The 80 Best Singles of 200980. Sex On Fire - Tina Cousins (Video)
Trash icon Tina takes on the Kings Of Leon. And wins.
79. Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix) - The Gossip (Video)
Fred Falke transforms "Heavy Cross" into The Gossip's best single since "Standing In The Way Of Control". From the opening "ooh ooh oohs" to the driving bass and floaty synths, this is just about irresistible.
78. All Eyes On Me - Jameerah
I stumbled across this stunning international "supergroup" on Dutch Pop Factory and immediately fell in love with their trashtastic debut single. Girls Aloud and Sugababes have been put on notice! Make sure you check out their amazing no budget video clip.
77. When Love Takes Over - David Guetta & Kelly Rowland (Video)
Kelly Rowland has finally found her calling. The diva's powerful pipes sound amazing against David Guetta's 90s keyboards and help lift the trancetastic production to dizzying heights. Not quite as fabulous as "Work" but still one of the year's best dance tunes.
76. Dollhouse - Priscilla Renea (Video)
"Dollhouse" owes a lot to Katy Perry and P!nk's Max Martin/Dr Luke produced hits but Priscilla works the electronic rock-pop sound better than most. I love the chorus and attitude filled lyrics.
75. How To Tame Lions - Washington
Megan Washington is Australia's latest indie phenomenon. This EP has been lodged in the top 10 physical singles chart for months and the buzz around her is starting to get very noisy. Happily, the music matches the hype. "How To Tame Lions" is simple, honest and poetic in a way that should make fans of female singer-songwriters drool. Bonus points for the weird and wonderful video clip.
74. 2 All My Girls - Linda Sundblad (Video)
The former frontwoman of Swedish band Lambretta finally comes good as a solo artist with this super catchy electro-pop explosion. Robyn must be kicking herself.
73. Secret - Samantha Jade
When is poor Samantha Jade going to get a break? The Perth born pop icon in waiting
72. Waking Up In Vegas - Katy Perry (Video)
Guitar pop perfection. I still get a cheap thrill every time this comes on the radio.
71. Evacuate The Dancefloor - Cascada (Video)
Moving right along.
70. Miracle - Sally Shapiro (Listen)
The "taster" single from Sally's exquisite "My Guilty Pleasure" album is an epic reminder of everything that was great about Italo-disco. The weather effects and brooding synths combine brilliantly to make an unusually dark and gloomy pop anthem.
69. Byrds Of Prey - Bertie Blackman (Video)
I've already raved about this downright scary electo anthem here.
68. Shot Caller - Ian Carey (Video)
Ian scored a #61 smash hit in Australia with this cheap and cheerful dance anthem. "Shot Caller" might not have set the charts on fire but I love it.
67. Did It Again - Shakira (Video)
The second single from "She Wolf" (in Europe) isn't as adventurous as title track but the quirky lyrics, strange yet catchy hooks and heavy dose of melancholy make this vintage Shakira.
66. Now I'm That Bitch - Livvi Franc ft. Pitbull (Video)
This was a grower. I hated it at first but "Now I'm That Bitch" ended up ruling my Ipod for months. Livvi puts her arsehole Ex in his place, while Pitbull contributes the worst rap in recent memory ("baila la conga como una chonga" = LOL). An urban trash classic. Oh and don't forget to check out my interview with Livvi!
65. Blackout - Heidi Montag
Heidi roped in the services of Cathy Dennis for "Blackout" and the result is one of the best singles of the pop pioneer's critically acclaimed career. This is sunny, upbeat pop of the highest calibre. Unfortunately, the unintentionally hilarious video leaves a lot to be desired. The poor bitch just can't win!
64. Rising Girl - Lovestoned (Video)
Yes, I know Swedish reggae is wrong by definition but I can't get this trash out of my head!
63. Good Girls Go Bad - Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester (Video)
This song was absolutely unavoidable in 2009. Probably because it is so fucking good (and features that slut from Gossip Girl).
62. Sleepyhead - Passion Pit (Video)
I saw "Sleepyhead" for the first time on Rage when I was drugged to the eyeballs in hospital and thought I was hallucinating. The song still has that effect on me and the strongest shit I've had recently is Panadol.
61. Hotter - Parralox
The brainchild of Melbourne based producer John Van Ahlen, Parralox is Australia's best kept secret. The band has a cult following but they remain very much underground. With any luck, "Hotter" could be the song to change all that. It's witty electro-pop produced with almost clinical precision. Make sure you check out the amazing video clip.
60. Butterfingers - Amy Pearson (Video)
Amy's desperate whore makeover was an epic fail. No one bought her raunchy new image and "Butterfingers" failed to dent the top 100. It's a shame because I love song. It's the kind of sleazy fun that doesn't get made in Australia very often and boasts two of the year's best remixes (by WAWA and Denzal Park). A future trash classic.
59. Bad Romance - Lady GaGa (Video)
"Bad Romance" is ballsy pop song with great lyrics and truly epic production but I can't shake the feeling that it's a slightly inferior rehash of "Poker Face".
58. Ya - Lorena Herrera
Mexico's favourite middle aged erotic actress returned to revolutionise pop music in 2009 with her trashtastic dance anthem "Ya". Sure, it sounds like it was recorded on a mobile phone in an underground parking garage but this is a trash masterpiece. The legendary diva even dusted off her finest bondage gear and got friendly with a snake before molesting her butterfaced husband in the stunning video!
57. Más - Nelly Furtado
Sitting among the stripped back, semi-acoustic tracks on "Mi Plan" is this curiousity. It starts as a soft and pretty ballad before icy synths unexpectedly emerge to raise the song to the next level. The video clip helpfully translates the beautiful lyrics into English. And features a hot man in his underpants. Quality.
56. In For The Kill - La Roux (Video)
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with La Roux. I think they're overhyped and annoying but there's no denying their occasional brilliance. Take "In For The Kill" - it has great production, a killer sample and one of Elly's least grating vocals. This steals from the 80s with purpose and vision.
55. My Ass - Linni Meister
And the award for the year's classiest song and single cover goes to Norwegian stunner Linni Meister. The video clip is also a work of artistic genius.
54. 22 - Lily Allen (Video)
Lily Allen is revolting but "22" really struck a chord and prompted me to write this drunken post, which I would be ashamed of if it wasn't the most honest thing I've written on this blog.
53. Pick Up The Phone - Dragonette (Video)
Dragonette strike electro-pop gold with "Pick Up The Phone". It's by far their most commercial single and hopefully one that brings them to a whole new audience.
52. Shooting Stars - Bag Raiders (Video)
Australian electro is on fire at the moment and "Shooting Stars" proved that Bag Raiders definitely have what it takes to mix it up with Empire Of The Sun, Cut Copy and Van She. Can't wait to see what they come up with next.
51. Drumming Song - Florence & The Machine (Video)
Florence captures the chemical rush of love/obssession/attraction perfectly on "Drumming Song". The clever lyrics are matched by the production, which courses with raw energy. Wild, literate and beautiful.
50. Trip - Stacey Q (Listen)
80s icon returns to her dance roots and promptly kicks all the other pop cougars to the curb. Album please!
49. Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz (Video)
Not only is Taio extremely easy on the eyes, he's also one of the very few male singers currently making urban dance-pop. "Break Your Heart" picks up where Chris Brown's "Forever" left off. It's slick, well produced and gets stuck in your head after the first listen. I love the explosions of synths and the big, bold chorus. When is this getting an Australian release?
48. Coin Laundry - Lisa Mitchell
Wry, romantic and effortlessly quirky. It's a shame then that the film clip reminds me of The Ring.
47. Mi Delirio - Anahí
RBD frontwoman Anahí jumps on the electro-pop bandwagon for her first solo single in 9 years and gets everything right. "Mi Delirio" is loaded with little hooks, has a killer chorus and boasts a mind boggling video clip - which finds poor Anahí undergoing electric shock treatment in an insane asylum. Naturally, she's wearing lingerie and finds time to dance in a club. Only in Mexico!
46. Been Waiting - Jessica Mauboy (Video)
"Burn", "Because" and "Up/Down" were all bigger hits for Jess in 2009 but "Been Waiting" is my favourite. There's a sweetness and longing to the song that makes it stand out from your usual pop fluff. I particularly love the subtle synths and think the mid-tempo urban dance sound is a perfect match for Jessica's voice.
45. The Sound Of Missing You - Ameerah
My Swedish stalker Tommie put me onto Ameerah and for that I'm eternally grateful. The former Belgian Idol contestant has been making waves for months with this beautifully bittersweet dance anthem and happily, she's just been picked up by Spinnin' Records. I think Ameerah has the exotic looks (part Tunisian and Algerian) and talent to escape the dance music ghetto and cross over to the mainstream. Listen to the track here.
44. Last Day On Earth - Kate Miller-Heidke (Video)
Beautiful, understated and hopelessly romantic. "Last Day On Earth" completely changed my opinion of Kate and inspired me to re-visit her old material with new ears. One of those rare songs that appeals to everyone from teenagers to grandmothers.
43. Meet Me Halfway - Black Eyed Peas (Video)
Fergie does her best 80s Madonna impression on the most poptastic single from "The END". I love every second of it.
42. In The Moment - Zoë Badwi (Listen)
Australia's Queen of dance gets trancetastic on her latest floorfiller. I love the chunky synths and 90s keyboards, while Zoë really gets her teeth into the anthemic chorus. This is such an improvement on "Don't Wan'cha". Fingers crossed it's the crossover hit she's been looking for. Fans of dance-pop need to check this out.
41. Paparazzi - Lady GaGa (Video)
I know people are wetting their pants over "Bad Romance" but I prefer "Paparazzi". It's less overbearing and doesn't recycle another song. It's also probably the closest Lady GaGa has ever got to straightforward Kylie dance-pop (for want of a better description) without crazy lyrics, samples or self-referential name checks.
40. I Will Be Here - Tiësto and Sneaky Sound System (Video)
It's a scandal that this wasn't huge. "I Will Be There" is one hell of a dance tune. Tiësto's epic trance beats paint the perfect backdrop for Miss Connie's emotive vocal. I particularly love the juxtaposition of the slightly depressing verses against the hands in the air, uplifting chorus. A forgotten gem.
39. Epic - Nicole Holness
Who'd have guessed a Canadian MTV VJ would release one of the year's prettiest pop tunes? Everything about this is soft and lovely. The production is simple (and admittedly a little dated) but it envelops Nicole's voice and the sweet lyrics in a warm embrace that is hard to resist if you still have blood pumping through your veins. Just ignore the Lady GaGa on a $10 budget video clip.
38. My Delirium - Ladyhawke (Video)
This was technically released in late 2008 but must have slipped my attention because it's conspicuously (and embarrassingly) absent from last year's 'best of' countdown. "My Delirium" is the highlight of Pip's amazing album and provides further proof that Pascal Gabriel is one of the best producers in the business.
37. Neon Lights - Elek-tro Junkies ft. Therese
Oh fuck, this trash. I know I should be embarrassed but there's something about a 31 year old woman singing "oh daddy, don't you worry. I'm sure I'm home by midnight" that just rings my bell. The filmed on a mobile phone in Ibiza film clip is also pure gold. A cheap and cheerful delight.
36. Tik Tok - Ke$ha (Video)
"Tik Tok" is audio crack. You want to say no but one listen and you're hooked. Lady GaGa finally has some competition.
35. According To You - Orianthi (Video)
A rock chick who knows how to churn out a poptastic chorus. Sing hallelujah.
34. Sweet Dreams - Beyoncé (Video)
I could write an essay about this dark and moody synth driven dance anthem. Not so much about the brooding production or eerily beautiful vocal but the hilarious claims that the song promotes devil worship and other occult based activities. Check out this hilarious clip. LeToya Luckett has way too much time on her hands.
33. Ya Termine - Patricia Manterola (Video)
More Mexican magic! I just wrote a post about this amazing electro-pop anthem, so I'll keep this short and sweet. Patricia needs to take Fey's lead and record an English version. I'm sure it would be a #97 smash in Japan!
32. Go Crazy - Liena (Listen)
Australia isn't known for churning out urban dance-pop but Liena gives Rihanna a run for her money on the super catchy "Go Crazy". Unfortunately, the song was completely overlooked - which is surprising given the involvement of Audius (the man behind most of Jessica Mauboy's hits) and the fact that Liena is stunning. I'm hoping for a re-launch in 2010. Check out my original post about this sadly overlooked jam.
31. Silly Boy - Eva Simon (Video)
Eva's stunning #45 Australian smash hit was lampooned by many as the year's most outrageous Lady GaGa/Rihanna rip off. Yawn. Who really gives a shit when the song is this fucking catchy? Either of those whores would be glad to have "Silly Boy" on their album. I can't wait to see who the Dutch diva shamelessly steals from next!
30. Dress You Up - Kelly Llorenna
The orange goddess came out of retirement to improve Madonna's "Dress You Up" but like every other song K Lo has recorded since 2005 it was stuck on a shitty compilation by the haters over at AATW and forgotten. At least they had the decency to film this stunning video. May Kelly's golden glow live on forever.
29. Kiss Kiss Kiss - Ami Suzuki
My favourite Japanese diva redeemed herself with "Kiss Kiss Kiss" after going all weird and experimental on "Reincarnation". I often describe Ami as the Japanese Dannii due to her cheap and cheerful club tunes (and her distinct lack of chart $ucce$$) but this is quite classy by her standards. Forget Utada, Ayumi and Namie - this hot bitch does it better. I approve of the pretty video too.
28. You & I - Medina (Video)
This is the ultimate break up anthem with a hot dance beat. The Danish diva shows up Robyn and Annie as the Scandipop nobodies they really are. For more reasons to love this tune, check out this post.
27. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) - Florence & The Machine (Video)
Sometimes I think I'm a reverse snob. I have a bad habbit of turning my nose up at anything popular and critically acclaimed. It speaks volumes for the sheer talent of Florence that I just gave in and begrudgingly jumped about her overpacked bandwagon of followers. "Rabbit Heart" is the perfect introduction to the Florence experience. It's rich and deeply textured but still poptastic enough to blast from your car stereo between La Toya and Dannii. Don't judge me!
26. Million Dollar Bill - Whitney Houston (Video)
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats pillage Loleatta Holloway's "We're Getting Stronger" for Whitney's triumphant comeback anthem (in my mind, anyway). I have no idea why this failed to catch on. The lyrics are brilliant, the retrotastic production is a delight and it's impossible to set foot in a gay club without hearing the fabulous Freemasons remix.
25. Manos Al Aire - Nelly Furtado (Video)
This was a real grower. It took a good couple of months for me to fully appreciate the simplicity and beauty of "Manos Al Aire" but it really got under my skin. In fact, I'm almost scared Nelly will revert to faux urban pop diva mode on her next English album and leave this sound behind. Make sure you check out the amazing Robbie Rivera remix, which transforms the song into a trash lover's wet dream.
24. Don't Stop Believin' - Glee (Video)
I cried when I heard "Don't Stop Believin'" in the first episode of Glee. Admittedly, I was coming down like a bitch but there's something innocent and touching about this ode to following your dreams. Journey's original is better but this will do nicely.
23. I Know - Bluey Robinson (Video)
What happened to Bluey Robinson? "I Know" is one of the best debut singles I've heard in a very long time and deserved to be massive. There's a touch of Stevie Wonder about Bluey. His uplifting lyrics have an almost conversational feel, while the mix of organic istruments and synths is inspired. Definitely one to watch in 2010.
22. El Camino - Sol Rojo
When I first saw the song's slightly unfortunate video clip, I assumed Sol was an unemployed chola from the outskirts of Tijuana but she's actually Spain's best kept secret. "El Camino" is a melodic burst of uplifting pop-rock and announced the diva as a force to be reckoned with (in my little world). Her cover of "Show Me Heaven" is also well worth a listen.
21. Pull My Heart Away - Jack Peñate
Can someone please send me a memo when one of these massively hyped indie singer-songwriters actually releases a good pop song? I stumbled across "Pull My Heart Away" while searching for material for the Pop Panel and literally ran to JB Hi-Fi to buy his album. Unfortunately, the rest of it makes me want to commit acts of self harm but there's no denying the brilliance of this sad, intelligent and strangely hypnotic tune. It also doesn't hurt that he's one of the sexiest men in music. Check out the cheap filmed on location during Jack's Jordanian holiday video clip.
20. She Wolf/Loba - Shakira (Video)
Aah Shakira and her demented electro-meets-disco ode to lycanthropy and dancing around in vagina shaped caves. This brought some much needed madness to the charts but there's so much more to her album than this - dare I say it - novelty song.
19. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas (Video)
2009's ultimate party anthem.
18. H.A.T.E. U - Mariah Carey (Video)
I'm sick of people whinging about "Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel". Sure, it's not Mariah's best album but it boasts 5 or 6 genuinely brilliant tracks and "H.A.T.E. U" is one of them. I can identify with each and every word of this song and rank it as Mimi's best single since "We Belong Together". Check out the brilliant Jump Smokers remix for your trashy dance fix.
17. Soon We'll Be Found - Sia
I know this was released in 2008 but it was a massive #89 hit in 2009, so the track qualifies for my countdown. It's hard to describe something as magical and beautiful as "Soon We'll Be Found", so just watch her typically quirky performance on Letterman and fall under Sia's spell all over again.
16. Whatcha Say - Jason Derülo (Video)
This autotuned to the point of no return urban dance trash is almost scarily catchy. I've been waking up humming "tell me, tell me whatcha say" for the past month. Hell, it's even got me listening to Imogen Heap's "Hide & Seek" - from which the song
15. Eat You Up - BoA
The South Korean superstar's entry into the US market was a massive flop but I challenge you to find a better Britney knock off. I love the epic electro beats (courtesy of Denmark's underrated Remee & Troelson) and sleazy lyrics. Who cares if BoA sounds like a robot on crack when the song is this fucking good? Her dancing in the super cool video puts every American diva to shame. Long live the Best of Asia!
14. Sweet Disposition - Temper Trap (Video)
The only good thing to emerge from this year's ARIA awards was a belated top 30 chart debut for this four minute trip to jangly guitar-pop heaven. Dougy has one of the most unique voices in Australia and squeezes every drop of emotion from the beautiful lyrics. Absolutely exquisite.
13. Dream Fighter - Perfume
The world's greatest girlband (sorry, Las Supremas) continue to break new ground with this mind boggling technopop anthem. "Dream Fighter" sounds like a modern update of the popular 70s space disco movement. It's trippy and wouldn't sound out of place on the soundtrack of a camp sci-fi movie. I love the chorus, the trippy production and the amazing video clip. Girls Aloud could never.
12. Tardy For The Party - Kim Zolciak (Listen)
Who knew The Real Housewives Of Atlanta would uncover a talent that would make Madonna, Britney and Christina redundant in one fell swoop? "Tardy For The Party" is more than a pop song, it's a cultural phenomenon that should be kept in the Smithsonian as a national treasure. Watch out, Heidi. There's a new reality pop star in town!
11. Empire State Of Mind - Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys (Video)
"Empire State Of Mind" gives me chills. The only reason it's not ranked in my top 10 is the fact that I've moved on to Alicia's "Empire State Of Mind (Part 2)", which somehow manages to be even more sublime. Everything about this A List collaboration just works - from Jay Z's easy rap to Alicia's positively majestic chorus. A modern classic.
10. Release Me - Agnes (Video)
Urgh. I've already admitted how wrong I was about "Release Me". My hate for boring as bat shit Agnes clouded my judgement but hearing the song on the radio every five minutes helped me realise what a perfect piece of pop it is. I quite like the follow up too, so maybe it's about time I revisited my second worst album of 2008.
9. I Am Not A Robot - Marina & The Diamonds
Interviewing Marina was one of my blogging highlights of 2009. Not only is she funny and a bit nutty but it was an absolute thrill to get some insight into the brilliant "I Am Not A Robot". More than any other, this song sums up how I've been feeling for the majority of 2009 - overwhelmed and suffocated by other people's expectations. Marina's genius lies in being able to express those emotions within the confines of a catchy three and a half minute pop song. The video is also a triumph.
8. No Soy Una Señora - María José
"No Soy Una Señora" is one of those songs that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it. Yes, it's a cover of an 80s classic that has been updated by someone who has listened to Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" once too often but it grabs you by the balls and refuses to let go. I love María's voice and the chorus is absolutely monstrous. The video is also typical Mexican filth with the diva flashing her knickers in a plastic mini-skirt. Pure class.
7. Daniel - Bat For Lashes (Video)
"Daniel" has me completely mesmerised by its dark, brooding beauty in the early months of 2009 and its appeal hasn't waned one iota. This is a Brothers Grimm fairytale set to music - at times sinister and menacing, yet magical and ultimately romantic. Am I the only one who thinks this belongs on the soundtrack of an 80s fantasy film like Labyrinth or Dark Crystal?
6. Diva (Karmatronic Club Mix) (Video)
Karmatronic provide irrefutable evidence that you can, in fact, polish a turd into something amazing. The original version of "Diva" is my least favourite song on Sasha Fierce and I was mortified about it being released as a single until I heard this stunning overhaul. All the faux ghetto stylings suddenly sound camp against those wicked beats and the chorus blossoms into something truly fabulous. This is my favourite club anthem of 2009 and I have to thank Carl for spinning it for me at Nevermind every Saturday night!
5. Body Language - Heidi Montag (Video)
The star of The Hills is roundly dismissed as a pop star but I think she's the second coming of Kylie. Admittedly, she's a trainwreck "live" but so is Britney and I'm completely serious when I say that "Body Language" is better than anything Madonna has released since the 90s. The production is pristine, Heidi's reed thin vocals come across as sexy and the chorus is tight. Pop music has a new Queen!
4. This Is Who I Am - Vanessa Amorosi (Video)
To paraphrase myself, "This Is Who I Am" is a ruthlessly catchy and uplifting pop tune. The lyrics are a raised middle finger to Vanessa's haters (Ness Ness don't care if she's fat or if you think her clothes are bad), Machopsycho's production steals every trick in Max Martin's book and our girl looks all kinds of sexy on the single cover. Easily Vanessa's best single since "Absolutely Everybody".
3. Small Town Girl - Andy Bull
Andy Bull is probably the nicest person I've ever interviewed but I wasn't sucking up when I described "Small Town Girl" as one of the best Australian pop songs of the decade, which is ironic because the track could have been released in 1979. There's just something completely timeless about this sublime burst of piano driven blue eyed soul. "Small Town Girl" also reminds me of someone special, who once serenaded me with an impromptu rendition in the Midnight Shift. Yes, my life really is that classy! Anyway, it's absolutely criminal that Andy's anthem wasn't huge. Check out the video and discover an amazing talent.
2. Halo - Beyoncé (Video)
Ryan Tedder makes me gag. I hated Leona's "Bleeding Love" and Jordin's "Battlefield". Hell, I even hate Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone" - which shares exactly the same backing track as "Halo"! So I guess the credit for this masterpiece goes largely to Beyoncé. I could talk about the almost spiritual lyrics, the magnificent vocal performance or the inspired orchestra of synths that lift the chorus to a completely new level but my connection with this song is personal. I spent the first half of 2009 in and out of hospital and played "Halo" a lot during that period. B's beautiful ballad soothes my soul and reminds me of the people I love. For those reasons alone, it should probably be #1 on this countdown but there's one song standing in its way.
1. Colgando En Tus Manos - Marta Sanchez and Carlos Baute
This adorable duet between Spain's Queen of Pop and some Venezuelan nobody was a mammoth hit in most of the Spanish speaking world and it's easy to see why. "Colgando En Tus Manos" is the modern equivalent of "Islands In The Stream" - a simple love song (with romantic yet slightly dodgy lyrics) that expertly showcases two great voices. I can't even explain why I love the song so much or why I still have it on high rotation a year after it was released. The understated production is refreshing and the vocal hooks are catchy but "Colgando En Tus Manos" just has something magical about it. Watch the video extravaganza (over 34 million youtube views) and prepare to get swept away by the best tune of 2009!