20. World Sick – Broken Social Scene

This is already a soothing wonder for the ears, but wait until you witness this track live, if ever lucky enough. What looks like a football cheer leading team on stage, (it’s actually Broken Social Scene) this song is an insane conglomeration of somehow everything beautiful about this painfully underrated Canadian group.

19. One Life Stand – Hot Chip

A hilariously clever play on words, Hot Chip explain they only want to be your “one life stand,” rather than an over-rated and cumbersome one night stand. This lucid request is refreshing, especially when expanded over a club-ready beat with soul to spare.


18. What do you Want From me – Adam Lambert

The American Idol runner-up had it all going for him; an established fan base, an unmistakable look and a voice that could shatter fine China. But what had escaped him up until the release of “What do you Want From me,” was a decent song. This all changed when a simplistic, yet irresistible guitar arrangement accompanied Lambert’s pleas and finally delivered a gem worthy of wide-range radio play.

17. Lover of Mine – Beach House

If MGMT had a sister, hopefully they wouldn’t name her Beach House. But hopefully every other trait of these euphoric escapists would remain intact. “Lover of Mine,” is optimistic and beyond beautiful, two traits that a world like the one we live in today could desperately use.

16. Frankenstein – Tokyo Police Club

The Strokes’ younger brother that they may or may not know exist, Tokyo Police Club make a strong case for acknowledgement with this pulse-shivering nod to one of the world’s most renowned monsters.

15. Not in Love – Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith

The King of Emo fused with one of the darkest dance crews around, it’s no surprise that the collaboration led to a song renouncing love despite its best effort. The original Crystal Castles’ tune, “Not in Love,” is ravaging enough, but the brilliant addition of Smith takes their furious refusal to drop the L-word into a state of ecstasy.

 14. Afraid of everyone – The National

One could make the argument that the National sound like everyone, but they attest that it is actually an unexplainable case of xenophobia. Whatever the diagnosis, the track made being socially retarded an interesting trait for 2010.

 13. Monster – Kanye West

Monster was Nikki Minaj’s roaring coming-out party, as she massacred this monster like a black Buffy the vampire slayer. Jay-Z’s rap is uncharacteristically average, probably because rapping about fictional ghouls is a bit of stretch even for someone of his caliber. Kanye’s rhymes are mostly completely off-topic, but the wordsmith is still at his egotistical best.

12. With you – Best Coast

It’s the Beach Boys on acid existing in an eternal summer. That’s right, this duo exist in the infinite rays of California, the west is the best after all, where sunscreen is always being applied and fetching the newspaper in a bikini is common routine. “With you” is blatantly honest, “I hate sleeping alone” for example,  but easily forgivable, which is either due to their charm or a case of severe sunstroke.

 11. Girl I love you – Massive Attack 

“Girl I love you” is a diabolical love letter that one can only fantasize about what the reply was. If it wasn’t so easy to listen to, one would think that there would be better ways to express his or her unwavering love for another, but it’s a safe bet that Massive Attack usually don’t approach life in a conventional manner.

10. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

It was the nostalgia anthem of the year, with more 20, 30 and 40- somethings fantasizing aloud about the days when one’s biggest worry was not getting busted crushing booze in Bettie Lou’s basement. Katy Perry is well aware that she isn’t creating world-provoking sing-a-longs, but this track in particular has enough substance to make one pause and reflect on how cool or uncool it was being a teenager.

9. Horchata – Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend not only successfully averted the supposed sophomore slump, they made a strong case for album of the year, with their second effort, Contra. “Horchata,” is a fine template for those curious as to how these guys with such a ridiculous name manage to fuse African drums, relatable lyrics and catchy hooks time and time again.

8. Dancing on my Own – Robyn 

It’s the female, 2010 equivalent to Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself,” except Robyn’s pain is ten-fold. Despite her lover apparently groping some random on the dance floor, Robyn is determined to shake what her Swedish roots blessed her with, even if it means no one is paying attention.

7.  Kids from Yesterday – My Chemical Romance

MCR had never been bigger after their last album, “The Black Parade.” But they didn’t seem to give a shit that the undertaker/goth look had catapulted them to the forefront of rock’s elite and they proceeded to splatter vibrant paint buckets all over their death uniforms and went from extreme black and white to a shockingly, fluorescent combo of bright pants and extravagant hair. “Kids from Yesterday” still contains the angst of the colourless theme prior, but the black parade has a float following behind it, and it’s s MCR’s morphed version of synthesizers and 80s pop/rock at is harshest. “You only hear the music when you heart begins to break,” is the 2011 version of you don’t know what you got til’ its gone.

6. Congratulations –  MGMT

The two Jewish dudes from New York were supposed to be a flash in the pan once their ridiculous tales of rock-star fiction grew stale in the ears of hipsters everywhere. Sure “Time to Pretend,” was as catchy as the common flu, but did you honestly think these guys could last anything beyond six months in the rock n’ roll conversation? Me neither, except they seemed to have had their extended beanies on too tight to hear the mindless rhetoric. They decided to ditch the “models for wives” fantasies and spit out a profoundly deep second album; Congratulations. The title track, is full of lyrics that one shouldn’t have the ability to utter until at least reaching the same age as Sean Penn. “I’d rather dissolve than have you ignore me,” is just as beautifully painful as “This is our decision to live fast and die young,” is as ignorant and fleeting.

5. Sweet disposition – Temper Trap

A track that undoubtedly could have been heard pumping in a men’s hockey locker room while simultaneously urging a mother of three to mount her last fleet of stairs for her morning jog, this track was 2011’s “Eye of the Tiger.” Big dreams and lofty goals were all possible due to Temper Trap’s impossible to deny, sweet disposition.

4. Pyro – Kings of Leon

It’s almost a prelude to the King’s breakout hit “Sex on Fire,” a possible explanation to how one could possibly set sexual intercourse into flames in less than four minutes. It seems that lead singer Caleb Followill has ran out of burning wood and is debating what should go next, hence the contemplative tone he undertakes until the ear-roasting climax.  The song suddenly bursts into,you guessed it, metaphorical flames, when the drums and guitar simultaneously come rushing down, like a California wildfire engulfing a defenseless forest,  making “Pyro,” one of heaviest and most electrifying hits of their career.

3. Everlasting Light – the Black Keys

The replacement for the White Stripes in the blues/rock category may have overtaken their predecessors in popularity based on the raging success of the album, “Brothers.” Nobody sounds even remotely close the Black Keys’ which is what makes a track like “Everlasting Light,” even more profoundly special.

2. Ready to Start – Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire may be the only band in history to release three consecutively flawless albums. They chose to play it safe in 2010 by first releasing the title track, “The Suburbs,” before revealing their ace in the hole, “Ready to Start.” It sounds like a Montreal train coursing through your ears with its alarming and excitable tempo that indicates the Fire may be “ready” to begin rightfully collecting the praise that has been overdue for years.

1. Only the Young – Brandon Flowers

There was the ostentatious clock, counting down to who knows what during the 2010 summer. When it struck zero, it climaxed into a classic Las Vegas billboard exclaiming that lead singer Brandon Flowers would be releasing a solo album in the near future. The news was excitable, but not even close to as enticing as the music that accompanied the announcement. An impossibly peaceful harmony of strings slowly stole the spotlight and half a minute later was accompanied by a tribe of worldly drums that sounded as though the intro to an angel’s ascent to heaven. The instrumental was the heart of what would become “Only the Young,” the most impressive song from Flowers’ solo album, Flamingo, and the most powerful song of 2010. Flowers’ has evolved from a cheeky poster boy singing about a secret somebody told him about an ex-girlfriend, into one of the century’s most pivotal front men. He surrenders any doubt he may have had of a solo career by setting himself loose as he naturally embraces the heavy spotlight like the Las Vegas showman he is. The climatic falsetto that soars the song to heights Flowers’ has no doubt fantasized about since he first fell in love with 80s pop is a talent many of his revered heroes could only dream of attaining.

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