As another year of music comes to a close, we’ll be analyzing and debating the critics’ picks of what tunes summed up 2011 best. But we’re also interested in the perspective of the artists who helped shape the sound of the past 12 months. We’ve picked a special class of pop artists — talents who defined what we heard and saw in 2011 — to participate in our special year-end feature, exclusively sharing with us their picks for the best albums and most exciting performers in music.
Kicking off our annual series is Patrick Stump, who selected an album from a songwriting legend, and someone who clearly influenced the “This City” crooner’s own musicianship. And that talent has been in evidence more than ever this year, as Patrick rocked a string of a cappella crowd pleasers, and his debut solo LP, Soul Punk, which itself ranks among the best albums of 2011 . Jump below to find out whose music had the biggest impact on Stump in 2011.
How punk rock is that? Stump’s favorite album came from Paul Simon, whose So Beautiful Or So What marks the singer-songwriter’s 12th studio album — as well as his highest-charting debut on the Billboard 200. It’s no wonder that Stump has a connection to Simon, as the 70-year-old musician also began his career in a group — as one-half of the legendary duo of Simon and Garfunkel — before splitting up at the height of the duo’s popularity to embark on a solo career. Sounds familiar, right?
“I get really excited about lyricists and really good songwriters, and it’s very unique that Paul Simon also works with such amazing musicians,” Patrick tells us. “Every year he puts out a record it’s kind of a shoo-in for me… one or two of the best couplets [of the year] are going to be on that record.”
Talent you can count on — that’s what he sees in Paul Simon, and that’s what we see in Patrick. That’s one of the reasons we expect to be enjoying his adventures in pop for a long time to come. (That, and the fact that he has excellent taste in soul music, television shows and neckwear, as we learned in his Favorites episode.) Let us know what you thought of Patrick’s pick on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments.
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Keep checking in to Idolator all month long to find out which other pop artists we selected to share their own picks for the year’s best music!