My Top 10 Tracks of 2010, Apparently a Good Year in S.F. Rock
|All hail the Fresh & Onlys, local proprietors of one of my favorite songs of 2010.|
Swirling, smooth Beatlesy psych from these wunderkinder of the Western Australian wilderness (sort of; they're from the isolated city of Perth). Takes a few spins to sink in, but when it does, good luck getting yourself out of its orbit.
9. Best Coast -- "When I'm With You"
After a string of seductive singles, including this, the meatiest of them all, the flatness of Crazy For You was destined to be a disappointment. But that doesn't change the fact that "When I'm With You" is still a great, utterly addictive slice of sun-baked stoner-pop.
8. Taylor Swift -- "Mine"
A big, glossy, sentimental mainstream love song that's about as penetrating as such banalities get.
7. Ty Segall -- "Girlfriend"
Segall's ludicrously pleasurable full-boil guitar-and-merseybeat onslaught was among the best stripped-down rock-outs of the year. Put it on, turn it up, enjoy, repeat. Try to save yourself some hearing.
6. Girls -- "Heartbreaker"
It's especially impressive to remember that the six songs on Girls' Broken Dreams EP aren't really new -- they're old standbys and live staples that the band recently recorded with a bigger, lusher sound. Smartly, Christopher Owens and J.R. White saved this, the EP's highlight, for those sessions; its cascading chords and warmly bendy bassline -- along with Owens mournful, breathy vocal -- oughta remind everyone that lo-fi has its limits.
5. Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi -- "Tightrope"
Earworm of the year, part one, and 2010's best pop bass hook, by far.
4. Kanye West -- "Monster"
3. The Fresh & Onlys -- "Waterfall"
A zenith for both the Fresh & Onlys themselves and the S.F. rock scene as a whole, this Play It Strange standout hooked us on the first listen and never let go. Possible reasons: Tim Cohen's dusty, slightly distorted and downtrodden mumbling about how "the radio never lies"; the understated, melodic, and reverb-drenched lead guitar licks; or the sort of ominous acoustic guitar shuffle at the foundation of it all. Not sure if the greatness of this one can really be parsed out, though.
2. Big Boi -- "Daddy Fat Sax"
As with Kanye and "Monster"/"Runaway," I'll take this lesser-known slam over major single "Shutterbugg" any time. Big-time hip-hop didn't get any better than this in 2010, no matter what feats Yeezy taught us.
1. Cee-Lo Green -- "Fuck You"
Track of the year, earworm of the year, smile-inducer of the year, hands down. No other catch grabbed so relentlessly and rewardingly.