Thursday, December 30, 2010

Culture Shock's 50 Favorite Songs of 2010 (20 - 1)

Back here to finish out the list. Unfortunately, I still have the same lame picture to be my heading though.. To everyone who designed a 2010 logo this year, you guys really dropped the ball. Seriously, you better pick it up in 2011.

20) Tennis - South Carolina

If there's one group I'm banking on next year, it's the husband-wife duo of Tennis. They make music quite similar to that of Best Coast, but they also write happier lyrics too. Everything I've heard from them this year was great, so I anticipate a great start to 2011 when their debut LP drop next month.

19) Twin Shadow - At My Heels

80s inspired indie pop produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear is probably all I need to say to get you to listen to this track.

18) Twin Sister - Lady Daydream

This song kinda draws you in with its slow-wave pace, a feeling that will linger through the crazy echos in this girl's voice.

17) Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill

Sleigh Bells are usually making the maximum amount of noise possible with two instruments, but they slow it down a bit and use a few production tricks for overdubs to really own this style.

16) Kanye West - Runaway (ft. Pusha T)

Kanye does the unthinkable on this track: Sound apologetic. His nine minute plea is accompanied by a haunting key in the back, making this your not-so-typical hip-hop song. It's really quite incredible what an artist/producer can do with an open range.

15) The Chicharones - Hi Hey Hello

I still know next to nothing about this group, and I'm pretty sure the album art I put up isn't even from the right record. I can neither tell you the exact genre of song this is, but the best description I can give you would be if Chromeo were making hip-hop beats.

14) Kate Nash - Kiss That Grrrl

Most of Kate Nash's songs off her first album were about her bitterness of not being in the relationship she wanted to. Well a few years later now, it seems she's fixed that problem allowing her to fully embrace her sound while dealing with the new issues her relationship brings.

13) The Radio Dept. A Token of Gratitude

There's something terribly endearing about the way this song is innocently sung, which is probably why he had to write this track to begin with.

12) The National - Sorrow

After a few listens to this one you'll begin to wonder if the guy who wrote it actually wants to be happy. It's an incredibly honest track, compounded by the singer's long baritone.

11) Deerhunter - He Would Have Laughed

There's no doubt that Deerhunter's tribute to fallen rocker Jay Reatard is the prefect musical memory to their good friend. Those intricately woven acoustics match the tone of every word throughout the song, a great reflective track.

10) Vampire Weekend - Giving Up The Gun

Now the only thing that could possibly make this track more awesome, would be a music video with
maybe Lil Jon, Joe Jonas, and Jake Gyllenhaal playing tennis...

9) Local Natives - World News

This is quite a grown up track for such a young band, musically, and lyrically. They really do a great job making the same usual instruments sound interesting by implementing a few arrangement shifts.

8) Freelance Whales - Kilojoules

From the Death Cab like beginning, to the Sigur Rós ending, this song proves to be just as infectious as indie pop can possibly be.

7) Gorillaz - On Melancholy Hill

This track almost went under the radar on a record full of big name guests, though it quickly shows how brilliant the group can still be even when it's just Gorillaz.

6) Band of Horses - On My Way Back Home

I'll be the first to admit that I was quite disappointed with this album, most likely because of how great their first two are. This track though kinda stood out by not really matching the pace and tone of the others, feeling more like a worthy heir to "The Funeral."

5) Big Boi - Hustle Blood (ft. Jamie Fox)

Jamie Fox's vocals and Big Boi's rhymes show off a lethal combination that in my mind is the hip-hop song of the year. He's able to boast a smoother flow coupled with street cred that Kanye's just not able to swag yet.

4) The Morning Benders - Excuses

It's quite rare that an artist can achieve the style they were actually going for while not sounding like complete plagiarist. But The Morning Benders take the "wall-of-sound" concept and make it into something their own, perfect homage to the doo-wap they love.

3) Girls - Heartbreaker

This band seems to be stuck in a perpetual state of melancholy, yet in this track, they almost make the feeling sound fun and upbeat. Just don't listen to the lyrics too hard.

2) Arcade Fire - Modern Man

This is without a doubt the most existential track out of the 50 on my list. Arcade Fire explores what it means to be living at this moment in tim, between our uncertainty, our vulnerability, and our apprehension of the future. And in less than five minutes too.

1) Crystal Castles - Not In Love (ft. Robert Smith)

When Crystal Castles dug this song out of the 80s archives for their second album the results were good, but not great. Then Robert Smith shows up, and as usual, makes it really awesome. Sound like the result of The Cure playing with garage band 25 years ago, which can probably only end well.

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