I feel pretty removed from current music these days — I rarely listen to the radio at all anymore, because who really wants to hear another Katy Perry song — so I'm sharing the songs I played most during the past 12 months as tabulated by last.fm rather than trying to formulate a "best of" list. The result is a mix of everything, with songs going back as far as the early '80s, and three songs that were actually released in 2013. Notably just scraping into the list with one entry is my venerable favorite, the Pet Shop Boys, whose Electric album is quite good but unjustly hailed as the second coming, in my view, perhaps as an overreaction to the rather tepid Elysium that preceded it by less than a year.
Anyway, here's the list:
1) "Maybe I'm Crazy" - Monarchy // The electronic duo Monarchy is perhaps my favorite new find this year, and this 2011 song is a soaring triumph.
2) "Somebody's Knockin'" - Terri Gibbs // This country-pop crossover gem from 1980 is sadly unavailable for purchase in its original version. Lord it's the devil / Would you look at him …
3) "Sacred Heart" - Shakespear's Sister // A lovely ballad from their first album; it's better than the album's minor hit "You're History."
4) "Instant Attraction" - Garçon Garçon // This duo is only getting better with their intoxicating retro-now jams.
5) "Love Me Like You Used To" - Class Actress // Retro influences also abound here; I'm addicted to this one, along with "Keep You" and "Weekend."
6) "Losing You" - Solange // Happened to catch the video for this on Palladia and wouldn't know it existed otherwise. It's a gorgeous synth-infused R&B ballad, and it's a crime something this good doesn't crack the Hot 100.
7) "Break It Down Again" - Tears for Fears
8) "Seduction Surrender" - Grace Jones // Creepy dance-pop from the 1986 movie Vamp.
9) "Another Minute" - Cause & Effect
10) "Cast Away" - Strange Talk
11) "Inside a Dream" - Pet Shop Boys // My favorite from Electric.
12) "I Won't Let Go" - Monarchy
13) "Fever (Edit One)" - Madonna // The hard-to-find mix used in the video; it's superior to the album version.
14) "Burn" - Ellie Goulding // Would have been a better lead single than "Anything Can Happen," in which she sounds like she's about to bust a vocal chord.
15) "You Surround Me" - Erasure
Guiltless pleasures, or, 2010's top albums
Most played artists, 2009
Most played songs, 2009