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50 Best Songs of 2010

Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream,’ Sade’s ‘Soldier of Love,’ Kanye’s ‘Monster’ and more

In 2010, Eminem got sober, Arcade Fire got spooked, Katy Perry flashed her hits, and Kanye sang one for jerk-offs everywhere. Read on for our obsessively curated list of the very best songs of the year.

Written by Jon Dolan, David Fricke, Will Hermes, Melissa Maerz, Jody Rosen, Rob Sheffield and Jonah Weiner.

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49

Elizabeth Cook, “El Camino”

A twangy, hilarious vignette about a schoolgirl who becomes powerless against the charms of a mulleted, El Camino-driving skeezeball.

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48

Das Racist, “hahahaha jk?”

NYC trio transcend joke-rap status by making a song about transcending joke-rap status, set to a finely stoned beat.

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38

Spoon, “The Mystery Zone”

2010's most mesmerizing guitar groove — a dark, dubby burner with lyrics about basement gigs and lost love.

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37

Lloyd Banks feat. Juelz Santana, “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley”

Two New York badasses team up over the year's rawest beat to celebrate paying way too much in car insurance.

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36

Drake feat. Nicki Minaj, “Up All Night”

One of the year's great driving songs, with Minaj "doing doughnuts in a six-speed."

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33

Wavves, “Post Acid”

The San Diego trio turn in a sweetly psychedelic punk nugget: part Buzzcocks, part acid-damaged beach rock.

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31

Gil Scott-Heron, “I’m New Here”

The long-lost Seventies rap pioneer rasps his way through an acoustic version of a Smog ballad. He turns indie-rock melancholy into the darkest, deepest country blues.

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29

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “The Trip to Pirate’s Cove”

A classic Petty road story, outfitted with black-ice organ and sneering guitar.

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28

Band of Horses, “Laredo”

A country-rock ballad about needing to get away, built around shimmering guitars that go on for miles.