The best songs got that emotional kick to them. Sometimes certain songs have the benefit of being featured in films or TV shows that just make them immortal. In 2011 there were three tracks, one from a movie, one from a TV show, and one completely original from an album that really just blew me away.
Pictures in my Head from The Muppets
I never watched the Muppets TV show growing up, but I was familiar with their two massive anthems "Moving Right Along" and "Rainbow Connection," and before you bros out there start ranting about how those aren't anthems, let me say, relax bros, they are anthems and you need to get a soul. But anyway, this song from the pretty enjoyable Muppets flick really nails it with the piano, the drums kicking in, and the lyrics about reflecting on the past. Kermit is so profound man!
N****S In Paris by Jay-Z and Kanye West
Jay-Z and Kanye dropped one of the most anticipated albums of the year with their team up project titled Watch The Throne. With Jay-Z and Kanye being some of the biggest rappers, hype was huge for this one and it totally delivered, and the best track on the disc is this one. With it's simple beat, outlandish boasts, and badass bass breakdown at the end it's the most diverse song on the album. For more on the wild lyrics check out the excellent Rap Genius breakdown of the whole thing. And yeah, it came down between this and Made in America, but N***S in Paris is just more varied.
Goodbye by Soap & Skin & Apparat
2011 was the year I got super deep into the incredible AMC series Breaking Bad. This song, from some German DJ dude featured prominently in the brain exploding awesome season finale and I haven't been able to get it out my head since. It's like old school western music with a modern day twist and highly unforgettable.
Undun (The Entire Album) by The Roots - I guess I'd been sleeping on "The Roots" previous albums or I was rubbed the wrong way by bros who at Dave Matthews Bands shows who say "dude I love the Roots man," but this disc is fresh as hell.