25. Constatines ” Hard Feelings”
Canadian art-punks bring us a grinding, hard charging about the difficulty of emotions.
24. Ne-Yo ” Closer”
Usher’s heir apparent delivers on a R&B-hip hop jam that is smoother than creamy peanut butter.
23. T.I. ” Whatever You Like”
He’s such a generous guy, over trippy hio hop beats and a surprisingly warm chorus.
22. Jordin Sparks f. Chris Brown ” No Air”
Gorgeous, soaring vocal gymnastics by two teen sensations as they sing about the importance of oxygen, but the devastation of love.
21. Kings Of Leon ” Sex On Fire”
Southern gothic melodrama, with ringing guitars, as the Followills literally set things a flame.
20. Kid Rock ” All Summer Long”
Someone had the courage to do what I always thought about- put ” sweet Home Alabama” and ” Werewolves of London” together and see how similar they are. Add lyrics about partying and booze and sex, you have a classic summer jam.
19. Vampire Weekend ” Oxford Comma”
Bouncy African beats mixed with lyrics about sex and punctuation. I’m not joking.
18. Flo Rida ” Low”
Inescapable spring jam about Apple Bottom jeans and Reeboks with the straps.
17. Adele ” Chasing Pavements”
Soulful ruminations about being torn between love or happiness.
16. Kanye West ” Love Lockdown”
Autotune works for the master, and he creates a song about loss and love that is for the ages.
15. Rihanna ” Take A Bow”
“Disturbia” got the glory, but this song about kicking his ass to the curb remains her strongest single.
14. Sam Roberts ” Them Kids”
More folk country rock from the Canadian master of the guitar, with a charming SIMS inspired video mixed with 50s nostalgia. A song about the fact kids don’t dance to rock and roll anymore.
13. P!nk ” Sober”
” So What” maybe the typical hard rocking kiss off we expect from her, but Pink’s second single from her album is a more mature, honest song about divorce, alcohol, and love.
12. Katy Perry ” I Kissed A Girl”
Bouncy fun about same sex experiments and old fashioned button pushing. Not as jaw dropping as Jill Sobule’s track of the same name, but this grimy flirty track is a delight.
11. Estelle f. Kanye West ” American Boy”
Soulful British song stylist asking for a trip to NYC. Girl knows her shit. Discofied brilliance.
10. Ting Tings ” Shut Up And Let Me Go”
Duo of punk inspired dance artists sing about how you are never gonna hit this again.
9. City And Colour ” Waiting…”
Quiet acoustic jam about waiting for the end of everything. Depression sounds almost peaceful.
8. David Cook ” Bar ba Sol”
Grinding punk guitar stylings mixed with lyrics about regretting the night before, where alcohol and possibly blonde skanks played a role in humiliation. Did I just say that?
7. Billy Talent f. Rise Against ” Turn Your Back”
Two of the modern punk bands of note dress us down for ignoring the ecological disasters looming in the near future.
6. Duffy ” Mercy”
Sixties style pop soul with a Dusty vibe, and a girl with a voice grittier than gravel.
5. Hedley ” Old School”
Jacob Hoggard reminisces about setting tires on fire and the days where little mattered except getting wasted behind the old school.
4. Coldplay ” Violet Hill”
” Viva La Vida” has gotten all the glory, but this first single remains their grittiest, gungiest track. And the lyrics are mysteriously baroque and the vocals soar.
3. Metro Station ” Shake It”
Eighties inspired dance rock. God, how I’ve missed this stuff. Vaguely reminds me of Flock of Seagulls and Loverboy. Weird, but wonderful. And frickin’ catchy.
2. R.E.M. ” I’m Gonna D.J.”
Alt rock fore fathers come back to form with raging guitars and a plan for the end of days. I wanna be at that party.
1. M.I.A. ” Paper Planes”
I want to thank Seth Rogan and David Gordon Green for allowing this song to explode after the trailer for Pineapple Express introduced it to the world. Clash inspired guns and cash registers mixed with trip hop beats and the idea of exceeding what your borders permit. Stunning.