It’s the time of the year when self-proclaimed music critics and bloggers roll out their lists “Best Of” lists. I really don’t like calling things the ‘best’, because honestly there is just too much good music out their to single things out as being the best. Also, I skipped most of the ‘talked about’ albums of the year, because I just didn’t have the time, money, or interest to dive into them. So starting with this list will begin my picks for the music I did get to check out and enjoy in 2010.
Favorite Songs of 2010
1. “Whip My Hair” – Willow Smith
Honestly, all those other blogs and articles must be in denial, because I haven’t found a single one listing this song as one of the best of the year. Lyrical meaning and content aside, “Whip My Hair” was clearly the breakout single of 2010, introducing the pint-sized, 9-year-old fashionista, Willow Smith. Sure, she gets major attention because she’s Will and Jada’s daughter, but this song has energy to burn and pulled out all the stops for the makings of a new pop star. (Note: “pop star” vs. “musician”) Plus, the video was way intense, and the Jimmy Fallon/Bruce Springsteen cover was an instant classic.
2. “Fuck You” – Cee Lo Green
Does this really need an explanation? This song had old school flair with a new school style and snuck into summer 2010 like heatwave. Not only was the song filled with fun and attitude, but the video also translated the catchy tune into an entertaining storyline.
3. “Proud Flesh” – husband&wife
As the title track to local band husband&wife‘s fourth and most ambitious release to date, “Proud Flesh” is the perfect song to introduce the band’s new sound, ability to get LOUD, and the fresh energy of Proud Flesh. I can’t count how many times I jumped around in a sweaty crowd, singing this song at the top of my lungs to my heart’s content in 2010.
4. “Living Decorations” – Maps & Atlases
My 2010 “Driving to Get Somewhere” song. It’s just such a great song to turn up in your car stereo and drive to. As one of the early tracks of Maps & Atlases’ first full-length Perch Patchwork, this song was a great mix of the chaotic old style and the new “more accessible” sound of the evolving band. Also, sitting here in 25 degree Indiana winter, all I can think is “tired of waiting for the cold to lift…”
5. “Beg, Steal or Borrow” – Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs
This was the first Ray LaMontagne song I ever heard. I’d always heard of him and that his voice was amazing, but his songs just hadn’t come to me yet. I remember that I was driving home from a long day at work, coming up over a hill toward my home, listening to WTTS. The song was introduced and began, and I was just captivated. His voice was like a mix of Tracy Chapman and James Morrison. It was beautiful, and the song was so enticing. I immediately went home and found it online (which is rare for me), and it’s been my calming song throughout most of 2010.
6. “The Rolling Stones” – Cloud Control
Another song that got me through a lot of driving miles this year, “The Rolling Stones” is such a great song. Off of the Australian band’s first full-length album Bliss Release, this slow-driving ballad is a heavy hitter. With beautiful vocal harmonies and a steady pace and groove, it’s was easily my favorite from the album.
7. “Lorca in Barcelona” – Krista Detor
One of my favorite discoveries of 2010, was world traveler and local musician, Krista Detor. I can’t believe I haven’t heard of her before, because she is already on her third label-released album, Chocolate Paper Suites; a dreamy, inspired album by a talented singer-songwriter. “Lorca in Barcelona” is the album’s second track, on the first of five themed-suites. The track is a soft, breezy, piano and vocal track with lyrics that just seem to float imagery straight from her voice to your mind. With lines like “oranges fall like rain”, “purple cobblestone”, “flowers made of wine”, the track always lifts me to another world, where everything is calm, anything is possible, and life is always beautiful. Check out the track on her website music player.
8. “Excuses” – The Morning Benders
Mmmmm. Has summer ever sounded so sweet? Although this song was making its rounds a little before 2010, the album didn’t come out until this year, and it seemed like by the time I finished school it was EVERYWHERE, and I LOVED it. It’s such a relaxing song, just makes me feel like floating down a river,enjoying life. Plus, this version is amazing, and the lead singer is adorable.
9. “Teeth” – Lady GaGa
Robyn’s “Body Talk” Pt. 1 & 2 came out this year and everyone made a huge deal, but I was quite unimpressed. What they should have been dancing to in the clubs was this track that finished up GaGa’s The Fame Monster album. Dancing with attitude required.
10. “20/20 Vision” – Prizzy Prizzy Please
In terms of “Go BIG or Go Home”, Prizzy Prizzy Please definitely went big in 2010, after signing with Joyful Noise Records and relocating from Bloomington (IN) to Chicago, all fans could do was wait for whatever was to come next from the band. April 2010 brought us their new album Chroma Cannon, with 13 fresh tracks of a new, more definitive sound for the band. My favorite track was the powerful “20/20 Vision” which overflowed with sound energy.
Stay tuned for more 2010 favorites lists!