The year was far from radical but we did get some great, middle-of-the-ground songs that indicate how great next year will be. Here goes the first part, #81-100:
81. Ghost Pigeon (Roommate):
a desperate flailing-around that reconnects with recovery for its protagonist. Yet, though the song achieves an emotional connection, it remains truly sad with its introspective lyrics.
82. You’re too Weird (Fruit Bats):
soulful retreat into self, the song rests its case assuredly over a lazy yet gorgeous beat. Eric Johnson’s clearly-defined process of an impending break-up or renewal of a relationship is simple yet stunning.
83. All Die Young (The Smith Westerns):
crunching guitars go wild on this 80s-inspired rock ballad that incorporates a contemporary look at the teen angst associated with things like prom and first love.
84. Seekir (Zola Jesus):
an electro-synth work out that shows the specific modus operandi of Nika Danilova’s voice...the sheer beauty of minimalism. Seekir never registers high or stray from a set aim but the juxtaposition of her beloved glitches and house-pop beats work wonders yet again.
85. Introducin’ (Willie Evans Jr):
the rebirth of slick or the reinvention of it, Evans Jr. juxtaposes witticisms with sick beats to create a huge, winning rap masterpiece.
86. My Heart Does Swell (The Sandwitches):
seasoned love song by this talented trio that continue to broaden the range alt-country can provide. The harmonies that curtail it remain the highlight of their stunning opus.
87. Rolling in the Deep (Adele):
a pop rollercoaster that never tires to give. Adele has conquered the world and the awards circuit with this monster ballad that unites her cause with great emotion.
88. Oblivion (Grimes):
a continuation of her perfect pop sequence, Claire Boucher is set to blow up (deservedly) next year. For now though, we’re treated to another hybrid of idealism.
89. Midnight City (M83):
an undeniably great riff perforating everything else going on but when the saxophone hits home towards the end, then this song reaches maximum potency.
90. Blackout (Anna Calvi):
if PJ Harvey ever descended into pop then this would be the blissful sound. When she rips the looseness at the end, the track collapses upon itself.
91. Black Ops (Random Axe):
war cry for the rap field, this is hardcore hip/hop the way the new school envisions it and it is heavy on theatrics and steely production.
92. Funeral Song (Minks):
initially released in March 2010, the track remains a beautiful chillwave set played out for our discovery of it this year. It’s a blatant rip from The Cure but when it’s this good then we can let it slide.
93. Street Fighting Sun (Blitzen Trapper):
a successful mash up by the band of alt-country and the dirty blues. They’ve been labouring without such a hit for a while so this means something even more immense is around the corner.
94. Oh My God (Cults):
lovely reverb, swirling with the most depressing lyrics but you’d have to read between the lovely electronic beats to realize that. It’s the new coping mechanism of the wear and tear of everyday life.
95. Born This Way (Lady Gaga):
a fabulous retooling of something Madonna’s always done and just as successful…very much the GLBT anthem that her fans were expecting.
96. Car Crash (Telekinesis):
a successful formula being taken for a spin by the band that lost itself into the making of their current opus, only to re-emerge with stronger ties and a pure-pop masterpiece.
97. Head First (Nikka Costa):
a though she’ll forever be known for the booty-shaking Like a Feather, Costa drops this slinky, contemporary R&B romp to remind us that she’s no one-hit wonder.
98. Nosebleed (Deerhunter):
simple guitar-pop as only he can but yet Cox literally explodes the instrumentals, full blast and more energetically that any previous song he’s done before.
99. Don’t Carry It All (The Decemberists):
a simple yet aching return to the type of form that got them attention in the first place, Meloy seems to be personifying the loss of past expectations.
100. Bitin’ and Shakin’ (L.W.H. ):
good conscience rap remains alive and well via Texas producer L.W.H and his cut and paste dynamics. Here he invites a few rapper friends to spit some gently fire on a track and this is the result. Word.