Something different today, and something non-Irish. Here’s my top 10 pop songs of the year 2010.
10. Sugarland – ‘Stuck Like Glue’
Just because nobody bought a single doesn’t mean it’s no good. Just that people sometimes miss out on the good stuff. Sugarland’s ‘Stuck Like Glue’ was one of those tunes that could have easily be missed. If you haven’t heard it yet, you’ve been missing out on a fantastic country-pop tune by one of the best upcoming female-male vocal harmony duos in the business.
9. Travie McCoy – ‘Billionaire’
The Gym Class Heroes frontman decided to go it alone in 2010, and led the way with this debut single. A million times better than the pop-punk of his band, and was greatly helped by the guest appearance of Bruno Mars, who was this year’s Timbaland, appearing everywhere and being involved behind the scenes too.
8. Brandon Flowers featuring Jenny Lewis – ‘Hard Enough’
Her own album with Jonathan Rice was a disappointment, but when Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis teamed up with the Killers’ Brandon Flowers, it made for one of the most beautiful duets of the year. In my opinion, the solo album is Flowers’ best effort yet, and this was the best of many great pop-rock tunes on the record.
7. Paramore – ‘The Only Exception’
Paramore’s ‘The Only Exception’ was another under the radar tune, but when it popped up on Glee, many people sought out the original song. It only reached #28 and #31 in Ireland the UK on original release, but was a US #1 Rock Hit. Taken from their album Brand New Eyes, this was one of the finest slow-burners of the year.
6. Bruno Mars – ‘Just the Way You Are’
Los Angeles singer Peter Gene Hernandez came to the world’s attention with his debut single, which made us wonder where the hell this soul voice had been hiding all along? He may have had a hand in writing some of 2010′s biggest tunes, Cee-Lo’s ‘Fuck You’ and K’Naan’s ‘Wavin Flag’, but he saved the best for himself with this gorgeous ballad.
5. Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – ‘Shame’
This was the song that reunited the two original leaders of Take That. Before ‘The Flood’ there was this clever, wry tale of patching things up and admitting mistakes. They may have had numerous well-publicised spats in the past, but here they put that behind them, paving the way for next year’s massive five-man-band tour.
4. B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams – ‘Airplanes’
There’s two versions of ‘Airplanes’ on B.o.B.’s debut album, but the one without Eminem is the one that stands out. A perfect blend of hip-hop verse and pop vocal, it took what was great from ‘Nothin on You’ and added in a whole extra layer.
3. Taylor Swift – ‘Back to December’
Some of the other songs on third album Speak Now were much more bitter than this ode to actor Taylor Lautner. Rather than rip him to shreds like she did to John Mayer in ‘Dear John’, Swift recollects the great times she had with Lautner and wishes she could go back. Combined with the beautiful, immaculately produced melody, this made for one of the best spine-tingling choruses of the year.
2. Lady Antebellum – ‘Need You Now’
The title track from Lady Antebellum’s awesome second album was the perfect blend between pop and country. A crossover classic that will be a country-pop standard for years to come, it’s a wonderful tale of missing a loved one, and is something everyone can relate to. Altogether now…”It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk…”
1. Rihanna – ‘Rude Boy’
Pop song of the year, video of the year, everything of the year. This was as infectious as it was genius. So much better than anything else in her back catalogue, as it brought us back to the earlier potential for club bangers Rihanna showed us with debut ‘Pon De Replay’.