.

Will Hermes' Best of 2010

Page 2 of 2

Singles

1. Cee Lo, "Fuck You"
A romantic comedy produced by LA pop mechanics The Smeezingtons (Flo Rida, B.O.B.) starring Cee Lo Green as a jilted, broke-ass soul man telling off both his ex and her new dude with a time-honored refrain. The groove is Gnarls Barkley cyber-Motown, the wordplay befitting a veteran MC. "Oh shit, she's a goldigga!" croon the back-up singers, a potty-mouthed Greek chorus, "Just thought you should know, nigga!" And just when it can't get funnier, Cee Lo throws a bawling tantrum on the bridge like a six-year-old Prince. Money woes + sexual frustration = rock & roll for this exact moment.

Critic's Picks: Jody Rosen's Best Albums and Songs of 2010

2. Kanye West, "Power"
"I'm livin' in the 21st century." Yes he is, so are we, and this is what hip-hop's state-of-the-art sounds like: massive and thrillingly delusional. Plus, guitarist Robert Fripp's best pop-song cameo since that solo on Blondie's live U.K. 12" b-side cover of Bowie's "Heroes" back in 1980 — even if he only gets a nano-second.

3. Joanna Newsom, "Good Intentions Paving Company"
A perfect Seventies Laurel Canyon-style singer-songwriter piano ballad manqué, except that it's seven minutes long and gets capped with a trombone solo. Yet the narrative never slacks, starting as a highway meditation on an awesome and troubled country — "Waving the flag/Feelin' it drag" — and ending up as a lover's pledge of allegiance. Maybe she should lay down the harp more often.

4. James Blake, "I Only Know (What I Know Now)"
The most addictively abstract piece of music I heard all year, a slowly unspooling digital haze of piano notes, plush beats, pitched-up vocal fragments, static and — most radically — silence, which here telegraphs emotion like your beloved biting their tongue in the middle of a midnight heart-to-heart. Recommended to fans of U.K. dubstep recluse Burial, John Cage and hypotheses on music from other galaxies.

5. Robyn, "Hang With Me" (single version)
It's a golden age for disco divas. And if Robyn seems to have a couple kilowatts less shine than Gaga or Ke$ha, she's got better songs. But of course, she's been at this game for 15 years. Madonna, your move.

Critic's Picks: Christian Hoard's Best Album and Singles of 2010

6. Janelle Monáe, "Tightrope"
That bass line. Those jazzy horn charts. And Big Boi rhyming "NASDAQ" with "ass-crack." Like she says: You either follow or you lead.

7. Seu Jorge and Almaz, "Everybody Loves The Sunshine"
The shoulda-been summer jam of 2010 was a cover of a 1976 kinda-was summer jam by Roy Ayers Ubiquity. But with all due respect, the Brazilian dude with the Barry White baritone sings it better.  

8. Antony & The Johnsons (feat. Bjork), "Flétta"
Two of the most awesomely strange voices in pop, singing a duet about… Who the hell knows? Is this even a language? It's gorgeous either way, and Bjork's trill at around 03:37 is one of the year's greatest instrumental flourishes.

Rolling Stone's Best of 2010: Music, Movies, Videos, Photos and More

9. Arcade Fire, "Ready To Start"
"All the kids have always known, that the emperor wears no clothes," croons Win Butler. So what do you do? Man up (ladies included) and accept that making a winning move, or a smart vote, doesn't mean you can then sit on your ass.

10. Erykah Badu, "Window Seat"
Over a Seventies keyboard sparkle and a slinky-deep ?uestlove drum groove, the godmother of neo-soul confesses that she needs to be needed. And then she needs her space, okay? What's so hard to understand about that? 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com