Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Sloppy Dog's Best of 2010: Singles

Ah, that last page on the calendar – a reminder that Christmas is upon us, that we can reflect on the year gone by, and that it’s time to buy a new calendar. To expand on the second point there, specifically it’s time to scrutinise 2010’s pop culture output as we bring you the best and worst of the year’s music and television. We begin things with the Best Singles...

10. I Blame Coco – In Spirit Golden
Kicking off the list is In Spirit Golden, a brilliantly-otherworldly compound of pop-heavy electro-rock from the more-than-proficient mind of I Blame Coco. The initial jolt of confusion that comes from such an uncommon vocal is soon replaced by the warm ‘n’ fuzzies, further endorsing I Blame Coco as a serious contender for greatness in the not-too-distant future.

9. Kelis – Acapella
For what feels like aeons, she’s been threatening to make the transition to house music – in Acapella, not only did Kelis make good on her promise, but it turned out to be one of her greatest singles in years. Amidst the industrious beeps and ethereal harmonies was a very human quality, overall marking a much-appreciated comeback and one hell of a successful transition.

8. One Night Only – Say You Don't Want It
Breakthrough single Just For Tonight was tailed by a weak album and a disappointing run of singles, but it seems One Night Only have finally produced something on a par. The stabs of synth, hypnotic riffs, epic drumwork and marathon chorus combined to create a hefty slice of indie virtuosity. (And even better news, the rest of the album’s up to scratch an’ all.)

7. Cheryl Cole – Parachute
While her behaviour on this year’s X Factor meant the woman herself proved to be a media-fellating viper, there was one particular item of her output that was difficult not to love. Although Parachute was given little coverage in Cole terms, it was melancholic, earnest and memorable, providing her with credibility way beyond the headlines.

6. Darwin Deez – Radar Detector
A tale of quirky indie romance, Radar Detector was a delightfully zany summer soundtrack. Pity we didn’t have the summer to go with it, but hey. Sunny, buoyant and delightfully different to anything that graced our stereo this year – or most years, come to think of it – it was the perfect introduction to a strikingly original act certain to turn a few heads in 2011.

5. Codeine Velvet Club – Hollywood
The stand-out track from the Fratellis off-shoot’s self-titled debut, the soaring strings and the complementary juxtaposition of Jon Lawler’s world-weary rock vocals and Lou Hickey’s sweet, soulful trill made for one hell of a track. Keep your mince pies out for the aforementioned album featuring very highly indeed in our Albums of 2010...

4. Delphic – Counterpoint
While the ubiquitous Halcyon may have become their calling card, an even greater display of the Manchester quartet’s breezy magnificence came in the form of Counterpoint, given a June re-release following a limited 2009 run. A killer melody lifted by a striking fusion of rock sensibilities and energetic, effervescent house provided something very special overall.

3. Brandon Flowers – Crossfire
The threat of Brandon Flowers going solo was always going to pique interests, but it’s unlikely anyone could’ve predicted anything as good as the humbly-anthemic Crossfire. An understated, falsetto-flecked rock hymn, it made the Killers’ hiatus a very easy occurrence to deal with. And that’s even before you stop to consider it as a strong contender for best music video of 2010. Charlize Theron whooping ass, anyone?

2. Cee-Lo Green – Fuck You
Taking the silver medal is Cee-Lo Green, a man whose talent as both an artist and producer is surely the stuff of future legend. Fuck You came equipped with the mystical power to reach No. 1, become an airplay staple and be the subject of a grim X Factor group song, yet completely swerve the threat of overkill to still sound fresh. Imaginative, infectious and doused in charm – even in spite of its unashamedly venomous content – it was entirely impossible not to love.

1. Kids In Glass Houses – Matters At All
So just beating Cee-Lo across the finish line – and it was an incredibly close call – are sometime protégés of Lostprophets and overall peddlers of awesomeness Kids In Glass Houses. The Cardiff collective may have caught more attention with the ropey-at-best Undercover Lover, but they truly made their mark with the thundering riffs and towering pop chorus of Matters At All, a vigorous burst of rock sorcery that received some serious MP3 abuse round these parts back in February, which shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.

Next up, we lay into the worst songs of the year. And boy, was there some catastrophic stuff to choose from. Watch this space...

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