MiPod: Best Songs of 2010 — Jan-June

This year started off a little slow for me, but the music releases have really picked up of late. Here are some of the my favorite songs that have been released so far in 2010. (I’m sure you’ll be seeing most of these albums again in my year-end music review.)

  1. Change of Time, Josh Ritter. Fans have been waiting for Ritter’s latest album for a couple of years now; turns out So Runs the World Away was well worth the wait. The best cut is Change of Time”, a sonically-arresting ballad about time, love, resignation, and hope. To that end, it makes for a perfect auditory companion piece to the final season of LOST . I’m telling you, there are worlds packed into this four minute vignette. Hands down my favorite song of the year.
  2. Ain’t No Grave, Johnny Cash. Death hangs like a pall over Cash’s final American Recordings sessions. With titles like “Ain’t No Grave”, “Redemption Day”, and “1 Corinthians 15.55”, it’s easy to see where Cash’s thoughts were in his final days. And although the album itself never quite gels, the title track is as chilling as any tune the Man in Black ever recorded.
  3. One Day, Matisyahu. My favorite eschatologically pregnant Hasidic hip-hop song of the year. Plus my kids love it.
  4. Laredo, Band of Horses. Best guitar licks of the summer.
  5. Holiday, Vampire Weekend. These NYC indie rockers put out a great debut album in 2008. (“Mansard Roof” is still one of my kids’ favorite songs.) But their 2010 release Contra was a little disappointing at first for me. Over time, the album really began to grow on me and it’s now one of my favorites of the year. This is a short little ditty, but it’s contagion level rivals “Mansard Roof”.
  6. My City of Ruins, Eddie Vedder. Recorded as part of the Haiti earthquake telethon, Vedder’s cover of “My City of Ruins” is a rich, mournful recording. Great.
  7. Everybody’s Hurting, Jakob Dylan. The younger Dylan is clearly at his best when he goes alt-country sad sack. Aided by the backing vocals of Neko Case & Kelly Hogan, Dylan sings of darkness and the downtrodden. Depression has never sounded so good.
  8. Cloudy Shoes, Damien Jurado. Reminiscent of late 90s, Play-era Moby. Weird, harmonious, and way cool.
  9. Swim Until You Can’t See Land, Frightened Rabbit. These guys are like the Scottish Counting Crows. Good stuff.
  10. Vaporize, Broken Bells.
  11. Bloodbuzz, Ohio, The National. I have no clue what this song is about. But I like it.
  12. Domestic Scene, The Radio Dept. A perfect song for spring’s blue skies.
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