Top 10 Songs of 2011 (So Far)
It may seem early to run down the Top Songs of 2011, but here's two reasons why we did it. First, a lot of great songs have already been released this year — and who knows, these songs could still be on this list come December 2011. Second, we can, and most certainly will, revisit this list later in the year. So check out our Top 10 Songs of 2011, and let us know if your favorite song made the list.
'If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away'
After spending nearly two years sending a gaggle of hits up the charts from his self-titled debut album, Justin Moore kicks off what's sure to be a 2011 hit song parade with the first taste of his upcoming sophomore album. It's a two-hanky tearjerker that expresses the singer's desire to reconnect with friends and family members who've left this earth for various reasons over the years.
Former 'Nashville Star' Chris Young works up his courage and promises himself that tomorrow, after one last night of doomed passion, he'll follow his head and not his heart and leave his troubled relationship. Then again, we've all seen friends go through the various scenes of this movie, right? So we have to wonder: Could Young be fooling himself?
'Live a Little'
The always perfectly-ironed Kenny Chesney somehow merges AC/DC-style rock guitar riffs with "hang in there" greeting card-level encouragement. He lays out a simple 'live a little/love a lot' formula to remind his fans how important it is to spend some time and energy living for more than just working. Send this one to your bosses next time they want to keep you in the office late.
Nicole Kidman's arm-candy, Keith Urban, delivers a restrained, touching tribute to his new family life on his new single. 'Without You' seems like an extremely personal take on his new marriage. It's very surprising to find out -- perhaps while reading our wonderful spotlight on the song, below -- that Urban didn't even write the song. It's as if the guy read his mind, right?
Kimberly Perry, member of the Band Perry, doesn't mince words on this ticked-off kiss-off. It's the third single from their self-titled debut album, it's sure to be one of the top songs of 2011 and it must have been really therapeutic to write, 'cause they really got creative. His lying abilities get compared to expensive rugs, dogs in the shade and pennies left in parking lots.
Ronnie Dunn delivers his first solo single since leaving Brooks and Dunn -- a serious, U2-type plea for world unity and understanding. No word on whether he also plans to wear sunglasses everywhere, or write a Broadway musical about a superhero like the Irish superstars recently did. Wait -- we mean, are still trying to do. Without injuring any more actors, hopefully.
'Heart Like Mine'
Miranda Lambert, who has absorbed more than her fair share of criticism for behavior that's allowed if not expected from boys, returns fire strongly on the fifth single from her latest album 'Revolution.' There's only one man (Jesus) allowed to judge her, apparently, and he's drank his share of wine and turned over a few tables in his time.
'Country Girl (Shake It for Me)'
The first preview of Bryan's upcoming third album asks the girls out there to give all that hip-hop a break -- just for a minute -- and shake what their mamas gave 'em while listening to country music for once. Smartly, he gives them a big ol' thumping bassline to work with on this upbeat barnburner.
Martina McBride finds all the drama she caused her parents when she was a teenager revisiting her via karmic boomerang years later, in the form of her own 17-year old daughter. She keeps a good sense of humor about all the drama, insults and requests for money on this touching mid-tempo song, mainly by keeping focused on a coveted, and stiff, end-of-day drink.
'I Won't Let Go'
Rascal Flatts uncork a highly dramatic, emotionally charged promise to a loved one on the second single from their new album 'Nothing Like This.' You get the idea that if any of their fans needed help after a tough breakup, or getting a garage painted, the band would actually be there for them. Next thing you know, they'll be using their tour bus to help someone move to a new home.