Yes, it may be a little much for those with high level sensitivity to bad words in pop songs, but, take away the language, and "F**k You!" remains one of the most catchy and clever pop hits of the year. Ignore societal concerns about the specific words and sing along. You will realize just how good the song is.
Poor Cee Lo, as he explains in the lyrics, the boyfriend of the girl of his dreams is more Xbox, and he's more Atari. The difference in affection that seems tied to monetary well-being is enough to make him simply blurt out, "F**k you!" Some well-meaning voices whisper in his ear that she is simply a gold digger, but that still is not quite enough to soothe Cee Lo's broken heart. Cleverness abounds here lyrically and musically.
The arresting words are nestled in bright, catchy neo-Motown sounds. Organic churchy organ, sax, chorus, and funky guitar all add to the authenticity of emotion expressed in Cee Lo Green's authoritative vocals that slip into upper range at each expression of pain. The use of expletives in lyrics was enough to gain instant notoriety, but the musical quality is what has kept this song climbing the US pop charts and registering with radio programmers both in the original uncut version and a "safe for radio" version called "Forget You."
It has been four years since Cee Lo Green has peformed the lead vocals on Gnarls Barkley's massive breakthrough single "Crazy." "F**k You!" is the true follow up at last to that landmark. Cee Lo Green's vocals are unique enough that both records seem cut from a similar creative cloth. However, this time around it is hot young singer, songwriter and producer Bruno Mars and his team the Smeezingtons that are the studio wizards. Bruno Mars has a way of bringing retro pop sounds directly into the present which is paying off with huge rewards including a chart topping placing for his debut single "Just the Way You Are." He is deserving of accolades for bringing the unique voice of Cee Lo Green back to the pop mainstream in one of the best pop singles of the year.
Rihanna took a musical detour with her most recent album Rated R and successfully explored recent personal tragedy with a cool, analytical eye. Now she is back on more familiar ground for her fans with the first single from the upcoming collection Loud.
Just 45 seconds in, with flashing synth chords in the background, Rihanna demands, "Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world!" It is an arresting moment. Dance floor Rihanna is back, and "Only Girl (In the World)" has been a pop radio staple throughout the fall of 2010. Following the first grand chorus, the throbbing bass beat kicks in making "Only Girl (In the World)" even more infectious. The bridge takes the song into the realm of carnal pleasures, before all erupts in one grander chorus for the close.
Rihanna does not possess the most technically impressive voice of female pop singers. However, it is one of the most distinctive in the music industry. With 15 top 10 singles under her belt and a 16th assuredly on her way, it is time to give Rihanna credit for being an arresting performer who has proven herself on material ranging from club stomper to ballad and icy stoicism to warm, enveloping romance. "Only Girl (In the World)" is another stellar moment in a phenomenal pop career.
Listening to "Just the Way You Are," the debut single as a lead artist from Bruno Mars sounds like hearing the arrival of a new star who aims to be around for the long haul. His fingerprints have been all over the pop charts in recent months singing the hooks for B.o.B.'s "Nothin' On You" and Travie McCoy's "Billionaire." The key is simply listening to the honey smooth melodies and his sweet, romantic vocals. "Just the Way You Are" is an ode to appreciating the uniqueness in one's love interest and not expecting or wanting to see any changes.
Bruno Mars is a true romantic among current pop performers. There is a sweetness to his words and sounds that seems to hearken back to at least the mainstream pop of the 1970s. The track is already a top 20 pop hit in the US so it seems to have set Bruno Mars well on his way to success as a solo artist beyond his impressive feature performance efforts and production and songwriting for others. He is making his way with a sweet, smooth style that quietly resists categorization or any insistence on being the coolest act in the room.
Technically, Katy Perry is not a phenomenal singer, but she has proven very adept at helping to create phenomenal songs to sing. "Teenage Dream," the title single from Katy Perry's upcoming album, has the sound and feel of an instant classic love song. Major credit for the success must also be given to the production and songwriting triumvirate of Max Martin, Dr. Luke, and Benny Blanco who also worked on "California Gurls."
Vocally, "Teenage Dream" kicks off with a relatively thin, high vocal from Katy Perry. As the song continues, stronger and more romantic material is introduced, as the vocals get stronger and more powerful, giving a musical indication of the power of the relationship being described. Basing the song on the concept of feeling like a teenager again, Katy Perry aims for a universal adult audience. With the simplicity of the concept and understated instrumental arrangement, "Teenage Dream" has become a very durable recording.
5) Eminem – Love The Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) [Song Lyrics] 6) Far East Movement – Like A G6 (feat. The Cataracs & Dev) [Song Lyrics]
Few major recording artists can truly send chills up the spine when you listen to their words, and Eminem has that gift. What could have been a somewhat standard rant about the pain and lies that take place as a relationship crumbles becomes chilling when the opening of the chorus matches the end of the final verse. Eminem, with an assist from Rihanna, proves once again why he is considered a truly legendary performer.
"Love the Way You Lie," the second single from Eminem's resoundingly successful Recovery album, brings together his own personal past, Rihanna's tragic experience, and brilliant wordplay for a song of romantic failure that is profoundly powerful. Eminem's personal past history with spousal abuse is laid bare in the song. The presence of Rihanna with her own very public experience with domestic violence adds another piece of edgy authenticity. Her attitude of weary surrender adds a bit more chilliness to the atmosphere of the song. Eminem's spitting, frustrated words are the additional piece which results in a truly brilliant, epic song of pain, regret, violence, and a failing struggle for redemption.
The Los Angeles based collective Far East Movement, looks like they may have the left field dance pop hit of 2010 celebrating "feeling so fly like a G6." The minimalist beats and melody of "Like a G6" are positively hypnotic. The feel is almost like a stripped down "Boom Boom Pow." The song is another celebration of partying but with a dark edge that fixes the tune in late night revelry. Rarely has there been such an elegant ode to drinking in the club.
"Like a G6" slinks along with distorted echo chamber vocals and "that 808 bump." It's perfect for dancing or just partying with a coterie of friends. There is a smooth elegance here that will captivate pop fans. Chances are that the use of words like "slizzard," "blizzard," and the repeated "like a G6" may cause many listeners to have little idea that "Like a G6" is essentially a celebration of alcohol. 7) Katy Perry – Firework [Song Lyrics] 8) Rihanna – What’s My Name? (feat. Drake) [Song Lyrics]
There is a quite compelling simplicity in Katy Perry's third single from the album Teenage Dream. "Firework" is a straightforward, economical self-esteem anthem. The song wastes no time in getting to the point and gives razor sharp focus to its message. As a result, it is a perfect pop record being catchy, highly melodic and designed to make every listener feel good. Effervescent pop singles rarely get better than this.
"Firework" may certainly lack the eloquence of a brilliant prose writer, but it does generate its own point that anyone could be like Jack Kerouac's "yellow roman candles" if they open the doors to let themselves express what is inside. The lack of adornment to Katy Perry's voice here adds to the simple message of the glow within every individual person. Perry’s unique personality adds to the authenticity of this potent slice of inspiration for anyone who might consider themselves ordinary. Time for you to "shoot across the sky."
Rihanna heads into midtempo sex and romance mode here with the second single from the upcoming Loud album. The song is an effortless glide for the ears likely to warm up more than a few evenings for lovers. Rihanna has adeptly demonstrated she can run a wide range from powerful, steely, emotional songs to gentle romantic fluff.
The chorus opens the track with "Oh na na...what's my name?" and the hook is firmly implanted. It's not long before Drake's added on rap kicks in with clever, sexy and romantic rhyming. Then the dreamy drum machine rhythms and Rihanna's vocals kick in again. There is something undeniably brilliant in Rihanna's ability to shift the styles of her music enough to consistently maintain an audience's interest. She has remained at a commercial peak since she first hit the charts with "Pon De Replay" in 2005. Her hit streak continues here, and "What's My Name?" is a good addition to that romantic evening playlist.
9) Flo Rida – Club Can’t Handle Me (feat. David Guetta) [Song Lyrics] 10) Black Eyed Peas – The Time (Dirty Bit) [Song Lyrics]
Flo Rida is back with yet another sweet confection blending rap, pop and dance styles in a way that goes down so easy. "Club Can't Handle Me" is already topping charts in Europe and looks well on the way to making a big impact here in the US as well. David Guetta lends a sure hand here as featured artist and in songwriting and production. It's all very fluffy, but once again Flo Rida has a melody line that sticks while sounding purely effortless.
In less than three years Flo Rida has racked up an impressive seven top 40 pop singles including four top 10s that have all been certified platinum and beyond for sales. He has spent 16 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Club Can't Handle Me" lacks the sheer sonic power of Flo Rida's biggest, but it is strong enough to keep him fully in view as a lead artist in creating effortless party songs that appeal to the broadest possible pop spectrum.
"The Time (Dirty Bit)" kicks off in literal fashion with a tick tock synth figure for a song called "The Time," and that voice telling us this is an, "international big mega radio smasher."
will.i.am weighs in with his auto tuned reading of Bill Medley's part from the Dirty Dancing smash "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" followed by Fergie showing once again she really can sing. Fergie's vocals land in an electronic echo box and then we are launched directly into club land with the "dirty bit" section.
The best news here is Black Eyed Peas are back and moving forward sacrificing nothing about what makes them truly unique. They pursue a truly idiosyncratic pop sound and aesthetic that could not be remotely mistaken for anyone else. The dizzying success that allowed them to own the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive months is unlikely to be repeated here, but "The Time (Dirty Bit)" is a guaranteed hit. Surrender...it's simply meant to be fun.
The disappointing chart performance of his first single, 'For Your Entertainment', has left Adam Lambert's follow-up with quite a job to do. Thankfully the new King of Guyliner isn't one for giving up easily and has plumped for one of the standout tracks from his debut album. In fact, 'Whataya Want From Me' has already cracked the top ten in Oz, the US and Canada.
It was Lambert's lucky day when Pink decided not to use this booming pop-rock ballad on her Funhouse LP. Based on its inclusion on the setlist for some of the dates on her recent 'Summer Carnival Tour', the lady herself may even regret letting it go. However, there's no denying that Lambo puts his own glittery stamp on the track with a mighty, falsetto-laced vocal performance. "Just don't give up / I'm workin' it out / Please don't give in / I won't let you down," a heartfelt Adam pleads, winning us over with every breath.
Robyn's last album was so full of bravura, and so packed with crackers, that it was easy to forget it was three-and-a-half-years-old by the time she finished promoting it. It's not a moment too soon, therefore, to be hearing new material from the spiky Scandopopper - and her ambitious plan to release no fewer than three LPs this year is the delicious buttermilk icing on top of this particular pop cupcake.
Inspired by "sad gay disco anthems" from the likes of Sylvester and Donna Summer, 'Dancing On My Own' is a misty-eyed electro-disco tune that's every bit as emotive as 'With Every Heartbeat' and 'Be Mine'. "I'm giving it my all, but I'm not the girl you're taking home," Robyn sings on the achingly sad, achingly brilliant chorus.
Gym Class Heroes lead vocalist Travie McCoy has a hit out of the box with his first solo release. The song "Billionaire" is a lilting reggae tune spelling out the wish many of us have. Most all of McCoy's listening audience will instantly relate. Bruno Mars contributes a sung hook just as instantly catchy as his work on the #1 pop smash "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B. This will be one of the definitive pop hits of the summer of 2010. It is also an impressive lead-in for Travie McCoy's debut solo album Lazarus.
The song "Billionaire" is great for summer daydreaming, wishing, and commenting on those who are billionaires. The song was co-written and produced by the songwriting and production trio the Smeezingtons which includes
Bruno Mars. This is the second major hit single in just months to feature Bruno Mars' sweet, slightly edgy, vocals. The first was B.o.B.'s #1 smash "Nothin' On You." He provides a near perfect vocal hook to lead into Travie McCoy's always engaging raps. McCoy's humor and light touch draws you in even further and is likely to leave a smile on the face of most listeners.
The ArchAndroid is an "epic James Bond film in outer space" starring a character called Cindi Mayweather who's on a mission to free the android community from the shackles of a secret society denying their right to time travel. Janelle Monáe is truly a genuine original.Fortunately, she's got a way with a tune too, as the LP's lead single proves.
As loose and effortlessly funky as Off The Wall-era MJ, 'Tightrope' is a psychedelic R&B nugget replete with horns, strings, a Big Boi cameo, a rousing middle 8 breakdown and a virtuoso vocal performance from Monáe. Quite frankly, if it doesn't make you want to wiggle your hips, there's only one conclusion to be drawn - you're an android in need of a recharge.
If you thought Bruno Mars was just about happy, cheerful pop songs, "Grenade" is your wake-up call. He has been wronged, and now he's telling the tale. This immaculately constructed pop song takes its place among the great break-up songs. Bruno Mars cements his position as the top new artist of 2010.
It's not only men who can be lousy and uncaring in a romantic relationship, and Bruno Mars knows that. He's a born romantic who has had his heart stomped flat. He would literally "catch a grenade" and die for his lover, but she "won't do the same." Bruno Mars should have known she was bad news from the start, because she kissed with her eyes open. The words here cut right to the heart and are delivered in Bruno Mars' now familiar and quite beautiful croon.
A lot has changed for Florence Leontine Mary Welch since 'Dog Days Are Over' first came out. Back in December 2008 she was a hotly-tipped singer-songwriter releasing singles on trendy indie Moshi Moshi. Fifteen months later and she's a two-time Brit winner with a triple-platinum debut album to her name and Dizzee Rascal on speed dial.
What hasn't changed, of course, is the wonder of 'Dog Days', which is now getting the post-TV ad reissue treatment. Beginning in lovely, viola-led fashion, it builds into a heart-quickening hymn to happiness as hand-claps, backing vocals, drums and piano collect around Welch's mighty wail.
Anchored by a powerful, haunting pop chorus, B.o.B., aka Bobby Ray, dips into something much deeper and complex than his debut #1 smash "Nothin' On You." Hayley Williams, lead vocalist of Paramore is brought in to deliver the chorus with a slightly fragile, longing beauty matching the lyrics with perfection. Part II of the song also features a rap from Eminem that only complicates the subject matter. This is one of the most intensely emotional hit singles of the year so far.
The chorus of "Airplanes" is stunningly simple and powerful. "Can we pretend that airplanes / In the night sky / Are like shooting stars / I could really use a wish right now." The desire for having a wish come true doesn't only happen when the falling star makes its random appearance. The verse explores Bobby Ray's desire to go back in time when he wasn't beset by all the pressures of being an upcoming rap star. He wishes for the days, "Before the politics that we call the rap game."
Kanye West returns with one of the strongest singles of his career. He seamlessly throws together rap, rock anchored by a classic sample, and something that seems a bit like a field holler. Lyrically, the song is a meditation on where Kanye West has been the past couple of years telling off the haters as usual. Once again very few artists can blend musical styles in such a powerful mix while delivering words that make listeners think. Kanye West proves once again that his statements of his own musical prowess carry a significant amount of truth.
"Power" is anchored by a sample from King Crimson's 1969 classic "21st Century Schizoid Man." The crunchy guitar sound also floats in and out at various moments of the backing track. The result is one of the most overtly rock edged of Kanye West's singles. "Power" would fit comfortably across a wide rang of musical genres.
Cheryl Cole is kicking off her second album Messy Little Raindrops with driving, upbeat dance pop. An electronic, nearly robotic "Alouette" chorus will catch your attention instantly. "Promise This" is likely another big hit in the UK for the Girls Aloud member. There are no specific plans yet for a US release, but "Promise This" would fit well on US pop radio.
Listen to this one time through and you are likely to have the word "alouette" running through your head for some time to come. It is instantly catchy, and, coupled with that tinkling piano line, "Promise This" can pull the listener into uptempo pop bliss. There is a certain facelessness to
Cheryl Cole's vocals, but building a song around her projected public personality results in a very pleasing creation. "Promise This" was produced by Wayne Wilkins who put together Cheryl Cole's #1 debut single "Fight For This Love."
Rapper Nelly was one of the biggest pop stars overall of the past decade, but it has been five long years since he was last in the pop top 10 with the novelty "Grillz." However, "Just a Dream" may be just the ticket to put him back on top, and it all sounds effortless. The song kicks off with a beautiful guitar intro that segues into a dreamy, bittersweet song that all sounds rather epic by the end.
Lyrically, "Just a Dream" is not stunningly original, but it still has impact. One of the true gifts of Nelly's best moments such as "Hot In Herre" and "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland is that simple songs seem right, catchy, and enduring. There is a clever line here that pulls in Usher and his classic hit "Burn." My guess is most pop fans will be singing along well before the end of "Just a Dream" and will want to hear it again. By the time Nelly gets around to singing, "If you ever loved somebody put your hands up," the melancholy tone has worked its bittersweet magic.
21) Kanye West - Runaway (feat. Pusha T) 22) Adele - Rolling In The Deep 23) Florence & The Machine - You've Got The Love 24) Robyn - Hang With Me 25) Katy Perry - California Gurls (Featuring Snoop Dogg) 26) Usher - OMG (feat. will.i.am) 27) Train - Hey, Soul Sister 28) Taio Cruz - Dynamite 29) Ke$ha - Take It Off 30) Enrique Iglesias - I Like It (feat. Pitbull) 31) Lady Gaga - Telephone (Featuring Beyonce) 32) My Chemical Romance - Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) 33) Neon Trees - Animal 34) Kelly Rowland - Commander (feat. David Guetta) 35) B.o.B - Nothin 'On You (feat. Bruno Mars) 36) Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys) 37) Jay Sean - Down 38) Jason Derulo - Whatcha Say 39) Brandon Flowers - Crossfire 40) Sara Bareilles - King Of Anything 41) Marina and the Diamonds - Hollywood 42) Ke$ha - Blah Blah Blah (feat. 3OH!3) 43) Timbaland - If We Ever Meet Again (feat. Katy Perry) 44) The Ting Tings - Hands 45) The Script - For The First Time 46) Vampire Weekend - Cousins 47) Jay Sean - 2012 (It Ain't The End) (feat. Nicki Minaj) 48) Shontelle - Impossible 49) Adam Lambert - If I Had You 50) Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight 51) David Guetta - Gettin' Over You (Feat. Fergie, Chris Willis and LMFAO) 52) Linkin Park - The Catalyst 53) Diana Vickers - Once 54) Pixie Lott - Cry Me Out 55) Lady Gaga - Speechless 56) Christina Aguilera - You Lost Me 57) Lenka - The Show 58) Paramore - The Only Exception 59) Kings of Leon - Radioactive 60) OneRepublic - Secrets 61) Kylie Minogue - All The Lovers 62) Linkin Park - Waiting For The End 63) Florence & The Machine - Cosmic Love 64) Pink - Raise Your Glass 65) M.I.A - XXXO 66) Mika - We Are Golden 67) Cheryl Cole - The Flood 68) Kelis - Acapella 69) Enrique Iglesias - Heartbeat (featuring Nicole Scherzinger) 70) Plan B - She Said 71) B.o.B - Magic (feat. Rivers Cuomo) 72) Cheryl Cole - Parachute 73) Muse - Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever) 74) Kanye West - All Of The Lights 75) Ke$ha - We R Who We R 76) David Archuleta - Something 'Bout Love 77) Paramore - Brick By Boring Brick 78) Duffy - Well, Well, Well 79) Usher - DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again (Feat. Pitbull) 80) Diana Vickers - My Wicked Heart 81) Arcade Fire - The Suburbs 82) Robyn - Indestructible 83) Kris Allen - The Truth 84) Take That - The Flood 85) Diana Vickers - The Boy Who Murdered Love 86) Mika - Kick-Ass 87) Pink - Fuckin' Perfect 88) Marina & The Diamonds - I Am Not A Robot 89) 3OH!3 - My First Kiss (Featuring Ke$ha) 90) Willow Smith - Whip My Hair 91) The Wanted - Heart Vacancy 92) Maroon 5 - Misery 93) Rihanna - Hard 94) Kat DeLuna - Push Push (feat. Akon) 95) Olly Murs - Please Don't Let Me Go 96) Chris Brown - Yeah 3X 97) Brandon Flowers - Only The Young 98) Nicole Scherzinger - Poison 99) Nelly Furtado - Night Is Young 100) The Pretty Reckless -Make Me Wanna Die