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.
5. Robyn, “Dancing on My Own” (Interscope): A rollercoaster of post-breakup emotions that Robyn somehow makes survivable through gurgling synths, an unstoppable beat and a brave delivery.
4. The National, “Blood Buzz Ohio” (4AD): The driving beat and big groove make the generally unflappable-sounding Matt Berninger seem, well, happy.
3. Rihanna featuring Drake, “What's My Name?” (Def Jam): Oh 'Na 'Na, this is near-perfect pop raised to high art when she quickens the pace during the “Hey boy” bits, singing those lines faster out of sheer excitement like a girl in love.
2. Kanye West featuring Pusha T, “Runaway” (Roc-a-Fella): The epic tribute to self-doubt and self-loathing set to a grand, piano-driven landscape is as lovely as it is desperate. His toasts are so well-crafted and sad-sack that you almost feel bad for Kanye West. And, yes, the expletive-filled version is way better.