Monday, January 3, 2011

The Best Songs of 2010, or Something

Year ends are full of reflective “Best of” lists. I used to enjoy those, back when I paid attention to entertainment and knew what the hell they were ranking. Now I haven’t seen a movie or music video in forever and I’ve never read bestsellers anyway, but music… popular music I know.

Here are Billboard’s Top 10 Songs of 2010, with my comments:

Where the hell did Taio Cruz come from? Suddenly he is everywhere on the radio, singing in his American accent and speaking in his English one. His songs are catchy, but forgettable, and they sound a lot alike. He had better change it up soon or his career will just “cruz” right on by. Oh yeah. I went there.

I love that Lady Gaga can get away with a song remembered largely for it's nonsensical lyrics. She’s so beyond everyone else that she’s not even restricted by actual language. I hope her next album holds up to the scrutiny it’s sure to receive.

This song is just incredible. Rihanna kills that hook, and Eminem makes you feel what it’s like to be part of a volatile relationship between lovers. You almost understand domestic violence when you hear this song. The sadness. The anger. The way he justifies his behavior. It’s amazing. And getting Rihanna, who suffered the most public case of domestic abuse ever, to sing on it was just perfect. That lady has some serious balls. This may have been the best song of the year. Even my kids like it, although they (thankfully) don’t understand most of the lyrics. It’s really awesome to hear my four-year-old daughter rap, “Look me in the eyeball! Next time I’m gonna aim my fist at the drywall.”

Haley Williams can SING. She makes every song better. Add to that the fact that the rapped verse mentions good old “mix tapes” and I’m all in. Although I can’t get that twitpic of Haley sans top off the inside of my eyelids, so minus one point. But only one.

5. OMG

This song is catchy. And I like the way he always says, “Oh my gosh” instead of “Oh my God.” It's unusual. You might think the man has a little religious leaning or something. That is, until you hear the lyric “Honey’s got some boobies like wow-oh-wow.” And then you realize that he’s not religious, he’s just 10. Mentally, anyway. Plus this song sucks live. (Well, based on the one time he sang it on American Idol. Yes, I can make a judgment based only on that. It’s my blog.)

I’ve discussed my newfound Katy Perry appreciation elsewhere in this blog. But damn, I’m really, really tired of this song. It was a fun summer confection, but there’s no real staying power here. I hope.

The lead singer of Train, Patrick Monahan, is 41. Every DJ in the world (OK, in my market), felt compelled to mention how he’s just so damn old the first million and one times they played this song. My 39-year-old self found this unamusing. The song is catchy though.

This country-crossover was compelling, even for those of us who don’t like country music. And that’s pretty much all there is to say about that.


I think Ke$ha is brilliant. Yeah, I said it. She’s tacky, goofy, and often sounds drunk, but I’m pretty sure that’s her regular voice. The fact is, Ke$ha earned a perfect score on the SAT. You don’t do that without walking on the genius side. And really smart people often don’t quite fit in to social norms. The just don’t see things the way the rest of us do. It’s part of their charm.

Regardless of what you think of Ke$ha, Tik Tok wasn’t the best selling song of 2010 for nothing. It’s catchy, it’s wild, it’s different, and it makes you want to dance. This song made me sore for days after I bought the album on iTunes. And the rest of Animal is just as quirky and fun. I don’t think I can recommend her second effort, an EP companion to her first, called Cannibal, but you won’t be sorry you spent your money on her first album.

My biggest concern about the music industry in 2010 was not really the quality of the music, the fact that nobody sings completely live anymore, or even the incessant overuse of autotune (not as a fun effect but as an attempt to make sucky singers sound good). It was a wardrobe issue. WHERE ARE ALL THE FEMALE SINGERS’ PANTS? How did a sequined leotard become the only possible on-stage attire for female pop singers? Most of these women (who are very attractive, I might add) DON’T REALLY EVEN LOOK GOOD IN THEM. Don’t they have mirrors backstage? I mean, really.

2011, please bring us more fun, throwaway poppy dance songs to enjoy while we clean house, work out, or drive our cars on mundane errands. And also, please bring us pants.

UPDATE: For those of you who are pop musically challenged, I included links to the videos of each of the songs mentioned. You're welcome.


  1. Ha ha... oh, no. I think I am horribly out of touch - I've only heard TWO of these songs: 'Love the Way You Lie' & 'Bad Romance'.

    I've always loved Eminem's anger & Gaga... well, her songs are just catchy. Besides that, anyone who flies their freak flag that high & names themselves after a Queen song is just aces in my book.

    Also, if someone tries to bring me pants, I will run away. I hate pants. Although, I gotta say - they're preferable to sequined leotard. Or sequined anything, really. ;)

  2. Maybe you need to break out and catch up! LOL!

    What I like about this Eminem song is that he's not afraid to portray himself as imperfect. He's got to know that he doesn't come off well in the song, but he's showing the rest of us what that kind of situation is like anyway. That's some brave stuff right there.

    Shorts are better than pants. And anything is better than a leotard. :)

    Thanks for the comment! I think I'll "fly my freak flag" today :)

  3. hmm, maybe the chicks who adorn themselves with the sequined leotard are simply unleashing their inner baton twirler, lol!

  4. Ha ha Melissa! I never thought of that! :)

  5. "Next time? There will be no next time! I apologize even though I know it's lies!" Eminem is great. As is Lady Gaga. I could not, and still cannot, get enough of Bad Romance. Love love love!

    Great blog. Glad I finally stumbled across your comment for mine - in the spam. WHAT?? It was cohesive and was grammatically correct. *sigh*

  6. Thanks! I don't feel like spam! :)

    That line about the lies is another one my daughter is very fond of. :)

  7. I really liked this one too. I had no idea Ke$ha was that popular, that she had a $ in her name or that she got a perfect score on her SAT's. I feel so educated in pop culture!

  8. Thank you! I actually really enjoyed writing this.