Courtesy of the statistics compiled by last.fm, here's a roundup of my most listened to tracks of 2009 (tried to post this New Year's Eve but had strange Blogger issues … quite a bummer when you've spent an hour formatting it all pretty):
1 Not As We and Not As We (Jack Shaft Radio Edit) – Alanis Morissette // For me, Morissette's Flavors of Entanglement is a triumphant return to form in terms of being listenable beyond a single or two, and this harrowing breakup ballad (she's talking about you, Ryan Reynolds!) is arguably the best song in her catalog. It's also one of only two songs that could improbably top PSB in one of their most fruitful years ever.
2 Paparazzi and its various remixes – Lady GaGa // It's the best of the The Fame singles in my book, although Poker Face was a real grower.
3 This Used to Be the Future – Pet Shop Boys // The Yes era brought one of the most rewarding PSB years ever, and this complex track – ridiculously tucked away on the bonus disc – is my favorite of the new songs. It's thought-provoking, delicious modern electronic music, and it boasts the vocals of the usually mute Chris Lowe, which is always a treat, and The Human League's Phil Oakey.
4 Love Etc. – Pet Shop Boys // Yes' lead single is certainly a grower, but it gradually pulls you in as all those contrasting, mesmerizing song parts, courtesy of producers Xenomania, weave a beautiful sonic tapestry.
5 Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs // The singer sounds a lot like Chrissie Hynde to my ears in this relentless stomper.
6 King of Rome – Pet Shop Boys // It's the slow-burn masterpiece from Yes; the "Liberation" of its era.
7 The Way It Used to Be – Pet Shop Boys
8 After the Event – Pet Shop Boys // Arguably the crème of the Yes b-sides.
9 Building a Wall – Pet Shop Boys
10 Vulnerable – Pet Shop Boys
11 Torch – Alanis Morissette // More perfectly crafted heartache.
12 Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) (Pet Shop Boys remix) – Lady GaGa // A masterful example of a remix breathing new life into a song by enhancing — not deconstructing — its strengths.
13 We're All Criminals Now – Pet Shop Boys
14 Legacy – Pet Shop Boys
15 More Than Words Can Say – Carol Hitchcock // A b-side to a non-hit from the somewhat obscure batch of late '80s Stock Aitken Waterman productions that hit iTunes this year, and I couldn't stop listening to it. It's the b-side to a fine tune called "Get Ready." If you've seen Hitchcock's photos — she was a personal trainer or some such — you can imagine men might be frightened when she sings, "Get ready, 'cause here I come."
16 All Over the World – Pet Shop Boys
17 The Fear – Lily Allen
18 Summerboy – Lady GaGa
19 Did You See Me Coming? – Pet Shop Boys
20 Quicksand – La Roux // Striking and irresistible, this was my introduction to the Yaz-indebted newcomer.