Friday, December 2, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #96: "Sunset in July" - 311

After the unexpected success of their cover of The Cure's "Love Song," it seemed as though 311 had reached their peak. Following the single's release in 2004, the Omaha rock-reggae act had a string of low-selling albums and subpar singles, and the five-piece looked down for the count for good.

2011 saw the band release Universal Pulse, their first record in two years. In June, 311 released the lead single from that album, "Sunset in July."

It was a return to form for the late-'90s stars. It embodies the chilled-out vibe the band has always oozed, slightly updated for the new decade.

And it's one of the best summer songs anyone could ask for this year. We always look for those songs that will be in our heads and on the radio all summer long (this year: "Party Rock Anthem," anyone?), and when it came to rock radio, "Sunset in July" was a fitting nominee. Even the name itself implies a summer-y feel. You can't get much better than that.

It's winter now, and songs like this have long passed their expiration date. But, perhaps you'll be stuck in the dead of winter in a month or so, hating the cold and longing for greener pastures. Should that feeling come about, pop in this song -- and let the memory of sunshine and carefree days wash over you.

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