This is Part 1 of my top 20 songs of 2011. This list features songs 20 through 11.
20. Dark Horses – Switchfoot
This song is about the underdogs in the world; specifically, children who are forced into hard situations. According to lead singer Jon Foreman, this song is about kids fighting homelessness. “For me, that song the “Dark Horses” is all about the homeless kids back in San Diego, specifically the ones who are being helped out by Stand Up For Kids. It’s always nice when you have a song you are passionate about singing night after night that has a deeper meaning than simply another verse and another chorus.” Below is the official music video for the song.
19. Alligator Sky – Owl City (Adam Young)
Like most to all of Adam Young’s songs, the interpretation of “Alligator Sky” is wide open. When listening to it, one could pick out many different meanings or themes. For me, I really think this song is about chasing your dreams. Even though you are filled with fear and anxiety about the unknown, one should still faithfully chase their passion. With a guest appearance from rapper Shawn Chrystopher, “Alligator Sky” is definitely a new direction and style for Young. I really love the music video for this song.
18. One More Try (Piano Version) – Wavorly
On their new EP, Wavorly released two different versions of “One More Try.” They recorded an upbeat, pop version and a melodic, piano version. To me, the song gains so much more depth and emotion by having just a piano melody. Plus, vocalist Dave Stovall really shines on this version of “One More Try.”
17. Our Love Saves Us – Blindside
On their new album, Blindside experimented with a couple different musical styles and sounds. The lead single on the album, “Our Love Saves Us,” is much slower and even softer than the usual hardcore sound of Blindside. The official video is a great representation of the song. The music video shows how love will always conquer fear.
16. Never Too Far Gone – Seventh Day Slumber
On their latest album, Seventh Day Slumber mixes together elements from some of their previous records. They throw in their radio friendly rock sound, as well as some slow worship covers. The catchiest rock song on the album, “Never Too Far Gone,” speaks about God’s unending grace. This song is a great reminder that no one is ever too far from Christ.
15. Valleys – Close Your Eyes
This is probably one of the most honest songs on my list. “Valleys” is about constantly failing, messing up and living life down in the valleys. However, even though the band is brutally honest in this song, they still offer hope to the listener. As the song draws to a close, vocalist Shane Raymond screams, “your love reminds me, that though I am broken, I am still standing. I'm still screaming.” Close Your Eyes has always been honest in their music, and this is a very moving, hardcore punk song. Here is the official video for “Valleys.”
14. Faceless – Red
“Faceless” could be one of Red’s hardest songs in their career. According to guitarist Anthony Armstrong, this song is about being empty and hollow on the inside. “You find that the world has kind of gotten itself in your head, and turned you into something that you were never really meant to be. This song is kind of about a person screaming out with that realization, I’m hollow and faceless. I need to do something about this.” I love this homemade lyric video for the song.
13. Book of Secrets – Eleventyseven
“Book of Secrets” is a fast, pop rock song all about hidden secrets and mistakes that ultimately lead to a failed relationship. Even though the lyrics almost have a negative connotation, Eleventyseven still adds their usual upbeat, pop style of music. This video features the song as well as the cover of the Quota EP.
12. Paralyzed – As I Lay Dying
“Paralyzed” is an intense, metal thrill ride. This song is filled with As I Lay Dying’s usual guitar solos and guttural screams. “Paralyzed” is an overt statement of faith, in which Tim Lambesis screams that true life only comes when we die to ourselves. Below, is the official lyric video.
11. Right Here – Ashes Remain
This is my favorite song on the new Ashes Remain record. Told from God’s perspective, “Right Here” is a perfect reminder of God’s unfailing love. Musically, this song has great transitions between acoustic guitars and hard rock melodies. This video features the album cover as well as the song.
To see the top ten songs of the year, you can go to Part 2 here.