In the year’s second edition of the 3 Of The Week feature, there were some emotional songs, but this week it’s kicked up a notch. With an old-fashioned new-time classic, a scene love song, and one of the best singles to come from Tooth & Nail Records in recent memory, the vocals this week might be the best from the feature thus far this year. There are great lyrics, incredible instrumental parts, and wonderful melodies. If you can get through these three songs and not have at least one of them stuck in your head, odds are you have no soul. Seriously, enjoy!
7. “Fuck You” – Cee Lo Green
Co-written with Bruno Mars, this song might be Cee Lo’s most popular song yet, and it’s definitely his catchiest. I remember when “Crazy” came out and I was drawn into the magic of his voice, how it could effortlessly slide between the smooth verses and soulful chorus with that unmistakable tone. “Fuck You” is the upbeat pop equivalent of the introspective masterpiece, hitting some great notes in the bridge while the rest glides along on a near-perfect set of melodies. Cee Lo knows he wasn’t good enough for the girl’s gold digging bullshit, and he makes it wonderfully clear in the words he chooses. If only people spoke their mind this way more often, the world would be a better place (and catchy lines never hurt, either). Forget the clever clean version, it doesn’t have the same impact as the explicit one.
8. “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn” – Sleeping With Sirens
Sleeping With Sirens was the best new Rise Records band of last year, and this was my favorite song from their debut. Vocalist Kellin Quinn’s lyrics are heartfelt, and his voice is flawless. The instrumentals on the track provide something new on each listen, and though the song and most of the album could be pigeonholed into the oft-hated made-up “risecore” genre, there’s a ton to enjoy here and the band shouldn’t be written off by any means. From Quinn’s unmistakable opening line to the guitar’s lead-in to the incredible backing vocals in the bridge, Sleeping With Sirens are a breath of fresh air for the scene. Seriously, just do yourself a favor and check out this song and the whole album.
9. “Instincts” – Ivoryline
Ivoryline remind me a lot of Anberlin, if Anberlin was more obvious about their faith. Though I myself am not a religious person and usually shy away from bands that are overtly “Christian”, Ivoryline manages to incorporate their beliefs in the the most subtly literal way. “Instincts” is an aggressive song that shows all of the band’s members at the top of their game, from endlessly interesting guitar parts to driving drums to a variety of powerful vocal styles. There are few days since Vessels came out that the pre-chorus and chorus to this song hasn’t been stuck in my head. They’re simple, but very moving. Jeremy Gray’s voice has the ability to soar in a way that most simply can’t, with a range that allows him to easily capture a listener’s attention. In a year with a lot of great songs (and on an album with a lot of great songs), this one is well-deserving of a top-ten spot for 2010.
10. (Bonus) “Bed Intruder Song” – Antoine Dodson & The Gregory Brothers
If Sleeping With Sirens’s “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn” hadn’t been my ringtone, this definitely would have been. It’s basically my theme song, and the best meme of 2010. So you can run and tell that, homeboy.