The Truth About Music

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TAM’s Top 20 Songs of 2010

We’ve made it!! 2010 has been an amazing year for music. Would you believe that when 2010 began, you probably had never heard of B.o.B., Bruno Mars, Mumford and Sons or Neon Trees? When 2010 began, Cee Lo Green was still called Gnarls Barkley, Travie Mccoy spelled his name with an “s” (Travis) and Kanye West was at the bottom of the totem poll staring up at Taylor Swift. Owl City, Gym Class Heroes and Timbaland have fallen from sight. Panic at the Disco, The Killers and Fall Out Boy all disbanded while The Red Hot Chili Peppers remain on hiatus. With a great year for singles coming to a close, here are The Truth About Music’s top twenty songs of the year 2010.

20. Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked by Cage The Elephant: I know what you’re thinking. How could this song be so high up your list? There is a simple reason. This song was the lead single from Cage The Elephants self titled debut album which came out in 2009. This song split its time between 2009 and 2010. All of this aside, this song is amazing and proof that an old school country rock jam can still be relevant in 2010

19. Opposite of Adults by Chiddy Bang: If I had told you one year ago that a rap group from Philadelphia would make a splash in the pop world by remixing a MGMT song, you’d of thought I was crazy. Well it’s happened. With one of the best hip hop songs of the year, “Opposite Of Adults” plays off “Kids” perfectly and has even helped to boost the original version

18. Bulletproof by La Roux: England has produced some of America’s largest pop acts. La Roux brought a euro-electro style to top 40 radio in the early part of 2010 and the song still remains a mainstay in this format. The vocal track is nothing we hadn’t seen from bands like The Veronica’s or The Ting Tings. What is different is the extreme electronic style the band is crafted in. A temporary one hit wonder in the states, it will be interesting to see what the band can bring us for an encore.

17. Like We Used To by A Rocket To The Moon: We’ll call this one the emo anthem of the year. Without a doubt, A Rocket to the Moon saw their highest level of success this year, performing hundreds of times and gaining a loyal fan base. This song has it all, sentimental lyrics, a perfectly placed acoustic guitar and a vocal track from Nick Santino that tells a seemingly real story.

16. Marry You by Bruno Mars: There were a ton of Bruno Mars songs that we could of picked for this spot. We went with our favorite. Featured in Glee’s wedding episode, this song gained huge popularity when Mars’ debut album was released back in October. A combination of brilliant vocals and over the top production, the song really helps Mars standout from the crowd.

15. Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland: I can’t say I’m a huge country fan. Regardless of what genre a song comes from, great songs are great songs. When you begin humming a song constantly without being provoked, you have a winner. From the veteran country artists, this song is unique because of its two part chorus and two part harmony throughout. Even if you’re not a country fan, this song not only melts your heart but engrains itself in your brain.

14. Love Like Woe by The Ready Set: At South by Southwest, I sat down with a very nervous, and very unsure Jordan Witzigreuter, the creator of The Ready Set. I’m not sure either of us realized that by the years end, he would have a single certified gold and be among the largest artists of the summer. Whether we knew it or not, there is something infectious about Jordan’s sound and at just 21 years old, he has plenty of great musical years ahead of him.

13. Hey, Soul Sister by Train: As soon as those first few notes hit, we already know what song this is. Train launched their rehabilitation movement in late 2009 and this song spilled over into the better part of this year. One of the most commercially successful songs of the year, it was used in to promote everything from Samsung to Major League Baseball. It was covered by numerous bands including Glee and was the #1 downloaded song on iTunes for the year 2010.

12. Animal by Neon Trees: Another huge indie debut in 2009 was Neon Trees. With a familiar sound, the band set themselves appart with great songwriting. That talent shined through on their debut single, showcasing both their semi-electronic instrumentation and a new voice for indie music, Tyler Glenn, who helped bring the comb over back into style in 2010.

11. Giving Up The Gun by Vampire Weekend: Falling just outside of the top 10, this is the runner up for our indie song of the year. While bands like MGMT took a step back in 2010, Vampire Weekend stayed strong releasing a solid follow up album and one killer song. This song has just enough awkwardness to fit perfectly into the pop rotation.

10. Billionaire by Travie McCoy: Another appearance by Bruno Mars on this list, he was able to team up with the former Gym Class Heroes frontman to create one of the most fun songs of the year. There really was nothing to not like about this dynamic pair. The smooth vocals of Mars and the party rapping style of Mccoy was a match made in hip hop heaven.

9. Love The Way You Lie by Eminem featuring Rihanna: Without a doubt, this is the most disturbing song to make our list. A violent song about harsh breakups, this song has true emotional ties to both performers. There is a sense that both Eminem and Rihanna are hanging on each and every word they sing. In addition to all of this, the video for the song was extremely powerful and one of our favorites of 2010.

8. Telephone by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce: You knew she had to make this list somewhere. On one of the most impressive runs in recent music history, this song might be remembered as the last in a long line of smash singles (technically “Alejandro” was the last) for Lady Gaga. The combination of hip hop (provided by Beyonce) and the party rock genre which Gaga owns, make this a great song for almost any situation. On a side note, the video shattered boundaries with its over nine plus minutes of cinematic story telling, which currently has over 95 million views on YouTube.

7. Monster by Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Justin Vernon: Officially slated as the third single from West’s 2010 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” the song helped to grow a huge amount of hype when it was given away for free online in the weeks leading up the release. A return to actual rapping for Kanye, paired with one of the best lyrical runs of the year by Nicki Minaj equal an amazing song.

6. Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons: The wildcard. The pop world didn’t see this one coming. With a huge focus on electronic bands (from indie to hip hop), here come a band from England with a focus on folk rock. While their overall sound might scare mainstream audiences away, this single made the band a household name in a matter of days. Now certified gold, this song lives somewhere in between out of place and perfect.5. Airplanes by B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams and Eminem: Among the most downloaded songs on iTunes in 2010, this song became infectious during the summer of 2010. Dozens of Facebook and Twitter statuses would contain the now infamous lyrics “Can we believe that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I can really use a wish right now…” While there are two versions of this song, the #5 spot belongs to the combined effort. While the version without Eminem was the radio hit, we’ll credit the combined effort. Aside from being our #5 song of the year, this song also contains the lyric of the year.

4. Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida featuring David Guetta: There isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to hip hop club jams. Tons of artists attempt to pull them off. In 2010, a magical pairing between Flo Rida, David Guetta and Nicole Scherzinger created the best dance song of the year. With an amazing beat, a super catchy hook and incredible rap runs by Flo Rida, there is no doubt that this song is deserving of this high rank. While Flo Rida has yet to produce a sustainable product in the form of an album or tour, this is his fifth platinum (or multi-platinum) single in the United States.

3. Fuck You by Cee Lo Green: The artists formerly known to most as Gnarls Barkley stepped out on his own in 2010. With a long awaited debut album, “The Lady Killers,” Green rocked the pop world with his explicit lyrics on the lead single It was unclear how this would effect the release. Months later we know the outcome. The sweet production, featuring a ton of pianos and backing vocals and incredibly unique voice helped to mold this song into a huge success. Written in part by Bruno Mars, this is one more song on his highly impressive 2010 run.

2. Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds To Mars: Only one song screamed 2010 more than this. Our #2 song is the epic anthem to 30 Seconds To Mars’ third album “This Is War.” With some of the best production this year saw, this band has truly emerged in the rock genre and are capable of dominating for years to come. The song itself is a masterpiece combining a soft spoken verse, an incredibly dynamic build up and a chorus that hits like a freight train. Achieving the #1 song on Billboards Alternative Charts, this recording will be left off many top of the year lists but deserves as much recognition as any other song. (Released in 2009, this song saw it’s largest accomplishments in the earliest parts of 2010).

1. Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine: Recorded nearly three years ago, no true music fan would dare put up an argument here. From the over the top commercial placement, most notably in the ads for Julia Roberts highly advertised film “Eat, Pray, Love” to a huge spot on Fox’s Glee. The peak for the band came during the MTV Video Music Awards in which Florence Welch and company blew everyone away with an amazing performance of the song. Peaking at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, this song has it all. Musical chops, great writing and a performance for the ages. A more deserving #1 song may never be recorded again.

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  • Comment by FORZAMusic posted December 17, 2010 at 12:16

    Love your list. I’d just like to say that Shutterbug by Big Boi was a remarkable song, and if it was up to me (I know it isn’t) it would have been #5 at your list ;)