Best Songs of 2010

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Keeping in the same vein as our last post, here are Belsito’s Top 20 picks for songs of last year. It is just a good excuse for him to spout off about music that he likes and thinks you should like as well. So, here it goes:

20) Fixed – Stars. Montreal band Stars has been a hit or miss enterprise for the past half decade keeping them from the Top 20 album lists. But when they are doing it right, they do it brilliantly.  “Fixed” is prime example of the band’s simple pop prowess, prompting repeated listens to take in all the syrupy 3 minutes, 31 seconds of sing-along goodness has to offer.

19) Rulers, Ruling All Things – Midlake. Low key, somewhat depressed and dark, Midlake created a perfect mix of King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Radiohead in this understated folk-rock masterpiece. Flutes haven’t sounded this fun since the middle ages.

18) Dancing on My Own – Robyn. Ok, so Belsito likes some some pop. He admits it. But it has to be a step above (at least that’s how he justifies it to himself). Robyn managed to pull off a straight forward pop song with that ’special something,’ raising it far above the average radio hit. This is what made her one of the more unusual choices for alt-rock festivals across the country during the summer of 2010. A pleasure to listen to…without feeling too guilty.

17) Like The Ocean, Like the Innocent Pt. 1 & 2 – The Besnard Lakes. Unusual, spacey, and strangely, very Canadian. This Quebec-based band has one of the most unique sounds of recent years. This may sound odd, but they are like film noir for the ears.

16) Helicopter – Deerhunter. Fun with harpsichords, sweet vocals and deceptively complex pop melodies.

15) Rattling Cage – Forest Swords. Interesting electronics, the occasional vocal squeal and lots of reverb. Rattling Cage is like a song by The XX, coomunicated through a distored Kraftwerk, stripped of any ability to vocally communicate. We don’t really know what that means, so you’ll have to just listen to it.

14) In the Dirt – S. Carey. Led by Bon Iver drummer, S. Carey picks up from the Sigur Ros school of thinking, with a touch of Red House Painters. Interesting rhythms, silky melodies and a whopping dose of nostalgia and child-like wonder.

13) ‘81 – Joanna Newsom. Kate Bush-like, harp playing, imp woman creates quirky pop for the thinker. She has the distinction of being a creator of “love it” or “hate it” music. Either you are on board, or not at all. Not much room for any opinion in between. One does not usually sorta like Joanna Newsom. And that’s a good thing.

12) I Wanna Go To Marz – John Grant. A song that uses a familiar repetitive piano pattern, a listing of various names of candy in the place of storyline lyrics, and the voice of former Czars front-man, make for an intriguing track that is innocent as it is creepy. Midlake are the backing band for those who are counting.

11) I Can Change – LCD Soundsystem. One part Gary Numan, one part Bronski Beat and a bit of Bowie with electronic drums, this was a track that almost escaped Belsito. Play it once and sing it for the remainder of the day.

10) Bloodbuzz, Ohio – The National.  Simply put, The National are great. Just listen to them. Who wouldn’t want to be carried away by a swarm of bees?

9) Fresh – Devo. It’s Devo and it’s fresh. What else should we say? Some bands stay the same, just the way we like them.

8) Next Girl – Black Keys. Sexy white boy blues rock. A bit gritty, a bit retro and a whole lotta fun.

7) Factory – Band of Horses. It’s that voice and the sentimentally-orchestrated, Sunday afternoon swagger that give this song it’s legs.

6) Go Do – Jonsi. Less atmosphere than Sigur Ros, but all the fairy-dusted magic remains intact. I don’t think I ever want to know what these songs are about. I like the place my imagination tucked them away in.

5) Not in Love – Crystal Castles. Proving Belsito’s firm belief that Platinum Blonde is in fact very cool. Bedroom techno with The Cure’s Robert Smith lending his unique vocal to this lost Canadian classic of the new wave era.

4) Little Lion Man – Mumford and Sons. Powerful, singable and never the least bit boring. Makes you want to run out and start a band, if only we had a banjo. Deserved of repeated plays.

3) Ready to Start – Arcade Fire. The Arcade Fire have created a pump up summer song for the alt-rock sect. The hidden Springsteen-isms of the Arcade Fire make us want to move, make us want to be sad, make us want to have a good time. Oh, those art-school kids….

2) Norway – Beach House. A song that can make you dizzy if you listen too closely. Deceptively simple. There is a little Lindsay Buckingham in the music, a little Mazzy Star in the approach, and a lot of those ‘oh so deep’, sexy lady vocals. Just plain catchy.

and

1) Afraid of Everyone – The National. These guys again. Amazing drum riffs, cool back-up vocals and a simple focus of the unique vocal stylings of Matt Berninger. Really, and who isn’t afraid of everyone? The song builds and builds and builds until it becomes your favorite track of the year.

Happy hunting. We hope you enjoy.

Thursday, January 27th, 2011 by MBM Staff

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