2010 was an excellent year for indie and pop music. For me, the top story was that Lady Gaga became boring. I have over 100 albums on my Spotify playlists that I listen to regularly. However, I was able to whittle down my final list to my favourite fifteen songs (not albums, mind) of the year. I no longer listen to albums on a stereo, but mainly on computer or other portable listening device, and like 99% of the rest of you, I tend to download the tunes that touch me the most. Here are 15 of mine, in no order:
'Dead American Writers' by Tired Pony - REM and Snow Patrol guys create MOR classic. Classic gets played too much and begins to bore. But still, great.
'She Said' by Plan B - from the best album of the year, and perhaps the most unlikely. A star is born.
'Ready To Start' by Arcade Fire - the Montreal band create a decade-defining album, and this is one of the best on it, with its "businessmen drink my blood" capturing the meltdown mood perfectly.
'Love The Way You Lie' by Eminem with Rihanna - the most disturbingly catchy and powerful song ever written about beating up one's partner. The rapper is back.
'Nothin' On You' by B.o.B. - the summer's best Top 40 love song, with a truly sweet mix of rap and vocals.
'Girl I Love You' by Massive Attack featuring Horace Andy - this under-rated album produced a track of intense moodiness that recalls their finest work.
'La Collectionneuse' by Charlotte Gainsbourg - Beck produced the album from which this comes, which is a masterclass in French cool.
'Anyone's Ghost' by The National - this year's moody indie US band, the song captures "going out with your headphones on again" loneliness with a notable beat.
'Dancing on My Own' by Robyn. Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Minaj, Hot Chip, Perry, Kellis, and Cilmi all created great pop songs this year, but the best was from Robyn's brilliant trilogy.
'Careless' by Sarah Harmer (a Canadian) is a light and utterly charming pop song, that effortlessly came to reside in my affections.
'Heartache by Numbers' by Bryan Ferry does Ferry favours - it takes his vibrato longing, his melancholy homme fatale persona, to its pinnacle. Easily one of the finest of his songs. His running around with "every girl in town" and "I'd be your lover not your friend" hit the right note.
'Boyfriend' by Best Coast is, like 'Candy', 50s-retro New Wave stuff, and really sweet, cute, and sort of darkly ominous. "The other girl is not like me, she's prettier... and has a college degree" rings true and is bleakly funny.
'Desire Lines' by Deerhunter - with its Pixie's-style - is one of the finest indie songs in a while. I love it.
'Pull Out' by The Soft Pack is Garage the old way - just snotty-nosed teens sneering to insanely catchy nasty guitar, bass and drums. A lot of 'Rock Lobster' in this. "No more negotiation - write the legislation - pull out" is a great mantra for Californians who want their own nation. Thrillingly basic.
'Night' by Zola Jesus was a dark horse but became my favourite song by a mile at year's end - a mix of The Knife and Siouxsie & The Banshees, her vocals are eerie, macabre, portentous, and hint of wicked deeds nocturnally looming or pending. But also sadness, romance, dignity and something elegiac. It has a "bed of thorns" and resting bones. It's magnificently what it is.
14 Honourable mentions: Superchunk's 'Rosemarie' is cool; I Blame Coco's 'Selfmachine' is rather good, in a 'I Am Not A Robot' way (another fave by Marina and The Diamonds). Frankie Rose and The Outs created one of the best B-52 indie twang retro 50s songs ever with 'Candy'; Foxy Shazam was the weirdest songsmith of the year with catchy off-kilter 'Connect' which is a bit like Thriller-era Jackson mixed with Eels. Paul Weller had a great come back track with 'Wake Up The Nation' but its call to throw away facebook seemed quaint by year's end; 'Vaporize' by Broken Bells was a dreamy pop tune from Shins lead singer; 'All Time Low" by The Wanted is great boy band stuff; Janelle Monae was brilliant channeling James Brown in 'Tightrope'; 'Monkey' by Robert Plant is seriously weird ("tonight the monkey dies"?); Hole's 'Nobody's Daughter' was fun retro-grunge; and finally, 'Big Len' by The Jim Jones Revue is nasty rock at its wildest - break out the shotguns and the rotgut. Don't forget the comeback of Edwyn Collins in 'Losing Sleep'. Beach House also deserves mention for 'Norway'.
Others that deserve to be attended to would include new albums by Vampire Weekend, The Black Keys, The Dead Weather, Hurts and Kanye West. There. I'm done.
Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize September 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio Eyewear Publishing i...
INTRODUCTION TO THE FORTHCOMING COLLECTED POEMS OF TERENCE TILLER FROM EYEWEAR - ON THE POET'S CENTENARYTERENCE TILLER’S LOVELY SHAPES OF RHETORIC : AN INTRODUCTION TO HIS COLLECTED POEMS Terence Tiller died in 1987, in December; 2...
A LADY LOOKING FOR NOSFERATU IN CHAPMAN'S POETRY I have been a fan of Patrick Chapman's poetry for the whole of the 21st centur...
WE NEED TO BUY MORE POETRY BOOKS, LESS JUNK FOOD OF THE MIND Here is a wake up call for British poets, and British society over-all - th...
BE PROUD 2016 is shaping up to be one of the worst years, at least from a Western historical perspective, since 1936. The deaths of ma...
LETHARGY, DRINK, DRUGS... THE TOPICS OF A LOT OF GOOD MODERN POETRY - AND THEMES MILSOM EXPLORES Rhys Milsom is a poet, writer, rev...
THIS YOUNG POET FORGOT TO ENTER THE COMPETITION AND IS NOW UPSET WITH HIMSELF Yes, that is correct. The UK poet Isabel Galleymore ...
British poet Isabel Galleymore , pictured, won the anniversary competition for the best poem involving eyes, vision or eyewear in a poem... ...
Steve Van-Hagen reviews Regeneration by Meirion Jordan Meirion Jordan, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Be...
HE HAS FORGOTTEN WHY HE EVER LEFT THE FRANCHISE IN THE FIRST PLACE There have been few singular cultural pleasures as notable as the tri...
About Eyewear the blog
Eyewear THE BLOG is the most read British poetry blog-zine of all time, getting more than 25,000 page-views a month. It began in 2005 and has now been read by over 2.5 million.
The views expressed by editor Todd Swift are not necessarily shared by contributing poets and reviewers. Any material on this blog infringing copyright will be removed immediately upon request.To order books from Eyewear PUBLISHING LIMITED, go to: www.eyewearpublishing.com