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Cory Doctorow

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My favorite/best tunes of 2010

While compiling the list, I realized that I never bought/downloaded two of these ten songs. I have to list these two even though I did not like them enough to buy them because this woman is easily one of the best pop songwriters this year and, compared to her contemporaries, she seems most likely to have a long and varied career instead of just being a fad or known for being outrageous

Teenage Dream
Firework



Yeah, the above video is a little cornball, but it's a song that reflects her upbringing. The best writers write what they know.

Here are the other eight tunes which were made popular and/or released in 2010. First, the not-so-surprising:

Disturbed "Another Way To Die" -- The first single from their latest album, it's the rare Disturbed tune that does NOT feature singer David Draiman's signature growl. It's also got the most political lyrics Disturbed have ever written. The video is disturbing (no pun intended) while not featuring the band members directly.

Three Days Grace "Break" -- Only 8 lines of verse and just over 3 minutes, I have been playing this song for the entire year and am still not sick of it. I almost sang it at one of my church's fundraisers, but I just couldn't find the notes Adam sings in the chorus, even after buying the sheet music. Fortunately, I have as long as I need to find those notes and that odd sing/shout voice.

Linkin Park "The Catalyst" -- It's not the best song on the album; however, it was the first single from "A Thousand Suns". The album will have several more singles/videos through 2011 to enjoy and the album is one of those rare albums that really should be listed start to finish now and then instead of shuffling the tunes. This album best captures Chester's rock singing, Mike's hip-hop/pop sensibility (and showcases the vocal lessons he took in the last couple of years) and DJ Joseph Hahn ("Blackout" is something, I would imagine, could only be managed onstage by Mr. Hahn using everything he has to perform it)

From the "hmm . . that's interesting" list:

Gorillaz "On Melancholy Hill" -- The rare Gorillaz tune that doesn't feature a guest rapper and/or guest singer on "Plastic Beach". The video has to show up as a Best Video nominee at the penultimate music awards show whose nominees will be announced next week -- it rivals "Feel Good, Inc."

Eminem ft. Rhianna "Love The Way You Lie" -- It's not Eminem's usual introspection wrapped in violent word choice that grabbed me -- it was Rhianna's way of icily oozing out the chorus. Her choice of interpretation tells more about her struggles with domestic violence than perhaps she intended. Beautiful and chilling all at once.

Maroon 5 "Misery" -- Nice to have a pop band that plays actual instruments back on the scene after a many-year absence. Still can't listen to it without tapping some part of my body to the beat.

Cee-Lo "F**k You" -- Yeah, there's a clean version of the song called "Forget You". Forget it. This is a rare pop song that has earned the right to use the F-word that rhymes with truck as it just works better with the rest of the lyrics. Also, it's just great that a terrific singer who clearly grew up listening to Al Green and Marvin Gaye is doing as well as he is.

Finally, the song that may make your jaw drop:

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings "Better Things" -- OK, so 2010 was as good a year for hard rock as it was for classic soul/R&B sounds for me. Here's a fun, live-version of the song. Great singer, great band and it's well worth your time exploring your favorite audio or video posting site finding other cuts from their albums.

Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow and, if you buy any/all of these songs, the holidays will be a little bit better. Or, at least you can throw on the earbuds/headphones and crank it up when the family arguments begin ;-)

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