It is high time for me to post my musical Best Of of that year that has come by and I must say it's been a hard time trying to figure what were my best songs of the year as it was a good year in pop & dance music.
01 Quentin Mosimann "Il y a un paradis"
The first surprise is that the song that I have never get bored of this year and couldn't put off my playlist is not even a single, but an album track from Quentin Mosimann's latest album Exhibition. This perfect piece of disco-house french pop song with wonderful lyrics by Lionel Florence should have been a single and it'd have become Quentin's biggest hit for sure. Nevertheless, it's been in my heart !
02 Groove Armada feat. Will Young "History"
Coming in second place but only because of the calmer beat I think is another song that was an album track on Groove Armada's latest album too, until it apparently got released as a single somewhere but without the big exposure and success it deserved. I posted about it in April and I can only say it again now : It is a mellow piece of vocal house, soulfull and moody, not really instant or pop but incredibly haunting : there's not a special chorus line that sticks to your head, it's the whole atmosphere of the song and its Bronski Beat's Smalltown boy inspired sound with incredible Will Young vocals that all makes it memorable and addictive.
03 The Wanted "All time low"
I have just posted about this song and the UK lads' first album before Christmas so for sure you remember what I said about it : this electro pop/rock midtempo song was a grower I still can't get enough of these days and play it on constant repeat, singin' along on the chorus lines.
04 Brian McFadden feat. Kevin Rudolf "Just say so"
When it got released as first single off this ex-Westlife-gone-aussie boy's third album, I fell completely in love with it despite its sometime irritating overuse of autotune and vocoderized effects on Brian's vocals but the über-catchy chorus is toxic as hell and you can't resist nodding your head along to its rhythm and listening back to it now I still love it as much. It even made me buy the CD on australian import when I already had downloaded the songs ...but I wanted it badly I couldn't wait for the international release ! I did right as it still haven't surfaced on these shores...
05 Kylie Minogue "Get outta my way" (original version / 7th Heaven radio edit)
Second single off Kylie's 11th album Aphrodite, Get outta my way is one of her most addictive song since a couple of years at least ! I knew it would be a single from the first time I heard it on the CD and this uptempo disco/house anthem has not deceived me, except it only reached #12 in the UK charts ...and that is a crime !
06 Boyzone "Love is a hurricane" (original version / 7th Heaven radio edit)
This Ronan Keating rather than Boyzone second single off the boyz' comeback album Brother is another Alexander Gregg pop/rock anthem that has been even bettered when released with a 7th Heaven dance remix. I can't get enough of it with its wonderful chorus lines "One step forward and two steps back, love is like a hurricane..."
07 B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars "Nuthin' on you"
Unusually for my tastes, it is a rapper's single that features next in my Top 2010 but over the laid back rap verses by B.o.B, it is for the Bruno Mars soulful vocal parts of the chorus that Nuthin' on you stole my heart and got away with it... The chorus melody is irresistible and I was not the only one to think that : it got #1 in England late in May.
08 Kylie Minogue "All the lovers"
Second song from Kylie in my Top Ten and it is the beautiful atmospheric and haunting lead single for her 2010 comeback. Once again, I don't think I'll ever get enough of her sexy whispering vocals on the intro, break and verses nor of the uplifting hands-in-the-air chorus.
09 The Wanted "Lose my mind"
Another double feature for the UK lads this time with their third and recent single. Maybe I am biaised by the fact it is a recent release but for now on, I cannot get enough of this upbeat pop/rock song, perfectly spiced up by the Woh oh backing vocals and the beautiful song structure with slow intro, catchy chorus and slow paced break just before final verse and chorus. I didn't need the remixes for this one to really like the song !
10 Rihanna "Only girl (in the world)"
Final Top Ten song and another one from 2010's second half, Only girl (in the world) benefits from a powerful killer chorus and electro arrangements that helped Rihanna get back in the charts all over the world after her third album and her darker side made me forget how umbrella or Don't stop the music were made for the dancefloor. Welcome back little princess...
11 Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg "California gurls"
I didn't fell at once for Katy Perry's first single off her second album Teenage Dream but after a couple listens and seeing the video, the melody got me under her spell and I liked its robotic groove and funny lyrics. The Manhattan Clique remix helped me too ;)
12 Lady Gaga "Bad romance"
After 2009 and her handful of hit singles, 2010 has been a quieter year in my book for Lady Gaga (I've never really been hooked on the other big single of the year Alejandro) but Bad romance, if not as good as Poker face, has been a standout of the first half of the year for sure. Beware 2011 ; she's coming back !
13 Nathalie Makoma "I just wanna dance"
Next one is another odd single that I discovered thanks to the net and its blogging surprises. All disco/house and made for the dancefloor, this english remake of a J-Pop hit had everything I wanted to hear last summer and it was my personal summer hit. Is there a full album coming soon ?
14 Mylène Farmer "Oui mais... non"
French diva's comeback single is too young by release to really impersonate 2010 for me but it's incredible catchiness and dance appeal couldn't let me ignore it in my Best Of ! Composed and produced by RedOne, it is one of Mylène's most upbeat and electronic single since ...decades !
15 The Saturdays "Higher" (7th Heaven radio remix)
2010 has been a better year for The Saturdays, with their EP Headlines! and singles seeing them back high in the charts. If Missing you was nice and its Cahill remix extra good, Higher and its 7th Heaven dance remix was the real treat for me from the CD. The uplifing pre-chorus and addictive chorus made me jump off my seat and dance along every time I listen to it ! Don't you ?
16 Alex Gardner "I'm not mad"
2010 has not been a very good year for Brian Higgins and his Xenomania production team. After the demise of Girls Aloud, they lacked a new musical outfit to display their music in the charts. Alex Gardner was one of their new singer and I'm not mad was his first single, addictive and inspired, melting soul with electro loops and I instantly liked it and wanted a full album of that sound... Its #44 UK chart position and withdrawing of second single feeling fine must mean I'll have to wait forever for this kind of CD and it's a shame ! This was another hit that didn't need to get remixed by Benny Benassi to find a place in my 2010 discography...
17 Blake McGrath "The night (only place to go)"
The night was another good surprise of blogging when watching a video of a n handsome man and dancer gets you into an electro R&B flavoured sexy midtempo and makes you wait for the next single. It was a FGTH inspired Relax and both made me buy his CD on import, from Canada this time. That is why record companies now cannot understand how the market works : music releases are international and we want our music to buy as soon as it is available, even if it is only on the other side of the world.
18 Alexandra Burke "All night long" (Cahill remix)
This was another release from the UK X-Factor winner diva's first album but the Cahill remix pushed all the right buttons the original didn't completely for me. It took the pop/R&B song into my usual favorite universal dance world and the repetitive chorus was transformed into some orgasmic anthem that got my feet moving to the beat. More of that on your forthcoming second album, please, lady !
19 Mike Posner "Cooler than me"
Listening back to this first single of the american young multi-talented Mike Posner, I understand it makes me think of B.o.B.'s Nuthin' on you hit. Maybe it is his voice that is soulful as Bruno Mars' one or could it be it simply melts the same influences : soul, electro, R&B altogether ? I don't really care in fact. Cooler than me is a beautiful piece of music you'd want to listen to sunbathing on the rooftops of Paris.
20 Robyn "Hang with me"
Robyn's other good song of the year Dancing on my own deserved for sure a good place here but it didn't do enough to place itself in my Top25. Hang with me did though. It may be because of the beautiful lyrics, the melancholic Robyn voice and nice melody, but it is almost because of the constant discoïd synthetic loop that overshadows everything else all through the song : I think I'd easily see it being used in every song released and would still like it :)
21 Katy Perry "Firework"
Katy Perry succeeded placing another song in my Top 25 but it was never to be Teenage dream. Instead, it is her third single, Firework, that does the trick, and it is solely because of its incredibly good catchy chorus. I'm not really fond of the verses, although the lyrics are good, but when it comes to the chorus, its melody is so uplifting, anthemic and Katy's voice is so powerfully belted out, with the electro music background taking it even higher that this song got my votes over others maybe better in their whole but not with a chorus that strong.
22 Sergey Lazarev "Alarm"
It is a shame this russian boy stays yet unknown in west Europe and this song from his third solo album (he preivously was in the boysband Smash!!) was to my ears like a male version of Lady gaga's best hits. Electronic, repetitive and catchy, with nice video, it was meant to become a worldwide hit. It may have, on the music bloggosphere. It has, at least on mine.
23 Lemar "The way love goes" (original version / Cahill radio remix)
First single and newly recorded song from his 2010 Greatest Hits album, this Richard 'Biff' Stannard song took the soul/R&B singer into dance/pop territory to my surprise and great pleasure. The Cahill remix even took it further deeper into Clubland, adding an killer beat and more energy to the original. I would like his next album to feature this new sound from start to end but I doubt it'd be... Last word : when I listen to it, I can't get the "Gotta keep strong, keep movin' on" repeated part outta my head. It must be a sign it was meant to be featured here :)
24 Enrique Iglesias feat. Nicole Scherzinger "Heartbeat"
When I bought Enrique's Euphoria album, I was glad to read in the booklet notes he got back with some of the METRO guys but only Heartbeat was as good as they could be in the Believe years. So it was with pleasure I saw this perfect piece of pop become his second single after the irritating I like it. Enrique and Nicole voices melt perfectly into each other and the ever present 3 notes piano gimmick makes the song's appeal for me : no remix did it better than the original Mark Taylor album version. These 3 notes haunt the whole song and give it a staying power on my brain long after it has finished.
25 Ysa Ferrer "French kiss"
Last but not least comes my prefered french dance diva's comeback single and first off her new album Ultra Ferrer. Produced by Chew Fu, this frenglish electro/dance popsong was good when I first heard it but I still find its syncopated techno break sounds too irritating and I'm already bored of them... Shall I say I've been a little deceived by her latest offerings without burning in kosmic hell forever ?
Big losers of my 2010 Best Of are the ones that fell just under the first 25s and to name a few, the biggest contenders were A1 with I'm in love & I hate it, Antoine Clamaran feat. Soraya Live your dreams, Bruno Mars Just the way you are, Kelly Rowland with Commander and Forever and a day, Mika Kick Ass, Roll Deep Good times, Selena Gomez Round & round, Taio Cruz Dynamite and Stromae with Alors on danse and House'lleluja.
On the album side, it was not a year as good as on the singles side I think. There were lots of albums I waited for and wanted to like but that deceived me : Christina Aguilera Bionic, Alizée Une enfant du siècle, Alain Chamfort Une vie Saint Laurent, Thierry Amiel Où s'en vont les histoires?, Craig David Signed sealed delivered, Jason Donovan Soundtrack of the 80's, Alesha Dixon The entertainer, Hurts Happiness, Shayne Ward Obsession, Magnus Carlsson Pop galaxy, Sharleen Spiteri The movie songbook, Zazie Za7ie and even Enrique Iglesias Euphoria that got too much spanish songs and ballads on it.
Thankfully, there were good CDs too and first I'd like to talk about 80's albums re-releases (most by Cherry Pop) that are so good packaged that they made me re-buy all albums I already owned like Rick Astley's, Big Fun, Sinitta, Sonia, Boy Krazy, Mel & Kim, Eighth Wonder...
For the brand new music albums, I would name as highlights of the year :
Glee Cast The power of Madonna EP, Jason DeRülo's selftitled one, Goldfrapp Head first, Brian MCfadden Wall of soundz, The Saturdays Headlines! EP, the Almighty We love The Pet Shop Boys and Stock Aitken & Waterman compilations, AnnaGrace Ready to dare, Soraya Arnelas Dreamer, Andy Bell Non-Stop, Benjamin Braxton Hold-Up Party, Mylène Farmer Bleu noir, Patrick Fiori L'instinct masculin, Selena Gomez A year without rain, Sagi-Rei Sings Michael Jackson, Joe McElderry Wide awake, Scissor Sisters Nightwork, Susana Closer.
But the best albums of the year are on the french side, Quentin Mosimann Exhibition just ahead Ysa Ferrer Ultra Ferrer, with both Clara Morgane Nuits blanches and Jenifer Appelle-moi Jen having just been released in December so too young to win the 2010 crown.
In english, it is naturally Kylie Minogue Aphrodite, ahead of boysbands A1 Waiting for daylight and The Wanted's selftitled first album.