dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Best Pop Tunes Of 2006

Looking over our separate lists compiled from the dirth of all 2006 had to offer, it's obvious that I've opened my heart to slow jams as the years have gone by, whereas MoogaBoo's not as much of a grandma as I am (yet). Anyway, here's Chart Rigger's second annual tally of the best pop songs.

J'ASON's TOP 11 POP TUNES OF 2006

11. Take That - "Patience"


WHY?: The That totally pulled out all stops for their first new single in 10 years. Yeah, it has shades of James Blunt, but he's ugly, so Fuck That.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: Christmas charity, I suspect -- or is one of them hotter than I remembered?

10. Stephanie McIntosh - "Mistake"


WHY?: Forget the original Kelly Clarkson-esque version -- the Jewels & Stone mix is a massively joyous dance/pop revelation! Jason Donovan's half-sis became MP3 blog-fodder across the globe this summer when "Mistake" became a #3 Aussie hit.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: WHO?

9. Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"


WHY?: These five struck me as saps when the first album came out, but "I Don't Feel..." made me change my tune. This was probably the most unabashed pure-pop single released this year. Sadly, the rest of the album was hit or miss.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: Me, too! So perfect...

8. The Killers - "When You Were Young"


WHY?: My two-and-a-half-year love affair with Brandon Flowers & Co. peaked with this song. There was a lot to live up to with Sam's Town, and this single certainly indicated promise. Alas, the excitement over the album's release in October proved to be like a quick, short-lived sugar rush.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: Yeah, I don't want to talk about it. I can't believe you two broke up. Now it's going to be awkward when I see him out.

7. Rascal Flatts - "What Hurts The Most"


WHY?: Total guilty pleasure that I've kept mum about. A handful of artists have recorded this song over the years, but I'd never heard it till these country bumpkins had a suprise Top 10 hit with it this spring. Also, I'd maybe bang one or two of them.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: Never heard it.

6. Nick Lachey - "What's Left Of Me"


WHY?: Nick's a cheeseball, but this one sounded so good when I played it on a jukebox at our longtime Pittsburgh haunt 5801 (formerly called New York, New York) during a trip back home to Pennsylvania in May.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: Do you think our pal Todd missed that $20 bill which you grabbed from him and plunked into the jukebox to play this song on a seemingly endless loop?

5. Pet Shop Boys - "I'm With Stupid / The Resurrectionist"


WHY?: The Boys' new album was a highly-anticipated release in D'luv's little world this year. "I'm With Stupid" and its equally-good (if not better) b-side will forever remind me of driving around the countryside during the rainy week on said trip to Pennsylvania this past spring.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: I was going to put "Minimal" in my Top 11, but forgot. What would Neil say if he saw Cassie in his place? Oh, fuck it -- at least I'm young and hip.

4. The Feeling - "Never Be Lonely"


WHY?: I love these guys, and "Never Be Lonely" has been my MySpace homepage jam for about five months now. Oh, Dan Gillespie Sells, the beautiful music we could make together...! Oh well, at least I got to slip a hand around his waist for a brief moment.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: I can't believe you didn't hit that when you had the chance.

3. Sugababes - "Red Dress"


WHY?: Since I'm American and probably a tad more detached from the 'babes drama, I didn't give a toss about the lineup change in this Brit girl trio last December. Every time I hear that 'Cause I've been down this road before / I should've known that I was to blame line, the gals get a big "Preach on!" from this desperate lady jumpin' through all the hoops.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: This is one of my favorites by them, too. They do stomping pop so well.

2. JoJo - "Too Little, Too Late"


WHY?: 15-year-old JoJo brought back the power pop ballad in grand, high-charting style. I spent the entire month of August listening to "Too Little, Too Late" on my iPod during my daily walk at lunch time. Never in the past decade-and-a-half have I felt more like a jilted high school lonelyheart.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: How can one feel like a jilted high school lonelyheart when one is boffing the entire basketball team? I guess that's the power of JoJo, isn't it? Yay, JoJo!

1. Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron & Andrew Seeley - "Breaking Free"


WHY?: The Disney Channel reached into my gut and pulled out my inner tween in January, when High School Musical was unleashed. "Breaking Free" became my uplifting anthem of '06. Hey, it's never easy being cheesy.
MOOGABOO WEIGHS IN: Still so proud that Disney dared to air a musical with an all-girl cast. Bravo, sister!

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MOOGABOO's TOP 11 POP TUNES OF 2006

11. Sun - "Gone"


WHY?: Until the U.S. charts get a little less xenophobic, Asian starlets remain confined to somewhat dubious areas of exposure -- video game soundtracks, mainly. Singapore's Sun has managed to bust out a little with some big money dance remixes, "Gone" being the latest to skitter up the club charts. Pass up the circuit party mixes, though, for the pensive ballad version arranged in a "Used to Be My Playground" style for maximum tearsiness. Oh, Sun.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: Go, Sun! His drag is amazing.

10. Paris Hilton - "Nothing In This World"


WHY?: I'm glad this flopped. I'll feel less guilty enjoying it knowing that the music world is safe from a full-tilt Paris Hilton takeover. Dr. Luke whips up a track both aching and punchy, rendering irrelevant the mundane scandals of everyone's least-favorite socialite buttplug (for three minutes, anyway).
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: My favorite parts: the "Da-da-da-das," and when the song is over.

9. Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. - "My Love"


WHY?: Rare are the occasions that I find anything to sound as "innovative" as its press release claims it does, but I have to give credit where it's due. "My Love" is all anxious synths, kinetic beats and buzzing sound effects somehow rooted to a delicate melody. And it's a ballad. A good one.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: Wake me up when the paparrazzi catch Justin not wearing panties.

8. Cassie - "Me & U"


WHY?: I usually feel a bit strange liking things that are popular on tha street with tha kidz, but this one was an instant hit with me. Manages to sound sleek and sophisticated and dirty and stupid, all at once. Cassie suffered at the hands of a lot of petty press this year and will probably never recover from her disastrous live performances, but I'd like to think she'll always have a home at Chart Rigger.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: Well, she had me till she got all righteous and started denying the song had anything to do with smoking pole.

7. Ultra Naté - "Love's The Only Drug"


WHY?: Plastic, synthetic, derivative, and... soulful? That last one makes the difference for me, which is why I only ever get so far in listening to acts like Morningwood, Dangerous Muse, Stefy, et al. "Drug" burbles on the downbeat for the all important "tears on the dancefloor" effect and just barely hides its heart behind clouds of whooshes.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: How did I not know this great song till you put together your list? Even worse, how are Morningwood, Stefy, etc. still in existence?

6. Rihanna - "S.O.S."


WHY?: Stupid pop was back "in" this year. Hooray! It takes more than a sampled hook to make a hit, and I don't think anyone without Rihanna's deadpan delivery could have made this track work as well as it did. It's called "making a little go a long, long way." The Soft Cell rip works as well as it ever did, which is to say, much better than Depeche Mode in Jamelia's "Beware of the Dog."
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: The one and only song that deserved being #1 on the American charts this year.

5. Dannii Minogue - "So Under Pressure"


WHY?: Give the girl a break! This song was a good effort after far too many reheated Ibiza ditties, and should have gotten a Top 10 placing just for its bassline alone. Plus, you know, her sister had cancer....
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: Danny's drag is not nearly as good as Sun's.

4. Mish Mash featuring Lois - "Speechless"


WHY?: I think it's worth noting that this year's disco tributes were worth hearing more than once outside of a club. "Speechless" is an addictive little shot of Eurodisco that tips the camp scale somewhere between 54 and The Eyes of Laura Mars.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: I had to look this one up on YouTube, and the only clip I found was some queen named Rhea Litre lip-syncing to it at a club. That broad can shake an ass!

3. Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"


WHY?: The last days of disco, wherein the public turned on the artform maliciously and without good reason, have finally been avenged. This record is 1980, reanimated so brilliantly it's practically guest-starring on Mork & Mindy. No other single came as close to joyous perfection this year.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: Yay! I picked this one, too.

2. Hilary Duff - "Play With Fire"


WHY?: There's a keyboard in it this that sounds just like incidental music from Fraggle Rock. That's enough for me.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: My favorite part is when she sings "Oh, by the way, by the way I found someone..." Keep it up, Hil!

1. P!nk - "U + Ur Hand"


WHY?: The spoken bit is just so off -- it's awkward, and P!nk sounds almost indifferent to the material she's been prodded to record. She should've cheered up, though, as this gem is the best thing she's done, like, ever. Max Martin retweaks The Veronicas' "4ever" (more cowbell!) and tailors it to fit alongside her multi-tracked rasp.
J'ASON WEIGHS IN: P!nk singing about masturbation is so un-hot, but still, a great song nonetheless.

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7 Comments:

  • At 10:10 PM, Blogger J.Me said…

    Here is my Top 10 list of the year. If you guys didn't catch it, I posted my Top 50 on my MySpace blog.
    Here is that link

    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=21384025&blogID=205077467&Mytoken=8FE89CC4-37C4-48FF-80989D2FFDF078FF52166425

    I can't believe I forgot the Scissor Sisters on my list. I'm so ashamed.


    J.Me's Top 10



    10. JoAnna "Let It Slide" I can't even begin to describe how good this song is. Download it and be prepared to be singing it for days.

    9. Carrie Underwood "Before He Cheats" With a growl and a stagger previously unheard of, the fourth season American Idol champ, Carrie silenced critics that thought she would only produce schlocky ballads. The sassy song and video went on to become her biggest hit and she cleaned up at awards shows winning accolade after accolade. Take that Faith Hill, lol.

    8. SheDAISY "In Terms Of Love" Sister act, SheDaisy released their fourth album and had one of their best years at country radio after a few previous missteps. Songwriting sister, Kristyn Osborn, writes words with a way that makes you stop and take listen to what they are singing. "...I don't think about black in terms of grey, or revelations in the light of day. I don't think about cold in terms of ice or second chances happening twice. I don't think of me in terms of you, I don't think about you in terms of us, I don't think about us in terms of love..." After hearing that I was forced to re-evaluate everything I know.

    7. The Killers "When You Were Young" What sophmore slump? The Killers, well, killed it on the second album and bonafide hit "When You Were Young" which ranks at #1 on Last.FM users overall tracks played.

    6. Nelly Furtado "Maneater" Easily the funnest, freshest thing on radio this year.

    5. Mary J. Blige "Be Without You" In it's original and dance remixed (by Moto Blanco) forms, "Be Without You" catapulted Blige into chart royalty territory. The Queen of Hip Hop Soul once again showed the newbies why she is such a venerable force to be reckoned with. The Breakthrough is easily her most care free, party vibe, album yet.

    4. Rascal Flatts "What Hurts the Most" Country radio claimed them first, but the guys of Rascal Flatt finally hit cross over appeal when this song started getting played on pop radio. They already have a well established career, the future is only going to get bigger and brighter for them.

    3. Madonna "Sorry" While radio all but ignored Madonna and her Confessions... cd, she once again showed that she is the master at crafting pop dance songs. "Sorry" was the best track on the album and deserved more attention than it received.

    2. Sugababes "Easy" Hands down the best pop song of the year. Equal parts electro, pop and dance the 'Babes capped off a "Best Of" compilation with it's finest, slinkiest, sexiest song yet.

    1. Dixie Chicks "Not Ready To Make Nice" After a few years of being criticized and revolted against Natalie, Martie, and Emily returned with no apologies. Taking the "incident" backlash and turning it into a fierce, anger tinged song "Not Ready To Make Nice" told everyone who didn't agree to fuck off. Vindication has never sounded so sweet, as "Not Ready To Make Nice" garned Song of the Year and Record of the Year Grammy Nominations.

     
  • At 9:56 AM, Blogger Paul said…

    oh, i feel a bit cultured now 4 of your top songs were the same as mine. Hurrah! I think Wicked and HSM will have to duke it out for best musical soundtrack of the year...

     
  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger Poster Girl said…

    Some great lists--and I completely agree about the Jewels & Stone remix of the Stephanie McIntosh song. I somehow missed that she was Jason Donovan's half sister, though!

    Merry Christmas! :)

     
  • At 3:40 PM, Blogger mobius said…

    Yep, the Jewels & Stone mix of Mistake and Scissors Sisters IDFLD were defining tracks for me as well. 2006 was not a great year for pop, but these 2 songs put a smile on my face.

    I've compiled a Top 40 out of the Top 10s I was doing throughout the year, if you're interested:
    Mobius Top 40 in 2006

     
  • At 5:51 PM, Blogger MrBrady said…

    Nice work, fellas! I think Brady's picks would have more in common with Mooga than D'Luv but pleased to see the love for JoJo and Mish Mash nonetheless.

    Happy New Year! :D

     
  • At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I LOVE DANNII'S WHITE SNAKE!

     
  • At 3:34 PM, Anonymous encontactos said…

    Gosh, there is a great deal of useful information above!

     

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