70. All to All---Broken Social Scene
The most beautiful Five minutes of Forgiveness Rock Record, All to All builds slowly and gracefully underneath Lisa Lobsinger’s gentle whisper to a delirious, synth-driven finale.
69. Cold War---Janelle Monáe*
Cold War is heart-broken, let there be no doubt, but it doesn’t use that as an excuse to sit around, Monáe’s jazzy passion liberally strewn about the song’s sprinting percussion.
68. Gorgeous---Kanye West feat. Kid Cudi and Raekwon
Literally two minutes of monotonous Kid Cudi chorus (count them if you don’t believe me) keep Gorgeous out of classic territory, but it’s far and away the album’s most exhilarating example of West’s powers as a rapper.
67. Bloodbuzz, Ohio---The National
High Violet’s lead single may be a bit short on surprises, but the deceivingly speedy chug of the drums and guitar wrap perfectly around Matt Beringer’s simple, weary croon.
66. Come With Me---ceo*
One of my favorite samples of the year, CWM is a swirling, earnest plea, brought together by the convincingly love-lorn swoon of Eric Berglund’s voice.
65. Silver Soul---Beach House
The ‘Beach House build’ knows no greater example: Silver Soul bubbles into existence, and then proceeds to follow Alex Scally’s slide guitar all the way to the no-holds-barred finale, complete with Victoria Legrand’s signature wail.
64. All of the Lights---Kanye West feat. Everyone
The most enormous song of the year hands down. I can’t help but wish that West’s offerings behind the mic weren’t over at exactly the half-way point, but that won’t prevent me from ruining my car speakers with this one.
63. Run---Vampire Weekend
As poppy and fun as anything else on Contra, Run stands out for its awesome drums-and-keyboard chorus, and because yelling, ‘Run,’ at the top of your lungs is really fun.
62. You Won't Need Me Where I'm Goin'---How to Dress Well*
Echoing and distant, YWNMWIG mourns an ancient love, one long lost to time and age, but remembered vividly and painfully.
61. All Around---ceo
All Around has intro song written all over it, a slowly swelling rumble eventually accompanied by strings that drip with romance, authoritative drums, epic chanting vocals.
King of the Beach’s true anthem of immaturity, Post-Acid is jam-packed with hooks and distortion, a pop-punk sugar rush that’s over as soon as it started.
59. Lay in a Shimmer---Pantha du Prince*
The spaciest song on an album defined by the cosmos, the seemingly random noises of LiaS’s opening slowly morph into something sparse and strange, filled with bells that sound like stars amidst the song’s dense nighttime.
58. Free Jazzmataz---Das Racist
A minimal, echoing beat turns Sit Down, Man’s most reference-laden track into a psychedelic mental breakdown, all delivered in monotone with an audible smirk.
57. Taxi Cab---Vampire Weekend
The greatest example of the band’s growth since their debut, Taxi Cab is down-tempo, simple, and polite in a way that just about nobody else could make sound good, shining and merry despite its minimal risks, and contented smile.
Simultaneously dense and spacious, Killemall is Four minutes of precise musical beauty, expertly fitted with the band’s tendency towards mid-song shape-shifting.
55. World Sick---Broken Social Scene*
A subtly groovy slow build to a plethora of symbol-aided explosions, World Sick is just the kind of over-long anthem you hope for from BSS, and the kind that Forgiveness Rock Record had in spades. This just happens to be the best.
54. Celestica---Crystal Castles
Celestica’s chorus hits like waves crashing against the shore, a far more lush and harmless than the band is used to, but no less captivating.
53. Amazing---Das Racist*
My favorite beat on an album stuffed to the brim with great ones, Amazing seems to sparkle as you listen to it, the MCs rhymes just as spit-fire hilarious as always.
52. Mickey Mouse---Wavves
Mickey Mouse is a total curveball, its gleeful and defiant stomp less cluttered and excitable than other songs on the album, but at least as fun, especially with the help of Nathan Williams’ perfectly wordless chorus chant.
51. Who Knows Who Cares---Local Natives
Practically the template on how to make a ballad: Passionately and believably loving, beautiful to listen to, and with a few musical curve-balls on the side (see the percussion break-down in the second verse).
50. Daddy Fat Sax---Big Boi
“It is On,” shouts Big Boi, and he’s not kidding. His album’s proper opener is a 100 Dash of a jam, the MC’s unstoppable flow barely contained within the beat’s fun-filled rush.
49. Summer Holiday---Wild Nothing*
Summer Holiday is befitting of its name; an aged love-letter to youthful tomfoolery that doesn’t ape 80’s aesthetic as much as it just lives in it.
48. Revolving Doors---Gorillaz
The single greatest reason for The Fall's existence, Revolving Doors is gorgeous and hypnotic, its gentle acoustic strum not even close to losing its pull when dark-minded synth takes the whole thing to another world.
47. Baptism---Crystal Castles*
So ferocious that you can almost see the sparks fly, Baptism’s synth pound feels just as ragging as Alice Glass’ signature snarl, all cranked up to ten.
46. Don't Stop!---Child Rebel Soldier
The best of a brilliant crop of songs from Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Fridays collection, Don’t Stop lives up to its name, its hyper-kinetic beat and three MCs red-lining it all the way until the thing is over. Props to Lupe Fiasco for being West's best guest of 2010 this side of Nicki Minaj.