Welcome to the Backstage Pass year-end countdown. Happy holidays! Last week, we looked at the best albums of 2010. This week, we tackle the singles.
10. Das Racist, “You Oughta Know” (Greedhead/Mishka): Built over a sped-up sample of Billy Joel's “Movin' Out,” the Brooklyn trio offers a laid-back version of their multi-culti hip-hop and showcase their all-out cleverness.
9. Macy Gray, “Kissed It” (Concord): Part peacemaker, part stadium rocker – and all sorts of fun.
8. Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj, “Monster” (Roc-a-Fella): So much greatness bouncing around until Nicki Minaj delivers a star-making string of verses so incredible that even after dozens of listens it still amazes.
7. Tracey Thorn, “Why Does the Wind?” (Merge): Mournful synths, Thorn's gorgeous vocals and a whole lot of distrust. It's like Jonathan Franzen's “Freedom” set to music.
6. Jonsi, “Go Do” (XL): Pure joy, as seemingly delivered by Icelandic sprites carrying piccolos and big bass drums.