Sunday, January 09, 2011

Best Tracks of 2010

Rounding off my best of the year lists for another 12 months, it's the ten most perfectly crafted pop confections of 2010. To be eligible, tracks must have been released as a single (whatever than means these days) in the last calendar year, so no hidden album gems. You can listen to all ten via this Spotify playlist.

Excuses - The Morning Benders

A serendipitous discovery via the Aweditorium iPad app, Excuses couples shimmering Californian harmonies with the unforgettable line "I taped my tongue to the southern tip of your body". The soundtrack to a perfect summer day.

Young Forever - Jay-Z feat. Mr Hudson

Ok, so Alphaville did most of the heavy lifting by penning the anthemic 1984 original, but Jay-Z's rapping adds some shade to the light of Mr Hudson's vocal and the whole thing just works.

Fuck You - Cee Lo Green

Admittedly not the most nuanced lyrical sentiment, but with a tune more catchy than swine flu, it doesn't much matter. Solving the Ferrari rhyming conundrum with the line "I guess he's an Xbox and I'm more Atari" also earns Mr Green bonus points.

Roll Away Your Stone - Mumford & Sons

I first heard this as part of their barnstorming 2010 Glastonbury set and its irrepressible energy hooked me on first listen. If you've not heard it, I challenge you to listen to all 4 minutes and not tap your foot.

Heaven Can Wait - Charlotte Gainsbourg

The production genius and trademark lyrical ellipticism of Beck, coupled with the captivating voice of Charlotte Gainsbourg and a gloriously surreal music video. What's not to like?

Pack Up - Eliza Doolittle

I'm not sure if I only love this because it reminds me of Jonathan Whitehead's brilliant theme to BBC Two Comedy Rev, but love it I do.

Runaway - Kanye West feat. Pusha T

Pared down piano and a disarmingly self-deprecating lyric, this is Kanye without the swagger and it really works (although the nine minute album version maybe slightly over-eggs the pudding).

I Like - The Divine Comedy

Neil Hannon cutting loose with a veritable meringue of a song which offers nothing more than three and a half minutes of well crafted pop frippery. I like.

Dancing On My Own - Robyn

Poignant disco. Not a phrase you hear everyday, but Robyn hits the mark with a classic not-getting-the-guy lyric and a cracking tune. Guaranteed to make you even more depressed if you are dancing tout seul.

Satellite - Lena

Showing us Brits how it should be done, this German Eurovision winner is a perfect example of disposable pop, with an irresistible hook performed by an untrained 19 year old with curiously endearing mockney pronunciation.

Related posts:
My Top Albums of 2010
Top 20 Best Tracks of 2008

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