Top Ten Songs of 2010–Justin Marini

As we toast the memory of 2010 and ring in 2011, it would be foolish not to consider which songs made 2010 a special. I’d like to welcome everyone to the new section of the known as “Favorites.” This will be a space for DJs to make top ten lists of some of their favorite genres, songs, albums, concerts…well, basically anything. This is an opportunity for our listeners to get a taste of what we all love over here at USD Radio. Below I have listed the ten songs that I believe made the music that came out of 2010 special. Enjoy!

Mumford & Sons,

10. “Tighten Up” – The Black Keys – This is a far cry from what we have come to expect from the rockish-blues group, but I can’t help but love it. While “Tighten Up” may sound a little more mainstream to Black Keys fans, you cannot deny the raw guitar textures we have all come to love and expect from the Akron, OH based group.

9.“Nothin’ On You” – B.O.B. feat. Bruno Mars– Yes, “Nothin’ On You” was definitely one of the most overplayed songs of 2010, but who can’t love this song? The lyrics are definitely a little cliché, but they’re nevertheless irresistible.  The smooth rhymes of B.O.B. accompanied by vocal standout Bruno Mars make for a very distinctive sound. Besides, what would a wrap-up of a year in music be without one sappy love song?

8. “Only the Young” – Brandon Flowers– Okay so maybe Brandon Flowers as a solo artist will never carry anywhere near as much glory or hype as The Killers’ Hot Fuss ever did, but “Only the Young” shows a lot of promise. In a year that will probably be remembered best for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an earthquake in Haiti, obscene Arizona immigration laws, and Snooki, it is nice to hear an uplifting song with some depth every once in a while. “Only the Young” contains a message of reflection and redemption, giving hope to a generation of music that often lacks substance.

7. “Black and Yellow” – Wiz Khalifa– The Pittsburgh based rapper hit the scene with his breakout mixtape Kush and Orange Juice in April of 2010, and has seen tremendous success ever since.  “Black and Yellow” is the sort of song that at a first listen may not seem all that special, yet hours after hearing it for the first time, I found repeating “black and yellow, black and yellow…” like a mantra to myself, and came to love it.

6. “Not Afraid” – Eminem– Quite possibly the most controversial album of 2010, Recovery conjured up a wide range of emotions upon its release. While many found the album to be a positive breath of fresh air, others were critical of Recovery’s often-repetitive sound in what the Houston Chronicle referred to as “…a relentless, exhausting listen.” While that may be so, let’s give Em’ some credit. To me, “Not Afraid” is an indication of growth in Eminem as not only a rapper, but also as a person. While his message may not be as negative and he’s no longer on drugs, there is no question that the tight wound lyrical genius we have all come to love still thrives deep within “Not Afraid.”

5. “Down for the Count” – Girl Talk– One of the most overlooked albums of 2010, Girl Talk’s All Day may be his best release to date. The Pittsburgh based musician’s new song “Down for the Count” is an incredibly tight mash-up of sounds including (but not limited to) Eric Clapton, B.O.B., Usher, and even the late, great MJ. This is a track perfect for anytime you may need that extra jolt of motivation—in the gym, on your way to the bars, or just to kick start your day.

4. “Senior Skip Day” – Mac Miller– 2010 has been a great year for Pittsburgh based artists, and Mac Miller is no exception. While Mac Miller (aka Malcolm McCormick) did not see the same commercial success as fellow Rostrum Records standout Wiz Khalifa, his sound is nothing short of refreshing and new. “Senior Skip Day” is a glimpse into a day of sleeping in and enjoying the simple pleasures of doing nothing.  It is a subtle reminder that sometimes we need to let loose from the stresses of daily life and breathe easy. I have high hopes for this 18-year-old hip-hop prodigy in 2011. If you haven’t already, check this guy out!

3. “Laredo” – Band of Horses– The name Band of Horses has become synonymous with upbeat rock anthems, and “Laredo” does just this. I find this sound to be a mix of the upbeat vocals of The Magic Numbers (listen to “Forever Lost”) mixed with the classic sound of the Stone Temple Pilots (“Interstate Love Song”). I have yet to be disappointed by the Seattle based rock outfit, and have high hopes for these guys in 2011.

2. “F**k You” – Cee Lo Green- Picture this: your girlfriend has just dumped you for some jerk, a long list of homework which you have yet to attend to is waiting for you in the other room, and best of all, you’re broke. If this remotely describes you at any point in your life, then “F**k You” (I know, I wish I could just say it too) is the song for you. Albeit overplayed, Cee Lo Green takes the pent up frustration many of us face daily and puts an upbeat, soulful spin on it, sure to improve anyone’s mood!

1. “Little Lion Man” – Mumford & Sons– At the start of 2010, I never would have picked that an English folk-rock band would top my list. Of course, a year ago I doubt I would have imagined even publishing a top-ten list of songs for 2010. Mumford & Sons are not your average band. Rooted in the assertive yet enticing vocals of Marcus Mumford, it is the swirling sound that echoes out of instruments including the banjo, mandolin, and string bass (to name a few) that really ties together the unique sound of Mumford & Sons together. “Little Lion Man” says it all in one track. Lyrically addressing the self-loathing misery of pushing loved ones away, the positive air embedded in the instrumental backing suggests fixing the problems of your past and becoming a better man tomorrow. We could all find some truth in “Little Lion Man” as we ring in 2011.

Honorable Mentions:

“Every Day” – Girl Talk

“Stereo Love” – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

“Live Free” – Mac Miller

“Runaway” – Kanye West

I am looking for feedback on the “Favorites” section of, so please don’t be shy. Maybe just go easy on me for my choices? Anyways, Happy New Year’s everyone!

—–Justin Marini