31. Gayngs - Faded High
I just like the way this song sounds. I like the way it changes a bunch of times (like at 1:35, when he says "I want your body on me). I like that the cheesy keyboard/computer fake-sounding beats are irrelevant behind all those voices.
32. Spoon - Out Go the Lights / Goodnight Laura
I put these two songs together because they are next to each other on the album and because I like them equally and for the same reasons. They're pretty, and they sound different from the Spoon songs I first loved a decade ago. For me, they really stand out on Transference as the truly memorable songs.
33. Drake and Alicia Keys - Fireworks
I could actually do without the hook in this song, but I love Drake's rap. It's so different than any other big hip-hop star's rhymes. Take for instance, this, from the verse about Rihanna: "I'm just such a gentleman. You should give it up for me. Look at how I'm placing all my napkins and my cutlery. I can tell it wasn't love. I just thought you'd fuck with me. Who coulda predicted love could strike. Now you stuck with me. I kept my wits about my luckily. What happened between us that night it always seems to trouble me. ... There was smoke in the air before. Now it's me clearing it. That felt good, and I learned a lesson from it though. You never see it coming. You just get to see it go."
34. Janelle Monae - Dance or Die / Faster
These songs actually bleed into each other, so I can't really split them. They sound like one long song to me. Sometimes that long song reminds me of Madonna. Sometimes it sounds like some future hushed and hurried rap. Sometimes it sounds like Lauryn Hill. Her voice is great. These songs are catchy, the kind of music I like to listen to when I mop my floors on Sunday mornings (Imagine me, if you like, singing into the mop's handle, twisting over the wet floor like I was some jazz dancer).
35. Big Boi - Shutterbug / Shine Blockas
OK, these two songs do not smash into each other, but I couldn't figure out which one I liked better. Plus I wanted to cheat and cram more songs into my top 50 list. Both of these are total rap bangers, the kind of songs you want to play really loud when you're heading out for some memorable night of partying. I can't believe the record label sat on this album -- if only for these two songs. They seem so obviously hits to me. Shutterbug, in particular, has one of the most memorable beats of the year.
36. Robyn - Hang With Me
I love the beat in this song, and I love her voice. She sounds so measured but so full of life. Maybe it's that beat keeping her in line. I can't decide if this is a dance song or a sing-along, but I liked it as soon as I first heard it. I like it more every time I listen. Plus, there's that part in the end of the middle of the song where she holds that note forever.
37. Best Coast - Summer Mood
I could pick any number of other songs from "Crazy for You" to be in this spot. Each song is so catchy and fun to sing. They're simple songs. I wouldn't suggest listening to most of the lyrics if you're seeking enlightenment. And I wouldn't suggest seeing her in concert (so boring), but the album is seriously fun to listen to. After so many listens, the repetition of Summer Mood stands out for me as one of the album's highlights. I especially like the end part where she's singing "that makes me moooooooody." There's something about her flat "that" that really appeals to me.
38. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home
There was a time this year when this would have been my favorite song of the year. I loved a live version especially. The group just looked like it was having so much fun. And while I still think it is one very great song, I may have worn it out with all my repeated listening. I like listening to it and bouncing around while singing it.
39. The Drums - Down by the Water
This song reminds me of the kind of lonely oldie that a movie might play while doing a pan of all the wallflowers at a dance. But its lyrics are more plaintive: "Everybody's gotta love somebody. But I just wanna love you my dear." It's the kind of song you might hear and think you'll forget. But hours later, you'll instead find yourself unable to stop humming its simple chorus.
40. Cults - Go Outside
This song is so cute to me, and even better, it was free. The group released a little mini album on their Website. It's a sing-along, or a snap-along, whichever your preference.