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.
By Rya Backer
1. “OMG,” Usher
This is just the best song ever, and I want to listen to it on loop for the rest of my life so I can always be in a constant state of joy.
2. “In a House With No Mirrors (You Never Get Old),” Gruff Rhys
I really like the story behind this song. Gruff Rhys (lead singer of Wales’ Super Furry Animals) went to find his uncle, a forgotten rock star, in Patagonia and subsequently released a documentary about the search. Not to spoil everything, but they reunited and subsequently recorded this track. The song itself is very simple (no crazy solos, no wild time signature changes), just a few meaningful (seriously, think about that title!) lyrics and a catchy guitar-driven melody.
3. “Thieves in the Night,” Hot Chip
4. “Lucky,” Holy F—
5. “Bang Bang Bang,” Mark Ronson
6. “Black Sheep,” Suckers
I first got to know Suckers when we went on a “First Date” to a fondue restaurant, but we’ve since become pals in real life. I’m really happy for all the success they’ve earned since our meeting, and I’m really happy “Black Sheep” was their first single off their great album Wild Smile. It was always a live favorite of mine because of singer Quinn Walker’s lyrical attack on the chorus, and the recorded version sounds even better.
7. “Tell ’Em,” Sleigh Bells
8. “Massive Attack,” Nicki Minaj
Nobody likes this song except for me, and I’m OK with that, because I’m a big-time Barbie. I used to really not like Nicki back when she was calling herself “Nicki Lewinsky” because it was just this cheap, throwaway sexuality (what’s up, third wave feminism?), but it’s since evolved into an empowering force that’s furthered her craft. In any case, I love this song. It’s so catchy and I know every word to it. Nicki, be my best friend please.
9. “Shape Shifter,” Local Natives
10. “The Line,” Battles
Battles is one of my favorite bands of all time, and this was a really pivotal year for them. I met their guitarist/keyboardist Ian Williams at a Mexican restaurant in Williamsburg (that might have just been a pivotal moment for me) and the “lead singer” (of sorts) Tyondai Braxton left the band to pursue his own creative interests. So apart from the fact that “The Line” is a beautifully intricate and powerful track, this song is very special because it was their final release as a quartet. I’m even OK with the fact that it’s from the “Eclipse” soundtrack.
11. “I Can Change,” LCD Soundsystem
12. “Love Me Girl,” Yeasayer
13. “TAOS,” Menomena
14. “Cousins,” Vampire Weekend
15. “Enter the Ninja,” Die Antwoord
16. “Seat Change,” Curren$y featuring Snoop Dogg
17. “Positive Amputation,” No Age
18. “This Too Shall Pass,” OK Go
19. “Swim,” Surfer Blood
20. “On to the Next One,” Jay-Z
21. “A More Perfect Union,” Titus Andronicus
22. “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man,” Grinderman
23. “Barbra Streisand,” Duck Sauce
24. “I’m Aware,” Clinic
25. “Hot Tottie,” Usher featuring Jay-Z