2009 has gone into the record books as the year of redefined “pop” music.  No longer is it reserved for those who prefer music that lacks substance or for those who list their favorite songs as whatever the pop radio station plays.  Quality pop music reared its head all over the musical landscape from bands like Cobra Starship, La Roux and Passion Pit to solo artists such as Kid Cudi and Lily Allen. 

So it’s only fitting that this year’s Song of the Year be awarded to……………….. an Alternative Rock band. 

“Panic Switch”, Silversun Pickups, 2009 Song of the Year

Epic.  That’s what I’d use to describe “Panic Switch” in one word.  Everything about the song seems big.  The emotions and how they swing from verse to chorus and back again.  The lyrics and how lead singer Brian Aubert makes you feel like there’s almost too much to take.  All this passion and emotion condenses in the first two verses, leading you to the bridge, where the most appropriate release imaginable occurs.  To listen to this song and to get this song is to feel the release with them.  Your emotional breakdown is theirs.  Theirs is yours.  I believe the best music has the ability to physically affect you, to creep inside of your head and for five minutes make you a part of the journey.  It is that quality that vaults “Panic Switch” into the same realm as “Teen Spirit”, “The Distance”, and “We’re All to Blame”.  Panic Switch isn’t just the best song of 2009, its one the very best songs of the last ten years.

And now, the rest of the top 17:

 “3 AM”, Eminem
 “Medicate”, AFI “If Rap Gets Jealous”, K’Naan
 “There’s No Secrets This Year”, Silversun Pickups
 “Kingdom of Rust”, The Doves
 “I’m Not Your Toy”, La Roux
 “Black Heart Inertia”, Incubus
 “The Reeling”, Passion Pit
 “Isis Unveiled”, ….And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
 “The Ballad of Hugo Chavez”, The Arkells
 “Know By Now”, People In Planes
 “Rusted From the Rain”, Billy Talent
 “How I Got Over”, The Roots
 “Where Did All The Love Go?”, Kasabian
 “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake”, The Sounds
 “Dirtee Cash”, Dizzee Rascal

I wanna thank everyone who actually looked forward to this and to everyone who’s been inspired to go and download some of this stuff.  It was a great year for music, a ton of cool shit, and I absolutely can’t wait to do it again! 

Oh, what’s that you said?  There’s a new Vampire Weekend record out?  Yeah, 2010’s already off on the right foot!

Don’t forget, (well, you didn’t really know) in approximately one month we’ll go over the best of the decade in nearly every category imaginable.  The last ten years began with Creed and ended with the Silversun Pickps, but I’m gonna back and reminisce about what happened in between.  Stay tuned!