Ryan's Top 25 Tracks of 2010: Part II

15. "Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith)" - Crystal Castles

Interestingly enough, CC's best track this year doesn't hit their dark, strange, or even mildly mad style of music.  Robert Smith is unanimously the essential piece to this brooding, bloody synth-tinged song that could possibly be argued as what the Cure could sound like today if they expanded their sound a little and held on to the darkness that guided their dispirited souls in the '80s, circa Seventeen Seconds and Pornography.  Hauntingly beautiful, because he repeatedly assures that he's not in love, but we all know what that means.

14. "Breakneck Speed" - Tokyo Police Club

TPC decides to slow down a little, think a little harder, and not end the song too soon, and complexities ensue.  Champ wasn't as much of a novelty as Elephant Shell was, but they at least showed us that they can grow and polish their sound a bit.  Solid cruise.

13. "Our Deal" - Best Coast

As one of the big indie come-ups of the year, Best Coast exhibited that lost '60s beachpop sound that has been attempted at, but never with too many great results.  This time around, they toss in soem '90s style fuzz and make it forever.  Short and sweet pop that gives you no reason to sneak around and peep, it is honest and simple.  "Our Deal" is a pure gem that pours it all out on the pavement.

12. "Younger Us" - Japandroids

It's been a while since I heard a song that exhibits the grungy recklessness and spontaneous craze of youth.  So much pure energy bottled up and compressed into one song just makes you wanna go smash mailboxes and not give a damn.  Naive disregard isn't what fuels "Younger Us"---it's the inexorable feeling of exhilaration that eventually leaves when it's all over.

11. "Dancing On My Own" - Robyn

And here at the cusp of the Final 10 I've set down this Swedish pop queen.  Robyn has put out a massive amount of songs this year, having released three full-length albums and showing no signs of stopping.  But it was on the last one Body Talk that she put out the best of the best.  "Dancing On My Own" is no ordinary pop song that comes in the bubblegum variety and with sprinkles on top.  She pounds out the sweet sounds of melancholy in a mash of synth-disco and wooshing hooks.  The synths, the pounding bassline, the pain showing through and inbetween the syllables.  It's hard not to know all the words and to empathize with her situation, she just presents herself in such a vulnerable position.  But she's without a doubt the strongest one on the dancefloor.

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