘Beat of My Drum’

This song is equal parts puerile and sophisticated. There’s more of an 80s influence than the fashion, from the ferocious rhythms to the playground-shout chorus. It’s basically Fun Boy Three meets Bow Wow Wow meets Gwen Stefani. And it’s awesome.

ALBUM
Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact

“It’s music that doesn’t allow you to do anything else, but insists you give it your fullest attention. It’s Siouxsie Sioux’s Creatures channelled through Transglobal Underground and more bewildering Eurodisco cheese.”

SONG
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – ‘Revolution

“Sophie’s vocals are sauntering over an insistent dancefloor groove that would make Britney blush and steps neatly up to Lady Gaga, whips the scrunchie out of her hair, Heathers-style, and tells her there’s a new sheriff in town.”

VIDEO
Radiohead – ‘Lotus Flower

The song’s well-structured, fine and fun with a moreish quality that makes you want to play it again as soon as it’s finished.

VIDEO
Foetus – ‘Here Comes The Rain

JG Thirlwell is such a mind-bogglingly prolific artist that I could easily have filled this list with his output alone. In 2011, he’s released a prime slab of uneasy listening as a new Manorexia album, remixed Zs and Sohrab, featured on tracks for DJ Food, Elysian Fields and FM Einheit’s International Moods, released a split 7″ with Teho Teardo, made soundtracks for movies The Blue Eyes and Seeking the Monkey King (in addition to his regular Venture Bros soundtrack duties), and even written a comic strip in which he appears as a bunny. I’m going to choose ‘Here Comes The Rain‘, from album HIDE, because it’s one of the most memorable videos I’ve seen this year. I’m still wondering about that goat, by the way.

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