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DaveyBoy's Top 50 Songs Of 2010

I really have to stop extending my lists to include greater numbers, especially when they are such a b!tch to order like this one... Oh well, at least my descriptions will be less formal than my Top Albums list. The rules here are that only songs (not necessarily singles) which first appeared on 2010 releases are eligible (except in the case of #12... just because I felt like it). Also, I have gone with the "one song from each artist" rule, which probably ruled out Parades' entire album, The Graduates' 'Pull Me In', LostProphets' 'Where We Belong', and - strangely - a couple of songs ('Fall Asleep' & 'Bullet') from the band occupying the spot way down at #36 on this list! And it's me, so you know there are going to be some seriously guilty pop pleasures amongst this list...
Spanish Sahara

Coming up with the final order of this list was indeed a b!tch... The only easy part was #1, because ladies & gentlemen; 'Spanish Sahara' is our song of the year. Simply breathtaking, this 7 minute epic behemoth is initially patient & methodical, before elements are gradually added to make for a thoroughly satisfying build-up. It is the track which also highlights just how much Foals' lead vocalist Yannis Philippakis has improved, since his performance is emotional & genuinely spine-tingling. F*ck, this is an awesome song! "Forget the horror here, leave it all down here, It's future rust and it's future dust. I'm the fury in your head, I'm the fury in your bed, I'm the ghost in the back of your head".
2Motion City Soundtrack

Fun, catchy & crunchy, most of Motion City Soundtrack's 4th LP really is worthy of the label "pop-punk". And no song got me singing out loud this year more than 'Disappear'. In fact, when the music drops out just after the halfway mark & the chorus comes in, I want everyone to look at me while I am singing goddamn it. "I can disappear any time I want to, time I feel you shuffle through my skin... I am with you 'til the end".
3Marina & The Diamonds

Marina Diamandis merges her unorthodox eccentricities with irresistibly catchy pop hooks on fantastic single 'Hollywood'. Utilizing a theatrical kitchen-sink approach which is difficult to resist, she actually displays a strangely endearing charisma... Much of that is to do with the fact that there is also a savvy depth evident throughout this song. Quite simply, this is the pop song of 2010. "He said oh my god you look just like Shakira. No no, you're Catherine Zeta. Actually, my name's Marina".
4Arcade Fire
Ready To Start

At the 9 second mark of 'Ready To Start', the bass comes in & I am instantly hooked. Displaying that trademark deft balance of personal intimacy & grand accessibility, it is a song that proves how the Montreal septet keep you captivated from start to finish with their ability to pluck effortless melodies from seemingly out of nowhere. "If I was scared, I would. And if I was pure, you know I would. And if I was yours, but I'm not... Now I'm ready to start".

When Weezer get it wrong, they can be putrid. But when they get it right, it feels like they can rule the music world. And who knew they would get it right on a song that is predominantly acoustic & features a flute! The build up to the ear-shattering climax here is orgasmic. And what a perceptively endearing little chorus it is too. "And if you take this away from me, I'll never forgive you, can't you see. Our life will... be broken, our hate will be unspoken".

I think most of you know that I pretty much could have picked any track from what eventually turned out to be my album of 2010, but Marigold is the longest at almost 7 minutes, so it wins... It also has horns... and everyone knows horns rule. Oh, and then there is the smooth as silk male/female vocal combination. And don't forget the wicked drumming following the breakdown. I could go on & on & on. "Happiness is a new idea, don't forget the rest of us, it's an exodus".
The Art of War

Yet another splendid song from quite simply one of the best rock bands going around. While densely layered & subtle musical touches abound, it is Stephen Christian's majestic vocals which take center stage. When he sings that memorable & catchy chorus, I swear it is the definition of pitch-perfect. "There are songs I'll never write, because of you walking out of my life. There are words that don't belong, because of you I'll never write another love song".
8The Graduate
Don't Die Digging

I distinctly remember the moment I casually first listened to The Graduate's 2nd LP & I was immediately hooked as soon as this amazingly catchy opener hit my ears. Fun, catchy and without a wasted moment, it is instantaneously infectious, with it's perfectly executed gang vocals being the highlight. "Out of control, I'm getting closer. End of the road, I know that I'm going where I'm not supposed to go... I don't care what they say anymore".
9Cee Lo Green
F**k You

What more can be said about this terrific song which is likely to top a lot of people's best tracks of 2010? Even forgetting that it's super catchy & has an attractive gimmick, Cee Lo effectivelys classic R&B with a mainstream accessible combination of retro-soul & pop. And that is no easy feat folks.
10Cassette Kids

What the Friar Tuck... How did this song sneak its way into the top 10 songs of 2010? Another debut LP from a practically unheard of Sydney band & another revelation. Falling somewhere in between a less ambitious Yeah Yeah Yeahs & a nowhere near as annoying version of The Ting Tings, the Cassette Kids hit a home run with 'Spin'. Give it a listen if you have not yet done so. "Let me spin another record for you baby... Pump it out, make it loud, bring the house down".
11Circa Survive
I Felt Free

To put things into perspective, I disliked Circa Survive's first 2 LPs. Yet, on 'Blue Sky Noise', they incorporate their progressive nature into more conventional song structures & it actually results in greater dynamics through greater variety! Distinctive vocalist Anthony Green has never sounded better than on 'I Felt Free' & with the guitarists utilizing all kinds of styles, it makes for one helluva song.
12The Wombats
Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)

The singles from their debut LP were pretty good, but the album itself was inconsistent. Will that happen again, or will 'Tokyo' be the forerunner for one of the albums of 2011? Seriously, if you have not heard this song yet, do it now. It is probably the most infectious pop song on this entire list!
It's Not the End of the World But I Can see It from Here

The masters of infectiously catchy rock returned with a bang in 2010 with this lead single from their excellent 4th LP. Beginning & ending with "woh woh's", including a guitar solo & culminating with a scream-along chorus, the Welsh lads were well & truly back. They may not be for everybody, but LostProphets float my boat & this song proves why.
14Gabriella Cilmi
On A Mission

Lord knows what made Cilmi head in a disco direction & her 2nd LP was predominantly panned because of it. But this lead single which borrows the bass-line from Joe Jackson's 80's hit 'Steppin Out', and includes an infectious chorus that is part Donna Summer and part Van Halen hits a bullseye. Just a tip to guys though; try not to get caught singing "I am a woman... On a mission" out loud.
15Dead Letter Circus

On a fantastic debut LP where the soaring melodies of Kim Benzie's vocals & Rob Maric's guitar somehow combine exquisitely with a thumping rhythm section, 'Big' is the track that truly stands out in terms of crossover appeal. A real fist-pumper that is catchy to boot.
16Amy Macdonald
Don't Tell Me That It's Over

Seriously, with her enchanting Scottish accent, only the most content man will rebuff Amy MacDonald when she pleads "Don't Tell Me That It's Over". So much talent & still only 23 years old.
Fixed At Zero

It seems that poppifying their sound rubbed a lot of versaEmerge's original fans the wrong way & blinded them to what an excellent album their debut LP is. The title track & lead single is its best song, using an array of intricately layered instruments to enhance an eerie, cinematic sound. "There's a vulture on my shoulder & he's telling me to give in. Always hissing right in my ear, like it's coming from my own head".
18Secret And Whisper
Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)

Part of the impressively exciting one-two punch which kick-started Secret & Whisper's 2nd LP, 'Warrior' displays the outstanding guitar-work of the Canadian band. They may be easy to hate on, but if they can consistently churn out songs like this, then they will eventually earn the respect they deserve.
19Janelle Monae

(featuring Big Boi) Strangely, this track didn't immediately hit me like it did most. But then I broke all of its components down & realized how many genres Monae has ambitiously twisted into the one song. Yet, the end result is still a catchy & mainstream-accessible pop song. Genius. And the remix featuring B.o.B & Lupe Fiasco isn't half bad either.
20Two Door Cinema Club
I Can Talk

From probably the year's most under-rated album, it is bl00dy difficult to sit still during 'I can Talk'. Immediate, enthusiastic, likeable & catchy, this expertly merges together jangly guitars, buzzing synths & propulsive beats, and is certain to have toes tapping from the pubs to the clubs. "I-O-I-I-O'
21The Gaslight Anthem
Old Haunts

Exquisite song-writing, superb guitar lines, thumping drums & more of that spacious Americana/Classic Rock feel that The Gaslight Anthem have perfected. It's on many tracks off 'American Slang', but Old Haunts has that memorable chorus. "Don't sing me your songs about the good times, those days are gone & you should just let them go. And God help the man who says if you'd have known me when. Old haunts are for forgotten ghosts".
You Bring Fire

One of 2010's most pleasant surprises, the closer from Ivoryline's 2nd LP reminds me of the type of track that made Anberlin's 'Cities' such a superb album. It's only 4 minutes long, but it comes off as epic with fantastic vocals, an ambitious song structure & a soaring guitar melody.
23Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
Dance The Way I Feel

What a surreal year for this band I had never heard of prior to 2010. When I first heard this song, I knew it was going to be my guilty pleasure of the year. It actually surprised me how much it took off & was liked by such a wide range of listeners. Could they have gone anywhere near repeating this success in the future? I doubt we will ever know.
24Senses Fail
The Fire

The title track from Senses Fail's 4th LP is right up with their very best because it is a near-perfect combination of all they have done in the past. Refining the band's sound & style so effectively, tortured screaming meets an anthemic sing-along, while soaring dual guitar-work wraps around galloping rhythms. "It's ok to feel lost, it just means you're alive".
25Birds Of Tokyo

When Ian Kenny lays bare "I don't know which way I'm supposed to spin in this circle" on this track, the vulnerability conveyed in just this one sentence is something singers all around the world can only fake replicating. A gorgeous, goose-bump inducing moment!

Looking to poppify their unique & eclectic sound, no song summarized Yeasayer's 2nd LP more than 'O.N.E'. It's extremely catchy & that sing-along section towards the end is super infectious. "It feels like being tranquilized, I know the separation kills us so. But I won't stop falling like raindrops, because I like it when you lose control".
27Funeral For A Friend
Serpents In Solitude

A welcome back to vocals for drummer Ryan Richards... And a welcome back to some old fans for Funeral For A Friend. And yet, this song is still accessible, immediate & catchy. I can't wait for their 5th LP 'Welcome Home Armageddon' now. "I have blood on the brain, I see red like a snake".
28Travie McCoy

(featuring Bruno Mars) I can't believe I have a song on my year-end list that comes from a guy who calls himself Travie... He even refers to himself as Travie Claus in this song! Oh well, we're all entitled to a guilty pleasure or two, and 'Billionaire' is clearly one for me.
29Ellie Goulding
Guns and Horses

As seamless a combination of nu-folk and electro-pop as practically possible. Ellie's voice takes a while getting used to, but once you do, you will wish that her producers left it front and center of all songs on what was a very ambitious debut LP. Thankfully, that happens on this track.
30Foxy Shazam
Count Me Out

One of the sing-along songs of the year... The soaring anthemic chorus from Queen, I mean Foxy Shazam, is just so fun, extravagant & energetic, that it is difficult to dislike. "If this is what love is all about, you can count me out, baby count me out, just count me out".
31Little Red
Rock It

I have to admit that I didn't really like this song on 1st listen... I just thought it too dated. Then it got flogged to death by Australian radio & tv, and I realized that it may just be the most infectiously catchy song of the year... So much so that it would not surprise me if it was the upset #1 on Triple J's Top 100 list in 3 weeks time!

(featuring Hayley Williams) Since it is now illegal to talk music without mentioning Hayley Williams' name, this song makes my list. Just kidding... B.o.B does ok, but Hayley steals the show with that chorus. This year's 'Empire State of Mind' I guess.
33Jimmy Eat World

'Stop' is the song that best represents Jimmy Eat World's new LP... It initially seems underwhelming, too mid-tempo & a little unmemorable. But it grows on you big time, ultimately rewarding with an abundance of emotional depth, superior song-writing, subtle musical touches & effortless melodies.
3410 Years
Fix Me

The album was ultimately a little disappointing from a rock band capable of better, but some of the choruses were gold. None moreso than that of 'Fix Me'. "I'm fine in the fire, I feed on the friction. I'm right where I should be, don't try and fix me".
35Fang Island

I have no f'n clue what they're all chanting, but I don't give a $hit because it makes me all happy & stuff. Add a three-way guitar attack and it all makes for one helluva song. High five!
36Steel Train
You and I Undercover

As I said on the intro to this list, 'Fall Asleep' & 'Bullet' could easily have been on this list. I end up slightly preferring 'You and I Undercover' as it is a better representation of the unpredictable nature & varied instrumentation evident on the fantastic self-titled LP. "So if you're gonna leave, cut the chord to those you know will love you back".
Dancing On My Own

I couldn't rate 'Body Talk' higher than a 3.5 because the intentionally icy production often resulted in an undeserving emotional disconnect on some tracks. Where-as on 'Dancing On My own', it works in the song's favor to make for one of the smartest pop songs of the year. "I'm in the corner watching you kiss her. I'm right over here, why can't you see me?".
38OK Go

Single may have been released at the end of 2009, but the album came out in 2010, so this song qualifies for this year. Great video, but that's a given with OK Go... & it sort of masked the funky Prince'ly goodness of this track.
39Broken Bells
The High Road

A likeable enough debut album from Mercer & Mouse... 'The High Road' is the best song & indicator of said album. "It's too late to change your mind, you let loss be your guide".
My Heart, Your Hands

Kristofer & his black-clad buddies are all so goth that they're just begging to be hated... But this song is pretty darn cool if you're looking for rock music with something a little bit different.
41Vampire Weekend
Giving Up The Gun

I don't get the excessive hate for Vampire Weekend... Nor do I get the excessive love! Their 2nd LP 'Contra' was good, but 'Giving Up The Gun' was the only song that really hit a bullseye. The star-studded video helped too.
42The Felix Culpa

The sprawling 67 minute album from which it came may have been a little too much, but the 7 minute monster known as 'Mutiny' definitely was not. A great indication of the passionate vocals & ambitiously complex musical dynamics that this band has to offer. "Everyone is a home unto themselves, but you'll never be home until you become a home to someone else".
43My Chemical Romance
Na Na Na

So dumb, but oh so fun. Turn it up, don't think too hard and you will enjoy it.
44The Holidays
Golden Sky

In a year when an unknown band from Sydney (Parades) ruled my roost, another unknown band from Sydney released a fantastic album of percussion-heavy indie-pop that would give Vampire Weekend a run for their money. 'Golden Sky' is the most feel-good, vibrant song from said album.
45Calling All Cars
Not Like Anybody

I could have picked a number of songs from what was a consistent, solid-as-a-rock straight-ahead rock album with pleasing punk leanings. Man, there were some great debut LPs from Aussie bands in 2010.
46New Young Pony Club
Lost A Girl

From the moment I heard NYPC's new album, I knew it would get lost in amongst the multitude of bands heading in the opposite direction sound-wise. For this reason, the opener to 'The Optimist' was always going to be an under-rated & forgotten song come the end of 2010.

It's just a tad difficult to stay still during all of those synthy stabs which the Bloc Party front-man showcases on his debut solo single. I still haven't listened to his album in full strangely enough.
48Ra Ra Riot
Too Dramatic

Off an album ultimately lacking in hooks, 'Too Dramatic' was a major reason why Ra Ra Riot's 'The Orchard' was still a very good record.
49The Tallest Man on Earth
King Of Spain

I think the best way to put it is: I don't even like folk & I placed The Tallest Man on Earth's 2nd LP in my top 20 of 2010. 'King of Spain' is just the best song from that even LP.

I'm in the minority in thinking that 'Mines' is not Menomena's best LP, but it's songs like the captivating 'Tithe' which make this creative trio always interesting to listen to.
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