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  • Top 10 Songs of 2010

       December 01, 2010

    I turned the page on my calendar to December this morning, which can only mean one thing: time for end of the year lists!

    Back in June, I listed my top 10 songs of the year so far. I've kept on loving many of those same songs, but I do have a few changes to the list. And, in keeping with my custom, my list is Big Ten-styled with now two (!!) bonus tracks, (well actually three, but never you mind that).

    12. Double Rainbow Song, by The Gregory Brothers featuring Yosemitebear/Bed Intruder Song, by Antoine Dodson: 2010 was truly a banner year for the internet novelty song and these two auto-tune gems are the best of the bunch. Don't tell me you haven't wondered "What does it mean??"

    11. Roll Away Your Stone, by Mumford & Sons: Since I have two songs by Mumford & Sons on the list, this track gets slotted into the bonus part of the list, even though it's definitely more than my 11th favorite song of the year. I love the swelling lyrical climax of the song:

    Stars hide your fires, these here are my desires

    And I won't give them up to you this time around

    And so, Iíll be found with my stake stuck in this ground

    Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul

    What I love even more is the way they extend the instrumental in the chorus. It makes the song more folk and less pop.

    10. When I'm Small, by Phantogram: I love the driving rhythm and icy vocals.

    9. F* You, by Cee Lo: Despite the kind of mean name, this is really a fun, genre-mixing blast of a song.

    8. Queen Of The Lot, by The Spring Standards: This is a bit jazzier than what I typically like, but it works because of the strong melody and vocals.

    7. Tightrope, by Janelle Monae: People have compared Janelle Monae to everyone from Prince to James Brown to Santigold. This is a showstopper of a song that highlights all of her awesomeness.

    6. Wait So Long, by Trampled By Turtles: I remember when my brother and I found a bluegrass radio station somewhere around Rhinelander, WI. It's funny that now there's so much great bluegrass-infused music out there. This is one of the best of the year.

    5. Sara Smile, by The Bird & The Bee: A smooth as silk cover of the Hall & Oates classic. I think The Bird & The Bee basically improve on all of the originals on their cover album.

    4. Go On, by Elephant Revival: A Jack Johnson song if Jack Johnson had an awesome female partner and was lyrical and dreamy rather than just boring. You can get it for free on Amazon

    3. Dixon's Girl, by Dessa: So many female singers are either soft or coquettish. Dessa is sleek and cool on this song and you really can't get the refrain "It's not much, but my money's on you." out of your head.

    2. Tell 'Em, by Sleigh Bells: This is one of the most aggressive songs I've ever heard. It gets you in the mood to kick some ass. Plus, I have a weakness for any song that incorporates any kind of laser or bomb noises.

    1. The Cave, by Mumford & Sons: Even though I was kind of disappointed by their live show, I still think this is the best and most exhilarating song of the year.

    I try to keep my lists pretty strictly limited to songs from CDs that were released in the U.S. in 2010. Unfortunately, that means that some songs I grew to love this year were excluded, like Dawes' "Love Is All I Am" and The Avett Brothers' "Laundry Room. My favorite musical memory of the year is easily hearing that song at the end of their show at Bayfield's Big Top Chautauqua (all I can find is this 30-second clip). It doesn't get better than listening to your favorite song from the second row of a giant tent on a hill overlooking Lake Superior and then hearing the echoes of "I am a breathing time machine" in your head as you take the ferry across on a cloudless midnight under the firmament and the stars. Literally, heaven.

    So those are my favorites. What are yours?

    Posted by kris at December 1, 2010 11:27 AM

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    #  December 2nd, 2010 8:49 AM      drew
    That entire Cee-Lo CD was greatness.

    I'll probably spend all day Sunday coming up with my year-end mixes.

    Some of my absolute favorites:

    Arcade Fire, Sprawl II
    Delta Spirit, Devil Knows You're Dead
    Matt Pond PA, Sparrows
    Galactic, Cineramascope
    Nas & Damien Marley, Count Your Blessings
    Dr. Dog, Mirror Mirror
    Morning Benders, Excuses
    Surfer Blood, Floating Vibes
    She & Him, I'm Gonna Make it Better
    Kanye West, Power
    Old 97s, A State of Texas
    Bun B, Trillionaire  
    #  December 2nd, 2010 8:58 AM      kris
    I haven't gotten into the new Old 97's record yet. I figure one of these days I'll just end up listening to it on repeat for a few hours.  
    #  December 19th, 2010 10:21 AM      kris
    In thinking about novelty songs, I can't believe I forgot this one:




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