My 100 Favorite Songs of the Lustrum (40-31)

2010-2014 7

40. “Ghost” – Ella Henderson

Soulful pop with extraordinary lyricism and evocative folk song lyrics.

39. “Smile” – Avril Lavigne

Guileless pop punk hedonism, from the queen of that.

38. “Only Girl (In the World)” – Rihanna

Rihanna’s darker impulses bubble under the surface, but this is a happy return to more traditionally cheery song making.

37. “Shake It Out” – Florence + The Machine

Art rock anthem for the restart of a life, a desperate self-exorcism before dawn.

36. “Disparate Youth” – Santigold

Generational call to arms delivered in a flurry of musical styles.

35. “Princess of China” – Coldplay featuring Rihanna

Rihanna’s wailing is an undeniable force, and the rest of the song is alternative synthpop perfection.

34. “I Wanna Get Better” – Bleachers

Best “inspirational” song I’ve heard in years. All about taking an arms-open-in-a-convertible approach to living.

33. “I Dreamed a Dream” – Anne Hathaway

Okay, this part of the Les Mis phenomenon I get. Powerfully emotional song of loss and hopelessness.

32. “Ready or Not” – Britt Nicole featuring Lecrae

Electrifying hooks, EDM stuttering, and a positively assertive attitude make this song a joy.

31. “Dance Apocalyptic” – Janelle Monáe

Galvanizing piece of creative destruction just before the zombies get here.

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