My Top 10 of 2010

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

          And so, with a new year upon us, every music critic has summoned up their list of the best albums and tracks of the past 12 months, and invariably, those lists become “I know more than you, because I get free copies of all this stuff submitted to me every week, plus I get paid to listen to it and review it.” So one of my favorite columnists, Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle posted his list last week, and since he’s more a political columnist than anything else, I was expecting something other than worshipping at the altar which is Arcade Fire. No Arcade Fire showed up on his lists, but there was scant few by artists that I’d even heard of, and while I’m sure that all these acts are more inventive than say, JLS or Justin Bieber, I find I just don’t have the time or interest to find out. I’m probably missing out on a lot of wonderful music, but my taste is just admittedly mainstream, and until Arcade Fire have a chart single, I guess their artistry will be lost on me.  That said, having admittedly only heard about a 1000th of a percent of all product released in 2010, here are my favorites of the year.   


          Let’s begin first with the contenders, in no particular order:


  1. Candy – Aggro Santos feat. Kimberly Wyatt  Stupid double entendre stuff, but when he vainly asks “Have you been to visit me at” almost all the stupidity is forgiven.
  2. Please Don’t Let Me Go – Olly Murs Wasn’t surprised that last year’s X Factor runner-up made a better record than winner Joe McElderry, but WAS surprised when this record grew on me. McElderry’s career already appears over.
  3. Miami 2 Ibiza – Swedish House Mafia feat. Tinie Tempah  How many three-initial phrases can we incorporate? Still entertaining, solid dance groove featuring 2010’s incarnation of Dizzee Rascal.
  4. Crossfire – Brendan Flowers Lead singer of The Killers claimed the songs couldn’t wait to be developed and rehearsed with the band, but were the band even aware he was putting them together? A likeable rock song in a year where the pop charts could have used more of them.
  5. Carry Out – Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake Every possible suggestive allusion between fast food and sex is here, also interesting how Trousersnake had the time to contribute when his performance in “The Social Network” was so totally cementing his future as an actor.
  6. Barbra Streisand – Duck Sauce What kept me from putting this in the top 10 was that they carried their repetitive sample of Boney M’s “Gotta Go Home” past the 3-minute mark. The title being the song’s only actual lyrics is what keep it interesting. Melody also sounds like the refrain from Kasabian’s “Fire.”
  7. Pack Up – Eliza Doolittle With so many annoying female voices out there this year, somehow this one escaped my wrath. 
  8. Kickstart – Example Not much to say beyond the appealing hooks seeming to be in place, and I never got sick of hearing it.
  9. Replay – Iyaz  Nice that he could sing about a melody in his head “like my iPod’s stuck on replay,” and subsequently the song became stuck in my head for most of the first couple months of the year .
  10. Drummer Boy – Aleesha Dixon Strange sound from the “Strictly Come Dancing” judge, reminiscent of the stuff that made her old group Mis-Teeq stand out.

      and now the top 10, in a particular order:


     10.  Like A G6 – Far East Movement feat. Cataracs & Dev  I should HATE stuff like this, but found myself in those closing weeks of 2010 looking forward to the playing of this record on Sunday chart show, sort of rooting for it to hit #1, and in a year where few songs held the top spot for more than a week, I’m a bit surprised that there wasn’t a week set aside for this techno-goof.

     9.  Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart – Alicia Keys  I failed to understand over the years what all the shouting was about. Was she really the heir apparent to Aretha, the total genius the critics kept sanctifying? I couldn’t see it, but this tune never lost its appeal to me, and was a good step toward finally winning me over.

     8. Let The Sunshine – Labrinth  Not the tune from “Hair” thank god, just a simple, melodic, happy tune from a guy who had a little boost from being the vocalist on Tinie Tempah’s first two singles…… 

     7. Pass Out – Tinie Tempah  … including this one, Tempah’s debut hit. In this ego-driven rant, Tempah talks about his fame that he obviously anticipated. It’s funny and inventive, considering there are only two chords to speak of.  But with lines like “Now I drive past the bus I used to run for,” rhyming with “Been to Southampton but never been to Scunthorpe,” the man earns a tip of the hat for silliest lines of the year. 

     6. Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner  Revenge of the nerds, 2010 style. The underdog singer spends most of the song lamenting being ignored by the supposed posh girl, then as he reveals he’s got what she’s looking for, exposes her for the hypocrite she is.   

     5. Tik Tok – Ke$ha  Lady Gaga with a little less of an “I’m dead serious, I expect to rule the world soon” attitude. Ke$ha, simply by putting the dollar sign in her name, shows a satirical bent that Gaga was seriously lacking, especially when she showed up in the meat suit. This record also kicked off the trend of slowing down the vocal, which every other hip-hop artist then utilized, and was also the first of two records of the year to rhyme “swagger” with “Mick Jagger,” when none ever did before.

     4. Riverside (Let’s Go) – Sidney Samson feat. Wizard Sleeve  Question remains, since he/they appear to be one-hit wonders: Is Wizard Sleeve the rapper’s name or that of the instrumentalist who’s spent no more than a couple of pounds creating a wimpy-yet-catchy synth lick? The whole package works for me, and I praise the recurring theme of “Subtraction: take off your clothes” for giving me that math lesson I missed in primary school. 

     3. Why Don’t You – Gramophonedzie I love that a Serbian DJ (né Marko Milicevic) could find something in a Peggy Lee song originally recorded in 1942 that could be workable as a dance tune in 2010. Maybe not as many agreed me about this song’s appeal, as it only peaked at #12, but 2010 just happened to be the year for me where the old sounding new was what grabbed me the most.  

     2. Many Of Horror – Biffy Clyro  Yeah, OK, Matt Cardle helped more than a little, but I do believe this would have been in my top ten anyway. This band proved themselves to be this year’s version of Elbow, the group that could adeptly fashion a wonderful pop tune when not trying to. Their “God And Satan” is equally as beautiful as this tune that X Factor managed to not completely bastardize. When Cardle performed this in the X Factor final, while Rebecca Ferguson chose a Duffy song no one knew, it pretty well decided the winner, and I would almost like Cardle’s version, except at the end where he Manilows it up by adding a key change for the final chorus. 

    1.  We No Speak Americano – Yolanda B Cool & D Cup  For most of the same reasons I love the Gramophonedzie single, this one went even better, rekindling interest in the original. “Tu Vuo l’Americano,” the 1956 song by the Italian singer Renato Carosone, had a poignant message of chastising a man for trying to hard to act American, dismissing his heritage. These Australian DJ’s found something fun in the song’s message and retro groove to make a happy contemporary tune that showed up on one BBC list as the most obnoxious tune of the year. Well, piss off then, this tune got the job done in 2:11 and left me feeling better than any four-minute rant by the plethora of whiny females that dominated my list of 2010’s worst, which I shall review tomorrow. 


Those are my ten. Agree? Or not?

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