Monday, December 31, 2007

The Top 50 Singles Of 2007

Finalising this list was an excruciating process. I started with a shortlist of about 300 tracks and slowly whittled away at it until there were only 50 left. I limited my selections to songs that had been released as singles, promoted to clubs or leaked online. It became too hard when I tried to factor in my favourite album tracks. I might make a separate list for those in the future. Please take the rankings with a grain of salt. The numbers are fairly arbitrary because I love each and every song on the list. The difference between #1 and #50 is tiny. These all belong on your Ipod!

1. Automatic - Ultra Nate

I feel like a traitor to Dannii. I already had her stunning UK top 50 hit "Touch Me Like That" picked out as my favourite song of 2007 until I stupidly made an iTunes playlist with all my choices and realised that I actually prefer Ultra Nate's phenomenal cover of "Automatic" ever so slightly. Ultra Nate is an artist that I've always quite liked but never followed too closely. That all changed when I heard "Automatic" and saw the jaw droppingly hot video clip. Ms Nate's reworking of The Pointer Sisters' classic is sheer brilliance and the best pop song that no one outside of the gay community has heard. Amazing production, fantastic vocal delivery and a pseudo gay porn video. This shit is fierce!

2. Touch Me Like That - Dannii

My favourite singer comes in at #2. Poor Dannii, always the bridesmaid! "Touch Me Like That" might have dropped down the charts faster than a pro's knickers in a whorehouse but I absolutely adore it. A cheesy sample of "Mighty Fine" combined with dodgy lyrics about Dannii demanding to be touched are just two reasons why this should have been number 1 for weeks. Yet another classic entry in Dannii's canon of "hits"!

3. Take It Off (Andy Caldwell Mix) - Brielle Davis

File this under "songs that should have been massive". Brielle's funky pop anthem "Take It Off" was a breathe of fresh air in its original form but Andy Caldwell's brilliant remix lifted the song to a whole new level. This tune has everything - a catchy chorus, killer beats and a very sexy vocal. I wish Australian pop could sound this good all of the time! Hopefully Brielle's next release will receive the attention and success it deserves.

4. Two Times Blue - Debbie Harry

How is this amazing woman 62 years old? Debbie Harry is a living legend but her latest solo album, "Necessary Evil", proves that there is a still a lot of life left in the old girl. The album's first (and only) single, in particular, ranks as one of Debbie's finest achievements. "Two Times Blue" is a beautifully constructed pop song. The gorgeous chorus and pervading sense of melancholy make this one of 2007's most memorable tunes.

5. Lose Control - Kylie

"Lose Control" is the first of several fabulous scraps from the "X" sessions to make the countdown. I could write volumes on Kylie's habit of wasting some of her best tunes but most fans are still shaking their heads over the omission of this electro masterpiece. It took me a while to warm to "Lose Control" but once you get your head around the unusual structure, this anthem lodges in your brain and refuses to budge. This track just reeks of quality. I really hope it at least ends up as a future B-side, to simply discard something of this quality is crime against pop!

6. Love Is All Around - Ricki-Lee

"Love Is All Around" is an instant serotonin boost. This song just makes me feel happy with its upbeat lyrics and hands in the air chorus. Ricki-Lee's impressive vocal performance gives the track a warmth that the Agnes Carlsson's original was sorely lacking. Pure pop fun.

7. No One - Alicia Keys

It's a bit of an understatement to say that I'm not really into Alicia Keys. I'm sure she deserves all of her awards and critical acclaim but I'd usually prefer to perform acts of self-mutilation than listen to her boring music. Needless to say, I was more than a little surprised by how much I love "No One". A 70s soul pastiche dragged kicking and screaming into 2007, Alicia's anthem immediately stands out against the Timbaland produced drivel flooding the airways. Hell, the song opens with a piano and a fucking tambourine! I didn't even realise they were still made! I just love everything about this from the weird synth sound that comes in every now and again to Alicia's melodramatic vocal delivery.

8. In The Basement - Jade Macrae

Australia's urban queen swapped her R'n'B sound in 2007 for Swedish produced electro-pop and the result was spectacular. "In The Basement" is a shiny pop treat dressed up with the slightest veneer of urban credibility. The song boasts a killer chorus, dubious lyrics and a slightly deranged spoken interlude. In a perfect world this would have been #1 for months. I can't wait for the album.

9. Fall In Love - Melinda Jackson

Along with Brielle Davis, Melinda Jackson is my Aus-pop discovery of 2007. "Fall In Love" is one of the catchiest pop songs to be produced in this country for years. In some ways, I think the song was a little bit too poptastic for the current musical climate in Australia. Some people even accused Melinda of positioning herself as the local Cascada - as if that were a bad thing!? "Fall In Love" is almost unbearably fabulous.

10. Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie

This big girl felt Fergie's pain! The fourth single from "The Dutchess" spent an astonishing 9 weeks at #1 in Australia and I'm still not sick of it. The lyrics might be sappy but I identify and there's no denying that Fergie can belt out a tune when she's not blabbering about how "hot" she is. It was also something of a revelation to hear a Fergie track with no guest rapper or manic sampling. The year's best ballad.

11. Delicious - Chloe Lattanzi

A proper, cleaned up studio version of "Delicious" would have placed higher on my countdown but the demo version featured on Chloe's Myspace is still a brilliant piece of work. I can't think of another track that manages to be so dark and disturbing yet insanely catchy and kind of hilarious. Anorexics around the globe now have a theme song. I'm going to chain myself to the gate of Olivia Newton-John's Gaia retreat if Chloe doesn't hurry up and release her sure to be fantastic debut album in 2008.

12. Disco In My Car - Suzy Ray

It only took one song for Suzy Ray to become a pop trash icon in my book. This floptastic Australian diva upped the camp ante to unprecedented levels with her spectacular "Disco In My Car". This track is just a bright, shiny delight. No one bought it and Suzy hasn't been heard from since but Ms Ray will always have a special place in my heart and CD collection.

13. In The Mood For Love - Kylie

When Mylo realised that "In The Mood For Love" had missed the final cut for "X", he dropped his bundle - leaking the song on Myspace and ranting about the injustice to anyone who would listen. I can't blame him. "In The Mood For Love" is an exquisite slice of futuristic disco that positively screams smash hit. Sadly, this gorgeous work probably won't even see the light of day after Mylo's bridge burning rampage. It's a shame because "In The Mood For Love" is magnificent.

14. Green Light (Freemasons Remix) - Beyonce

Beyonce and the Freemasons are a match made in heaven and should be contractually obliged to work together indefinitely. I thought the Freemasons mix of "Ring The Alarm" was an absolute triumph but their remix of "Green Light" is even better, turning a dreary piece of crap into one of the year's sexiest pop tunes. Beyonce was made to moan "give it to mama" and the accompanying film clip demonstrates why she is still top of the heap despite releasing so many stinkers. "Green Light" is Beyonce's best single since "Crazy In Love".

15. Can't Touch It - Ricki-Lee

Ricki-Lee's first post Young Divas solo single is an absolute corker. This killer tune grabs you by the balls from the very first listen with it's infectious drum rolls, awesome vocal performance and slick production. "Can't Touch It" is an irresistible call to the dance floor that still sounds as fresh today as it did on release. Christina Aguilera wishes she could come up with something this fabulous.

16. Glamorous - Fergie

This is the song that opened my eyes to the undisputed musical genius that is The Dutchess! "Glamorous" is a perfect example of the kind of well crafted pop music that America used to churn out before talentless pinheads like Ciara took over the charts. The urban influence is still there but "Glamorous" is very much a pop record at heart with its catchy chorus and surprisingly understated production. A gem.

17. He's The Greatest Dancer (LMC Edit) - Dannii

Dannii's Sister Sledge cover was written off by just about everyone as one of her worst ever singles but I loved it. Dannii was made to interpret a disco anthem and "He's The Greatest Dancer" was a fine choice. The song reached the Australian top 40 and became a top 10 smash in Spain, proving that cheesy, upbeat pop is never out of fashion. If only there was a video clip!

18. Handle Me (Soul Seekerz Remix) - Robyn

"Handle Me" was my favourite track from "Robyn" when I first heard it in 2005. Two years had passed by the time the song was released in the UK but Robyn's poptastic urban groove (now there's a description I never thought I'd use!) had lost none of its sparkle. "Handle Me" makes my 2007 countdown due to the trashtastic Soul Seekerz remix. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to be slightly amused when Sweden's Queen of cool hooked up with Dannii's relatively low brow in house remixers. The result is an unexpected delight, putting the Soul Seekerz just behind the Freemasons as my favourite remix team. This would probably be higher if Robyn hadn't dismissed the amazing Swedish film clip and replaced it with the year's least appealing video. I notice the silly cunt is at it again with "Be Mine" - not impressed!

19. Wrapped Up In Plastic - Isabel Guzman

Blogland would be a dark and gloomy place without Don't Stop The Pop. Rob continues to highlight amazing new talent and Sweden's Isabel Guzman was his finest discovery of 2007. "Love Song" was an instant internet hit but I vastly prefer the unusual follow up, "Wrapped In Plastic" or "The Bin Song" as I've referred to it all year. I originally balked at the bizarre lyrics but I have felt like "a bin wrapped up in plastic" more than once of late! I can't wait for Isabel's forthcoming debut album. I think Robyn finally has some competition for her Swedish pop crown.

20. I'm Coming Out (Mobin Master Radio Remix) - Marcia Hines

"I'm Coming Out" was scheduled to be the second single from Marcia's amazing "Discotheque" album in early 2007. Remixes were commissioned and the brilliant Mobin Master Mix became a club hit but the single was eventually canned. It's such a shame because this manic mix of "I'm Coming Out" shows Marcia in a totally new light - as a fierce club queen! Brilliant.

21. Umbrella - Rihanna

Few songs released in 2007 get stuck in your head quite like "Umbrella". I really thought Rihanna was on the cusp of revolutionising American pop music until I heard her shit album and realised that she is still the poor man's Beyonce. That doesn't diminish the brilliance of "Umbrella". The lyrics are deceptively simple but the umbrella metaphor works a treat. I also love the slightly annoying "ella, ella, ella" refrain. It shouldn't work at all but helps make the song even more memorable. Think of this as Rihanna's "Crazy In Love".

22. Gimme Cock - Deirdre Halliwell

Sex symbol to senior citizens and the visually impaired, Scotland's fabulous Deirdre Halliwell never fails to come up the with goods. Her saucy cover of Britney's "Gimme More" not only surpassed the original but lifts the song to an entirely new level. "Gimme Cock" is also dear to me because the original cover (pictured above) is one of the reasons why my very short lived pop trash forum was shut down by the administrators! Deirdre's stunning talent never fails to boggle my mind. I hear the great woman is currently working on a cover of "2 Hearts" called "2 Poofs". The anticipation is killing me!

23. Before You Go (Remix) - Candice Alley

Candice Alley made a surprise return to the Australian top 20 in the early part of the year with the introspective "Before You Go". A fairly standard slice of mid-tempo guitar pop in its original form, the not so trashy dance remix elevated "Before You Go" into an edgy dance anthem. Candice Alley has the makings of a pop star. She's gorgeous, has an interesting voice and can obviously write a decent song but her current packaging is all wrong. Not surprising her album flopped miserably and she hasn't been heard from since. Time to go back to the drawing board.

24. Spell Of Desire - Kylie

The second of Kylie's controversial collaborations with Mylo is almost as outstanding as "In The Mood For Love". This is moody, slightly etheral dance music at its absolute best. The only reason this isn't higher is the fact that "Spell Of Desire" sounds unfinished. Running for over 6 minutes, the track would almost certainly have been edited down for "X" and would have been all the better for it. No wonder Mylo is so pissed. If I had created something this fabulous only to see it thrown away like a used condom, I'd be livid too!

25. Glamour Bitch - Sarah Love

This former A-Teen is positioning herself as the Swedish Fergie. Enough said. "Glamour Bitch" is the year's trashiest, cringeworthy treat. I still can't get enough of this urban pop trainwreck.

26. Untouched - The Veronicas

It took me a while to warm up to "Hook Me Up" but The Veronicas' sizzling follow up single caught my attention from the very first listen. "Untouched" is an overwhelmingly good pop record. From the opening strings to the perfect harmonies and catchy chorus, this little epic screams quality. Had "Untouched" been released earlier in the year it could well have placed considerably higher in the countdown.

27. I Don't Play That - La Toya

Ways to destroy your newly revived career. 1) Continually delay your fabulous comeback album -recorded way back in 2002, no less! 2) Blatantly lie to fans about the release date of said album 3) Appear in a trashy reality tv show as a real life police woman 4) Write an unbelievably tacky theme song to cash-in on said tv show and release it as your latest single. Well done, Toy Toy, you couldn't have fucked up your career any worse if you were Dannii! "I Don't Play That" is such a complete stinker that it borders on genius. The clips of La Toya screaming at criminals to drop their weapons is still hysterical. File this under "so appalling it's enthralling"!

28. 1234 - Feist

Another so called indie rock queen to sell out by allowing her music to appear in a high profile advertising campaign. Personally, I couldn't care less about Feist or her integrity as a serious musician. Surely all that matters is the fact that "1234" is an effortlessly catchy pop tune. The song's sweet, wistful tone immediately stood out on radio and the video clip surely ranks as one of the year's most endearing. Hopefully this anthem will keep her flush with cash while she fades back into obscurity - where she probably belongs.

29. I Will Love Again - Kelly Llorenna

K Lo's stunning Hi-NRG cover of Lara Fabian's maudlin ballad was a chart disaster for the orange goddess, stalling at #105 on the UK charts. "I Will Love Again" might be a titanic sized flop but I adore it. Kelly's powerhouse vocals backed by AATW's cheesy brand of dance music is heaven to my ears! The chilled out "Twilight Mix" is also delightful and well worth checking out.

30. Keep It Natural (Taylor Square Remix) - Cosima De Vito

Cosima's big comeback ended in tears when "Keep It Natural" bombed out at #112 on the Australian charts. It's a shame because Cosima really has lifted her game. "Keep It Natural" is an outrageously good pop song. The production throbs, the lyrics are laced with attitude and Cosima sounds amazing. At least the brilliant Taylor Square remix ensured the song found an appreciative audience in gay clubs. Cosima should try her luck overseas. "Keep It Natural" is too good to waste.

31. Magic - Melinda Jackson

When the breathtakingly poptastic "Fall In Love" failed to make an impact on the charts, Melinda decided on a completely different route for her next single. "Magic" is a lovely mid-tempo electro cover of "Every Little Thing That She Does Is Magic". Mel's seductive anthem appeared made for radio but the song was roundly ignored and stiffed at #162 in the charts. I don't know what this fabulous talent has to do to get some recognition. I'd like to hope that delivering pop gem after pop gem will eventually pay off for her. Melinda's debut album is scheduled for release in early 2008. If the first two singles are any indication it should be spectacular.

32. Taking Chances - Celine Dion

Celine Dion has found her calling in middle of the road soft rock! "Taking Chances" is Gurfren's most intriguing single in years. I'm sure it was hand picked for her by a team of Sony executives but the soft rock dressing suits her and the explosive chorus shows off her fabulous pipes without shattering glass. The trannytastic cover and ridiculous Celine as a secret agent video clip made "Taking Chances" a most enjoyable package indeed. I just wish the album could have explored this sound further instead of wallowing in boring ballads and embarrassing urban beats.

33. Generation Y - The Hampdens

The Hampdens are one of my favourite bands. "Generation Y" is a great example of their uncanny ability to mix intelligent lyrics with a great melody and chorus. The minimal production suits the song perfectly and the slightly detached vocal delivery imbues the song with unexpected melancholy. I also loved the New Order-esque Teenager remix. The Hampdens are gearing up to release a new single and album in the new year, so expect to see a lot more of them here.

34. Superstar - Marta Sanchez

Marta Sanchez is another fabulous diva I discovered courtesy of Don't Stop The Pop. I have a soft spot for fierce middle aged dance divas and this Spanish icon more than fits the bill. "Superstar" is the most immediate pop song I've heard all year. It doesn't matter if you can't understand a word of Spanish. The chorus is anthemic, the Depeche Mode sample is instantly familiar and the crass English rap at the end never fails to amuse. "Superstar" is a three minute visit to pop heaven.

35. Jump On Board (Tommy Trash Club Remix) - Betty Vale

Sydney's Betty Vale is something of a mystery. She released one magnificent single in 2007 and an accomplished debut album but her profile is virtually non-existent. Betty's website doesn't even include a picture of her! I guess it's the music that matters and "Jump On Board" is the most sultry dose of homegrown soul to be released this year. I love the song in its original form but the Tommy Trash remix is really quite spectacular. Make sure you check out the trashtastic video - the faux ghetto styling is fabulous.

36. 2 Hearts - Kylie

I went on a short road trip after Christmas and I have to say that Kylie's glam-pop concoction is a revelation pumping from the car stereo with the windows wound down on a hot summer day. I still think "2 Hearts" was a ridiculous first single but taken on its own merits, the song is rather lovely and transports me back to the wild and woolly days of Kylie fandom in the 90s. I have a feeling this will grown in everyone's esteem as the years roll by. In the meantime, bring on "Wow"!

37. Feedback - Janet Jackson

People who know me will be very surprised to see La Toya's younger, vastly less talented sister on the list. "Feedback" is another slutty jam about Janet's dirty pussy and features the highly dubious line "heavy like a first day period" but it's clearly her best single since "All For You". Janet needed to comeback with a dancefloor stomper and "Feedback" delivers. I particularly love the crazy production and voice effects. Good riddance, Jermaine Dupri! It's good to see Manita Ho back to her liposucked best.

38. To Sir With Love - Tina Arena

The first single from "Songs Of Love & Loss" is a searing cover of Lulu's "To Sir With Love". I've never liked the original but Tina's exquisitely performed and delicately produced interpretation is undeniably lovely. There are much better songs on the album but "To Sir With Love" stands out as one of the few upbeat numbers.

39. Champagne Taste - CC Martini

I recently featured this fierce Australian diva on the site and was pleasantly surprised by the very positive response. CC Martini sounds like a cross between Betty Boo and Princess Superstar, treading the same fine line between pop and hip hop. "Champagne Taste" was something of a grower for me. It took a while for me to get it but CC's flamboyant attitude and killer rhymes about having "champagne taste and a minimum wage" ultimately proved irresistible. I hope she's given up her day job dealing pot.

40. Viva Las Vegas (Remix) - She Is The King

Australia's leading female Elvis impersonator is a camp sensation. She Is The King released an upbeat version of "Viva Las Vegas" as her first single and immediately won me over with her enthusiam and penchant for filling video clips with tragic drag queens. The dance mix of "Viva Las Vegas" has been a guilty pleasure for me all year and still brings a smile to my face.

41. Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song) - Enrique Iglesias

"Do You Know" was one of the year's great surprises. Enrique had been heading towards a more American sound with each English language album but "Do You Know" has a distinct Euro-pop flavour. Enrique's soulful voice milks the pleading lyrics for every drop of emotion against a strangely upbeat backing track. Throw in that hypnotic ping pong ball sound and you're left with Enrique's best song since "One Night Stand". Shame about the rest of the album.

42. She Devil - Robyn Loau

I've been a huge Robyn Loau fan since her hey day as the most talented member of Girlfriend. Don't hate me, lovely CFB girls! Robyn's latest comeback was an effortlessly chic affair - until she unexpectedly turned up on Neighbours and belted out the tune for Toady's lingerie parade. Putting that inglorious moment to one side, "She Devil" was the classiest pop record released in 2007. Moody and atmospheric with the slightest hint of jazz, "She Devil" sounds effortlessly fresh and original. The song also boasts the most sumptuous Australian video clip of the year. I hope there's an album in 2008 but I've been waiting for more than a decade so I won't hold my breath.

43. Sexy - Roxane

This fabulous Australian Idol reject found herself at the centre of a media storm when her record company threatened to pull her pseudo cover of Salt 'N' Pepa's "Push It" due to Sophie Monk performing the same song in a lingerie commercial. Sanity eventually prevailed and Roxane's trashy jam swiftly became a guilty pleasure with it's simple but effective chorus about sexy boys and girls. "Sexy" stiffed in the charts but I hope this isn't the last we hear from this most entertaining diva.

44. Turn Around - Samantha Jade

Samantha Jade is signed to a major American label and specialises in R&B infused pop but she is actually a local girl from Perth. Her first single, "Turn Around", is a lovely mid-tempo groove that stalled at #83 in Australia. Delicately produced and sweetly performed, the song has remained a firm favourite of mine for most of the year. Samantha is a major talent and Jive records appear committed to making her a big star. Expect big things from her in 2008.

45. Leave Me Alone - Pink

The 5th single from Pink's mega selling "I'm Not Dead" album reached the top 10 during her record breaking Australian tour. I like Pink as a pop star and rather enjoy her current incarnation as a Bon Jovi tribute act but "Leave Me Alone" is the first single since "Get The Party Started" to really clicked with me. This is unadultered POP music in its purest form with a bit of foul language thrown in to keep up appearances. The live performance of "Leave Me Alone" was oustanding. Pink has all the moves. I just wish more of her material was this much fun.

46. Turn Me Loose - Young Divas

Only the Young Divas could turn an 80s rock classic into a gay anthem and throw in a cheesy rent-a-rapper for good measure! "Turn Me Loose" stays true to the tried and tested formula but who's going to complain when the girls continue to churn out pop this good.

47. Let Me Think About It - Ida Korr Vs Fedde Le Grand

I must have heard "Let Me Think About It" 50 times on the radio without giving it much attention. The track finally clicked for me over the December party season. This is one of those songs that you really need to hear in a sweaty club to appreciate. That jerky beat makes you want to move and the deceptively simple chorus is hypnotic. Another winner from the Dutch king of dance.

48. Beautiful Liar (Freemasons Remix) - Beyonce & Shakira

I don't get the hate for "Beautiful Liar". Two giants of the music world team up for a saucy duet about their bad boyfriend complete with a fabulously slutty video - surely that's a good thing? The Freemasons continue their dream run with Beyonce and come up with another dancefloor masterpiece.

49. Electric - Girlband

Australia's Girlband were the product of a short lived reality tv show. Unfortunately, their music career was equally brief. Despite an appalling debut single, Girlband were given a second chance and surprised everyone with the quality of "Electric". Sadly, the song was a chart disaster and the girls were unceremoniously thrown on the rotting scrapheap of pop.

50. Beautiful Ones - Billiam

The UK's trashiest boyband make the list courtesy of the craptacular #32 UK smash "Beautiful Ones" and their shameless promotion antics. "Beautiful Ones" is a cheesy Hi-NRG delight with some of the most ridiculous lyrics of recent times. The B-side, "Boyz Text Girlz" has to be heard to be believed. I can't wait for their debut album and next big budget video clip!

On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone who sent me an e-mail, left a comment or simply dropped by to read Pop Trash Addicts in 2007. I wish you all a fabulous 2008! See you next year for more trashy pop!