These are the songs from 2010-2014 that I loved the most. (“Lustrum” sounds so much more noteworthy than “half-decade,” wouldn’t you agree?) The project has had a long gestation, taking shape as I realized that each passing year produced fewer and fewer songs that really grabbed me. This is a shame, of course, particularly as I continue to explore a greater variety of music. My music criticism skills are pretty lacking, as the following list will surely confirm. It’s all in the gut, and sometimes the gut can make curious choices. What’s clear is that I’m getting farther and farther away from that adolescent sweet spot when all the music on the radio seemed to belong to me. I used to be able to make a top 100 list for a single year, no problem. Those days might return as I enter a new period of mature connoisseurship. For now, I’m in an in-between period. In 2010, I graduated from college. Since then, I’ve worked for my parents, started this blog, and begun watching movies with a sense of purpose. Over that same time frame, my iTunes music library doubled in size (from 10,000 songs to 20,000). The following is what these years sounded like to me.
(I’ll try to have this all wrapped up in ten days.)
100. “You Rascal You” – Hanni El Khatib
Sinister folk song cover, rendered with crackling gusto.
99. “Shake” – MercyMe
From my favorite MercyMe album in years, the rare CCM track that makes me feel like dancing.
98. “Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Extended Remix)” – deadmau5 featuring Greta Svabo Bech
Pulsing house music. See this.
97. “Part of Me” – Katy Perry
Post-breakup empowerment anthem, something of a specialty for Ms. Perry.
96. “I Choose You” – Sara Bareilles
The wedding song of the decade, and we still have five years left.
95. “What’s My Name?” – Rihanna featuring Drake
Even Drake’s dorky rap is insanely catchy, and Rih Rih’s hooks are sinuous.
94. “Till the World Ends” – Britney Spears
Britney’s triumphant crossover into EDM-pop. I love computers sometimes.
93. “Jerk Ribs” – Kelis
Old-school soul food, an autobiographical track that is itself about the love of music.
92. “Always Only You” – Josh Wilson
A great engagement song, sung with the jaunty conviction of evangelical fervor.
91. “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)” – Nelly Furtado
Ode to 90s jams, the music of Ms. Furtado’s (and my) youth.