Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Best Songs of 2010 - Part 2

Here's part 2 of my list of favorite songs of 2010.  Part 1 can be found here.

New Politics - “Yeah Yeah Yeah”
I'm not sure where I heard this first. I think it was Q101. Anyway, this goes into the power punk file with driving drums, loud guitar and powerful vocal chorus. If you feel like yelling this is a good song to sing along with. It's another angry song.

Jack Johnson - “At or With Me”
I'm not a big Jack Johnson guy. For a while I could never remember his name when I heard one of his songs. They seemed to be songs that played in the background to keep you from noticing there was music playing. This one caught my ear. Might be the “Oh Ohs”. Wait, am I susceptible to gimmicks?

The New Pornographers - “Crash Years”
I'm SHOCKED, SHOCKED that there's a New Pornographers song on this list! This is an 'XRT band but even they don't play a lot of their stuff. Great music featuring a cello. Neko Case's vocal is solid. I'm a big fan of songs that have whistling (see “Gimmicks” above).

I probably didn't have much option but to love this song. The Old 97s are a great band and Champaign is a town near and dear to my heart. This is the only country sounding song on the list and also the only one co-written by Bob Dylan. It makes Champaign out to be somewhere between heaven and hell but nearer to heaven. I tend to agree with that.

Los Lobos - “Burn It Down”
This song took a while to grow on me. It's slower paced which I usually don't like. But it's haunting and stays with you. With new songs I like I usually hum them minutes or hours after I hear them. Found myself humming this one a few days after I had last heard it. Love the guitars on it.

Stone Temple Pilots - “Between The Lines”
I'm not a big Stone Temple Pilots guy as a lot of their music is whiny and grungy but I do like a few of their songs and this comeback song is near the top of the list. If staying out of rehab helps Scott Weiland make music like this I'm in favor. This song was played on both 'XRT and Q101.

Devo makes its comeback. It's their first release in 20 years. It puts the keyboards a little more in the background than they were before and, once again, I liked this a lot more than most of their older stuff which isn't a surprise as I didn't like much of that at all. Heard this on 'XRT.

Kate Nash - “Do-Wah-Doo”
And we're back to the sassy British female vocalist. This has a '60s girl group vibe to it that I enjoyed. I was first introduced to this song on, I think, the Palladia music channel (it could have been Fuse, but I'm pretty sure it was Palladia). Yes, this means I saw the video first on TV before I heard the song on the radio or online. Actually, I've yet to hear this song on the radio.

Peter Wolf - “I Don't Wanna Know”  Another live version.
This competes with “Come As You Are” for my favorite Peter Wolf song (another Misplaced Song). It has a bit of a Stones feel to it. This is the former J. Geils Band lead singer's first release since 2002's Sleepless. It's played in Chicago on 'XRT but it's the only song I've heard from the Midnight Souvenirs album.

Arcade Fire - “Ready To Start”
The Suburbs is my runner-up for album of the year. This was a great release by the Canadian group with this being the best song off the collection. This song is about someone who was interested in someone else and that person wants to be friends. Once again, if both the lyrics and the music resonate with me, that makes a great song. 

That's the last of them.  Honorable mentions go to "Pants On The Ground" and the "Bed Intruder Song".

Here are some quick comments on the top 10 from the Billboard Hot 100 for 2010, in order from 1 to 10.

Ke$ha's “Tik Tok” was okay, but not great. It's a fun song but it takes a little to get past the vocal style and all the auto-tuning. The music's not bad though. Web comic XKCD recently commented on it. If this is your first time at XKCD make sure you leave your mouse pointer over the comic to see a hidden comment.

Lady Antebellum's “Need You Now” was escalated by the line in the chorus “It's a quarter after one I'm all alone (or “I'm a little drunk”) and I need you now”, like Lifehouse's “Hanging By A Moment” is escalated by “I'm falling even more in love with you”. They're lines that most people identify with and make them think, “I've felt that way. I like this song. It speaks to me.” I give them credit for that but the rest of the song is pretty boring. 

As for “Hey Soul Sister”, I just can't like Train. Maybe they'll wear me down but at this point it will take a lot to overcome the awfulness of “Meet Virginia”. 
Katy Perry's “California Gurls” was a blatant attempt at having a huge hit that worked. The song was okay but massively overplayed. 
OMG” by Usher almost made the list. If it's played while I'm drunk and near a dance floor I'll likely dance to it. It's a song I like but the crowd chanting in the chorus drags it down. Not a fan of crowd singing in songs. I'll have to figure out how I feel about crowd whistling. 
I really like the Hayley Williams part of “Airplanes” but the B.o.B part is pretty boring. I much preferred “Nothin' On You”.

Eminem's “Love The Way You Lie” isn't bad but I'm getting tired of songs where the singing part sounds like a completely different song than the rap part. 
I considered Lady Gaga's “Bad Romance” a 2009 song or else it might have made the list. I know it's overplayed but it only took a short time of me not hearing it before I didn't turn it off when it came on the radio. 
Dynamite” made the list.

I didn't like Taio Cruz's “Break Your Heart” nearly as much as “Dynamite” but it's fine. It's not a bad dance song.

I look forward to any comments and suggestions for songs you liked in the past year that didn't make the list.  I wonder how I'll feel about these songs in the years ahead.

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