For the first time since the early 1980s, I spent little time during the year searching out my own singles, scanning the world charts and creating signature hits for my monthly playlists. In fact, for much of 2009, those usually overflowing playlists were actually combined, a la July/August, September/October, because I was simply... bored with much of what I found. See full analysis below the 40. Enjoy!
1) Battlefield—Jordin Sparks
2) Is It True—Yohanna
3) Bad Romance—Lady GaGa
4) Ask—Sertab Erener
5) Only Yesterday—Emre
6) Party in the USA—Miley Cyrus
7) I Dreamed A Dream—Susan Boyle
8) Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)—AR Rahman & Pussycat Dolls
9) No Surprise—Daughtry
10) Paparazzi—Lady GaGa
11) Hang on Sloopy—McCoys
12) 21 Guns (Radio Edit)—Green Day
13) Already Gone (Radio Edit)—Kelly Clarkson
14) At Seventeen (Live)—Celine Dion
15) Camouflage—Karine Hannah
16) Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo—Rick Derringer
17) Stuck With Each Other—Shontelle
18) You Never Know—Wilco
19) Heart On My Sleeve—Michael Johns
20) I Will Be—Leona Lewis
21) You Blow Me Away—Jill Gioia
22) Light On—David Cook
23) This Universe—Tina Arena
24) The Climb—Miley Cyrus
25) Poker Face—Lady GaGa
26) Something More Than Sideways—Karine Hannah
27) My Life Would Suck Without You—Kelly Clarkson
28) Bitch Slap—Jill Gioia
29) It Might Be You—Tinatin
30) What About Now—Westlife
31) My! My Time Flies!—Enya
32) Shining Light—Annie Lennox
33) Fuck You—Lily Allen
34) It's Alright, It's Okay—Ashley Tisdale
35) On My Darkest Night—Nick & Jade
36) Lovebug (Chuck Taylor mix)—Jonas Brothers
37) La Voix—Malena Ernmann
38) If Today Was Your Last Day—Nickelback
39) Haven't Met You Yet—Michael Buble
40) Looking for a Hero—Lauren Waterworth
It's a wrap! Jordin Sparks took the 2009 lead by mid-year with "Battlefield," and never let go of her tenacious grip; as did No. 2 "Is It True," from Yohanna, the runner-up at this year's Eurovision Song Contest—co-written by Tinatin, who appears herself this year at No. 29 with an unreleased cover of "It Might Be You." At No. 3, I eat plenty of crow; after making fun of Lady GaGa for much of the year, not only does she pop in with "Bad Romance," but she's the only act with two songs inside the top 10, with "Papparazzi." "Poker Face" also owns No. 25. What can I say? When I'm wrong, I'm real, real wrong.
A number of longtime favorite artists mark visits in 2009, as well. Celine Dion's only entry inside the top 40 is a live cover version of "At Seventeen," while Tina Arena and Westlife, who have also scored year-end No. 1 songs, return.
Karine Hannah, who has scored year-end top 20 appearances for the past five years running, maintains her indefatigable momentum, commanding Nos. 15 and 26, both songs produced by Ayhan Sahin—who also stands behind No. 5's Emre, two entries from Jill Gioia, and Nick & Jade. Others making multiple appearances, in addition to GaGa, Hannah and Gioia: Miley Cyrus (I'm so ashamed) and Kelly Clarkson.
Best New Artist? By default, it's gotta be Lady GaGa, but that's by the numbers alone... Do I believe she'll be smacking out the same indelible hooks two albums from now? In a word: Rihanna. (That means forget it.) Best Album: Nope. None. Not a single full collection enamored me enough this year to want to hear a dozen songs from anyone. Obviously, that's why iTunes is now the nation's largest music retailer.
Worst act of the year? Oh, now that's easy. It's not the first time I've awarded this distinction to Black Eyed Peas. The No. 1 song of the year on the national charts was "Boom Boom Pow," one of the worst loops I've ever heard called a "song." Their endless assault throughout the year peaked on the American Music Awards, where Grandma Fergie once again proudly proved to the world that her only perceivable talent merits dollars bills between body parts. Ew.
And there you have it! Ear's to a mighty 2010...
Videoclips, for the top 5, if you please: