Reviler Best Songs of 2010
Remember mixtapes (or Mix CD’s)? Well, if people still did that, the list below represent the songs each writer would put on said CD/Tape. The only rule was that the songs could not come off of any of the albums that the writers put in their top ten.
Erica Krumm(Sharp Teeth)
Phantogram-”Mouthful of Diamonds”
The kind of beautiful song that warms you up. A very sweetly sung, dreamy, dance jam.
Bouncer Fighter-”Garbagemen Of The Galaxy”
Complexity and wild recklessness make this gem completely addicting.
Dum Dum Girls- “Jail La La”
Amazing vocal harmonies and simple rock beats. So good.
It is so awesome to recycle the riff from Haddaway’s hit, “What is Love.” Beyond that, an impressively sincere performance by Lil Wayne.
We played this at work until we thought we wore out the speakers. Light weight, bouncy guitar and minimalist drums made this the perfect lo fi summer anthem.
Ariel Pink-”Round and Round
Mind blowing. “Round and Round” evokes imagery like clear blue swimming pools, air conditioning and a dance floor lit by a disco ball.
Dan Sartain-”Anything I say”
The first time I heard this, the beat made me dance so much I almost crashed my car. With it’s simple, snotty vocals and fuzzed out guitar, this garage rock jam rules.
The kind of song that makes you listen to it, and it alone, for months. Making all other songs seem uninteresting. The outro is the very best part.
Hippie kids made this stoner rock yoga song, and I’ve loved it for it’s chanting, rolling drums, and overall epic sound.
Red Pens- “Melted Filmstrip”
Raging guitar fuzz and driving drums. This song is meant to be played over and over again at the best party.
Mike Watton (Haunted House)
1. E-40 (feat. Clyde Carson and Husalah) – Lightweight Jammin’
Clyde Carson and Husalah both arguably out-rap 40 on this, which is one of the rarest occurrence in hip hop. This is a certified Yay Area classic banger. Side story: When I lived in Oakland, E-40 stood right next to me at my casino job for a half hour. With the toothpick and glasses and everything. Craziest celebrity rush ever.
2. Wiz Khalifa – In The Cut
It’s very cabin-fever-sounding. There’s a rumor going around that he likes pot.
3. Haunted House – Hypnotize The Girl In The Yellow Coat
I’m just saying.
4. No Age – Fever Dreaming
To be honest, I only heard this last night, at a show of theirs. But it’s a quality punk rock song, much like their Los Angeles counterparts Love make.
5. Kurt Vile – Hey Now I’m Moving
Once sang that he had “gasoline up to my eyelids.” His guitar sound makes that pretty obvious. He’s the Human Eternal Summer.
6. Big Boi – Shutterbug
Big Boi and Scott Storch make it obvious that they have sat in a humid car in the summer with no AC.
7. Beach House – Silver Soul
Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand make me wonder if they ever have sat in a humid summer car with no AC.
8. Kanye West – Monster
Choosing Will Oldham instead of Justin Vernon would have made this song pretty close to perfect. But it’s nice that he (and The RZA) got a free trip to Hawaii out of it. Another incredible beat from Kanye, but what’s really great is to hear him really rip it up on the mic for the first time in years.
9. The Replacements – Fuck School
Their only real attempt at making a SoCal punk track, and they do it damn well. Random highlight of the future: 80 year olds will be listening to this song in about 30 or 40 years, and enjoying it very much.
10. Lady Gaga – Alejandro
Don’t call my name, don’t call my name Alejandro, I’m not your babe, Fernando, Don’t wanna kiss, don’t wanna touch, Just smoke one cigarette and hush, Don’t call my name, don’t call my name, Roberto. Alejandro, Alejandro, Ale-Alejandro Ale-Alejandro. If you don’t like it, piss up a flagpole.
Jon Behm (Reviler)
1. Beach House – “Walk In The Park”
I go back in forth between this and “Zebra” as to which is my favorite track off of the amazing record Teen Dream. I have had the pleasure of hearing both performed live a few times this year and they always blow me away.
2. Deerhunter – “Revival”
How good is Halcyon Digest? So good that I could have filled out at least half of this top ten list solely with Deerhunter songs. If I had to choose one though it would be this one.
3. Janelle Monae – ‘Mushrooms & Roses”
Janelle Monae gets my vote for the most dynamic young artist out there today, and to me this track proves that more than anything by incorporating classical music and psychedelic rock into her space R&B oeuvre.
4. Anita Tijoux – “1977”
I DJ’ed at a 331 Trivia night one night recently and my mix included a bunch of as of yet unreleased stuff from LCD Soundsystem, Kanye, and other top tier names. It wasn’t until I played “Ana” Tijoux’s amazing track “1977” though that people actually came up to me to ask what I was playing so that they could write her name down. An amazing artist and a highly slept on track.
5. Menomena – “Taos”
This song was a sleeper for me – months after Mines came out I found myself waking up with it in my head and just wanting to hear it again and again.
6. Caribou – “Odessa”
Dan Snaith can pretty much do no wrong as far as I am concerned.
7. Malachai – “Fading World”
Though I loved parts of it, I felt a bit like the quality on Malakai’s The Ugly Side of Love wasn’t consistent all the way through. This song though is pretty much perfect.
8. A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Drink Drank Drunk”
ASDIG have had an amazing, if under-noticed year, releasing an incredible album as well as an EP with very little fanfare.
9. Kanye West – “Power”
Yeah, I have never been a huge Kanye fan but holy shit this track is fantastic.
10. Marissa Nadler – “I Love My Man”
Love this song and it was produced for a great cause (Amnesty International).
Runners up: Noun – “Holy Hell,” Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”
1. Gogol Bordello: My Companjera
Perfectly captures what this band is when it’s on: fun, unrestrained and catchy as a fever.
2. Vampire Weekend: Giving Up The Gun
Catchy and pretty new territory (for these guys).
3. Kid Cudi, Best Coast, Rostam Batmanglij: All Summer
Granted, this is a summer song, through and through, but it’s also impossible to get out of your head, even if the lyrics make no sense.
4. Crystal Castles: Baptism
I couldn’t even decide if I thought this was music at first. The haunting vocals and waves of noise confuse you but keep you coming back for another listen.
5. Of Montreal (ft. Janelle Monae): Enemy Gene
Janelle Monae has one of the best voices out there, and Of Montreal takes full advantage in this duet.
6. Miles Kurosky: An Apple For An Apple
Ex-Beulah frontman proves that he doesn’t need a band to craft catchy, slightly menacing pop.
7. Alaine Johannes: Endless Eyes
A touching tribute to his deceased wife and an incredible song.
8. MGMT: It’s Working
The closest MGMT gets to Oracular Spectacular, an extremely catchy piece of psychedelic pop.
9. 22-20s: Talk To Me
The group needed to break up to realize they wanted to get back together. Another blues-lite rock gem.
10. Black Mountain: Hair Song
Doing their best Wolfmother-influenced-by-blues impression, Hair Song is ridiculous and awesome.
1. Games “Strawberry Skies”
To me the highlight of my favorite EP of the year (That We Can Play) is a pop gem that has me waiting for the breakdown just after the 2:10 mark every time, only to hit repeat when the song ends.
2. Kanye West “Power”
The album as a whole was a little underwhelming to me (especially considering the deafening praise), but this song simply slays.
3. Marnie Stern “For Ash”
I like Stern’s material, but am always a bit leery about the emotionless void left whenever someone is a “virtuoso.” Stern alleviates this with this gripping song about an old boyfriend who had recently committed suicide.
4. Gauntlet Hair “I Was Thinking…” & “Out, Don’t…”
Both songs feature the great effect laden pop hooks the band seem ordained with being able to craft. One can only hope their full length will be as good as the first two singles.
5. Pure Ecstasy “Easy”
Another pop song snuggled in fuzz, Pure Ecstasy are another band who I expect big things from when they drop their debut album.
6. Shabazz Palaces “32 Leaves dipped in blackness making clouds forming altered carbon”
The former Digable Peoples rapper released two solid records this year, with this song from his self titled EP. It is the kind of twisted, knotty song that leaves you wondering if he is crazy or if you are.
7. Woods “Time Fading Lines”
The most serene, beautiful song of the year from Woods, who crafted another great album and somehow still are not receiving the mass praise that they should.
8. Holy Fuck “P.I.G.S”
The album closer from the groups latest effort Latin, and if it doesn’t pump you up I am not sure there is anything I can do for you.
9. Dent (May) Sweat “I Don’t Mind”/H.U.N.X “Can a Man Hear Me”
Two songs that in theory are jokes, but are too fun, too well written, and too excellent not to get recognized.
10. Real Estate “Out of Tune”
The only release from one of my favorite young bands this year, and they didn’t disappoint.
Honorable Mention (Cee Lo Green “Fuck You” Kurt Vile “In My Time” Cults “Go Outside” Japandroids “Younger Us” Avi Buffalo “What’s In It For” Twin Sister “I Want a House”)
1. Jay Electronica “Exhibit C”
2. Reflection Eternal “Ballad of the Black Gold”
3. Kanye West Feat. Jay-Z, Kid Cudi & Charlie Wilson “The Joy”
4. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings “Better Things To Do”
5. Aloe Blacc “I Need A Dollar”
6. Los Campesinos! “Romance Is Boring”
7. J. Cole “Too Deep for the Intro (off of the Friday Night Lights mixtape)
8. Toki Wright “A Different Mirror” (off of 2009’s “A Different Mirror”)
9. Die Antwoord “Enter The Ninja”
10. Freddie Gibbs Feat. Chuck Inglish, Chip Tha Ripper, and Bun-B “Oil Money”
Tim Althaus (Reviler)
1.) Joell Ortiz – “Battle Cry”
There aren’t many emcees that can write punchlines like Joell, and on “Battle Cry” Joell does a pristine job of proving that fact.
2.) Black Milk – “Deadly Melody” (Featuring Royce Da 5’9″ & Elzhi)
I’ve repeatedly said that Detroit is the undisputed heavyweight of Hip-Hop in the country; “Deadly Melody” backs up my statement 110%.
3.) Skyzoo – “Frisbees”
I personally think that Skyzoo is going to become the greatest Hip-Hop writer in our generation, and I don’t think many emcees can compare to the depth of his rhymes; “Frisbees” is a perfect example that finds listeners scrambling to “catch” his lines.
4.) Nottz – “Shine So Bright”
Sure, the rhymes on this track may not be what listeners would consider “thought provoking”, but Nottz sure knows how to cook up a crazy beat, and any track that is a dedication to Jay Dee is a shoo-in as far as I’m concerned.
5.) Reflection Eternal – “In This World”
Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek made their triumphant return as a duo on Revolutions Per Minute, and “In This World” is the beautiful boom-bap bliss that fans have been waiting to hear since 2000.
6.) Strong Arm Steady – “Best of Times” (Featuring Phonte Coleman)
The cats from Strong Arm Steady and Phonte paint a perfect picture of the times that we are living in over a typical top tier Madlib beat; this track was a recipe for success from its inception.
7.) Freeway & Jake One – “The Product”
This track has been stuck on constant rotation for me ever since it came out in January; Jake One’s Dr. Dre esque beat is the perfect medicine for Freeway to peddle his lines of crack.
8.) Rakaa – “Crown of Thorns”
“Crown of Thorns” is the perfect example of what an opening track should be on a great album; Sid Roams provides an overly ominous beat, and Rakaa tears apart the microphone.
9.) Kno – “Rhythm of the Rain” (Featuring Thee Tom Hardy & Tunji)
“Rhythm of the Rain” has one of the most organic sounding beats that I’ve heard this year, and Kno shows that he’s a serious force to be reckoned with in the production world.
10.) J. Cole “Who Dat”
The first time I heard J. Cole on the track “Simba” I knew that the kid was going to be something special. Ever since Cole dropped “Who Dat” I’ve been anticipating his debut album like a drug addict’s next fix
Matt Linden (Reviler)
- Salem – “Trapdoor”
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Nothing But Our Love”
- Gauntlet Hair – “I Was Thinking…”
- Harlem – “Friendly Ghost”
- No Age – “Skinned”
- Bad Books – “Baby Shoes”
- Lower Dens – “Hospice Gates”
- Phantogram – “Mouthful of Diamonds”
- Tokyo Police Club – “Breakneck Speed”
- Lazerbeak – “Dream Team”
Writer / co-founder