Once again, this list is overdue, but here it is, my 30 favourite songs of the year past.
- Firework – Katy Perry
- Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
- Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
- Power – Kanye West
- Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
- California Gurls – Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg
- Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
- Hey, Soul Sister – Train
- OMG – Usher feat. Will.i.am
- Fuck You – Cee Lo Green
- Love The Way You Lie – Eminem feat. Rihanna
- Runaway – Kanye West
- You Can Always Come Home – Jason Castro feat. Serena Ryder
- Don’t Stop Believin’ – Glee Cast
- Nothin’ On You – B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
- Airplanes, Part II – B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams & Eminem
- Billionaire – Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars
- Doesn’t Mean Anything – Alicia Keys
- Shame – Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow
- Grenade – Bruno Mars
- Waiting For The End – Linkin Park
- Whataya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
- That’s What I’m Here For – Jason Castro
- Don’t Let Me Go – The Click Five
- On Melancholy Hill – Gorillaz
- Hold My Hand – Michael Jackson & Akon
- Find Your Love – Drake
- Tik Tok – Ke$ha
- Na Na Na – My Chemical Romance
- Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love) – Kylie Minogue
It's been quite a good year for pop, even though we had a rash of generic, similar-sounding dance-oriented tunes. But these songs managed to stand out from the crowd and rock my iPod (which sadly, died on me after just 2 years).
2010 was the year where Katy Perry averted the second album curse and came up with three of the biggest hits of the year. California Gurls
is a perfect piece of pop - dropping at the start of summer, it was bubblegum pop at its sweetest and catchiest, and it featured an excellent rap cameo by fellow Californian Snoop Dogg. The title track Teenage Dream
was a slow burner but grew to one of the most heavily played songs of the year, surprisingly becoming an even bigger crossover hit than California Gurls
By the time Firework
came around, Katy's ascension to pop superstardom was complete. It was her favourite song on the album and it was a good showcase of her vocal strength. The uplifting chorus, together with the year-end celebratory mood, made Firework
my #1 song of the year. Deservedly, all three singles reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Katy the first female artist in 11 years to send three singles from one album to #1. Likewise in Singapore, all three songs made it to #1 too. An amazing feat.
The Teenage Dream
album also earned an Album of the Year Grammy nomination. Quite remarkable, considering that none of the singles were nominated for Record or Song of the Year. Comparing Teenage Dream
with her debut album One Of The Boys
, I wouldn't exactly say that Teenage Dream
is better, but I guess it has bigger singles. As a whole, I still like One Of The Boys
better. I think it's because Teenage Dream
doesn't really have any ballads, and the ballads in the first album were power.
If 2010 was the year where Katy established herself as a bonafide star, the breakout artist of the year was definitely Bruno Mars. He co-wrote and featured on two of the summer's biggest songs - Nothin' On You
by B.o.B and Billionaire
by Travie McCoy. Then he followed up with his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which spawned the year's I'm Yours
- Just The Way You Are
. It went to #1 just about everywhere and won the hearts of all the ladies with its smart and oh-so-sweet lyrics. The follow-up single Grenade
has also climbed to #1, and he also rewrote the record books, becoming the first male artist in 13 years to send his first two singles to #1.
Bruno has also been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, and if you look at the nominations carefully, only one nomination is for Just The Way You Are
(Best Male Pop Vocal Performance). His album was released one week outside of the eligibility date, so it's not in the running in this year. His noms come from his vocal performances, songwriting and producing duties (with The Smeezingtons), proving that he is indeed a triple threat.
The album is choke-full of pop gems and we will see and hear a lot more of Bruno this year for sure. Already, his song Marry You
has been covered by Glee in arguably the best episode of the season so far. Other tunes to watch out for the Jack Johnson-ish Count On Me
and the soulful ballad Talking To The Moon
The Jay-Z and Alicia Keys collaboration is one mega anthem that totally deserves its #3 spot on my list. It was released in late 2009 but it was so massive it carried over to 2010. It was the inspiration for Katy's California Gurls, and I think while Katy's effort ranks lower than Jay-Z's, both tunes stand among themselves and they're both great anthems - representing the East and West Coast.
Kanye also had a big year, returning with the critically-acclaimed fifth studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
. The first single Power
is exactly that - a powerful statement of intent, with its African chants and unabashed lyrics ("No one man should have all that power"). The one-and-a-half music video is also seriously good. Follow-up single Runaway
is another smash. It doesn't sound like anything else on radio now, and that's its genius. Kanye managed to bounce back from the Taylor Swift saga and prove that his creativity is really on another level. A true groundbreaking artist, but he needs to keep his ego in check.
Lady Antebellum was a surprise hit. They're primarily a country artist and that means they should only do well in the US. But they proved that with a good song, it doesn't matter what genre it is. A good song is a good song. Pop radio in Singapore took a while to catch on, but they eventually did fall in love with Need You Now
If Just The Way You Are
was the ubiquitous hit for the second half of the year, the first half belonged to Train's Hey, Soul Sister
. The intro guitar riffs sound a little like Jason Mraz's I'm Yours
, and it proved to be a smart coincidence as everyone couldn't resist liking it. One of the most feel-good songs of the year, if a little overplayed.OMG
marked a return to form for Usher, after the disappointing performance of Here I Stand
. Teaming up with super-producer Will.i.am, Usher came up with another #1 hit, taking his career tally to nine. I hated the song when it first came out, but like Black Eyed Peas' Boom Boom Pow
, it grew on me steadily and proved once again Will.i.am's knack for crafting unconventional beats and hooks.
Cee Lo Green is also having a great year, with The Ladykiller
album earning rave reviews everywhere. The lead single Fuck You
is super catchy, witty and non-apologetic. As if bashing the guy is not enough, Cee Lo couldn't resist taking a dig at the girl too ("Fuck you, and fuck her too"). The song has been nominated for Record of the Year, and it will be fun to watch him perform this on Grammy night, even though he will probably sing the Clean version, Forget You
The rest of the Top 30 are not really ranked in order. They're all great songs that have entertained me on most of my bus and train trips and also on the odd night where I can't fall asleep. Hope 2011 will be another great year for music!