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« In Which We Count Down The 50 Best Songs of 2010 »

The Best 50 Songs of 2010 (So Far)


2010 marks one of the first years in which (our) music has started to feel like the future. Artists utilize the idea of heterosis more than ever, resulting in a natural selection of sound that chews up genres at breakneck speeds. Meanwhile nostalgia, the recession, and the democratization of music-making / listening / gate-keeping have led to aesthetic shifts, while increases in both supply and demand have created a more discerning consumer.

Where once genres defined us, we say more now by what we don't listen to than with what we do. The disparate elements of the music in our corner of the Internet nevertheless occupy a spectrum of more familiar and visceral responses to melody and rhythm, which we've attempted to simulate with our choices.

1 "Stay Close" - Delorean (mp3)

2 "CMYK" - James Blake (mp3)

3 "Good Intentions Paving Company" - Joanna Newsom (mp3)

4 "Round and Round" - Ariel Pink (mp3)

5 "The Suburbs" - Arcade Fire (mp3)

6 "Subliminal Message" - Happy Birthday (mp3)

7 "Blastit" - Shabazz Palaces

8 "Mouthful of Diamonds" - Phantogram (mp3)

9 "Summer Holidays " - Wild Nothing (mp3)

10 "Long Money" - Gucci Mane (mp3)

11 "In Heat (Javelin Remix)" - Health (mp3)

12 "Zebra" - Beach House (mp3)

13 "Static On The Wire" - Holy Ghost! (mp3)

14 "I Feel Better" - Hot Chip (mp3)

15 "Suckas" - Jay Electronica (mp3)

16 "Scissor" - Liars (mp3)

17 "Baby (El-P Death (Re)mix)" - Justin Bieber (mp3)

18 "I Am Dead (CFCF Remix)" - Jori Hulkkonen (mp3)

19 "Lifted " - Lemonade (mp3)

20 "Dark Allies" - Light Asylum (mp3)

21 "On Top of The World" - Magic Bullets

22 "Hold On" - Rusko ft. Amber Coffman (mp3)

23 "Runway, Houses, City, Clouds" - Tame Impala (mp3)

24 "FILA" - The Dream (mp3)

25 "The Blues" - Primary 1 (mp3)

26 "Moondance" - Blondes (mp3)

27 "Odessa" - Caribou (mp3)

28 "Come With Me" - CEO (mp3)

29 "Empathy" - Crystal Castles (mp3)

30 "Inch of Dust" - Future Islands (mp3)

31 "Power" - Kanye West feat. Dwele (mp3)

32 "World's Ending" - Lil B (mp3)

33 "Lovesick" - Lindstrøm & Christabelle (mp3)

34 "Mind Reader (CFCF Remix)" - Kingdom ft. Shyvonne (mp3)

35 "Rude Boy" - Rihanna (mp3)

36 "Real Life" - Tanlines (mp3)

37 "Soldier of Love" - Sade (mp3)

38 "Go Outside" - Cults (mp3)

39 "Living In America" - Dom (mp3)

40 "Clawing Out At The Walls" - Dominant Legs (mp3)

41 "Bicycle (Tanlines Remix)" - Memory Tapes (mp3)

42 "Minors" - Toro y Moi (mp3)

43 "Carbonated" - Mount Kimbie (mp3)

44 "Little Freak" - Usher (mp3)

45 "Love Cry" - Four Tet (mp3)

46 "Love/Lust (Dark Mix) " - D/R/U/G/S

47 "Never Never (SBTRKT Remix)" - Little Dragon

48 "Glut" - Ramadanman (mp3)

49 "Boyfriend" - Best Coast (mp3)

50 "Heavy Deeds" - Sun Araw (mp3)

Thanks to Brendan, Mike, Junior, and Dan for their suggestions.

Danish Aziz and Britney Heredia are contributors to This Recording. You can find their tumblrs here and here.

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Reader Comments (40)

No Big Boi songs on this whole list? No Shine Blockas, General Patton, Fo Yo Sorrows? Weak sauce, thisrecording.

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Yardley

no Big Boi is crazy, and if you're gonna put the Arcade Fire's one shitty single that high up you ought to put one of the Walkmen's new tracks up, because they are truly unfuckwithable

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradam hujhes

some good picks. I'll cosign it. sans big boi (shutterbug) also sans wavves. but still pretty good.

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEdward Askew

I knew this was a good list because of the inclusion of "Long Money." Great job!

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBort

Damn, yeah, Wavves was an oversight I would have included him, but Big Boi was not


July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanish

The Big Boi and Wu-Tang releases were the biggest disappointments of the year.

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdean

Where is Gayngs?

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSconsin

Brilliant list. I would make Sarah McLachlan's "Love Come" No. 51

July 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterAlex

I feel so molested. The only song I would like to hear on this list is the El-P remix that will only get me to listen to a Bieber song.

That'll be the day...

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter6h057

Yeah okay, whatever you say. Big Boi's album is everything good about OutKast minus everything bad about OutKast, but that aside, no LCD or Janelle? And James Blake??? You gotta get off the Pitchfork front page.
However, you get the biggest ups in the worlds for the sexxxiest L&C track, the CFCF remix, Holy Ghost!, and "I Feel Better," so no worries.

July 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM.D.

But hey..
Janelle and FlyLo are inconceivable omissions.

Buuuttttt, those lean more toward best album, I guess.

AND.. on that "CMYK" track, the last minute and change is just so tingling with wack, man; I can't believe ya placed it ALL THE WAY UP AT NO. 2.

First part is sublime anal, though.

"Round and Round" - sort of does surpass all others in excellence.

Yes it do.

Real Life Memory tapes remix is kinda better than the original.

Really! kind of.

Hella raw kudos on the solid sizzle of this here list.

All over.

July 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Seriously? There's no pop music on here? Man. I guess I am not cool enough to read TR let alone write for it.

July 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlmie Rose


July 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanish

You HAVE NO idea.

July 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Pretty solid list and probably more unique than the rest of the Best Of (So Far) lists floating around the blogosphere. Thank-you for not listing M.I.A., though it might have served you well to namedrop her minions, Sleigh Bells.

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonathon Moxon

Strong work. I enjoyed some of these, but I think a better name for this article would be "How to Sublimate Your Desire for Another Metronomy Album in Fifty Steps".

Although you may want your inclusion of CC to appear as a cursory and begrudging necessity, i'd still be interested to hear your arguments for "empathy" over "vietnam". <3

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan

RADIO DEPT - HEAVEN'S ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternate

I'm with Almie. You're too cool for pop. How can you deny Tik Tok? Even the Simpsons grooved it. As Bootsy said, "Move your ass and your mind will follow."

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterxmarx1

Yeah, Danish lives in the Shadow of Joseph Mount. He follows him via GPS

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbloom

two words that make this list immediately legitimate: shabazz palaces

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July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKia

the comment from coachoutletfactory is the most legitimate one here. would have added some stuff (of course), but are people really calling for sarah mclachlan and bon jovi?

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterari

No context? Just putting a list of songs that a bunch of blogs told you is cool tells me nothing, and doesn't even make me want to listen to the music. I mean, you're pretty hip and all, but there's more to life than downloading everything new that the laptop screen tells you to. Have you even absorbed any of this music? Have you had sex to it, smoked a bowl while listening to it, put it on at a party and seen what happened on the dancefloor? Take a deep breath man. Log off for a couple hours.

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