Saturday, January 01, 2011

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010 (#1)

1. Cee-Lo Green -- Fuck You

There's no way it could have been anything else. No other song in 2010 -- or really any year in recent memory -- was this audacious, this clever, this hysterically brilliant and instantly iconic as Cee-Lo's funky and fun verbal thrashing of a villainous, gold-digging ex and her new man. The best part about the song? Sure it aims for a go-for-the-jugular kind of catharsis, but Cee-Lo brings such a sense of playful giddiness to the notion of not holding back that it almost seems to sanitize the song's potential offensiveness; despite its title and lyrics -- which self-proclaimed cultural watchdog and insufferable dingbat Brent Bozell decried as obscene almost immediately -- there's something oddly sweet about this musical rant. It's both exhilarating and liberating. And it's far and away the best song of the year.

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 2. Foster the People -- Pumped Up Kicks, 3. A Silent Film -- You Will Leave a Mark, 4. Mumford & Sons -- Little Lion Man

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 5. The Black Keys -- Tighten Up, 6. Vampire Weekend -- Giving Up the Gun, 7. Gorillaz -- Stylo

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 8. Arcade Fire -- Ready To Start, 9. The Heavy -- How You Like Me Now, 10. Tame Impala -- Lucidity

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 11. Ben Folds & Nick Hornby -- From Above, 12. Kanye West (Featuring Bon Iver and Gil Scott-Heron) -- Lost in the World, 13. M.I.A. -- Born Free

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 14. Sia -- My Love, 15. Middle Class Rut -- New Low, 16. The xx -- Islands

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 17. John Legend and the Roots -- I Can't Write Left-Handed, 18. Blonde Redhead -- Not Getting There, 19. The National -- Bloodbuzz Ohio

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 20. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti -- Round and Round, 21. P!nk -- Raise Your Glass, 22. Drive-By Truckers -- This Fucking Job

Listening Post: The 25 Best Singles of 2010: 23. Best Coast -- Boyfriend, 24. Anberlin -- Impossible, 25. Fences -- Girls with Accents


Anonymous said...

Exactly! Never has "fuck you" sounded so adorable! "And though there's pain in my chest, I still wish you the best...fuck you." Doesn't hurt that I am in a similar situation, as well. Love this! See the live version at, if you missed it, he's very good live, as well.

liquidlen said...

I think it's a testatament to both the awesomeness of #1 and the differences in our musical tastes that "Fuck You" is the only song on your list that I instantly loved.

Kevin M. Hagerman

Anonymous said...


BenoƮt from Ottawa said...

Speaking of live: on a British show (I watched the 720p, slow to load, but good sound. Also, dig the girl band and gogo dancerss!)

Stephanie said...

I knew it! LOVE IT. Have a wonderful 2011. Thanks for all the music and thoughts over the year.

Eric said...

Another thing that helps push the song and keeps it from just being, I dunno, mean or whatever is that Cee-Lo grasps the self-deprecation in the song ("I asked my Mom, she said this is one for your dad" and the "Whyyyyy, ladyyyyyyy" breakdown at the bridge). I mean, if Eminem did a song with a similar theme, it might be well-done, but it would also be kind of creepy and end with a body in a trunk (whether or not the song carried the narrative that far--and it probably would--you'd know that's where things were going). Cee-Lo sells it as a basically nice guy who's pissed and needs to vent, but everybody's going to get over themselves and be alright, somehow, when all is sung and done.

And the arrangement and production, with that whole early-'70s Motown vibe--swelling Hammond, proto-disco guitar lick and multipart harmonies--just kicks ass.

It's a helluva great song.

Prophet of Ra said...


Alanna said...

2010 was a year of transition for me...much better than this shit storm of 2009 but I still say "F-YOU" and good riddance to 2010 and Cee-Lo's track is perfect for that.