Dec 30, 2010

20 Best Singles of 2010

1. Dam-Funk – Things That Dreams Are Made Of

For the man that made Galactic Fun to remake the Human League classic this well and make the song his own, he earns himself the top spot as my song of the year.

2. Azaxx - Le Millionaire

I was meant to bring Tru-Thoughts to Concordia University's radio station. It is no surprise that no one from the station contacted the label before my appointment. My musical leanings and backgrounds would make Tru-Thoughts one of the first labels I sought to establish contact with when I became a music director again. I have so much respect for the label and its artists that I wanted to make room for them on my lists. Le Millionaire was the Tru-Thoughts song I played the most this year. If there was ever a party rocker recorded, this song fits the description.

3. DrakeForever (Nosaj Thing Remix)

is undoubtedly the global, Canadian hip hop ambassador. I admit to liking how the swagger, youth and promise he possesses meet whenever he rhymes. His verse on Forever is simply the only one I could recite or want to recite all year. The sprained ankle, shutting shit down in the mall and doing it without a record deal references were not only great, they were Cancon.

 4. Janelle MonaeTightrope I’m proud of Janelle Monae. She finally broke through in a major way. Tightrope was used in a commercial and the video is one of the year’s best also. She has come a long way since her Metropolis days and the last song of hers that caught my ear was her cover of DeBarge’s Time Will Reveal. Admittedly, like most of the singles list, I never heard anything else from the album. I’ll just have to spin some tracks from the album in the new year.    5. Don CashDowntown Girl Downtown Girl is the hottest Don Cash track I’ve ever heard to date. His Unbreakable CD has charted pretty well at Concordia University's radio station since its arrival at the station. I did some research and learned he’s been in the game for a few years now. For someone who prides himself in not repeating songs on his show or playlists, Don Cash’s Downtown Girl found itself into the elite group of repeat records and onto this list.

6. Homeboy SandmanNot Pop Not Pop is one of the best hip hop songs I’ve heard for the year. I had the pleasure of meeting him at CMJ and will have pleasure playing more of his music in 2011.  7. Shad Rose Garden Rose Garden is the only song I know and played from Shad’s TSOL album. I meant to explore the rest of the album but didn’t do so yet. I have the new year ahead of me to get more Shad in my system.  8. Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) [Tommie Sunshine's Quaalude Edit] From what I’ve heard and seen, Arcade Fire is the biggest band in the world now. I remember the hype around The Suburbs when it was released this year and now can understand why people were so eager for it. After hearing the Sprawl remix, I started to understand why. The original was quite something too and I hope to explore their music in greater detail in 2011. 9. Aloe BlaccI Need A Dollar I Need a Dollar is possibly the majority of the world’s theme song. It is either ironic or fate to be released in the middle of a crippling, global economic recession. The lyrics are poignant and Blacc’s soulful voice is undeniable. In his case, a change did come because more people know him since his debut.        10. Erykah Badu - Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY) Window Seat was a controversial video and Badu’s disrobing in public was unnecessary. A talent and beauty like Badu need not do or say anything that could distract from her music. In an age of Lady Gaga and publicity stunts to help increase record sales, it was easy to see a singing starlet succumb to the pressure to outdo the competition. A Badu single or album can appear on any year end Best of list by default. Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY) pays tribute to Notorious B.I.G. and the Sylvia Striplin original at the same time. For an old school enthusiast like me, that’s all that’s needed.  11. Poirier feat. Face-TEnemies Enemies blew me away when I first heard it and I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was provincial powerhouse Poirier responsible for the track. Since then, I’ve run into Poirier at Under Pressure, the Gilles Peterson/Havana Cultura show, the Daedelus/Gaslamp Killer/SAMIYAM/Teebs show and a few of his Belmont Karnivals. 2010 was surely the year of Poirier for me and I look forward to the 2011 Face-T release.  12. SiaClap Your Hands I’ve heard little of Sia and seen her name on blogs but it took my hearing Clap Your Hands for the first time. Like the Pitbull in McDonald’s story from last year, I was at a McDonald’s late one night and the song burst through the speakers. I quickly reached for my Sansa Fuze and searched for the station playing the song. I recorded as much of the song as I could, just like I did with Lady Gaga’s Poker Face when I was New York last year. Even though I can’t understand most of the lyrics, Clap Your Hands is one of the year’s hottest dance tracks. It is also good enough to make it onto my 2010 Best Singles list. Maybe that’s what’s most important, regardless of what is said or not said.  13. N.E.R.D. feat. Nelly Furtado - Hot & Fun I was glad to hear N.E.R.D. was releasing new material and even gladder it sounded like Hot-n-Fun. It was definitely a summer jam but can rock a party any day of the week. I am more aware of the fact N.E.R.D./Neptunes are pioneers of the hip hop/electronic hybrid sound. Considering my roots are based in hip hop/soul and I’m headed towards electronic music as of late, they were making music that bridges the gap for over a decade. As long as their output is hot, we’ll all have fun. 14. The XXVCR (Matthew Dear Remix) This song is the only one that could have taken Dam-Funk’s place at the top or at least comes in a close second. The XX were as popular as Phoenix when I became Concordia University's radio station RPM Director and I was curious to catch one of their Montreal shows. I only knew Matthew Dear because of 2010 release Black City. Curiosity made me explore his other work and I discovered his wonderful VCR remix. During the Aux 33 Tours record sale, my friend DJ Politics and I were in agreement the remix was nuts and even inquired about whether or not it was pressed to vinyl. Thankfully we can hear the remix anytime we want, as should you.    15. Cee-Lo GreenForget You This song, whether in its clean or explicit form, should have been released sooner. However, it may have gotten lost in the seas of Katy Perry, Drake & Eminem. It was great seeing him perform the song on The Colbert Report. Could the fact the song was originally called F&*k You have helped its case? No matter how funky and groovy, I don’t agree with the explicit title. I do however agree it deserves to be on this list.  16. KelisAcapella I’ll always have a place in my heart and music collection for Kelis. Who knew the multi-colored haired young woman screaming at men like me a decade ago would be so near and dear to me? She exploded on to the scene with Milkshake and I couldn’t resist her sex appeal or Tasty album. That then forced me to revisit Kaleidoscope and Wanderland. Acapella was a great song that possibly not heard by enough people. Her Milkshake days may be over but, like Erykah Badu, I respect her creativity & eccentricities and check for her anytime she has something new.    17. The GlassWanna Be Dancin’  I’m not sure I included this song on my 2009 list but I’ll make room for it on this one, only because the song appears on their 2010 release. In the new year, I’ll look forward to seeing and hearing more Glass & Plant Music product.  18. Melo GI Am Blessed I really like this song. Like Aloe Blacc’s Dollar dealing with the downward economy, Melo G’s Blessed makes you believe things will get better. Hopefully they will and he will make more uplifting music.
 19. Tame ImpalaSolitude is Bliss For a band I knew nothing about until I heard Solitude Is Bliss, Tame Impala really caught my attention. This comes at a time when I want to incorporate more indie-rock to my arsenal. Like Black Keys and Arcade Fire, Tame Impala invite me to learn more about the modern, alternative rock scene and I’m a fast learner. 20. The Black KeysTighten Up Songs used in commercials are very informative. They clue you in on who’s who or going to be who in music. IPod commercials put many artists on map as did the car commercial which used Monae’s Tightrope. I’ve been curious about The Black Keys for a while and even more so since hearing Tighten Up. I recently sampled the Brothers album and found songs almost as good as Tighten Up. I can’t wait to get more familiar with their music.  

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