Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Best Of 2010 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1

Thanks to digital downloading, singles sales were higher than ever in 2010. The downside for the music industry? The ability of the consumer to pick and choose tracks would have an impact on albums sales. Another side effect was that an increasing amount of artists didn't even bother to release albums, issuing EPs instead. It made sense - why go to the expense of producing 15 tracks, many of which would be fillers and only some of which would sell, when you could release a handful of higher quality tunes that would be more likely to be snapped up? And it wasn't just emerging artists using the format.

So stylish it Hurts - my favourite new band in 2010

As a pop fan, EPs had never been that prominent on my charts - save for the odd Erasure release, the format was traditionally the domain of indie bands. So, I wasn't quite sure how they should factor into my chart - especially since I was already allowing album tracks to be included. Should I also allow multiple tracks from an EP as separate entries or group them together like a single? My answer to that question would change over the coming years. Watch out for a couple of songs from EPs in my top 25 for 2010...

Number 25 "What If" by Jason Derulo
Mentioned below

Number 24 "Lose My Mind" by The Wanted
Just when it seemed like the age of the boy band was finally over, along came a five-piece from the UK (and Ireland, if we want to be completely accurate) who took advantage of a complete lack of competition to quickly become the hottest pop property on the charts. The Wanted's debut single "All Time Low" was a chart-topper in the UK, but it was this third single that convinced me (even though it was only a number 19 hit in Britain). The Wanted would consolidate their position over the next few years, and, possibly more importantly, open the boy band door back up for subsequent acts like One Direction and 5 Seconds Of Summer.

Number 23 "Higher" by The Saturdays featuring Flo Rida
Girl groups were also pretty thin on the ground in 2010, with Girls Aloud, Sugababes and Pussycat Dolls all winding down or on a break. Thank goodness for The Saturdays, who kept on churning out singles and with "Higher" came up with a second genuinely brilliant single (following 2009's "Forever Is Over").

Number 22 "Time Machine" by Robyn
Mentioned below

Number 21 "Beautiful Monster" by Ne-Yo
It's not often you hear of a pop/R&B act doing a concept album, but that exactly what Ne-Yo was going for with his 2010 opus, Libra Scale. During the year, he visited Australia to explain the album and play a few videos to media - and I have to say, I appreciated his enthusiasm and imagination. In a world where artists were increasingly releasing any old party/clubbing track in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of EDM, it was nice to hear the thought that had gone into Ne-Yo's album and how the songs tied in with the plot he'd invented. Of course, all the complicated stories about garbage men imbued with super powers in the world would've made no difference if the songs weren't up to scratch - but singles like "Beautiful Monster" and "One In A Million" (number 93 on this list) were as good as anything he'd released before.

Number 20 "Indestructible" by Robyn
Mentioned below

Number 19 "Submission" by Delphic
Mentioned below

Number 18 "If I Had You" by Adam Lambert
With his first decent-sized hit (2009's "Whataya Want From Me") under his studded belt, Adam Lambert stuck with the Max Martin productions for his next single - which became his biggest single in Australia, reaching number 4 and selling slightly more than "Whataya Want From Me". Although he could have kept releasing singles from For Your Entertainment, Adam's only other 2010 release was promotional single "Fever" (number 94 on this list).

Number 17 "Bang Bang Bang" by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl featuring Q-Tip & MNDR
Having established himself as an artist in his own right and not just a producer - thanks to his reinterpretations of other people's songs on the Version album - Mark Ronson returned to releasing original music in 2010. Well, an original song that borrowed from nursery rhyme "Alouette". "Bang Bang Bang" was the lead single from Record Collection and became Mark's most successful non-cover version and his first top 50 hit in Australia.

Number 16 "You've Changed" by Sia
She'd been quietly beavering away on the outskirts of the mainstream for a decade, but in 2010, Sia Furler started to get the recognition she deserved - and it was all thanks to her We Are Born album, which featured "You've Changed" and "Clap Your Hands" (number 83 on this list). Both singles became Sia's first songs to chart inside the ARIA top 50, while the album improved on her previous albums chart peak by 39 spots when it reached number 2.

Number 15 "Fader" by The Temper Trap
After all the fuss that was made of The Temper Trap's debut single, "Sweet Disposition", I'm surprised this third single from Conditions wasn't a bigger hit, since it's easily just as catchy - if not more so. Only just scraping into the ARIA top 50 on its original release early in 2010, "Fader" was re-promoted later in the year after the song popped up in movies, TV shows and ads - and it was all that attention that sold the song to me.

Number 14 "Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)" by a-ha
Most people outside of Norway would probably have been shocked to discover synthpop trio a-ha were still releasing music in 2010 - but the band behind iconic '80s hit "Take On Me" actually bowed out of the music industry with this, their final ever single. A great end to a career I'd followed over the two-and-a-half decades since that global chart-topper.

Number 13 "Doubt" by Delphic
Mentioned below

Number 12 "Turn It Up" by Grum
From synthpop legends to a new name in the genre: Grum, whose real name is actually Graeme Shepherd. "Turn It Up" wasn't released as a single from debut album Heartbeats, but it was a standout track for me after featuring as an iTunes single of the week. A song that was issued as a single was "Through The Night" (number 48 on this list), which came with an awesome video inspired by '80s cop shows.

Number 11 "In My Head" by Jason Derulo
Darkchild, RedOne... singers had been singing the names of the producers of their records for years, so why not their own? In 2010, a male artist arrived on the scene who quickly became known for incorporating his name into his tunes. I remember interviewing him around the time of debut single "Watcha Say" and asking him about the practice, but by the time he served as a judge on short-lived dance show Everybody Dance Now, I was warned ahead of the interview not to ask him about it. Guess the novelty wore off.
Back in 2010, Jason's name quickly became uttered in the same sentence as Usher and Ne-Yo thanks to the R&B/dance sound of hit singles like "In My Head", "What If" (number 25 on this list) and "The Sky's The Limit", and album track "Love Hangover" (number 57), as well as his slick dance moves. 

Number 10 "DJ (I Could Be Dancing)" by Alphabeat
Here's another excellent single from Danish pop combo Alphabeat's second album, which was alternatively titled The Spell or The Beat Is... depending on where you lived. "DJ" was followed by either "Heatwave" (number 69 on this list) or "Hole In My Heart" (number 78) - again, depending on the territory. But, it was album track "Always Up With You" (number 37) that was my next favourite song of theirs in 2010.

Number 9 "Get Outta My Way" by Kylie Minogue
Mentioned in Part 3 and previously featured here

Number 8 "Left Too Late" by Florrie
Next up, an artist who is still to release a full album and instead has regularly issued EPs of new material. Not only a singer, Florence Arnold is also a songwriter (she co-wrote the song at number 2 on this list) and, most interestingly, a drummer - serving as the in-house drummer for pop production supremos Xenomania since 2008. "Left Too Late" was taken from Florrie's debut EP, Introduction

Number 7 "Ambitions" by Joe McElderry
After winning season six of the UK version of The X Factor, 19-year-old Joe McElderry should have been a shoe-in for the Christmas number 1 in 2009 with his version of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb", but a social media campaign supporting Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name" put paid to that (although Joe rose to the summit after the festive season). 
For single number two, Joe (or his record company) went with another cover - this time a remake of the debut single by Norwegian pop group Donkeyboy, a number 1 for them back home and in Sweden in 2009. Joe's version upped the pace and made "Ambitions" even more of a joyous pop anthem, but it didn't quite achieve the desired result in the UK, peaking at number 6. 
That was considerably better, however, than follow-up "Someone Wake Me Up" (number 96 on this list), which bombed at number 68. Things followed a predictable course after that - Joe was let go from his record deal with Syco and a career in covers albums, reality TV and musical theatre beckoned.

Number 6 "Tokyo (Vampires And Wolves)" by The Wombats
Another act rather fond of an EP is this indie band from Liverpool - that's Liverpool, UK and not Liverpool, Australia, although given the band name and the title of their debut release, Girls, Boys and Marsupials, you'd be forgiven for making that mistake. This lead single from the This Modern Glitch album was a bit more synth-y than normal, which explains why it's far and away my favourite song by the band.

Number 5 "Hang With Me" by Robyn
Were they EPs or mini-albums? Either way, Robyn's three Body Talk releases were another spin on the traditional release system - and it was pretty exciting to get a batch of new songs from her every few months. Especially when they were as good as "Hang With Me" from Body Talk Pt. 2, "Indestructible" (number 20 on this list) and "Time Machine" (number 22) - both from Body Talk Pt. 3 - and "Dancing On My Own" (number 31) from Body Talk Pt. 1. In an especially busy year for the Swedish star, she also performed on "Caesar" by I Blame Coco (number 70).

Number 4 "Wonderful Life" by Hurts
Mentioned below

Number 3 "Halcyon" by Delphic
In any other year, Delphic would have been my favourite new band, thanks to singles "Halcyon" and "Doubt" (number 13 on this list), and album track "Submission" (number 19), which were all taken from debut album Acolyte and bore more than a passing resemblance to the sound of New Order. Not that that's a bad thing!

Number 2 "One Touch" by Mini Viva
Previously featured here

Number 1 "Better Than Love" by Hurts
Beating Delphic to the title of my favourite new band for 2010 was this duo, also from the UK. Comprised of sharp-suited vocalist Theo Hutchcraft and just-as-slick keyboard player Adam Anderson, Hurts followed in the tradition of Pet Shop Boys with songs like "Better Than Love" and "Wonderful Life" (number 4 on this list) expertly blending joy and melancholy over a synthesised beat. Strangely, neither song was particularly big in the UK - although album Happiness did make the top 5 - but they did achieve top 10 positions across Europe.

My top 200 for 2010 in full:

1          BETTER THAN LOVE Hurts
2          ONE TOUCH Mini Viva
3          HALCYON Delphic
4          WONDERFUL LIFE Hurts
5          HANG WITH ME Robyn
6          TOKYO (VAMPIRES AND WOLVES) The Wombats
7          AMBITIONS Joe McElderry
8          LEFT TOO LATE Florrie
9          GET OUTTA MY WAY Kylie Minogue
10        DJ (I COULD BE DANCING) Alphabeat
11        IN MY HEAD Jason Derulo
12        TURN IT UP Grum
13        DOUBT Delphic
15        FADER The Temper Trap
16        YOU’VE CHANGED Sia
17        BANG BANG BANG Mark Ronson & The Business Intl featuring Q-Tip & MNDR
18        IF I HAD YOU Adam Lambert
19        SUBMISSION Delphic
20        INDESTRUCTIBLE Robyn
22        TIME MACHINE Robyn
23        HIGHER The Saturdays featuring Flo Rida
24        LOSE MY MIND The Wanted
25        WHAT IF Jason Derulo
26        LOVE PART II Bright Light Bright Light
27        DANCE IN THE DARK Lady Gaga
28        BROKEN HEELS Alexandra Burke
29        DJ GOT US FALLING IN LOVE Usher featuring Pitbull
30        ON AND ON Agnes
31        DANCING ON MY OWN Robyn
32        ALL NIGHT LONG Alexandra Burke featuring Pitbull
33        HIGHER Taio Cruz featuring Kylie Minogue
34        WAY BACK HOME Bag Raiders
35        I AM YOUR SKIN The Bravery
36        POISON Nicole Scherzinger
37        ALWAYS UP WITH YOU Alphabeat
38        LIGHTS DOWN LOW Kim Wilde
39        ROCKET Goldfrapp
40        BITTERSWEET Sophie Ellis-Bextor
41        ALIVE Goldfrapp
42        GRENADE Bruno Mars
43        UMBRELLA BEACH Owl City
44        PROMISE THIS Cheryl Cole
45        WE RULE THE WORLD Dragonette
46        THE FLOOD Take That
47        STARRY EYED Ellie Goulding
48        THROUGH THE NIGHT Grum
49        HISTORY Groove Armada featuring Will Young
50        JUST THE WAY YOU ARE Bruno Mars
51        SYMMETRY Little Boots featuring Phil Oakey
52        DON’T STOP Annie
53        RAISE YOUR GLASS Pink
54        O.N.E Yeasayer
55        ANNIE YOU SAVE ME Grafitti6
56        TEENAGE DREAM Glee Cast
57        LOVE HANGOVER Jason Derulo
58        STAND UP Cheryl Cole
59        GIVE IT UP Maniac
60        COMMANDER Kelly Rowland featuring David Guetta
61        MISERY Maroon 5
62        HEARTS DON’T LIE Gabriella Cilmi
63        OVERCOME Alexandra Burke
64        ACAPELLA Kelis
65        BABY I’M GETTING BETTER Gyroscope
66        ALL YOU NEED IS NOW Duran Duran
67        LOVE LOVE LOVE Agnes
68        FIND YOUR LOVE Drake
69        HEATWAVE Alphabeat
70        CAESAR I Blame Coco featuring Robyn
71        I WANNA LIFE Goldfrapp
72        HAPPINESS / WIDEBOYS MIX Alexis Jordan
73        FREEFALLIN’ Zoe Badwi
74        NOT IN LOVE Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith
75        JACKSON’S LAST STAND Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
76        HANDS Ting Tings
78        HOLE IN MY HEART Alphabeat
79        CRUEL INTENTIONS Simian Mobile Disco featuring Beth Ditto
80        THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Jason Derulo
81        PARTY GIRL McFly
82        WEAR MY KISS Sugababes
83        CLAP YOUR HANDS Sia
84        DANCE THE WAY I FEEL Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
85        LOCO Annie
86        LAST DAYS OF DISCO Robbie Williams
87        ON A MISSION Gabriella Cilmi
88        ALL THE LOVERS Kylie Minogue
89        ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD) Rihanna
90        MOON THEORY Miami Horror
91        ANIMAL Neon Trees
92        MAGIC B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo
93        ONE IN A MILLION Ne-Yo
94        FEVER Adam Lambert
95        BETTER THAN TODAY Kylie Minogue
96        SOMEONE WAKE ME UP Joe McElderry
97        WHITE KNUCKLE RIDE Jamiroquai
98        THE KEY Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
99        WATERCOLOUR Pendulum
100      MEMORIES David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi
101      TEENAGE DREAM Katy Perry
102      BELIEVER Goldfrapp
103      ONE BEAT AWAY Cicada
104      LOVE GET OUT OF MY WAY Monarchy
105      LIGHTS OUT Rick Astley
106      WITCHCRAFT Pendulum
107      ALL TIME LOW Wanted
108      HELLO Potbelleez
109      GOLD DUST DJ Fresh
110      MY WICKED HEART Diana Vickers
111      PUNCHING IN A DREAM The Naked & Famous
112      HURTFUL Erik Hassle
113      CLOSE TO YOU / FEAR OF TIGERS MIX The Venus Stare
114      NOT MYSELF TONIGHT Christina Aguilera
115      STAY TOO LONG Plan B
116      DYNAMITE Taio Cruz
117      EGO The Saturdays
118      I’M IN LOVE (I WANNA DO IT) Alex Gaudino
119      POP GOES THE WORLD Gossip
120      INVISIBLE LIGHT Scissor Sisters
121      NIGHT BY NIGHT Chromeo
122      NOTHIN’ ON YOU B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars
123      UNBROKEN Stan Walker     
124      YESTERDAY Toni Braxton
125      CARRY OUT Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake
126      JUST A DREAM Nelly
127      NIGHT IS YOUNG Nelly Furtado
128      THE FEAR INSIDE Frankmusik
129      4TH OF JULY (FIREWORKS) Kelis
130      WOULD YOU RAISE YOUR HANDS? Rogue Traders
131      THE ISLAND Pendulum
132      HOT MESS Chromeo
133      UNDER THE SHEETS Ellie Goulding
134      TOGETHER Pet Shop Boys
135      ONE Sky Ferreira
136      FALL IN LOVE Estelle
137      JE NE SAIS QUOI Hera Bjork
138      HOLIDAYS Miami Horror featuring Alan Palomo
139      SATURDAY NIGHT Jessica Mauboy featuring Ludacris
140      COLD WAR Janelle Monae
141      SUNLIGHT Bag Raiders
142      GROOVE ME Maximum Balloon
143      ANY WHICH WAY Scissor Sisters
144      CLUB CAN’T HANDLE ME Flo Rida featuring David Guetta
145      BRING NIGHT Sia
146      RIDIN’ SOLO Jason Derulo
147      I LOOK TO YOU Miami Horror featuring Kimbra
149      KICKSTARTS Example
150      F U Cee Lo Green
151      SEEK BROMANCE Tim Berg
152      MARRY YOU Bruno Mars
153      ALEJANDRO Lady Gaga
154      BARBRA STREISAND Duck Sauce
155      IT’S OK Cee-Lo Green
156      REAL LIFE Kim Wilde
157      PARACHUTE Cheryl Cole
158      DO YOU MIND Robbie Williams
159      WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME Beyonce Knowles
160      COOLER THAN ME Mike Posner
161      DIRTY TALK Wynter Gordon
164      CRASH & BURN Sugababes
165      LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE Bananarama
166      TURN IT UP Pixie Lott
167      PUT IT IN A LOVE SONG Alicia Keys / Beyonce Knowles
168      RUDE BOY Rihanna
169      DON’T TURN THE LIGHTS ON Chromeo
170      PYRAMID Charice featuring Iyaz
171      GUNS AND HORSES Ellie Goulding
172      YOU’VE GOT THE LOVE Florence & The Machine
173      RUN AWAY Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira
174      VOLCANO Dragonette
175      I’M IN HERE Sia
176      CROSSFIRE Brandon Flowers
177      DO YOU REMEMBER Jay Sean featuring Sean Paul & Lil Jon
178      CALL ON ME Andy Bell
179      THE CATALYST Linkin Park
180      COUNTERPOINT Delphic
181      FIRE WITH FIRE Scissor Sisters
182      STRIP ME Natasha Bedingfield
183      REPLAY Iyaz
184      PLEASE DON’T GO Mike Posner
185      THERE GOES MY BABY Usher
186      PRIVATE EYES The Bird And The Bee
187      DEVOTION Hurts featuring Kylie Minogue
188      ALL TO MYSELF Guy Sebastian
189      BLUE SKIES Jamiroquai
190      OMG / ALMIGHTY MIX Usher featuring Will.i.am
191      GIVE A LITTLE MORE Maroon 5
192      LIKE IT’S HER BIRTHDAY Good Charlotte
193      ALL I EVER WANTED Kelly Clarkson
194      THE BIKE SONG Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
195      WHERE I’M GOING Cut Copy
196      SOMEBODY TO LOVE ME Mark Ronson featuring Boy George
197      AIRPLANES B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams
198      BIGGER THAN US White Lies
199      ONE (YOUR NAME) Swedish House Mafia featuring Pharrell Williams
200      DIRTEE DISCO Dizzee Rascal

That just leaves 2011 - and I'll count down my top 100 songs from that year at the end of November/start of December.

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1 comment:

  1. Hurts' 'Better Than Love' (though the Italo Connection Remix was by far my favourite) and Delphic's 'Halcyon' were two of the few new tracks I was into by 2010.