I've done the tabulations, calculated the masses, and mixed and matched bubbling chemicals in test tubes to finally arrive at the 50 best songs of the year! I've never done such a song-ranking experiment, and it was not without arduous list making, checking it twice, thrice, etc. But while my methods ultimately aren't scientific, and more weight should be given to ordering in, say, the top 25, this list represents the best songs of 2010 I've had the pleasure of listening to. First are songs 50 to 26.
"Go Outside" by Cults
"Chinatown" by Wild Nothing
"Mirror, Mirror" by Dr. Dog
50. "Hold Yuh (Double Dubplate) ft. Gyptian"
Major Lazer & La Roux
An unexpectedly moving finale to an underrated mixtape.
49. "In the Sun"
She & Him
The chorus really doesn't have to be "in the sun", but it's not important, and that's the point. This is simple, innocent, charming pop. And Zooey certainly doesn't hurt.
Fang Island likes to think that no matter what age we are, there's a sugar-crazed 10 year old inside of all of us.
47. "Imagination (I Want You to Know)"
Unpretentious dance pop that's South Beach-dreamin'.
46. "If You Want It"
TV Girl EP
A song about featuring drunken bedroom antics, it's a pleasant surprise that "If You Want It" is so carefree and bursting with life.
45. "Some Kind of Nature"
Alternating between a bouncy pop song and a foreboding bass-heavy tune, "Some Kind of Nature" is one of Plastic Beach's most replayable tracks.
44. "Limit to Your Love"
James Blake (out February 7th, 2011)
Although this has yet to see a proper album release, it was impossible to ignore this absolutely breathtaking cover that beats the Feist original.
43. "I Want to Be Well"
The Age of Adz
A unpredictable odyssey-within-an-odyssey that exhibits Stevens' bold new course into electronica on Age of Adz.
42. "Am I Real?"
Am I Real? EP
The budding 80s-style synthpop artist turns out a polished gem with groove and intellect.
The Fresh & Onlys
Play It Strange
A easy, rambling jam that lovingly pays homage to 60s garage pop and psychedelic rock.
40. "My Chariot"
The Depreciation Guild
Beautiful shoegaze pop that makes no hesitation in embracing the latter.
39. "I Don't Believe You"
I may not be liking the Thermals' recent move towards a slower pop-punk style, but as long as they can still drop a fist-pumping powder keg like this, I'll be looking for them on tour.
Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP
A bite-sized nugget of sparkling, riff-drenched pop.
37. "Post Acid"
King of the Beach
While Wavves is now more pop punk than fuzz-times-10 punk (Wavvves), he still has legions of haters. You can buy or pass on the snappy melody of "Post Acid", but whatever you think of him, he may be thinking the joke's on you: "I'm just having fun with YOOOUUUUU!"
36. "Jackie Wants a Black Eye"
Dr. Dog's easygoing, nostalgic pop rock is on full display on Shame, Shame's penultimate song.
35. "Dark Trance"
Stuck on Nothing
Heartfelt power pop with powerful words of wisdom: "But if you wait too long...you might miss that song, you might never meet that girl..."
34. "Written in Reverse"
Don't piss off Spoon, or they'll make a song like this that will almost literally kick your ass.
This Is Happening
In an album of solid long-running songs, "Home" feels the most impactful and complete. Don't miss the music video, as it's easily one of the year's best.
The Morning Benders
Swirling in a beautiful collage of cinematic strings and earthy drums, "Excuses" is one of the year's best album openers.
31. "Round and Round"
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
For all its dimensions (aged-sound, modern sound, avant-garde, catchy), what's most impressive about "Round and Round" is that all those seemingly contradictory traits coalesce seamlessly into a lovably quirky pop song.
30. "Valley Hump Crash"
Everything in Between
Not one of Everything in Between's more hyped tracks, but "Valley Hump Crash" simply wins you over on a ridiculously strong guitar riff.
29. "Can't Stay Awake"
Turning On bursts open on this jangly lo-fi firecracker from a promising bedroom pop artist.
28. "Giving Up the Gun"
One of Contra's most fully realized singles is a head-turning showcase for a band that's only getting better.
27. "Book of Stories"
Perhaps 2010's best 80s-aping band, The Drums have a capture a beautiful melancholy on the catchy "Book of Stories".
26. "Rhinestone Eyes"
Stark synths deliver a solid groove and alarming melodrama that drips with cool.