Here are my top 10 pop songs of 2007. Happy New Year, everyone!
Justice “D A N C E” from The Cross Album. Justice has been around for a few years now, just waiting to explode with the perfect song. This is it. Utterly French, completely addictive and most importantly electro with a human element, it’s quite possibly one of the best French dance songs since Daft Punk’s “One More Time.”
Britney Spears “Heaven on Earth” from Blackout. I’ve never been a Britney fan — nor a hater — but I can recognize a good tune when I hear one. “Heaven on Earth” is the most Europop song she has ever recorded. Its bubbling synths have an irresistible energy, more reminiscent of 1980s Divine than anything Spears has ever laid her vocals over. The beat is strong. The chorus is strong. The vocals are not. But does that even matter with Brit?
Kylie Minogue “Wow” from X. The second single from her newly released 10th album X goes one better than the recycled Goldfrapp sound of the first single “2 Hearts.” “Wow” could have been from the Fever sessions, her most accessible and successful album. It’s an addictive, fun and cheesy slice of robopop that Kylie does better than anyone else on the planet.
Imani Coppola “Raindrops from the Sun (Hey Hey Hey)” from The Black and White Album. Forget 2007, this is one of the best songs of the decade. Period. Back in ’97 Coppola was a Columbia/Sony pop starlet who was soon dropped when her commercial appeal never quite materialized. This should shut up any detractors. But are there any?
Kleerup featuring Robyn “With Every Heartbeat” from Robyn. Robyn is Sweden’s most successful pop star of the past 10 years. This collaboration with Kleerup proves exactly why she remains relevant. “With Every Heartbeat” lays some heart-wrenching vocals over some seriously affecting chords, delivered with a glossy electronic sheen courtesy of fellow Swedes Kleerup. If you don’t know this song yet, you should.
Fritz Helder and The Phantoms “Lagerfeld Lady” from Greatest Hits. Toronto kidz Fritz Helder and The Phantoms are best known for their electrifying live shows, packed with energy and good crazy-fun party vibes. But this track stands out on the newly released CD as a minimal yet engrossing slab of electro-soul. Love it.
Mark Ronson featuring Daniel Merriweather “Stop Me” from Version. Celebrity DJ-to-the-stars and producer extraordinaire Mark Ronson had a great year in 2007. Little wonder. His Version album featuring varied vocalists over his sublime productions truly stood out as something exciting and new. Anyone who can radically rework The Smiths’ “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard this One Before” into an old school R’n’B string symphony with beats is pretty deserving of the accolades.
Rihanna “Umbrella” from Good Girl Gone Bad. “Ella, ella, eh, eh.” I maintain that this is one of the weirdest songs to ever chart so highly. Not quite a dance song and not quite a ballad, “Umbrella” somehow worked its way into the global consciousness. Producer Jay Z did a good job — this was the top-selling single in the UK for 2007. I think it’ll also win Song of the Year at the Grammys in February. Too bad Britney reportedly rejected it.
Feist “1234” from The Reminder. Beauty is always rooted in sheer simplicity, isn’t it? Enough said.
Groove Armada featuring Mutya Buena “Song 4 Mutya” from Soundboy Rock. The reason I dislike the US and Canadian music charts is that they’d never take a song like this into account. Groove Armada takes a slice of ’80s rock, adds some dance synths, a former Sugababe and, presto, great song.