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 100 on this list) were as good as anything he'd released before.

Number 20 "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 60), as well as his slick dance moves. 

Number 19 "Indestructible" by Robyn
Mentioned below

Number 18 "Submission" by Delphic
Mentioned below

Number 17 "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 107 on this list).

Number 16 "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 15 "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 94 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 14 "Doubt" by Delphic
Mentioned below

Number 13 "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 12 "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 11 "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 10 "Get Outta My Way" by Kylie Minogue
Mentioned in Part 3 and previously featured here

Number 9 "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 35) that was my next favourite song of theirs in 2010.

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 86 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 19 on this list) and "Time Machine" (number 22) - both from Body Talk Pt. 3 - and "Dancing On My Own" (number 29) 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 14 on this list), and album track "Submission" (number 18), 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           DJ Alphabeat
10         GET OUTTA MY WAY Kylie Minogue
11         TURN IT UP Grum
13         FADER The Temper Trap
14         DOUBT Delphic
15         YOU’VE CHANGED Sia
16         BANG BANG BANG Mark Ronson & The Business Intl featuring Q-Tip
17         IF I HAD YOU Adam Lambert
18         SUBMISSION Delphic
19         INDESTRUCTIBLE Robyn
20         IN MY HEAD Jason Derulo
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         ON AND ON Agnes
29         DANCING ON MY OWN Robyn
30         DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE Usher featuring Pitbull
31         ALL NIGHT LONG Alexandra Burke featuring Pitbull
32         HIGHER Taio Cruz featuring Kylie Minogue
33         WAY BACK HOME Bag Raiders
34         POISON Nicole Scherzinger
35         ALWAYS UP WITH YOU Alphabeat
36         BITTERSWEET Sophie Ellis-Bextor
37         ALIVE Goldfrapp
38         BROKEN HEELS Alexandra Burke
39         I AM YOUR SKIN The Bravery
40         LIGHTS DOWN LOW Kim Wilde
41         GRENADE Bruno Mars
42         UMBRELLA BEACH Owl City
43         PROMISE THIS Cheryl Cole
44         ROCKET Goldfrapp
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         MISERY Maroon 5
57         HEARTS DON’T LIE Gabriella Cilmi
58         TEENAGE DREAM Glee Cast
59         OVERCOME Alexandra Burke
60         LOVE HANGOVER Jason Derulo
61         STAND UP Cheryl Cole
62         COMMANDER Kelly Rowland featuring David Guetta
63         ACAPELLA Kelis
64         BABY, I’M GETTING BETTER Gyroscope
65         GIVE IT UP Maniac
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         HAPPINESS / WIDEBOYS MIX Alexis Jordan
72         FREEFALLIN’ Zoe Badwi
73         NOT IN LOVE Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith
74         HANDS The Ting Tings
75         I WANNA LIFE Goldfrapp
76         JACKSON’S LAST STAND Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
78         HOLE IN MY HEART Alphabeat
79         THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Jason Derulo
80         LOCO Annie
81         LAST DAYS OF DISCO Robbie Williams
82         ON A MISSION Gabriella Cilmi
83         ALL THE LOVERS Kylie Minogue
84         ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD) Rihanna
85         MOON THEORY Miami Horror
86         SOMEONE WAKE ME UP Joe McElderry
87         WATERCOLOUR Pendulum
88         MEMORIES David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi
89         CLOSE TO YOU / FEAR OF TIGERS MIX The Venus Stare
90         BELIEVER Goldfrapp
91         ONE BEAT AWAY Cicada
92         CRUEL INTENTIONS Simian Mobile Disco featuring Beth Ditto
93         PARTY GIRL McFly
94         CLAP YOUR HANDS Sia
95         LOVE GET OUT OF MY WAY Monarchy
96         WEAR MY KISS Sugababes
97         DANCE THE WAY I FEEL Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
98         MAGIC B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo
99         WHITE KNUCKLE RIDE Jamiroquai
100        ONE IN A MILLION Ne-Yo
101        TEENAGE DREAM Katy Perry
102        LIGHTS OUT Rick Astley
103        WITCHCRAFT Pendulum
104        PUNCHING IN A DREAM The Naked & Famous
105        HURTFUL Erik Hassle
106        ANIMAL Neon Trees
107        FEVER Adam Lambert
108        BETTER THAN TODAY Kylie Minogue
109        THE KEY Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
110        ALL TIME LOW Wanted
111        MY WICKED HEART Diana Vickers
112        HELLO Potbelleez
113        NOT MYSELF TONIGHT Christina Aguilera
114        STAY TOO LONG Plan B
115        GOLD DUST DJ Fresh
116        DYNAMITE Taio Cruz
117        EGO The Saturdays
118        ONE Sky Ferreira
119        I’M IN LOVE (I WANNA DO IT) Alex Gaudino
120        POP GOES THE WORLD Gossip
121        INVISIBLE LIGHT Scissor Sisters
122        NIGHT BY NIGHT Chromeo
123        NOTHIN’ ON YOU B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars
124        UNBROKEN Stan Walker   
125        YESTERDAY Toni Braxton
126        NIGHT IS YOUNG Nelly Furtado
127        4TH OF JULY (FIREWORKS) Kelis
128        WOULD YOU RAISE YOUR HANDS? Rogue Traders
129        THE ISLAND Pendulum
130        HOT MESS Chromeo
131        UNDER THE SHEETS Ellie Goulding
132        TOGETHER Pet Shop Boys
133        FALL IN LOVE Estelle
134        JE NE SAIS QUOI Hera Bjork
135        HOLIDAYS Miami Horror featuring Alan Palomo
136        SATURDAY NIGHT Jessica Mauboy featuring Ludacris
137        COLD WAR Janelle Monae
138        SUNLIGHT Bag Raiders
139        THE FEAR INSIDE Frankmusik
140        GROOVE ME Maximum Balloon
141        BRING NIGHT Sia
142        I LOOK TO YOU Miami Horror featuring Kimbra
144        KICKSTARTS Example
145        CLUB CAN’T HANDLE ME Flo Rida featuring David Guetta
146        RIDIN’ SOLO Jason Derulo
147        JUST A DREAM Nelly
148        ANY WHICH WAY Scissor Sisters
149        F U Cee Lo Green
150        ALEJANDRO Lady Gaga
151        CROSSFIRE Brandon Flowers
152        REAL LIFE Kim Wilde
153        PARACHUTE Cheryl Cole
154        CARRY OUT Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake
155        COOLER THAN ME Mike Posner
156        DIRTY TALK Wynter Gordon
157        SEEK BROMANCE Tim Berg
158        BARBRA STREISAND Duck Sauce
159        MARRY YOU Bruno Mars
160        IT’S OK Cee-Lo Green
162        CHAMPAGNE LIFE Ne-Yo
163        LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE Bananarama
164        DON’T TURN THE LIGHTS ON Chromeo
165        TURN IT UP Pixie Lott
166        DO YOU MIND Robbie Williams
167        CRASH & BURN Sugababes
168        PYRAMID Charice featuring Iyaz
169        GUNS AND HORSES Ellie Goulding
170        RUN AWAY Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira
171        VOLCANO Dragonette
172        I’M IN HERE Sia
173        PUT IT IN A LOVE SONG Alicia Keys / Beyonce Knowles
174        YOU’VE GOT THE LOVE Florence & The Machine
175        DO YOU REMEMBER Jay Sean featuring Sean Paul & Lil Jon
176        WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME Beyonce Knowles
177        CALL ON ME Andy Bell
178        COUNTERPOINT Delphic
179        FIRE WITH FIRE Scissor Sisters
180        STRIP ME Natasha Bedingfield
181        REPLAY Iyaz
182        PLEASE DON’T GO Mike Posner
183        THERE GOES MY BABY Usher
184        PRIVATE EYES The Bird And The Bee
185        DEVOTION Hurts featuring Kylie Minogue
186        ALL TO MYSELF Guy Sebastian
187        BLUE SKIES Jamiroquai
188        OMG / ALMIGHTY MIX Usher featuring Will.i.am
189        GIVE A LITTLE MORE Maroon 5
190        LIKE IT’S HER BIRTHDAY Good Charlotte
191        ALL I EVER WANTED Kelly Clarkson
192        WHERE I’M GOING Cut Copy
193        SOMEBODY TO LOVE ME Mark Ronson featuring Boy George
194        AIRPLANES B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams
195        BIGGER THAN US White Lies
196        DIRTEE DISCO Dizzee Rascal
197        RUDE BOY Rihanna
198        THE CATALYST Linkin Park
199        THE BIKE SONG Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
200        ONE (YOUR NAME) Swedish House Mafia featuring Pharrell Williams

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.