A couple of days late — Best singles of 2009

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

       It’s very pleasant to look at the year 2009 musically, though in my personal life I was happy to see the back door of it. Major upheavals, but at least the high number of really wonderful singles kept me momentarily distracted. First, the contenders, in no particular order.


1. Winter Winds — Mumford & Sons  Lovely tune, talented group, sadly missed top 40.

2. My Life Would Suck Without You — Kelly Clarkson Emerged from the “American Idol” cocoon to come up with a gutsy, fun song.

3. Jai-Ho — A.H. Rahman w/ Pussycat Dolls Much as it astounds me to type Pussycat Dolls to any ‘best of’ list, they had the advantage of the “Slumdog Millionaire” connection.

4. Untouched — Veronicas Aussie twin sisters may not have anything else in their vaults, but the groove, with its frantic string-synth licks, is tres cool.

5. Human — The Killers I think, given the choice they offered, and having two left feet, I’m probably human.

6. Number 1 — Tinchy Stryder feat. N-Dubz When I hear it on the radio, I realize I know almost all the words, so somehow it permeated my subconscious in a way so many good tunes did when I was a kid.

7. I Gotta Feeling — Black Eyed Peas Probably on many top 10 lists, more irresistible than “Boom Boom Pow.”

8. Sexy Bitch — David Guetta feat. Akon The first one from either of them that truly grabbed me. Politically incorrect, but admits it in the verses.

9. Whatcha Say — Jason Derulo Can’t figure out why, but multiple listenings later, it still works for me.

10. Pencil Full Of Lead — Paolo Nutini Funny retro groove.


Now for the other ten:


10. Empire State Of Mind — Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys Just when you thought every early 70s soul song had been sampled to death, Jay-Z comes through with an improbable use of the intro to The Moments’ “Love On A Two-Way Street. A much more believable story about New York than the Paloma Faith song.

9. Bonkers — Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden The chant-along of the summer.

8. Candy — Paolo Nutini How did a 21-year old Scotsman manage to sound like some 60-year-old Irish folkie? The tune is so beautiful he was even able to sneak in the words “I’ll be the stain on your bedsheet.”

7. Diamond Rings — Chipmunk feat. Emeli Sande Great allocation of a 60s ska groove, somehow got away with using the melody of the old surf instrumental “Pipeline.”

6. Sweet Disposition — The Temper Trap That guitar! It almost overpowers the vocals. I haven’t attempted to play that riff myself, but it sounds like the real deal, with no double-tracking. 

5. Poppiholla — Chicane Nice re-working of Sigur Ros’s “Hoppiholla,” enough so that the Icelandic band’s original is cropping up all over adverts. Stirring, inspirational story in the song’s video. 

4. I’m Not Alone — Calvin Harris Upon hearing it the first time, I remember thinking during the guitar and vocal intro, “Yeah, so get on with it.” Then that synth lick comes in, and the slow start is more than forgiven. Harris also had his own Jarvis Cocker/Kanye West moment by anonymously storming the X Factor stage wearing a pineapple on his head while Jedward were mangling another classic. 

3. Daniel — Bat For Lashes If you took Stevie Nicks’s “Rhiannon” and made it a gorgeous tune, this is what you’d have gotten. Weird video, lots of macabre imagery, maybe also referencing Stevie’s tune. Sadly, song only peaked at #36, but Khan made enough critics’ top 10 lists that the evasive hit single will no doubt emerge.

2. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) — Beyoncé Kanye West may have done a career-killer by his upstaging of Taylor Swift at the MTV awards, but he had a point. The video WAS better than Swift’s, and was not even as good as the song. This is the song that truly made me understand why so many love and respect Beyoncé. At the end of the video, she stands there out of breath, wheezing for the camera, but with that workout, it’s understandable.

1. Not Fair — Lily Allen The ladies ruled this year! If Allen could come up with such a truly funny, ballsy foot-stomper in-between episodes of embarrassing public behavior, it leaves you in great anticipation of what she will come up with now that she’s made a public decision to mellow out. Great use of the late country singer Porter Wagoner in the video.


So there we go, a great musical year has passed. Hope 2010 can measure up. 







One Response to “A couple of days late — Best singles of 2009”

  1. Marie Says:

    How could you forget Susan Boyle’s, “Wild Horses”? It is my favorite Rolling Stones song and I was amazed to like her version as much as I did. If this makes me nerdy, that’s ok….Happy New Year, by the way.

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