The end of 2010 is almost upon us, which is why MTV News is rounding up the Top Songs of 2010. We had over two dozen MTV News staffers submit their own personal lists of their 25 favorite songs, and from those lists we derived a master list whose top 10 will be slowly rolling out over the course of this week. Check out one of the 25 lists below, with an argument or two for the greatness of some of the under-appreciated tunes of the year.
Don't let "Blah Blah Blah" fool you — 2010 was an awesome year for music. When I was asked to contribute a list of my 25 favorite songs to James Montgomery and Kyle Anderson (who were compiling a master list for the department using fancy math stuffs), my first draft was well over 100 songs. (Seriously!) From singles by "Idol" faves like Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and Fantasia to deep cuts from Detroit lo-fi punk bands like Tyvek, artists from all walks of life and genres stepped up their games big time, making my bank account suffer and my iPod hard drive sweat from being stuffed to the max.
Some of my song picks ended up making the final MTV News list, but a lot of them didn't. (Because my co-workers are idiots. I mean ... because music is subjective?) So peep my personal list of 2010's finest songs below. I even wrote a few words for a handful of my choices, but avoided songs written about so eloquently already.
25. "Teenage Dream," Katy Perry
24. "Real Love," Beach House
23. "Always Remember Me," Ry Cuming
22. "Animal," Neon Trees
21. "Denver," Clem Snide
Long after Clem Snide had their moment in the sun (their claim to fame: the theme song to the second season of "Ed"), singer/songwriter/front-man Eef Barzelay is still digging deep to tell new stories. This one's a breakup ballad about an on-the-way lovechild in the titular city, with Barzelay bellowing out high notes like a wounded animal. "Denver" might be the saddest ditty this under-appreciated artist has ever committed to tape. Fun fact: Barzelay is offering to write a song about you for $100 on his website. If it's half as good as "Denver," it's the biggest bargain on the Internet.
20. "Mean," Taylor Swift
19. "A/B Machines," Sleigh Bells
Blistering surf guitars. Bowel-disrupting bass. Ear-raping distortion. Two lines ("Got my 'A' machines on the table/ Got my 'B' machines in the drawer") that are repeated like a mantra. And just when you think it has shown its hand, a woman shrieks. I've probably lost 50 percent of my hearing thanks to having this track on repeat for the majority of 2010. It was worth it.
18. "All to All," Broken Social Scene
17. "Crazy for You," Best Coast
16. "New York Is Killing Me," Gil Scott-Heron
15. "I Can Change," LCD Soundsystem
14. "Famine Affair," Of Montreal
13. "The Cure," Tegan and Sara
12. "Collard Greens & Cornbread," Fantasia
It's fascinating how an artist's personal low-point often yields her finest professional work. In this down and dirty slow-jam, Fantasia purrs, coos and wails about a man who compares her sweet loving to his mom's cooking. "Got me actin' a mess," she climaxes in each chorus. Gurrrrl. Adultery has never sounded this appetizing.
11. "Die Slow (Pink Stallone Remix)," HEALTH
Full disclosure: Pink Stallone's Adam Murphy is a friend and co-worker, but that doesn't take away from how unbelievable this Italo-disco remix is.
10. "Not in Love," Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith
9. "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
8. "Wait & See," Diamond Rings
Diamond Rings (known to his mom as John O'Regan) is an indie artist making pop tunes just as catchy as (if not catchier than) anything Lady Gaga, Katy Perry or fellow Canadian Justin Bieber had on the radio this year. But without major label muscle, the audience who would love him the most might never discover him. Infuriating. On his first 2010 single, "Wait & See," the gangly, makeup-wearing, basketball-loving singer compares himself to a "bit part actor working between the lines." Fingers crossed Diamond Rings crosses over to the mainstream in 2011 and gets the starring role he deserves.
7. "Runaway," Kanye West
6. "OMG," Usher
5. "Eyesore," Women
4. "Tightrope," Janelle Monae
3. "Dancing On My Own," Robyn
2. "Helicopter," Deerhunter
Deerhunter's Bradford Cox tackles faith, isolation and fame's fleeting ways in this dreamy highlight off Halcyon Digest, one of my top three 2010 albums. Awash in a stunning mix of ambient noise, electronic clicks and twinkling guitars, Cox sounds heartbreakingly honest as he cries, "No one cares for me/ I keep no company/ I have minimal needs/ And now they are through with me." The narrator claims that the devil is coming for him in his final moments, but this tune is nothing short of heavenly.
1. "O.N.E.," Yeasayer
What were your favorite songs of 2010? Do you agree or disagree with any of my picks? And how in the hell did Janelle Monae's "Tightrope" not make it onto MTV News' final list? Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @jambajim for more pop culture ramblings and a daily streaming tune.