Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Best Of 2009 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1

It had only been around for a few years, but YouTube was continuing to change the face of music - and did so literally in 2009, with new artists starting to emerge from the video-sharing website, notably Justin Bieber, who was discovered by Scooter Braun and championed by Usher, and released his debut single that year.

Who'd have guessed this group of geeks would break chart records around the world?

Before long, every Cody, Austin and Greyson would use YouTube to kickstart their careers, seemingly making stardom attainable to anyone with a webcam and broadband connection. Oh, and a decent singing voice. Meanwhile, established stars were finally looked after on YouTube, with the now ubiquitous Vevo launching at the end of 2009 - and without which, I'd constantly be updating the videos on this blog.

Number 25 "Telephone" by Lady Gaga / Beyonce Knowles
Mentioned below

Number 24 "I Do Not Hook Up" by Kelly Clarkson
Mentioned below

Number 23 "Art Of Love" by Guy Sebastian / Jordin Sparks
A couple of years earlier, Guy Sebastian was in danger of becoming what so many other Idol and The X Factor winners and finalists had become: a covers act. While his 2006 album, Closer To The Sun, and its singles had performed adequately, I couldn't help but think there was some record company pressure behind his decision to release soul covers collection The Memphis Album in 2007. 
Unlike many of his ex-reality show peers, Guy avoided the remake downward spiral and returned to releasing original material in 2009 - and was rewarded with his first ARIA number 1 in five years: "Like It Like That" (number 98 on this list). He swiftly followed that up with this ballad duet with American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, who we'll be seeing more of before we reach number 1.

Number 22 "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" by Alicia Keys
I've never been as enamoured with Alicia Keys as the rest of the world and while I've liked a handful of her songs over the years (until this release, her 2004 single "Karma" was my favourite of hers), many of her biggest hits ("Fallin'", "No One", "Girl On Fire") leave me cold. Possibly because it sounded like nothing else she'd previously released, this second single from The Element Of Freedom album quickly became my new favourite.

Number 21 "Forever Is Over" by The Saturdays
Another act I don't seem to rate anywhere near as highly as many others is girl group The Saturdays, who I've always seen as a poor man's Girls Aloud - will less artistic consistency. Indeed, "Forever Is Over" was the first song by the group I really loved and it sounded nothing like previous singles like "Up" and "Work". Over the coming years, I'd have similarly inconsistent feelings towards their music.

Number 20 "Can't Get Over" by September
A couple more singles by Swedish songstress September impressed in 2009 - "Can't Get Over" and "Until I Die" (number 59 on this list). Unlike previous hit "Cry For You", which made no secret of its '80s inspiration, these two songs weren't as clearly based on other songs, although I always thought "Can't Get Over" sounded a little similar to "Bette Davis Eyes". Turns out, September had already sampled the Kim Carnes song on a track from her In Orbit album called "Midnight Heartache".

Number 19 "Don't Be On With Her" by Miami Horror
Speaking of being influenced by '80s songs, here's the best Prince track not released by The Artist himself - with "Don't Be On With Her" sounding more than a little like "When Doves Cry". The track was taken from the Melbourne band's debut EP, Bravado, and by the end of 2009, they'd also released their debut single, "Sometimes" (number 76 on this list).

Number 18 "Zero" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
At the harder end of the electronic band spectrum is this trio from New York, whose music I'd never gotten into before - but this lead single from the It's Blitz! album impressed me and seemingly every other music critic in 2009, ending the year atop best singles lists in NME and Spin.

Number 17 "When Love Takes Over" by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland
The song that changed everything for David Guetta, "When Love Takes Over" featured his first high profile guest vocal - from the former Destiny's Child member - and gave him his first UK chart-topper and Australian top 10 hit. Since then, he's monopolised music, with more than 20 major singles released as lead or featured artist, although with questionable quality control since this classic.

Number 16 "Fight For This Love" by Cheryl Cole
The timing couldn't have been more perfect for Cheryl Cole to go solo. Firmly ensconced on the judging panel of the UK version of The X Factor, she'd successfully turned her public image around from being the Girls Aloud member most likely to end up behind bars to the nation's sweetheart. Plus, with the girl group on hiatus, "Fight For This Love" filled a void on the pop landscape and duly raced to number 1 in the UK. 

Number 15 "Again And Again" by Keane
"Better Than This" (number 87 on this list) was released as the final single from Keane's Perfect Symmetry in early 2009, but this track was one of my picks from the album and could easily have been a single. Surprisingly - to me, anyway - none of the singles released from the UK chart-topping album performed anywhere near the band's normal standards and it was back to more typical Keane fare for their next release.

Number 14 "Fireflies" by Owl City
More '80s-influenced synthpop now, with this debut single from the artist otherwise known as Adam Young. "Fireflies" had hit stamped all over it - and it was an unsurprising number 1 in Australia, the UK and the US, and reached the top 5 in stacks of other countries. It also drew comparisons to the work of Postal Service, the group fronted by Death Cab For Cutie vocalist Ben Gibbard - something Adam acknowledged, even if he is more of a Death Cab fan.

Number 13 "11th Dimension" by Julian Casablancas
I've never been a big fan of The Strokes, but that hardly mattered when it came to this debut solo single by lead singer Julian Casablancas, since it sounded nothing like the garage rock sound favoured by his band and instead fit into the '80s-referencing synthpop sound of the late '00s. Whether or not that was the reason, "11th Dimension" and album Phrazes For The Young were commercial disappointments.

Number 12 "To Lose My Life" by White Lies
An act that did have an indie rock sound were British newcomers White Lies, who hit the top spot in the UK with their debut album, To Lose My Life..., from which this was the third single. The album's second single, "Death" (number 91 on this list), also ended up as its fifth, since it was re-released in 2009.

Number 11 "Last Night" by Carolina Liar
Like Keane, Carolina Liar released one of my favourite singles of 2008 - in this case, "I'm Not Over". They also had more great songs where that came from, with "Last Night" and "California Bound" (number 27 on this list) standouts on the Coming To Terms album, even if the record label didn't see fit to release them as singles. 

Number 10 "Love Comes" by Bananarama
I thought the days were long gone when Bananarama would wind up with a song in my year-end top 10, having not wound up there since 1991 with "Preacher Man", but after almost two decades of average pop songs, Keren and Sara came up with the goods for what will probably be one last hurrah. Produced by Ian Masterson (one half of Trouser Enthusiasts), "Love Comes" sounded every bit like a Bananarama song while still feeling current.

Number 9 "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
She'd been big in 2008, but Lady Gaga was a veritable pop behemoth in 2009. Constantly in the news, for her outfits as much as her music. When it came to the latter, the hits were relentless - and after milking debut album The Fame dry of singles, she released another hit-laden mini album, The Fame Monster. 
"Bad Romance" was the lead single from The Fame Monster, and it came complete with her most OTT music video yet... until the next single, "Telephone" (number 25 on this list), topped it. Two more Gaga tracks also make this top 100, "Paparazzi" (number 50) and non-single "The Fame" (number 88).

Number 8 "Battlefield" by Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks had done pretty well with her first post-Idol album, but what she really needed to push her career over the edge was a Ryan Tedder power ballad. The OneRepublic singer was carving out quite the side career as a songwriter and producer for female artists, with his handiwork also heard on Beyonce Knowles' "Halo" and "Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson in 2009 - controversially, it would turn out. 
"Battlefield" was easily my favourite of the three songs and kicked off Jordin's second album campaign in earnest - only for it to falter soon after, with second single "S.O.S. (Let The Music Play)" (number 51 on this list) nowhere near as big a hit. Also on this top 100: "Young And In Love" (number 44), a track from her debut self-titled album.

Number 7 "Don't Stop Believin'" by Glee Cast
In May 2009, a sneak peek of new musical comedy series Glee was aired, with the full season to commence in September. It was laugh-out-loud funny (mostly thanks to Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester), and emphasised diversity with its characters and storylines. It may have lost the plot a bit since then, but at the time it was groundbreaking TV.
Then, there was the music, which wasn't always necessarily what you'd expect from a high school dramedy about a show choir (think "Rehab", "I Kissed A Girl"). That was especially the case with the episode's big finale, a version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". Turning the classic American rock ballad into a rousing multi-part vocal number was a stroke of genius (with credit due to Petra Haden for her 2007 arrangement of the song) and the Glee cast recording become a massive hit - the first of many remakes that would clog the charts over the years to come. In the UK, the Journey original also became a hit, 28 years after its original release and has since sold over a million downloads there.

Number 6 "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson
Now she'd gotten My December out of her system, Kelly Clarkson could go back to the business of making storming pop smashes - and the dream team of Max Martin and Dr Luke were assembled for "My Life Would Suck Without You". The return to form didn't end there - follow-up "I Do Not Hook Up" (number 24 on this list) and album track "If I Can't Have You" (number 47) were just as boppy, while the artwork for the All I Ever Wanted album and its accompanying singles could not have been more diametrically opposed to her previous project if it tried.

Number 5 "The Spell" by Alphabeat
Time for a Eurodance triple play, and first up are our friends from Denmark, who wound up with my number 1 single for 2008 (and another three songs in the top 20). Alphabeat moved on to their second album in 2009, for which they used early '90s Italo house and commercial dance music as inspiration. "The Spell" was the first cut from the album of the same name - and maintained their status as my new music obsession.

Number 4 "Evacuate The Dancefloor" by Cascada
Over to Germany now for an original track by a group who'd become more known for cheesy dance remakes of songs like "Truly Madly Deeply" and "What Hurts The Most" in the past few years, but had started out with the global (except Australia) mega-hit "Everytime We Touch". The lead single and title track from their third album, "Evacuate The Dancefloor" saw the group fronted by Natalie Horler land another global (including Australia) smash with an original song. It was followed by two more singles co-written by the two other members of Cascada, Manuel Reuter and Yann Peifer - "Fever" (number 83 on this list) and "Dangerous" (number 107) - but neither those songs nor anything else the group have released since have come close to the level of success enjoyed by "Evacuate The Dancefloor".

Number 3 "Release Me" by Agnes
Back to Scandinavia with the breakthrough international hit for former Swedish Idol winner Agnes Carlsson, who'd had plenty of success at home in the wake of the reality series but changed record company and musical style for her third album, Dance Love Pop. That dancier sound was evident on "Release Me" and international follow-up "I Need You Now" (number 56 on this list), which both reached the UK top 40 - the latter only just.

Number 2 "All Stars" by Grafton Primary
In my runners-up spot for 2009 is a song that seemed to fly completely under the radar - the lead track from the EP of the same name by Australian duo Grafton Primary. The duo is comprised of brothers Benjamin and Joshua Garden, who grew up where you'd imagine: Grafton.

Number 1 "3 Little Words" by Frankmusik
For the second year in a row, a new act with an exuberant song snatched the top spot away from all competition - in this case, it was the debut single from British male artist Frankmusik (or Vincent Turner, as his parents named him). Complete with its joyful music video, which referenced the piano scene in Big, "3 Little Words" suggested Frankmusik would become one of my new favourite artists, something follow-up "Better Off As Two" (number 75 on this list) seemed to bear out. But, by the end of the year, Vincent had moved to LA and, in 2010, signed to Cherrytree Records - decisions which would dramatically alter the sound and feel of his subsequent releases.

My top 200 for 2009 in full:

1          3 LITTLE WORDS Frankmusik
2          ALL STARS Grafton Primary
3          RELEASE ME Agnes
5          THE SPELL Alphabeat
6          MY LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT YOU Kelly Clarkson
7          DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ Glee Cast
8          BATTLEFIELD Jordin Sparks
9          BAD ROMANCE Lady Gaga
10        LOVE COMES Bananarama
11        LAST NIGHT Carolina Liar
12        TO LOSE MY LIFE White Lies
13        11TH DIMENSION Julian Casablancas
14        FIREFLIES Owl City
15        AGAIN AND AGAIN Keane
16        FIGHT FOR THIS LOVE Cheryl Cole
17        WHEN LOVE TAKES OVER David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland
18        ZERO Yeah Yeah Yeahs
19        DON’T BE ON WITH HER Miami Horror
20        CAN’T GET OVER September
21        FOREVER IS OVER The Saturdays
23        ART OF LOVE Guy Sebastian / Jordin Sparks
24        I DO NOT HOOK UP Kelly Clarkson
25        TELEPHONE Lady Gaga / Beyoncé Knowles
26        BAD BOYS Alexandra Burke featuring Flo Rida
27        CALIFORNIA BOUND Carolina Liar
29        SWEET DREAMS Beyoncé Knowles
30        TIK TOK Ke$ha
31        FUGITIVE Pet Shop Boys
32        DAWN OF THE DEAD Does It Offend You, Yeah?
33        SILLY BOY Eva Simons
34        DON’T STOP Innerpartysystem
35        HEART Bertie Blackman
36        GOOD GIRLS GO BAD Cobra Starship featuring Leighton Meester
37        DON’T TRUST ME 3OH!3
38        CELEBRATION Madonna
40        BOYS & GIRLS Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette
41        IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT Star Pilots
42        BODIES Robbie Williams
43        I CAN’T STAY AWAY The Veronicas
44        YOUNG AND IN LOVE Jordin Sparks
45        DON’T UPSET THE RHYTHM (GO BABY GO) Noisettes
46        HUSH HUSH; HUSH HUSH Pussycat Dolls
47        IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU Kelly Clarkson
48        EMPTY Jessica Mauboy
49        DID YOU SEE ME COMING Pet Shop Boys
50        PAPARAZZI Lady GaGa
51        S.O.S. (LET THE MUSIC PLAY) Jordin Sparks
53        FOREIGN LAND Eskimo Joe
54        UNTOUCHABLE Girls Aloud
55        SAY IT Booty Luv
56        I NEED YOU NOW Agnes
57        MAGIC Ladyhawke
58        HEAVY CROSS Gossip
59        UNTIL I DIE September
60        I WISH IT COULD LAST Sam La More
61        GHOSTS N STUFF Deadmau5 featuring Rob Swire
62        NEED ME TO STAY Tommy Trash featuring Mr Wilson
63        YOU WANT HISTORY Kaiser Chiefs
64        NEW DIVIDE Linkin Park
65        MEET ME HALFWAY The Black Eyed Peas
66        REMEDY Little Boots
67        I GOTTA FEELING The Black Eyed Peas
68        SHOOTING STARS Bag Raiders
69        YOU ON A GOOD DAY Sugababes
71        FIXIN’ TO THRILL Dragonette
72        WHATAYA WANT FROM ME Adam Lambert
73        MISS YOU BOW WOW Girls Aloud
74        SONGS REMIND ME OF YOU Annie
75        BETTER OFF AS TWO Frankmusik
76        SOMETIMES Miami Horror
77        NEW IN TOWN Little Boots
79        THE END Simple Plan
80        IF U SEEK AMY Britney Spears
82        WISH WE WERE OLDER Metro Station
83        FEVER Cascada
84        FALLING ROCKETS Cicada
85        LIVE IN MY HEAD Zoot Woman
86        STUCK ON REPEAT Little Boots
87        BETTER THAN THIS Keane
88        THE FAME Lady GaGa
89        BECAUSE Jessica Mauboy
90        DO IT AGAIN Cassie Davis
91        DEATH White Lies
92        LOVE ME ALREADY Black Kids
93        DOWN Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne
94        WELCOME TO THE WORLD Kevin Rudolf
95        FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT Adam Lambert
96        TOMORROW Ladytron
97        BOYS AND GIRLS Pixie Lott
98        LIKE IT LIKE THAT Guy Sebastian
100      I WISH Mini Viva
101      CHANGE Daniel Merriweather featuring Wale
102      DON’T LET ME DOWN Eskimo Joe
103      BEEN WAITING Jessica Mauboy
104      CAT & THE EYE Van She
105      CONTROL Metro Station
106      PICK UP THE PHONE Dragonette
107      DANGEROUS Cascada
108      FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN a-ha
111      LOVE SEX MAGIC Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake
112      THE FEAR Lily Allen
113      I REMEMBER Deadmau5 & Kaskade
114      SOS HELLO Grafton Primary
115      JUMP Glee Cast
116      PHANTOM BRIDE EP Erasure
117      MY LOVE IS BETTER Annie
118      HEADS WILL ROLL Yeah Yeah Yeahs
119      HOT MESS Cobra Starship
120      READY FOR THE WEEKEND Calvin Harris
121      HALO Beyoncé Knowles
122      DON’T LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD Jordin Sparks
123      THE WORLD WE LIVE IN The Killers
124      YOU AND I Medina
125      LOVE GAME Lady Gaga
126      A DUSTLAND FAIRYTALE The Killers
127      QUICKSAND La Roux
128      RED Daniel Merriweather
129      LET ME BE ME Jessica Mauboy
130      BIGGER Backstreet Boys
131      BREAK YOUR HEART Taio Cruz
132      MEMORY OF YOU Girls Aloud
133      HEARTBREAK MAKE ME A DANCER Freemasons & Sophie Ellis-Bextor
134      COME ON BE GOOD Dragonette
135      EARTHQUAKE Little Boots
136      BACK TO THE START Lily Allen
137      BULLETPROOF La Roux
138      HAZEL Junior Boys
139      LOVE LONG DISTANCE Gossip
140      AMBITIONS Donkeyboy
141      SWEET DISPOSTION The Temper Trap
142      KELSEY Metro Station
143      22 Lily Allen
144      ALL THE RIGHT MOVES OneRepublic
145      HOT MESS Sam Sparro
146      WATCHA SAY Jason Derulo
147      BYRDS OF PREY Bertie Blackman
148      IF I KNOW YOU The Presets
150      SHE’S MY WINONA Fall Out Boy
152      AUTOMATIC Tokio Hotel
153      CONFUSION GIRL Frankmusik
154      BACK OF THE VAN Ladyhawke
155      WE WALK The Ting Tings
156      PERFECT Depeche Mode
157      TELL ME THE WORST Will Young
158      IMPOSSIBLE Daniel Merriweather
159      IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM Sneaky Sound System
160      SOMETIMES Donkeyboy
161      UP/DOWN Jessica Mauboy
162      FOREVER Walter Meego
163      CHRISTMAS EP Pet Shop Boys
164      I TOLD HER ON ALDERAAN Neon Neon
165      METROPOLIS Cicada
167      CHASE THAT FEELING Hilltop Hoods
168      THUMP Bertie Blackman
170      NO YOU GIRLS Franz Ferdinand
171      FAME Naturi Naughton
172      BROKEN-HEARTED GIRL Beyoncé Knowles
173      THE GIRL AND THE ROBOT Röyksopp featuring Robyn
174      3 Britney Spears
175      STRONG AGAIN N-Dubz
176      I WILL BE HERE Tiesto featuring Sneaky Sound System
177      I’M NOT ALONE Calvin Harris
178      ELEVATOR Junior Sanchez featuring Good Charlotte
179      ALONE Glee Cast
180      DIE TONIGHT LIVE FOREVER Innerpartysystem
181      ABOUT A GIRL Sugababes
182      REVOLVER Madonna featuring Lil Wayne
183      RETURN THE FAVOR Keri Hilson featuring Timbaland
184      WORK The Saturdays
185      FUNHOUSE Pink
186      FLASHBACK Calvin Harris
187      WATER AND A FLAME Daniel Merriweather/Adele
188      RUSSIAN ROULETTE Rihanna
190      KNOCK YOU DOWN Keri Hilson featuring Ne-Yo & Kanye West
191      COMING TO TERMS Carolina Liar
192      END CREDITS Chase & Status
193      EASY Dragonette
194      LOVE ETC Pet Shop Boys
195      SHE WOLF Shakira
196      MORNING AFTER DARK Timbaland featuring SoShy & Nelly Furtado
197      HOW DO YOU SLEEP Jesse McCartney
198      ULYSSES Franz Ferdinand
199      WRONG Depeche Mode
200      BAD INFLUENCE Pink

And with that, it's time to bid farewell to the '00s - and it also means I only have my recaps for 2010 and 2011 left to complete. Look out for my top 100 for 2010 in November and my top 100 for 2011 in early December - before I count down my favourites for this year in the last week of the year.

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Friday, 17 October 2014

The Best Of 2009 - part 3

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1

Why release an album once if you can release it twice, three times or even more often? That seemed to be the principle guiding record companies in 2009, with more special and deluxe editions than ever before. It got to the point where it seemed foolish to buy an album when it first came out, since there was likely to be a better version with more songs released down the track. 

Ke$ha glitter bombed the charts in 2009

Of course, in the digital era, you could just pick up the bonus tracks when they surfaced, but the constant revision changed the definition of what constituted an album. Gone were the days where you could talk about an album's tracklisting and have that mean one fixed thing - which would cause difficulty when it came to calculating chart records and best albums lists. As we venture into my top 50 songs for 2009, we'll find several artists who released their albums more than once that year.

Number 50 "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 49 "Did You See Me Coming?" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here

Number 48 "Empty" by Jessica Mauboy
After an impressive start to her solo career in 2008, Australian Idol runner-up and temporary Young Diva Jessica Mauboy kept the momentum going in 2009 with four more singles from her debut album, including "Because" (number 89 on this list) and "Been Waiting" (number 103). But, it was album track "Empty" that I liked better than any of those songs - would seven singles really have been too many? That may have been normal in 1989, but in 2009, that many singles didn't occur without an album receiving the deluxe version treatment.

Number 47 "If I Can't Have You" by Kelly Clarkson
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 46 "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" by Pussycat Dolls
Here's another act with an album revision - Pussycat Dolls, whose second album, Doll Domination, went through countless versions following its 2008 release. This remix of original album track "Hush Hush" wound up, along with "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)", on Doll Domination 2.0 . Both the "I Will Survive"-sampling single remix, redubbed "Hush Hush; Hush Hush", and the revamped album would be the final releases from the girl group as Nicole Scherzinger departed to take another stab at a solo career and tour the world appearing on various The X Factor judging panels.

Number 45 "Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go)" by Noisettes
With a subtitle like "Go Baby Go", this breakthrough hit for the British trio (now a duo) was custom built to be used in a car commercial - and its placement in a Mazda ad in the UK goes some way to explaining how it outperformed everything else released by the band by some margin. That, and it's a really good song.

Number 44 "Young And In Love" by Jordin Sparks
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 43 "I Can't Stay Away" by The Veronicas
Back-to-back album tracks here, with this track from The Veronicas' Hook Me Up side by side with a non-single from Jordin Sparks' debut album. Yes, Hook Me Up had been out for quite a while by 2009 - but I kept expecting "I Can't Stay Away" to be released as a single and, when it wasn't, took matters into my own hands.

Number 42 "Bodies" by Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams had had an interesting time of it in the second half of the '00s and was not the guaranteed hit-maker he'd once been. In fact, his last single, 2007's under-rated "She's Madonna" had peaked at a disappointing number 16 in the UK. The pressure was on, then, for this first single from eighth album Reality Killed The Video Star - and it delivered the goods, reaching number 2 in the UK and equalling his highest chart position in Australia (number 4). The epic sounding "Bodies" was also my favourite track of his since "Kids" and harked back to the Robbie of old.

Number 41 "In The Heat Of The Night" by Star Pilots
Sounding like a Eurodance cover of a long-lost '80s classic (and with a video referencing Top Gun), this debut single by Swedish group Star Pilots was actually an original track. Lead singer Johan Becker was a former contestant on Swedish reality series Fame Factory, which was similar to the UK's Fame Academy).

Number 40 "Boys & Girls" by Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette
Another song added to a preexisting album, "Boys & Girls" was a new track on the "definitive" edition of Martin Solveig's C'est La Vie. The collaboration between the French DJ/producer and Canadian synthpop band Dragonette obviously went smoothly - they've reteamed on two subsequent occasions, most successfully on 2010's "Hello". Dragonette also released their second album, Fixin' To Thrill, in 2009 - and the title track wound up as number 70 on this list.

Number 39 "Left My Heart In Tokyo" by Mini Viva
One of the most exciting new acts of 2009 was this pair (one of my all-time favourite female duos), who were championed by Xenomania - with Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper from the production team co-writing this debut single with Annie (who we saw back in Part 2) and French producer/DJ Fred Falke. The buzz around "Left My Heart In Tokyo" was huge and it duly made the UK top 10, but follow-up "I Wish" (number 100) bombed. More on Mini Viva in my 2010 countdown... 

Number 38 "Celebration" by Madonna
Previously featured here

Number 37 "Don't Trust Me" by 3OH!3
Featuring the worst lyric of 2009 - "shush girl, shut your lips/do the Helen Heller and talk with your hips" - this was the breakthrough single for Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte. Named after the area code of their hometown (Boulder, Colorado), 3OH!3 would end up amassing three appearances in the Australian top 5, but this is the only time they've made my rankings.

Number 36 "Good Girls Go Bad" by Cobra Starship featuring Leighton Meester
They might have had the support of Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz and released two albums already, but it took a guest appearance by a certain Gossip Girl star for Cobra Starship to break through. That, and a song that, while not as trashy as "Don't Trust Me", wouldn't win any respect from feminist groups. "Good Girls Go Bad" was co-written and co-produced by Kevin Rudolf, who we saw back in Part 1.

Number 35 "Heart" by Bertie Blackman
I feel like I need a wash after those last two songs. How's this for a palate cleanser - independent Australian artist Bertie Blackman with the lead track from her ARIA Award-winning album, Secrets And Lies. "Heart" was the first song I'd heard by Bertie, thanks to it receiving a healthy amount of airplay at the time. Unfortunately, that didn't translate into sales.

Number 34 "Don't Stop" by Innerpartysystem
The rockier end of the electronic rock genre, this debut single by the now defunct Innerpartysystem was actually first released in 2008 before a remix and re-release in 2009. The song's music video also went through some editing, with the "shocking" visuals of the original toned down by some networks and an alternate version also filmed.

Number 33 "Silly Boy" by Eva Simons
Her two big Australian hit singles have been as a featured vocalist (on Afrojack's "Take Over Control" and Will.i.am's "This Is Love"), but it's this debut single by Dutch singer Eva Simons that I prefer. After being leaked onto the internet in April 2009, "Silly Boy" was officially released four months later.

Number 32 "Dawn Of The Dead" by Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Prize for the oddest name of the year goes to this British band, whose debut album bore the even lengthier title You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into. "Dawn Of The Dead" was a Triple J favourite and narrowly missed the UK top 40 - the best performance by anything they've released.

Number 31 "Fugitive" by Pet Shop Boys
It only took three years, but Pet Shop Boys finally made a single version of "Fugitive" available in 2009. And when I say "available", I mean "included as a bonus track on German-only single, 'Beautiful People'". The Richard X-produced song had originally appeared in extended form on Fundamentalism, the limited edition companion to 2006's Fundamental, but as a fan of neatly trimmed radio edits, this version quickly became my favourite one. There's never been a clear statement as to the meaning of "Fugitive", but there are some well-considered fan theories.

Number 30 "TiK ToK" by Ke$ha
The queen of trash pop, Kesha Sebert has made a lack of class into an artform - but the brilliance of this debut single was hard to deny. I quickly tired of her half-spoken vocals and sleazy image, but I might be alone in that, since she's so far racked up nine top 10 hits in Australia, either as lead or featured artist, and shows no sign of going away any time soon. "TiK ToK" was also another worldwide smash for songwriter/producer Dr Luke, who actually signed Ke$ha, having first collaborated with her on Paris Hilton's "Nothing In The World" - but things have turned incredibly sour between the two of late.

Number 29 "Sweet Dreams" by Beyonce Knowles
At the start of this post, I talked about how seven singles would've been too many to release from one album in 2009 - but if any artist could be the exception to that statement it was Beyonce, who squeezed seven singles out of the standard edition of I Am... Sasha Fierce and another two from various special editions. By far my favourite of them all was single number six: "Sweet Dreams", which originally went by the title "Beautiful Nightmare" and leaked months before the album's release in November 2008.

Number 28 "Straight Through My Heart (Soldier Down)" by Backstreet Boys
Back with their second studio album as a four-piece, Backstreet Boys made even less of an impression with This Is Us than they did with Unbreakable - which was a shame, since "Straight Through My Heart (Soldier Down)" was as catchy as anything they'd released. And, even though it was produced with the man behind Lady Gaga, RedOne, the song still missed the top 50 in Australia, the US and the UK.

Number 27 "California Bound" by Carolina Liar
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 26 "Bad Boys" by Alexandra Burke featuring Flo Rida
After season four champ Leon Jackson failed to follow in Shayne Ward and Leona Lewis's footsteps and only managed to release one successful single away from the UK version of The X Factor, fifth season victor Alexandra Burke seemed certain to put things right again. After the obligatory Christmas release (a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"), Alexandra settled into her groove on UK number 1 hit "Bad Boys" and the future looked bright - for her and the talent competition.

In Part 4: Alexandra Burke's X Factor mentor, Girls Aloud's Cheryl Cole, starts her solo career, while one of my other all-time favourite girl groups makes a stunning return. Plus, music television takes on a whole new meaning with the debut of a series that changed the charts forever.

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