Friday, November 20, 2009


Thanksgiving is once again upon us and the party is wrapping up. The last year of the first decade of the 21st century is here, and "most" of the best songs of the year have presented themselves. Anything from here on out will generally be considered a 2010 venture, so without further ado, the best songs of 2009 are below (album list will be posted in a couple weeks):

1) SAINT ETIENNE--"Method of Modern Love"
A winner of a pop tune, this Richard X collaboration came early in the year along with their London Conversations greatest hits box set. While not originally written by the band, their winsome pop helmed by Sarah Cracknell's optimistic and never over-the-top vocals created sheer magic. And the lo-uh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-uh-uh-ove was SO Carpenters!

2)ANNIE--"Songs Remind Me of You"
A quite difficult choice as this was actually a song from 2008 that came along with many other wonderful songs from Don't Stop, this was the crowning jewel in said album's crown, even after new tracks were added. Thank God this Richard X production was not removed like it's earlier sister single, "I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me". This should-have-been-huge hit just shows that sales don't matter when it comes to great music, but in a perfect world...

3)LA ROUX--"Bulletproof"
Arguably the catchiest song of the year from one of the most strident vocalists, La Roux created absolute magic with this song that was somehow inherently linked to synthpop past a la Yazoo, yet was undeniably a product of 2009. Big in England, ignored in the US (of course), an amazing debut from a band that will surely leap forward with project #2.

4)LADY GAGA--"Bad Romance"
Who would have thought when 2009 started that this seemingly trashy fame whore would rise to the top of the crop with some of the best music and performances of the year? Bad Romance is not only one of the best songs of the year, it is also one of the biggest. With crashing synths, edgy lyrics, a choir of chanting Gaga-lytes and her most powerhouse vocal performance, Lady Gaga has finally arrived. Where could she possibly go from here?

5)PET SHOP BOYS--"All Over the World"
When this song got its official premiere at the Brit Awards in February (with Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers in tow), this song was a highlight in a career of songs spanning 25 years. It was so important they gave it a tweak late in the year courtesy of Marius de Vries, a welcome addition, yet not compulsory. If this song does not eventually catch on in some way, shape, or form, there is no longer justice in this pop world. For now, we shall bask in its Nutcracker glory!

6)LITTLE BOOTS--"Remedy"
Another Redone production, Boots could have easily fallen below the thick production he usually gives to Lady Gaga. Instead, this was one of the most insistently catchy singles of the year, and one which she would be more wise to follow. Caught between hipster cool and pop explosion, Little Boots hit the nail on the head here, and hit where she needed to. The best single from another arresting debut.

7)GIRLS ALOUD--"Untouchable"
Although featured on their 2008 Out of Control album, this song was released as a single in mid-2009, and was their first in over 20 singles not to hit the UK top 10 (it made #11). Too bad for Britain, as this ranks as one of the girls' best singles, and one of the best of the year. In its full, nearly 7-minute glory, it seems as though time is standing still. Nicola simply sparkles.

8)BASEMENT JAXX--"Raindrops"
The return of the Jaxx with this thick & groovy dance track with spaces in all the right places. Instead of going for the guest vocalist here, they supply their own vocals, and it still makes for a great single. This is a fine addition to any list of best songs for the summer.

9)ANNIE--"I Don't Like Your Band"
Technically the first new track leaked from v.2 of Don't Stop, brings all that makes Annie special into one great song, with a slamming bass, cut-n-paste synths (courtesy of producer du jour, Paul Epworth), coy melodies, and snarky lyrics. Annie should really work more with Epworth in the future, as he really brought something special to the new tracks offered here, including "Hey Annie" and the title track. Not an official single (yet), but it should be.

This 80's-inspired new-wave monster came out early in the year, and never seemed to leave my playlists. Karen O serves up her best pop vocal yet (she would get more accolades later in the year with the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack), and here she absolutely shines against the buzzing background, in which the goal was to make the synths hum like electric guitars, and the electric guitars morph into synths. Layer this over a driving beat, and you've got one of the best singles of 2009.

11)FLORENCE & THE MACHINE--"Rabbit Heart" Epic renaissance fair music
12)FILTHY DUKES--"Messages" Uber-catchy pop single from DJ collective
13)SALLY SHAPIRO--"Love in July" Scandinavian electro-beauty with a warm heartbeat
14)ROYKSOPP--"The Girl & the Robot" Robyn guests on this fabulous electro ballad
15)PET SHOP BOYS--"Love, Etc." The boys take on commercialism and greed in sharp tones
16)LILY ALLEN--"The Fear" 2008 leak gets a better makeover for another take on the above
17)EDITORS--"Papillon" Goth-y guitar band gets retro and synthy..."sleep twitch" anyone?
18)BLAKE LEWIS--"Heartbreak on Vinyl" Ex-Idol runner-up rules with excellent pop single
19)EMPIRE OF THE SUN--"Without You (Single Mix)" Wistful 70's FM lite gets a makeover
20)DRAGONETTE--"Pick up the Phone" Would make Debbie Harry proud
21)A CAMP--"Love Has Left the Room" Quite possibly the best rock ballad of the year
22)LADY GAGA--"Pokerface" Dominated radio in 2009--rightly so
23)CICADA--"Love Don't Come Easy" Heidrun Bjornsdottir wrote more great songs-Hey Annie
24)ANNIE--"Anthonio" Best non-album single of the year...Hey Annie!?!
25)PARRALOX--"Hotter" Retro-electro with a lyric twist, sharp and catchy too
26)LITTLE BOOTS--"New in Town" Life in L.A. must be really tough for visiting Brits...
27)MARSHEAUX--"Destroy Me" Highlight song from their sophomore, Lumineaux Noir
28)FRIENDLY FIRES--"Kiss of Life" Paul Epworth produced post-LP single--tribal...
29)ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS--"Crazy in Love" Best cover of a Beyonce song this year
30)PALOMA FAITH--"New York" I usually hate lyrics like this, but this song just WORKS...
31)IAN BROWN--"Stellify" Abuse arrest aside, a more positive development for Ian in 09
32)VAMPIRE WEEKEND--"Horchata" Exciting lead single from album 2...maximum afro-beat
33)WHITE LIES--"To Lose My Life" Epic lyric meets brooding youths--to be continued...
34)LADYHAWKE--"Magic" Addictive song from 09's answer to Kim Wilde (aside from Kim)
35)ROBBIE WILLIAMS--"Difficult for Weirdos" Not an official single, what Rudebox should've been
36)AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT--"Sometime Around Midnight" Best late-night bar ballad of 09
37)THE BPA--"Toe Jam" Most upbeat David Byrne lyric since Talking Heads demise
38)LA ROUX--"In For the Kill" Strident vocals over an uncompromising new wave anthem
39)CUT OFF YOUR HANDS--"Happy as Can Be" Retro epic Spector-inspired winner from Kiwi
40)CALVIN HARRIS--"Flashback" Synth whiz-kid makes good by making good music
41)BANANARAMA--"Love Comes" If love hasn't come by now, it never will...
42)GLASVEGAS--"Flowers & Football Tops" You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...
43)PHOENIX--"1901" How come all I can think of is car commercials?
44)FRANKMUSIK--"Vacant Heart" Best song from talented kid w/big mouth--more to come?
45)RIHANNA--"Russian Roulette" Her heart may beat in her chest, but this song is a killer
46)PASSION PIT--"The Reeling" Great music, but could somebody teach this guy how to sing?
47)DEPECHE MODE--"Wrong" Divisive single takes no prisoners and pleases in good ways
48)MORRISSEY--"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" Most melodic single of his in 09
49)ZOOT WOMAN--"Lonely By Your Side" A song worthy of their talents
50)ROISIN MURPHY--"Orally Fixated" She doesn't envy Lady Gaga--I love this madness!

Did your favourite make the list? There's a lot to come on the horizon in 10--can't wait to see what it brings!

1 comment:

xolondon said...

Love your choices - and your desc of Rabbit Heart! The only song I might bump is Remedy. Anyway, so many of these will be on my lists too. Great minds...