Top 75 Tracks 2010, part 4

by MV

Getting juicier now. All being well this should be finished by Christmas.

For now – here are 10 more amazing popular music records that came out in 2010.

Spotify countdown playlist continues, but for the full experience of me aimlessly rambling about songs, please click below:

30. BURNS – Fourteen

In a certain mood, this would be much higher in my list. At various points, walking around in the sun with this blasting on my headphones, I’ve been convinced this is my favourite bit of music produced this year. BURNS’ brand of electro/house is probably not for everyone – in a sense it’s pretty basic stuff, but the progression in this track is awesome. Hypnotic, bubbling arpeggios give way to waves of violent, drowning synth stabs. It’s a track thrown away on an EP (So Many Nights) that deserves to be heard by lots more people.

29. jj – Let Go

Apparently lots of people were disappointed by jj’s second album proper this year. OK, it may have occasionally lacked some of the charm of its predecessor. But it also contained this beautiful. ice-cold wintry lament. More assured, traditional and measured than we’ve come to expect from anything born of the Sincerely Yours label, its crisp notes sound nicely out of step with the masses of muddily produced underground pop music that was back in vogue in 2010. Comparisons with the xx were inevitable, and at least sort of justified, but the emotional palette here is wider. Classy.

28. DJ Fresh & Sigma – Lassitude

I’m about 3 million years behind the curve, but for some reason I seem to have started enjoying Drum’n’Bass this year. Or at least pop records that owe something to D’n’B. I like that idea better. DJ Fresh you will probably know this year from the equally wonderful Gold Dust and it’s rather joyful video. For me though, Lassitude, while probably less of a departure, packs more emotional punch, and lifts off spectacularly. I think this moodier but still banging Jakwob mix helped somewhat.

27. Class Actress – Adolescent Heart

When I saw Class Actress earlier in the year they didn’t play this song. Terrible woe. Elizabeth Harper & co do a nice line in ice-maiden electro-pop, with tracks like last year’s Careful What You Say and EP lead track Journal of Ardency. Great as those tracks are, they lack the heart, the comforting warm embrace of songs as utterly gorgeous and loveable as Adolescent Heart. Hearing this after the other tracks was like hearing Maps after the early Yeah Yeah Yeahs material. It says that this is a band to pay attention to, and a band capable of real beauty and depth. More of this please.

26. Christina Aguilera (ft. M.I.A.) – Elastic Love

WHY WASN’T THIS A SINGLE? It’s amazing. So clealy by about a million miles the best thing either of these ladies did last year. I’ll just leave you to ponder on this. I’m confused.

25. Sia – Clap Your Heads

Poor old Sia seems to have had a bit of an unhappy year. A shame really, as it included the release of what is by some distance her best album, We Are Born, which if I did things like lists of albums, would be right up at the top. Picking a song from that record for me was near-impossible, with a bucketload of potential singles on there. Sadly, not even those that did see a release, like this one and its quite preposterous muppety video (or the equally ace You’ve Changed), did much in the way of troubling charts. Entirely unjust.

24. Chilly Gonzales – I Am Europe

After a few years in the wilderness, making understated piano records, breaking records for piano endurance and, um, producing worldwide hit records for Feist, it’s an absolute joy to have Gonzales back fronting records again. If I was being a purist, Never Stop (Rap Mix) would be the track in here, being as it is Gonzales at the height of his powers. However, who could possibly resist this delightfully bonkers video/rant/trailer for his movie about chess? He’s so cool, Tiga’s cooler, and no other song this year contains a better lyric than “I’m gay pastry and racist cappucino”. Bringing it all together is the wondefully cheesy tune, Boys Noize’s production all over it, without which this would just be the ramblings of a crazy genius.

23. Alphabeat – Heat Wave

Great year for the Danish popsters, moving well away from the indie disco elements of their first record, fitting in a series of enormo-arena support shows with the likes of Gaga, and then making THIS. Elements of this, like the badly cut-up growly vocals, will make some people squirm in pain in recollection of the naff excesses of early 90s pop. Others, of course, will love it for precisely the same reasons. I fall into the latter camp. Brilliant.

22. Rusko ft. Amber Coffman – Hold On

Pre-empting Magnetic Man et al by taking a few of the noises from Dubstep and banging them underneath a pop tune, here’s Rusko and (I’m still not quite sure why) one of the ladies off of Dirty Projectors. Despite sitting next to it on this year’s debut album, it’s about a million miles away from the goofy hyper-Dubstep smash Woo Boost. But it’s also an altogether classier beast, and while its one which didn’t have the impact of some later pop-step releases in 2010, it definitely had their matching tune-wise.

21. Kylie Minogue – All The Lovers

Feels like this way out about a thousand years ago, rather than just before the summer. Why is this in here, you may reasonably ask? It’s hardly innovative, a little bit by numbers and Kylie sounds barely awake. Why, then, why… do I still love this? Answer: I don’t know. Yes, I know I’m supposed to write about music. But sometimes all you can do is press play and then repeat without really knowing why.

More shall undoubtedly follow. Hang around. What else of importance is happening this week?

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