13. "Dancing On My Own," Robyn. I'm biting this from other critics, namely Said the Gramaphone. I don't listen to dance pop, but everyone raved about this so much that I finally gave it a listen. This is dance music done right, without any braindead lyrics.
12. "I Learned the Hard Way," Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Sharon Jones proving retro soul ain't played out.
11. "Rill Rill," Sleigh Bells. This album was overblown, overhyped, and one idea run into the ground. It had it's moments, though, not the least this song, which tones down their sound and samples Funkadelic. As always with the Sleigh Bells, you have to see them live to really enjoy their, um, best asset.
10. "Baby (El-P Death Mix)," Justin Bieber. I don't have a young daughter, so I don't know anything about Justin Bieber except he seems nice enough and has some great lesbian hair (and I mean that with all respect to both Mr. Bieber and lesbians). El-P's mix of "Baby" manages to incorporate Lil Jon, Wings, and Sam Kinison. So good.
9. "I'm New Here," Gil Scott-Heron. Gil Scott-Heron's voice and career have been ravaged by his addiction to crack cocaine, and his album this year was too short and to sporadic. It's high points made it all worth while, like on this haunting track. Jaime from the xx is remixing the album, which I'm really looking forward to.
8. "Islands," Shakira. Speaking of the xx, Shakira's cover of their brilliant "Islands" was one of my favorite songs. While I respect Shakira, I'm not a fan, but her dance pop take on this song is wonderful (and more fun than the xx's own version).
7. "I Don't Belong," OFF! I'm on the wrong side of thirty now, and I don't listen to much hardcore anymore. "I Don't Belong" is the perfect answer to the ridiculous political climate we are living in, a minute-long blast telling politicians, and Republicans specifically, to fuck off.
6. "U Don't Like Me,"Lil John with Diplo. Mean spirited, annoying, and brilliant.
5. "I Was Denied," Thee Oh Sees. While I liked the album this was on, Warm Slime, Thee Oh See's sound doesn't change too much: muddy guitars, reverbed vocals, nightmarish surf music. "I Was Denied" captures everything they do great into one blast.
4. "Idiot," Wavves. While the Wavves frontman is an obnoxious, whiney little druggie, I dig his music. Idiot was my favorite song on the strong King of the Beach.
3. "How I Got Over," The Roots. Try as I might, I can't get into the Roots. I want to like them, but they bore me. However, they always have one or two great tracks on each album, and the title track for their latest was excellent. It captured the heartbreak and struggle of life in the streets. "Out on the streets where I grew up, first thing they teach you is not to give a fuck, that kind of thinking will get you nowhere, someone has to care." Word.
2. "Crazy For You," Best Coast. I liked this album mostly because of perfect pop songs like this one.
1. "Coroner's Music," Guilty Simpson. I've already written about this, but it is hands-down my favorite song of the year. Guilty is at his grimey best and Madlib provides some sinister zombie funk for him to lay down his homicidal rhymes. Hip hop at its finest.