411 Music Ten Deep 10.2.13: The Top 10 Dance-Pop Songs
Posted by Sean Walker on 10.02.2013
From Michael Jackson's "This Is It" and Rihanna's "Disturbia" and to Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors," Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" and more, 411's Sean Walker counts down the top 10 dance-pop songs!
Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Ten Deep, where nostalgia is essential and Nickelback never existed! I'm having too much fun creating the main photo. Five bucks to anyone who can name the year the logo above came from.
The late 2000s and early 10s has seen a resurgence of many different trends. Dance-Pop is a notable sub-genre that has made waves in the music. Sure it was already popular, but with names like Justin Bieber, One Direction and Katy Perry becoming pop icons (shudder), Dance-pop has become more formulaic and generic. However, there have been gems in the genre that shine brighter than all the others. Being a fan of pop, it brings a warm piece of bacon to my obese heart when stars break the mold. Think of this week as a pop playlist. Let's get this column started! Actually let's wait just a moment for a brief announcement from fellow 411 columnist Shawn S. Lealos.
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The Top Ten Dance-Pop Songs
Just so we're clear, I'm looking for songs that were released or charted in 2008 or later.
Just missing the 10:
Ke$ha - "C'mon"
Katy Perry - "Wide Awake"
10. Robyn - "Call Your Girlfriend"
Starting off we have one of my favorite international artists. Robyn is without a doubt, one of the most underrated pop stars of all time. The way she effortlessly blends in emotion with robotic vocals in this song is fantastic. Just a quick note, Robyn makes another appearance on this list with another pop classic. The story she's telling here is nothing I've ever heard before. Instead of bragging about taking another woman's man, she's actually feeling sympathetic of the woman. Robyn actually cares about her feelings and she wants him to let her down easy. The synthesizers are all over the place meshing perfectly with the kick drums. Great storytelling.
9. Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Kelly Clarkson has the best voice in pop music. I'm a little disappointed that she's stepping away from pop music to make a holiday album, and then a country album after that. She has been able to survive for over a decade making the music she's wanted to make. "Stronger" became her third number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Her voice and the production save this song from becoming a paint by the numbers cliché. When writing this list, I didn't realize heartbreak would be a recurring theme, but it is. Her voice sounds a tad altered, and the lyrics are a bit cheesy, but it works for her.
8. Justin Timberlake - "Mirrors"
Coming up is a more recent record that changed what dance pop truly means. This one has a more authentic feel than others. The first part is more pop-rock and its second half is more R&B oriented. This is one of JT's finer moments in his career. It doesn't come off as too sugary like it seemed like it was heading. It feels mature and the love is genuinely coming through. The song segues into a slower smoother sound that keeps the song fresh. Justin using his voice as a beat is genius. This is an instant classic.
7. Michael Jackson - "This is it"
Coming in at number seven is the man that Justin Timberlake is mainly influenced by. Rest in peace, Michael Jackson. I wished his family and the media would let him rest and have fans remember all that he was, BUT when money is a major factor, of course they're not going to let him be. To me, this is the last song released by Michael Jackson barring THAT album (you know which one).This is a great swan song for an otherwise great career.
This is technically not a dance song, but it has all the elements that made Jackson famous for 50+ years. You can still tap your feet to it, and hum with the melody. It fits in right with anything Michael recorded before 2001.
6. P!nk - "So What"
P!nk is one of the greatest storytellers of the 21st century. As most of you know (or not), I'm a huge fan of P!nk. I have every one of albums. It was difficult to choose just ONE song from her, because they are all great. "So What" is one of her greater kiss offs of many. It has this fierceness and edginess that is typically known with P!nk. It's a rock anthem and a club banger combined into one. P!nk is great at these type of songs. I love the playful "You're a tool" line she sings in the chorus.
5. Bruno Mars - "Locked out of Heaven"
What I like so much about Bruno is how he incorporates different genres such as Reggae and New Wave into his pop flavored sound. He certainly isn't some cookie cutter generic pop star who relies on marketing and auto-tuned rather than actual talent. The man can sing. When I first heard "Locked out of Heaven," I instantly fell in love with it.... until it played on the radio 100 million times. Then I became sick of it. I had to wait a couple of months to get into it again and appreciate the artistic value of it. It has that Reggae flavor that I was referring to earlier, which enhances the pop elements. All in all, this is a song worth adding to your music library.
4. Adam Lambert - "Whataya Want from Me"
Next is Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want from Me." I can still feel the spirit of P!nk here. She wrote this fantastic song and gave it away to the American Idol runner-up. Why would she give away such a well written song? I don't know. This list is getting a little too deep. I need a second...
Ok now that I'm through being a pussy, I'm ready to continue this list. This is probably Adam's biggest hit to date. He gets rid of all the glitz and glamour for four minutes of pure entertainment. The song is built around a great production, and this catchy guitar riff.
3. Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"
2009 was probably the peak in Lady Gaga's popularity. No one really hated her (other than Christians).Sure people thought she had some screws loose, but hate wasn't a problem. "Bad Romance" will go down as her signature song. It introduced me to who she really was musically. I believe that Gaga is one of the reasons why Dance-pop became relevant again in the world. Being in the 14-32 age range, I'm naturally inclined to be more of a fan than others are. However, you can't deny the impact this song made when it was released. She proved that she wasn't some one-note partying drunk who wrote about last night's fun with a random boy/girl/both (Ke$ha).
2. Rihanna - "Disturbia"
I may be crucified for this one. I'm a pretty big fan of Rihanna from everything pre-2011. Talk That Talk left a lot to be desired and Unapologetic was an above average album. However there was a time when Rihanna wasn't a pot smoking, Brown obsessing, train wreck. "Disturbia" is a definite highlight for the diva. Yeah it was written by Asswipe, but Rihanna made it her own. Her icy vocals gelled well with the dark vibe of the song. The video enhanced this song even more, making it an almost perfect pop song. This was the beginning of Ĺdark' Rihanna. Her next album, Rated R, was/is her best album because of the risks it takes. I could listen to that album every day. Maybe, just maybe we'll see a return of dark Rihanna one last time, because this era was without a doubt her greatest.
1. Robyn - "Dancing On My Own"
I listen to this song every day. Heartbreak is a @*%$#. Oh and let's not get started on the stalking that proceeds the breakup, because I did LOTS of that, err, I mean I connect very well to this song. The synth is all over this song, and I love it. Robyn is at her best when she is vulnerable and emotionally naked. I was highly impressed with Body Talk and was pissed at the lack of promotion it received. Robyn should be a pop superstar, not an underground anybody. It sickens me to see crappy pop acts such as Icona Pop and Selena Gomez catapult to worldwide success, while the actual talented ones remain stagnant and nameless. "Dancing on My Own" will go down as one of the greatest pop songs of all time. The robotic vocals are a plus here. They show emotion, without showing any emotion. I will go to jail for stalking. I hope I've made some of you a Robyn fan despite my life complications.
That's it for this week folks! I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did. Is there any song that I missed? Feel free to comment below or Email me .See you next time!