The About Top 40/Pop readers have had their say on the top pop songs of the year. Now, it is my turn. I hope you enjoy my top 10.
2005 was the year that Kelly Clarkson outgrew American Idol and became a major pop star in her own right. "Since U Been Gone" is one of the most brilliant slices of pop-rock in this decade so far. The edginess of the recording fits Clarkson well.
Gwen Stefani became so big as a solo artist in 2005 that many people question whether she can ever truly go back to her group No Doubt. "Hollaback Girl" is an instant classic and the flashy, overachieving child of Toni Basil's 80's classic "Mickey" <Listen>.
Fall Out Boy took post-hardcore punk pop into the pop top 10 this year. This is a huge achievement for a group of guys from suburban Chicago barely out of their teens. "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" is irresistibly catchy with some of the most memorable lyrics of the year.
After the release of the album The Emancipation of Mimi in the spring of 2005, Mariah Carey reigned supreme over the pop music world for most of the rest of the year. "We Belong Together" is a primary reason why. It perfectly targeted the musical mood of pop audiences like no other song this year.
Kanye West anchored his cautionary tale about a certain brand of female with a brilliantly executed blues holler from Academy Award winning actor Jamie Foxx. "Gold Digger" sounds like no other chart hit this year and cements Kanye West's status as one of the most gifted and creative pop musicians recording today.
Missy Elliott dusted off a pioneering techno groove and then brought in rapper Fat Man Scoop and Grammy nominee for Best New Artist Ciara to raise the intensity. "Lose Control" rests comfortably alongside Missy Elliott's lengthening list of songs that consistently push hip hop and pop in new, previously unexplored directions.
7) Goo Goo Dolls - Better Days
"Better Days" does not break new musical ground for the Goo Goo Dolls, but the song's straightforward warmth and reassurance was a near perfect balm for a world reeling from natural and man-made disasters late in 2005. A new album from the Goo Goo Dolls is due out in the spring of 2006.
Gorillaz are simply one of the greatest pop studio-only acts of all time. The guest appearance here from hip hop pioneers De La Soul is truly inspired. Laughter has rarely been used to such brilliant effect in a hit pop song.
After a difficult year that culminated in a stint in rehab, Eminem returned with this poignant followup to "Mockingird" in which he sings of killing off the character Slim Shady, possibly hanging up the microphone, and concentrating on being a father and husband.
"Mr. Brightside" is the song that broke the Killers in the U.S., but this followup, which did not do particularly well on the charts on this side of the Atlantic, is their pop masterpiece thus far.