I meant to put this up on New Year’s Eve as a musical homage to the year that was. I guess you could say that never happened. Better late than never, right?
In any event, from 20 to 1, here are the Perfectly Cursed Life’s best songs of 2009:
20. Don’t Stop Believin’–Glee Cast–There was no denying the power of this song in 2009. Hell, even Journey’s version made a quick comeback on the UK charts because of the Glee version phenomenon. A great take on a great song.
19. Knock You Down–Keri Hilson feat. Ne-yo and Kanye West–I didn’t care much for this song at first. But it grew on me gradually with the massive airplay it received. As usual, Kanye kind of stole the show with his “real bad, Michael Jackson. Now I’m real mad, Joe Jackson….” line. But at least he didn’t come up on my blog trying to steal the award.
18. Tik Tok–Ke$ha–Another surprise from someone who usually is not into these songs about partying and dancing around. But something about this one really sunk in and I was craving the song more often than not towards the end of the year. It might be that kid I heard in Target singing that he was going to brush his teeth with a “bottle of Jack.” But then again, who knows?
17. Meet Me Halfway–Black Eyed Peas–The Peas make their first countdown appearance with the song that was probably their musically best single this year. Fergie’s vocals are on point in this song. It’s the kind of song that keeps you coming back for more without you even noticing.
16. Good Girls Go Bad–Cobra Starship feat. Leighton Meester–Talk about a barn burner (I don’t think that’s the proper use of that phrase, but we’ll take it)! This song was EVERYWHERE throughout the mid point of 2009. Who amongst us didn’t find themselves waltzing around his or her respective abode singing this song? Tell me? Who?
15. The Fixer–Pearl Jam–A true return to form (Mr. CVD hates it when I use that phrase) for the Seattle rockers we once loved and adored. Though The Mister would disagree, their music had grown stale to me over the past decade, often repeating the same themes with the same beats and licks. But The Fixer changed that.
14. Battlefield–Jordin Sparks–The power ballad was meant for Jordin Sparks’ voice. Battlefield capitalized on that fact and put forth one of the catchiest and most heartfelt ballads of 2009. It even made me forgive her (some) for the whole defense of purity rings tyrade at last year’s VMAs. That’s how good it was.
13. Who Says–John Mayer–A simple, sweet yet slightly bitter guitar swept ballad about a guy just wanting to break convention. What is better than that? Mayer, normally known better as a dickbag than a performer anymore, had a lot to prove with this single. And the best indicator of whether he did that is the fact that people were able to move beyond the dickbagish attitude and enjoy the song.
12. I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week–Mandy Moore–It’s tragic that Ms. Moore’s later works don’t get the attention of her earlier poptastic oeuvres. It’s particularly sad because she has such an amazing voice and puts out truly interesting and thought provoking songs. The song, the first single off of Amanda Leigh, alluded to Moore’s pop past while striking a chord of its own. I dare you not to love it.
11. Evacuate the Dance Floor-Cascada–It’s a disease and we need to quarantine, people! Cascada has entered the dance floor again only to find out it’s infectious qualities. Good thing that while she’s being checked for boogie fever she was able to put out a single that could corrupt even the most pop-phobic of us.
10. Sometime Around Midnight–The Airborne Toxic Event–This song says everything we want to say about seeing that certain someone across the room. Its lyrics conjure every memory and every hope and desire–appropriate for conversation or not–and do so with thought-provoking strings and melody.
9. Waking Up in Vegas-Katy Perry–Really, it’s hard to get me to not like a song about Vegas, seeing that I love Vegas so damn much. But this song captures Vegas in a lyrical turmoil that only the sassy Perry can do. Whether you’re secretly enjoying it while remaining silent or belting it out in your car, this song was there for you in 2009. Believe it.
8. Wheels–Foo Fighters–Although I’ve never been a huge Foo Fighters fan, this song had me wanting more…more Foo Fighters, that is. The lyrics move gently along with the gracious beat and infectious guitar riffs, making it the perfect driving song for those reflective times.
7. Happy–Leona Lewis–This song was another grower for me. When it first came out I thought she was trying too hard to channel her “Bleeding Love” success. But then I listened carefully to the lyrics and started appreciating it for what it was–a great song about being ready for happiness and being willing to fight for it.
6. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight–U2–Would it be a good year on this countdown if the best band in the world wasn’t included? (The answer is a resounding “no,” in case you were wondering.) U2’s 2009 release No Line on the Horizon was critically acclaimed but popularly panned. Yet the quartet managed to put out some great singles from an album that sales-wise went basically nowhere. The best of those songs is the lyrically intellectual and melodically relatable “…If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.”
5. Poker Face–Lady Gaga–What would this year be without Lady Gaga? That’s the real question. The Dutchess of Dance had us mocking, singing and dancing to her songs all year long, the best of which was Poker Face. If this song didn’t make you dance, sing or even your heart beat a little faster, then I think you need a checkup. It’s the definition of the word infectious. It’s a goddamn pandemic for crying out loud!
4. I Do Not Hook Up–Kelly Clarkson–Clarkson’s album was a great return to her rock pop roots and this song, penned by the aforementioned Katy Perry, is no exception. The second single off of her 2009 release, All I Ever Wanted gave us a reason to exclaim “I go slow!”
3. 3–Britney Spears–How fitting that number 3 rests upon the shoulders of the Pop Princess herself, Ms. Britney Spears. Though she had other poptacular singles this year, “3” managed to go to number one straight upon its release and infect the charts and the radio airwaves like no other. Never before has a song about threesomes been so damn…fun.
2. Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)–Beyonce–Where were you in 2009? Were you dancing to Beyonce’s ode to lost love? If not…really…where were you? This song was EVERYWHERE. And for good reason. It’s catchy as all hell and has a simple, yet intricate video (one that would make Kanye grab an award away from Taylor Swift) that has been oft copied and imitated, but never captured. This song is the music world’s version of a jungle cat…sleek, sassy and ready to strike at any time.
1. I Gotta Feeling–Black Eyed Peas–The song sat on top of the charts for half the damn year, for chrissake. If that’s not enough for you, take this: it’s simply repeated message “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night…” made it on to every dance floor known to man this year. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to go out and have a good night, instead of one just telling you about a good night. And that’s the definition of “captivating.”