If you don't own these, you're probably a paedophile. 1) Amerie - Gotta Work
An updated, improved version of One Thing, Gotta Work stomps all over the dancefloor like a giant in hotpants. Using a sample of Isaac Haye's Hold On, I'm Coming
, Amerie crafted a case study in melodic composition - there's not a single wasted note across three minutes and eleven seconds. Why this didn't get to number one, I'll never know. :: Watch it on youtube--------2) Robyn - With Every Heartbeat
"Still dying with every step I take, but I don't look back," sings Robyn as With Every Heartbeat opens. It's the most emotionally honest, bitterly painful song of the year - if not all time. The bit where the string quartet kicks in will break your heart a thousand times over. Her acoustic performance of the song on Radio One probably drove several teenagers to poetry or that weird sobbing where you make a noise like Hannibal Lecter when you breathe in. But you can dance to it, too, which must turn school discos into a dangerous playground of tears and snot. Brilliant.:: Watch it on youtube--------3) CSS - Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above
The best drunken come-on of the year, Let's Make Love sees Lovefoxxx making a stupid, Bridget Jones-style attempt to get a man into bed. The song doesn't record whether or not she was successful, but I definitely would.
According to Wikipedia, the hook "is probably a reference to the Canadian band Death From Above 1979
, as evidenced in the song's video where band members are shown wearing elephant masks (a reference to the "elephant heads" on the cover of Death From Above 1979's album You're a Woman, I'm a Machine)." So now you know.:: Watch it on youtube--------4) Rihanna - Umbrella
In which 19-year-old Robyn Rihanna Fenty transformed from a vaguely-interesting Barbadian R&B lady into a globe-straddling pop behemoth before our very eyes. This despite the fact her singing voice is more nasal than an anteater, and that the opening rap from Jay-Z is the very definition of "phoned in". But this record is so amazingly catchy that it has changed the way we pronounce the word umbrella for the rest of all time. :: Watch it on youtube--------5) Girls Aloud - Call The Shots
If Rihanna mangled her pronunciation of umbrella, Cheryl Tweedycole put the word "now" through a primeval torture device in Call The Shots. Seriously, it ends up being seventeen syllables long or something. But I love this song, and anyone who says they don't love it too it is lying through their dirty mouth.:: Watch it on youtube--------6) Groove Armada - Song 4 Mutya
Despite the lyrics, Mutya almost certainly doesn't know all the words to Prince's Hot Thing
, but this pop song, full of meaty synths and New Order guitar lines, sounds exactly like the sort of thing the little purple man would have written for one of his filthy protegés in the mid-80s. The video is a crock of shit, though.:: Watch it on youtube (but it's probably best not to waste your time)--------7) Beyoncé and Shakira - Beautiful Liar
Two of pop's shoutiest ladyfolk have a volume competition over a slinky, arabesque beat. The video contains several scenes of wiggling. It is altogether smashing.:: Watch it on youtube--------
8) Girls Aloud - Sexy! No, No, No...
Nadine has a "d-d-dirty mind", she helpfully tells us in this hymn to sexual caution. Coincidentally, two years ago she used the lyrics of Biology to advertise her "dirty brain". We, the public, demand more information about this inner pervert.:: Watch it on youtube-------- 9) Siobhan Donaghy - Don't Give It Up
It is a terrible crime that, despite having released one of the most inventive albums of the year, Siobhan Donaghy is now dying from Aids (on stage in a crappy "reinvention" of Rent, fact-fans). This song, equal parts Kate Bush and Bjork, is absoulte nonsense - but very beautiful, stately nonsense with an ethereal vocal. No doubt it was deemed "too demanding" for the cretins that listen to Radio One. If only she had put "The" in front of her name, they might have paid attention.:: Watch it on youtube--------10) Nelly Furtado - Say It Right
One of those songs that sits unloved and overshadowed on its parent album before revealing its true glory as a single. A slinky little minor-key ballad, its one of Nelly's more atmospheric songs, although I've never really paid attention to what it's all about. According to the internet, however, the lyrics go: "From my hands I could give you something that I made / From my mouth I could sing you another brick that I laid". Nelly Furtado is nuts, isn't she?:: Watch it on youtube--------
PS: As ever, the top 10 list is put together using my iTunes play counts and a bit of maths(!) to even out the bias towards songs that have been around all year.
PPS: Honourable mentions also go to The Klaxons - Golden Skans, White Stripes - You Don't Know What Love Is, Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control, Take That - Shine, Mark Ronson - Stop Me, The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name, Kanye West - Stronger, Arcade Fire - Intervention, Timbaland ft Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado - Give It To Me, New Young Pony Club - The Bomb.
Labels: amerie, Beyoncé, CSS, Girls Aloud, Music, mutya, Nelly Furtado, rihanna, Robyn, Shakira, siobhan donaghy, top ten