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

Monday, December 20, 2010

The 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2010

It seems like only yesterday when trusty sidekicks in all things pop Moogaboo and D'luv sat down to sift through 10 years of jams to come up with the Chart Rigger list of the Top 40 Singles Of The '00s—yet here we are already doing our first Best list of the new decade.

Sure, radio let itself get clogged with chum on occasion throughout the past 12 months (see our 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 roundup). But here we're highlighting the songs that didn't make you want to go shoot up a strip mall every time you heard them. As usual, the singles listed need only have reached their peak chart position within 2010, even if they were technically released the year prior.

10. Usher, "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love"
Moogaboo says: "Remember that time Usher went on E! and talked about getting a colonic? Well this year he gave his career a colonic, flushing out the r&b sound people stopped liking and infusing his colon—I mean songbook—with more current, classy dance beats. I loved it, and isn't that all that matters?"
D'luv says: "Thank Christ I have no recollection of that. Poor Usher can't sing this song live to save his life, but hey–welcome to the world of having a Max Martin-produced hit. This driving, out-of-nowhere surprise was a radio life jacket amidst a sea of 'Airplanes' and 'Billionaire' this past summer."
Charts: AUS #3, US #4, UK #7

9. Goldfrapp, "Rocket"
D'luv says: "I'm still stunned that the UK treated the Atari-on-the-dancefloor greatness of Head First with all the warmth of Madonna's frozen-over Arctic snatch. Oh, well. The duo got the last laugh by scoring two Grammy nominations."
Moogaboo says: "Goldfrapp were totally having a Flashbeagle moment and I love that it might win a Grammy. 'But I still wanna know/ how she got in the door' is also an adorably bitchy pop lyric."
Charts: US DANCE #1, GER #32, UK #47

8. Adam Lambert, "Whataya Want From Me"
D'luv says: "Glambox could probably sing pages of the phone book and make it sound interesting. But this jam proved that with the right songwriters and right material, he could suddenly go from being good to iconic. Too bad there weren't more tracks like this on his debut album."
Moogaboo says: "Note to Lambo: be P!nk more often."
Charts: AUS #4, SWE #8, US #10

7. Rihanna, "Only Girl (In The World)"
Moogaboo says: "As far as the current wave of nu-dance goes, only RiRi's really gotten the essence of house music's pulsating, hedonistic abandon. No jerky stops and starts for her, which is what makes 'Only Girl' so irresistible: it's almost menacing in its insistence that you dance."
D'luv says: "God bless RiRi and her tireless work ethic. This jam had its haters from the get-go, but I loved the throbbing hotness from the first listen. Seriously, slap on some good headphones, crank it up and try to tell me that bass at 1:16 doesn't make your soul shake."
Charts: US #1, UK #1, AUS #1, CAN #1

6. Kylie Minogue, "Get Outta My Way"
D'luv says: "There seemed to be such a rush of love for Kylie's Aphrodite right out of the gate that it appeared to have dried up by the time second single 'Get Outta My Way' arrived (except on the U.S. dance charts, where dreams—no matter how irrelevant—still come true, kidz). Still, there's no denying this was the giddy standout on an already A+ album."
Moogaboo says: "Kylie's career is getting to the point where there aren't many options left between 'completely spent' and 'desperate', so I love that she managed to do something that sounded somewhat effortless and fun. This was the most-played song of 2010 at chez Moogaboo, so of course that means it had to flop."
Charts: US Dance #1, BEL #5, UK #12

5. Hurts, "Wonderful Life"
D'luv says: "If the New Millennium conjured up Lady Gaga as its answer to Madonna, then surely Synth-Pop Land needed a modern-day Pet Shop Boys, too. The drama-soaked beats of 'Wonderful Life' deservedly made Hurts a buzz-y act in 2010, while the Arthur Baker mix only added extra sparkle to the duo's cool factor."
Moogaboo says: "These babes won me over with their stylish sense of drama. If they don't make out with each other next year, I'll be totally over it! But yes, it was all about that Arthur Baker mix with it's rattling polyrhythms and Shannon-derived whipcrack."
Charts: POL #1, GER #2, SWI #4, UK #21

4. Alphabeat, "DJ"
D'luv says: "A Danish pop act making an album of songs inspired by late '80s/early '90s Italo house act Black Box (a staple on the stereo D'luv during the teen years)—why, how could it fail? Don't answer that. I effing love this album, and 'DJ' never ceases to make me grin from ear to ear."
Moogaboo says: "Martha Wash is waggin' a sassy finger at Alphabeat from her perch up in heaven! (I know she's still alive, but I bet she has an all-access pass to universes both real and mythological.)"
Charts: DEN #6, UK #116

3. Cee Lo Green, "Fuck You!"
D'luv says: "I liked this song. Then I loved this song. Then I was over this song. Now I kinda love it again. It could have been higher here on our Best list were it not for the sheer novelty factor. Like, can you picture Cee Lo having another solo hit this big (without an expletive in the title) ever again?"
Moogaboo says: "Well, no, I can't. But who can say for sure? Maybe he's the next Kylie! And even though he seems to have scammed this idea from the inimitable Lily Allen, I'll give him points for upping the bile and attaching it to an even funkier faux-Motown beat."
Charts: UK #1, AUS #5, SWE #6, US #9

2. Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream"
D'luv says: "And now we get to the song that both perplexes me and fills me with whimsical butterflies to no end. I absolutely, hands-down love 'Teenage Dream' and think it's one of the best pop songs in recent memory. That said, when I think of Katy Perry and her Jesus tits, I wanna wrap both hands around her neck and spare the universe from ever having to hear her low-rent, bottom-of-the-barrel live vocals again. But look—I'm just chalking the quality of this jam up to maestros Dr. Luke and Max Martin. If a real singer (say, Kelly Clarkson) had belted this out, it would have been #1 here."
Moogaboo says: "I agree, Kelly could more convincingly portray the protagonist of 'Teenage Dream'—a forty-something, out-of-shape suburbanite yearning to recreate the exploits of youth with the lanky new paperboy. What a missed opportunity. However, Katy's bubbly personality and bouncy boobsiness still manage to put this one over the top. Pop heaven."
Charts: US #1, POL #1, UK #2, GER #6

1. Robyn, "Dancing On My Own"
D'luv says: "No one does stunning, addictive dancefloor heartbreak as deftly as Robyn. And while the broad made us wait nearly half a decade for new material, 'Dancing On My Own' made me realize that patience is indeed a virtue, and that crying under a strobe light is the most bittersweet kind of joy."
Moogaboo says: "Oh, Robyn—you glittering disco sad-sack. I love your highly effective heartbreak tunes. Truth be told, I never thought you'd top 'With Every Heartbeat', 'Be Mine!' or 'Show Me Love'. Then you go and do it again with this, the perfect soundtrack for shedding tears beneath said strobe light while that hunk you just met in the men's room makes out with some ho across the dancefloor. Go on breaking my heart."
Charts: SWE #1, US Dance #3, UK #8

* The 10 Worst Singles Of 2010
* The Top 40 Pop Singles Of The '00s
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2009
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2008
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2007
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2006
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2005

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  • At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Patrick said…

    :( Where is "Raise Your Glass" ?!?!?!!

  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger John said…

    Almost 100% in agreement, although I would have done "If I Had You" instead of "Whataya", and i would have put something else in for Alphabeat, even though I love them. I'm shocked Heidi Montag isn't on this list.

  • At 12:21 PM, Anonymous The House Of Montag said…

    Awesome list, as always.

    I am still shocked that I have fully transitioned into the anti-Robyn camp, but as for the Swedish songbird (and for that matter, her fellow Euro/Aussie icy blonde Kylie), there's nothing new about what they're selling and I'm no longer interested in buying.

    I am also shocked I'm defending Katy Perry, but I admire how dedicated she is to being a pop star. While Kelly Clarkson's voice is undeniably better, at least Perry wants to be a star and plays the game instead of being a total brat. To me, "Teenage Dream" is one of the all-time great pop songs that will still get us misty in our walkers and rockers.

    Most shocking: the absence of The New Queen of Soul Ke$ha! R we not who we r?!

  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous The House Of Montag said…

    P.S. As beautiful as "Rocket" is, I would say Florence +The Machine's "Dog Days Are Over" would've been a better glammy, twirling-in-front-of-a-fan choice...plus it survived a rough boinking from Glee.

  • At 1:23 PM, Blogger Diva Incarnate said…

    I wish Robyn wouldn't keep singing the same song, but she's very good at it I guess.

    My favourites are a bit more tragic than these, but I'd forgotten 3 that are on here.

  • At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Robyn is one of the most thought-provoking artists on the list. She's a muse, and listens to her own muse to create true pop genius.

    Katy Pussy, meanwhile, can't even deliver meaningful emotion to an already genius song. her voice is almost as annoying as All-Anus Morissette.

  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is an excellent Top 10 list, guys! Kudos! I especially love the inclusion of Kylie's Get Outta My Way, which happens to my personal #1 song of the year. I see that you both love the music video too. Well, then you *have to* watch the Making Of... which is available on YouTube. Kylie's personality alone, her talent aside, would make me go straight for her - Neil.

  • At 3:42 AM, Blogger Myfizzypop said…

    i'm on board with most these songs, though i seem to be immune to Rihanna! Can I substitute her song for the One direction version please? Ditto katy perry with the Darren Criss version from Glee? I'm all set then :)

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger Moogaboo said…

    I think this might be the first year where people weren't all "I hate this list and will murder you the next time I see you." So that's nice!

  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger wpmsd said…

    Some songs I'm not familiar with, so will have to check out (Alphabeat, Hurts.) Personally, I'd pick "Like a G6" and "Ambitions" as my favorites of the year.

    Some others I'd put high up there which not everyone may be familiar with are:

    Come With Me - ceo
    Electrocution- Nada Surf
    I Like- Keri Hilson
    You've Got The Love- Florence and the Machine

  • At 12:57 PM, Anonymous numbfromdrugs said…

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but... "Your Love Is My Drug"! That bitch stuck in my head for weeks.

    Also, big yes to "Get Outta My Way."

  • At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Mark said…

    OK, my dapper and beloved friend....musically, think we have more in common than not, and you KNOW I love my melodic pop....back when you were in diapers, I was writing for DMA Magazine 'bout SAW and Bananarama.......but...as much as I LOOVE my Swede pop.......Robyn just leaves me cold...I hear nothing redeeming in your number one pick...and I TRIED to like it....I really did.....however, as much as we have in common, I know that years separate us, and I just WISH you could have been MORE than a child (that's a compliment by the way) when Olivia was storming the chars with Magic, Physical, Heart Attack, Twist Of Fate, et al....it was a magical time for us POP fans.....I mean, c'mon...how can you NOT like "The Rumour"...anywho....I've yet to sign up for the "Usher and R&B Crap Artist" bandwagon just cuz they're working one Max Martin track (although I love me my Max....).....don't get Lady Gaga..and YES, I'll admit, maybe it's a sign of my advanced age...but I'm a fan of artists who can sing within boundless genres.....country, pop, A/C, Dance, etc..............and there's my Olivia.............OK....let the flaming begin..................

  • At 10:30 PM, Blogger Yuяi said…

    Yay for Hooker Perry and her "first loser" status at #2!

    And, Robyn at #1 means that all is right in the world.

  • At 12:03 AM, Blogger Troystar said…

    All The Lovers much more iconic the Get Outta My Way

  • At 11:05 PM, Blogger Pure J.Me said…

    Very close to my Top 10. But I had to include my country favorites (*ducking for cover!*).

    Here's my list: http://meblogulongtime.blogspot.com/2010/12/2010-my-30-favorite-songs-of-2010.html

  • At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Brandon Lewis said…

    I still don't understand how "Get Outta My Way" flopped. It just seemed so obvious of a hit! I've been playing it for six months and I haven't gotten sick of it yet. It should've at least reached Top 10 in the UK. And with all of the TV she did here in the States, I firmly believe that Clear Channel has something against her, because that should've gotten her some spins on radio.

  • At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The only song on list that irrates me to no end is KP's Teenage Dream. She hasn't got the best voice and in order to market her her mgnmt uses sex and gimmics to sell her to the public. Can't stand all the fakeness and gimmics which overshadow her good voice not great voice but good.

  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    Robertina, Here are some comments. Please cut a check for me asap...

    "CHYLDE," Hurts are not the new Pet Shop Boys. Wake me when they have even 1 hit!

    As for Alphabeat, it is my goal in 2011 to sleep with every Anders in this group. Can I do it? Stay tuned.

    The Cee Lo album is sooooo good and doggoneit, people like him. Anything is possible, Robolinda.

    I see we agree on Robyn as the BEST. Thank God. I was so concerned you would pick Tonight I'm Ferkin You. What a relief.


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