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Charlie Doherty’s Favorite 30 Tunes of 2010

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Okay. So you’ll notice there’s more than 30 tracks on this list. Who cares, right?

I listened to a ton of music in 2010, both old and new (as usual). When it comes to making “best of” lists though, there’s always a lot of great material I didn’t get to hear or just didn’t know about, so putting one together is out of the question for me. 

Besides, putting together a list like that is usually what a whole publication does (with the input of its staffers), not the job of one individual music critic. That would be too much work and end up sounding elitist, anyway.

Therefore, a personal favorites list is my chosen way to go. I probably wrote down close to 70 new tracks that I dug this year. Now, looking at that list, only the ones that I remember listening to the most will be considered here. The question was, should it be my favorite 50, 40, or 30 tracks. Obviously, it was the latter I settled for, at least in theory, even though you’ll see a few double entries per artist and several worthy honorable mentions at the end of this write-up.

Songs 30-11 are placed in alphabetical order instead of being ranked, as I don’t really think there’s a point to actually rank a huge list of songs you like. Do I really dig song 14 that much better than song 28? I don’t think so.

Songs 10-1, however, though still not ranked in any particular order, are a little more special and do come with a personal statement of why I thought they were so outstanding.

So, without further delay, here’s my list of 30 favorite tunes of 2010. Feel free to click on all links to hear (and see some cool videos of) the songs themselves and comment on them.

Favorite Cuts: 30-11

Allo Darlin’ “The Polaroid Song”

Bono/The Edge/Rihanna/Jay-Z “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)”

Broken Social Scene “Sweetest Kill”

Cee-Lo “Fuck You”

Chemical Brothers “Another World”

Crystal Castles “Celestia”

Crystal Castles with Robert Smith of The Cure “Not In Love”

Deftones “Rocket Skates”

Dom (Worcester, MA) “Burn Bridges”/“Living In America”

Frank (Just Frank) “Coeur Hante”

Gorillaz “Stylo” (featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack)

Japandroids “Younger Us”

Jonsi (of Iceland group Sigur Ros) “New Piano Song (Live)”

Korallreven “The Truest Faith”

Memoryhouse “Heirloom”

Minks “Funeral Song”

Sade “Soldier of Love”

Sun Airway Oh, Naoko”/“Put The Days Away”

The Sword “Acheron/Unleashing The Orb”

Twin Shadow “Slow”

Favorite Cuts: 10-1

Arcade FIre “Ready To Start”

From one of the best albums of the year (The Suburbs), this uptempo number with a rhythmic quality to it smiliar to “American Girl” by Tom Petty was impossible to ignore and stop playing in my mp3 player all year long.

Band of Horses “Dilly” 

This was easily the catchiest song on the band’s excellent third record, Infinite Arms.

Delorean “Stay Close”

Never heard such cooler electronic music from Spain.

Lemonade “Lifted (Le Chev Reunion Tour Remix)”

Rarely does a remix of a song outdo the original so much that you’ll only listen to the redone version exclusively after hearing it. This soulful, synthy mix has rightly turned a bubbly, tropical-sounding electronic song to what best can be called baby-making music, or at the very least a slow dance ditty. It totally tears the original to shreds.

Lindsay, Jon “Bring The Old You Back”

About Charlie Doherty

Copy editor/content writer for Penn Multimedia; print/web journalist/freelancer, formerly for Boston Examiner, EMSI, Demand Media, Brookline TAB, Suite 101 and Helium.com; co-head sports editor & asst. music editor at Blogcritics Magazine; Media Nation independent newspaper staff writer, printed/published by the Boston Globe at 2004 DNC (Boston, MA); Featured in Guitar World May 2014. See me on twitter.com/chucko33, myspace.com/charlied, & Facebook.
  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Glad to see you posted this Charlie.

    The rest of the gang here usually posts some sort of collective BC “best of the year” list, but for some reason there hasn’t been so much as a hint of doing so this year (unless I’ve missed something). Not sure whether this is due to a general sense of apathy or just because it was kind of a so-so year (my best guess leans toward the latter).

    I may or may not do some sort of my own 2010 retrospective thing, but to be honest I’d have a hard time even filling a top ten list. Neil Young’s Le Noise would likely top it if I did, though. The Springsteen Darkness set was also pretty great, even if the songs are 30 years old.

    Again, thanks for posting this list, Charlie.

    -Glen

  • Charlie Doherty

    Thanks Glen! I think I did this last year as well, as this kind of list is pretty much what I do every year now. I may skip a top favorite albums list though, since I didn’t listen to many CDs all the way through to justify making up such a list.

    Glad you mentioned Neil Young. I may just add a song from that album to my “Honorable Mentions” list, if I feel like it.

  • Jaim

    Lots of great picks but I was surprised you didn’t include any Black Keys or Mumford and Sons on your list.

  • Charlie Doherty

    I actually had “Tighten Up” by the Black Keys on here but left it off after I was getting close to 40 picks between the main list and honorable mentions, but I’m starting to rethink that now. (I might just add it and a Neil Young song as H.M.’s at some point anyway).

    Not really into Mumford but the Keys’ Brothers was a fine record indeed.

  • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Mark Saleski

    or just because it was kind of a so-so year (my best guess leans toward the latter).

    totally disagree. it was a terrific year for music. i was overwhelmed with great stuff.

  • El Bicho

    my guess leans toward the former.