2010 has come and gone and that means it is time to count down my favourite songs of 2010. I thought I’d try something different this year and count down my Top 40 songs from 2010 with 10 new songs each day. On Friday I’ll also be posting my Top 40 albums of the year.
All of the songs are up now for your consideration.
Like last year my list tries to encompass the whole year and not just what I’ve been listening to in the last couple months. I’ve also had to leave some songs off the list as they are well represented on the albums list and there just wasn’t enough room for everything. Also, some of the videos can not be played on this site, but will link to youtube where you can watch them.
40.Prince – Laydown
Remember when Prince released his album this year? No. Me either. 20Ten was quite a disappointment, but this track, which for some reason was a hidden track and not officially part of the album, was the best.
39. Massive Attack – Girl I Love You
Massive Attack has been unable to match the success and greatness of Mezzanine, but their 2010 release, Heligoland, had some good tracks on it. This one features regular Massive Attack collaborator Horace Andy on vocals.
38. Fyfe Dangerfield – When You Walk in the Room
How could I not include this song? My co-writers know the significance of this song and it will always remind me of that awesome day. Fyfe is the lead singer of The Guillemots and this song is the danciest thing he’s ever released.
37. Bombay Bicycle Club – Rinse Me Down
Bombay decided to release an acoustic album and this was the first track off it. I’m surprised I heard this in Starbucks once, but it really is a nice song.
36. Laura Marling & The Dharohar Project – Devil’s Spoke (ft. Sneh Ko Marg)
A reinterpretation of the I Speak Because I Can track with traditional Rajasthani folk collective Dharohar Project and singer Sneh Ko Marg. English and Indian folk music meet.
35. Rihanna – S&M
Sure ‘Rude Boy’ was a big hit in 2010, but it came out in 2009 so it can’t be on the list. Instead the lead-off track from her 2010 album Loud was my favourite Rihanna track of 2010. A great dance song featuring the line, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.”
34. Broken Bells – The Ghost Inside
Danger Mouse and Shins lead singer. It seems like Danger Mouse will do something with anyone these days. It’s a good album with this song being the best. I know the youtube link doesn’t work properly on this site, but check out the video featuring Christina Hendricks.
33. Eminem – No Love (Ft. Lil Wayne)
I only heard this song for the first time mid-way through December, but their performance on Saturday Night Live was so strong that I had to hear the studio version. I prefer the live version, but the studio version is the best I’ve heard either of these two sound in a long time.
32. Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill
If this is the only song you’ve heard by Sleigh Bells then you’re not prepared for their album.
31. Vampire Weekend – Giving Up The Gun
This track does a lot musically that Vampire Weekend haven’t done before, which is likely why it is my favourite. I found most of Contra disappointing, but this is the best track they’ve ever released.
30. Reflection Eternal – Midnight Hour (Feat. Estelle)
Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek reunite ten years later for their sophomore album. This track, featuring Estelle, is the jazziest, grooviest thing on the album and adds a nice contrast to the hip-hop of the rest of the tracks.
29. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Come Undone
It reminds me of classic Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra. Cool, calm and collected that screams late nights, smoky haze and hard alcohol.
28. Spoon – Written in Reverse
I don’t think Britt Daniel has sounded this desperate on a Spoon record ever.
27. Robert Plant – Monkey
I just found out this is a cover of a Low song. I guess that makes this song slightly less as great as I thought it was. Robert Plant’s version is the best I’ve heard him sound since Zeppelin. Fantastic.
26. The Knife – Colouring of Pigeons
The Knife released a soundtrack album to an opera that really didn’t sound like anything they had done before. This track, while the most Knife like, is eleven minutes long and features an operatic aria solo.
25. Deerhunter – Desire Lines
The repetitive melody has been done before, but every time I hear it I love it. I’ve never been a big Deerhunter band, but this song really stands out and has made me a fan.
24. Gayngs – Cry
A cover again, of a song I remember from High School, as made popular by the Philosopher Kings (remember them?) in the 90s. This version is slow and steady, weaving its way into your heart.
23. Bon Iver – Come Talk To Me
3 covers in this group of songs today and this one ranks highest. I really loved Bon Iver this year and listened to all his stuff quite a few times. His cover of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Come Talk To Me’ is exactly what you would expect.
22. The National – Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
I wrote about this song a month or two ago and I still love it. The build-up has so much more effect in this alternate version. If this version had been on the album and I had a few more months loving it, it would be Top 10.
21. Yeasayer – O.N.E.
It was a tough decision to pick one Yeasayer song as I would say I am split on this track and ‘Ambling Alp’. The breakdown and outro push this one into the lead.
20. Sufjan Stevens – Futile Devices
Sufjan opened his new album with a fragile acoustic number that made me think it would be an album as good as his Illinois and Michigan albums. Sadly it was the best song on an album that switches gears immediately following this song.
19. Kanye West – Runaway
You can go to any other music site and hear them gush about this song.
18. M.I.A. – XXXO
M.I.A.’s new album was a mess. Great songs surrounded by junk surrounded by noise experiments. ‘XXXO’ was the catchiest and the best.
17. Lissie – Record Collector
I think Shaun told me about Lissie. This is likely the closest on the list to true female pop/rock music. The build up at 2:35 is what makes this song special.
16. Grinderman – Mickey Mouse and The Goodbye Man
Nick Cave is on a role. As long as he keeps up with the gritty sexual blues it’ll all be gold. A lead-off track that encompasses everything that Grinderman stands for.
15. Gorillaz – Rhinestone Eyes
Reminds me of beaches on the other side of the world.
14. LCD Soundsystem – You Wanted A Hit
So LCD don’t write hits? Or at least they pretend not to. At 9 minutes long I don’t see this being on the radio anytime soon. Sure everyone else liked those other songs from the album, but this is the best. Really.
13. The Black Keys – Next Girl
Standout track from an album full of standouts.
12. Big Boi – Tangerine (Feat. T.I. & Khujo Goodie)
“She said her name was Tangerine, damn the American dream, She all about her fuckin cream, so shake it like a tambourine. She said her name was Billie Jean, said she wanna show me things, I pulled out a stack of green, shake it like a tambourine.”
11. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
I pity you if you had to hear Regine sing this live, but the studio version is pure bliss. Often overheard: “Hey, is that Blondie?”
10. Lindstrom & Christabelle – Lovesick
Sexy funk electro is the best way to describe this song. Such a great beat that is complemented so well by the seductive pleading vocals of Christabelle. A late night jam if there ever was one.
9. Cee-Lo Green – Fuck You
When this song was leaked on the internet I think I listened to it 20 times in a row. This is the catchiest break-up song in years. I like the Jools Holland version as well, where he sang it unedited. Got to love Europe.
8. Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours
Kristyn introduced me to this band through the blog. It’s an 80s dance track for the 2000s, which seems to be a popular thing to do these days. But this one is better, way better.
7. The-Dream – Yamaha
The-Dream may be my new favourite R&B artist. This song is straight out of Prince’s catalogue, circa 1984. For the last 4 weeks I’ve been listening to this at least once a day. “Still got your name tattooed on my back”, best line of the year.
6. Hot Chip – One Life Stand
Electro-pop, oil drums and love songs. That kind of describes the whole Hot Chip album, but the title track stands out among them all. I still haven’t seen the version with The Roots from Jimmy Fallon, can someone hook me up with that.
5. The National – Afraid of Everyone
It’s no surprise to regular readers that The National are my favourite band. High Violet was full of amazing tracks, but spots 5 and 4 are filled by my two favourites. ‘Afraid of Everyone’ is a slow burner that builds and builds and shows a slightly new side of the National. ‘Sorrow’ is a track that grows on you with every listen. I can’t explain why I like it so much, but this is melancholic National at their best, with the repetitve “I don’t want to get over you.”
4. The National – Sorrow
3. Kanye West – Monster (Feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj)
This was part of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Fridays before it become part of his album. But when the worst part of the song is a verse by Jay-Z you know you have something great on your hands. Kanye is Kanye, Minaj delivers what will be the best verse of her career and the bass is a motherfuckin’ monster. This song, singlehandedly, got me back into Kanye and hip-hop in general in 2010.
2. Four Tet – Love Cry
I’m surprised that this is my second favourite song of the year. It’s quite simple actually: start with an electrical hum, add some robot noises, then a beat. Add something new every minute or so and then add a vocal sample. I can listen to this groove for hours.
1. Robyn – Dancing on My Own
A pop song at number one?!? Shocking, i know. I remember when this came out, now it is all over the place. In fact, Shaun just heard it at West Edmonton Mall. I prefer the original version over the single version, which is included below. I’ve decided I really like sad dance songs. We need more of them.