Archive for February 24th, 2011

2010 Year in Review: Favorite Songs

Seeing that it’s almost the end of February, it’s about time I posted this list of my ten favorite songs from 2010.   Unlike 2009 when I seemed to have a list of ten songs I was really excited about ready-made, I found that there wasn’t as much I was enthused about in 2010.  Nevertheless, there are some great songs from the year past.  Here they are in alphabetical order by artist.  I’ve embedded official videos where available and linked to unofficial videos otherwise.  Really creepy videos seem to be in this year so maybe just turn of the screen and listen to the songs.

  • Adele – “Rolling in the Deep” – Recent years have seen a revival of classic soul styles much of it coming from the united kingdom.  I like the interplay between Adele and her backup singers.  I also like that Adele has a great voice but doesn’t seem to have the attitude and substance abuse problems of Amy Winehouse.
  • The Decemberists – “Down By The Water – Having spent many years channeling the spirit of Edward Gorey into music, The Decemberists now bring back the soul of R.E.M. of 20-years ago in this short, jangly piece.
  • Fitz and the Tantrums – “Money Grabber” -  More soul music, this time from the U.S., reminiscent of Hall & Oates jamming with Merry Clayton and rockin’ out.  I’m just wondering if they’re going to regret naming themselves “The Tantrums.”
  • JJ Gray and Mofro – “The Sweetest Thing” -  This is the first song introduced to me by my son, who was two at the time he adopted it as his favorite song.  It’s a good bluesy, bar-band tune which makes me wonder if he’ll be in a frat when he’s older.
  • David Lynch – “Good Day Today” -  The famed director surprised and delighted me when he released this electro-pop concoction last fall.
  • Mumford & Sons – “The Cave” -  I like banjos and this is the first song I’ve heard that sounds like it has heavy metal banjos.  I also like how it builds from a gentle sing-song to a loud rocker.
  • The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio” -  The baritone voice and the inscrutable lyrics (“I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees”) really do it for me on this song.
  • Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill” -  I didn’t really get the Sleigh Bells bandwagon, but I warmed up to this song over time.  It’s got the noise and it’s got the percussion of their other tracks — not that these are bad things — but it’s also got a melody that sets it apart.
  • Uffie – “MC’s Can Kiss – Raunchy hip-hop that sounds like it’s from 1985, and I love it.  Who’da thunk?
  • Vampire Weekend – “Horchata – I still like Vampire Weekend and I like this song for its mix of percussion, African-style guitar, and dynamic range.

Honorable mentions:

  • Beach House – “Norway” – Early in the year I thought this was a shoe-in for my end-of-year top ten, but the song grew less interesting over time.  Still I like it’s sound, kind of Concrete Blonde with a cool wobbly turntable effect.
  • The New Pornographers  – “Moves” -  One of the better songs of the New Pornographers great new album and one of the most sharply satirical music videos ever filmed.
  • This American Life – “Bet Against the American Dream” - The fiscal crisis of 2008 explained Mel Brooks style.
  • Cee Lo Green – “Fuck You –  An upbeat soulful pop song with some really foul language.  I should be more mature than this, but I crack up when the backup singers echo “ain’t that some shit!”

And one more:

  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes  – “Home” – This song received a lot of exposure in the spring and fall of 2010, but alas was released in 2009 so I retroactively place it on that year’s list.  It sounds to me as if Johnny Cash and June Carter returned from the grave to create this buoyant celebration of love.  It’s also another one of my son’s favorite songs.  And don’t miss this cute father & daughter duo cover of this song.

So now that I’ve finished that list, I’m reminded that I was making a top ten list for every year of my life.  I made it to 1986, but alas I’m a dozen years older than that so look for some more retrospective top ten lists coming soon.

Other  best-of 2010 music lists:

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