Last year I spent a lot of time listening to the radio as I drove across Switzerland and I found that the songs that most caught my interest were all by female singers, many of whom were new to me.
The most dramatic “Stop the car, I have to hear this” encounter was the first time I heard “Video Games” by Lana Del Ray
Del Rey brings together a distinctive voice, clever phrasing and evocative lyrics to produce a song that slithers into the mind and refuses to leave. It’s sexy in a languid, intelligent but not trying hard, kind of way that I love.
The next singer to grab my attention was Skylar Grey.
Skylar Gray launched herself with the single “Invisible”. I remember Skylar Grey when she was Holly Brooks. The voice is still the same but everything else is much more dramatic. Watching her video reminded me of the first time I saw an Evanesence video, dramatic and memorable. I think she’ll be anything but invisible in 2012.
The new (to me at least) talent continued with Christina Perri and her single “Jar of Hearts”.
Perri has great lyrics, a strong voice and a video with some wonderful dance moves in it.
Lady Gaga continued to surprise.
Her song, “Edge of Glory” reminded me of Bonnie Tyler singing a Jim Steinman song. The video is, as ever, a little strange, but on the radio this song compels because of the strength of Lady Gaga’s voice.
2011 was the year that Taylor Swift grew up.
Her song “Ours” is a good modern ballad and starts to break away from the sweet little girl singing country into being a woman with something to say.
I’ve been a fan of Katy Perry for a while now.
Like just about everyone else in the world, I fell in love with Adele’s voice in 2011.
There’s lots to choose from on her “21” album but I think the strongest if “Set Fire To The Rain”. It’s an anthem song for her passionate powerhouse voice. I also enjoyed “Someone Like You” which was perfectly offset the by moody black and white video in Paris
Finally, I was pleased to see the return of an old favourite of mine: Cyndi Lauper.
I’m not normally a Blues fan but Cyndi Lauper brings these songs alive in a way that gets under the skin and made even me think that maybe I understood what the Blues were all about.