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Rolling Stone's top five singles of 2010

By Rolling Stone
Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" was co-written by Max Martin and Dr. Luke and was named the number four single.
Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" was co-written by Max Martin and Dr. Luke and was named the number four single.
  • Arcade Fire's "We Used to Wait" makes high anxiety sound almost sublime
  • Sade sings about emotional devastation in "Soldier of Love"
  • Kayne West's "Runaway" was named the number one single of the year by Rolling Stone
  • Arcade Fire
  • Cee Lo Green
  • Eminem
  • Kanye West
  • Katy Perry
  • Music

Eminem got sober, Arcade Fire got spooked, Katy Perry flashed her hits and Kanye sang one for jerk-offs everywhere.

( -- 5. Arcade Fire, "We Used to Wait"

"Now our lives are changing fast," sings Win Butler, spooked and sleepless. But his empathetic croon -- and his band's orchestral- rock wallop -- make high anxiety sound almost sublime.

4. Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream"

Co-written by Max Martin and Dr. Luke, this buoyant electro-pop singalong is 2010's catchiest tune. As for that "teenage dream," Perry doesn't mince words: "Let's go all the way tonight."

3. Sade, "Soldier of Love"

Nobody knows where Sade disappears to for years at a time between hits, but "Soldier of Love" proves she knows how to make a hell of a re-entrance. She sings about emotional devastation over a beat that mixes quiet-storm synths with acid-damaged riffs straight out of TV on the Radio's playbook. It's as close as she's ever come to blowing her cool.

Rolling Stone's top five albums of 2010

2. Cee Lo Green, "F*** You"

The title alone would have guaranteed hundreds of thousands of Web clicks. But Cee Lo didn't just say "F*** you" -- he said it with humor and serious panache. Despite the bummed-out lyrics, the Motown-style beat is DayGlo-bright, and Cee Lo's lovelorn lament doubles as an anthem for lean times: "If I was richer/I'd still be with ya/Ha, now ain't that some shit?"

1. Kanye West feat. Pusha T, "Runaway"

It takes a special kind of dark, twisted genius to raise the white flag of surrender while raising a middle finger. Kanye West is that genius. "Runaway" is Kanye's musical response to the Taylor Swift affair, but it's much more than that: a nine-minute meditation on romantic failure and public infamy.

Kanye creates a huge, eerie beat out of thunderous drums and plinking piano, and he turns the phrase "Let's have a toast for the douchebags" into a refrain nearly as catchy as "She loves you -- yeah, yeah, yeah." In 2010, no other song was so crazily epic or jaw-droppingly gorgeous -- not on the radio, not anywhere. Now, everyone raise your glasses.

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Copyright © 2011 Rolling Stone.