Top 11 Best Hit Songs of 2009
January 17th, 2010
Todd: Okay, this is my top ten favorite songs of 2009, and this was my favorite review for the longest time because I actually got to work with music I actually liked, and you...you don't know how hard it is to have to hear a song you already know you hate over and over and over again and have to deal with it, and it's...ugh. That's the hardest part of this—you don't get to listen to music you like, you're constantly listening to music you hate. Ugh. Now, I loved it, but my friends said, "don't do this more than once a year; it's a fun thing, but don't..."
Anyway, #4—what was that, "Meet Me Halfway"?—I found out that technically, that didn't qualify based on the criteria I set for myself, and to this day, I'm horribly ashamed of that. And...this had my first cutaway gag, my first Family-style, 30 Rock-style cutaway gags. And...you know, I had to do this, and I'm gonna keep doing it every year because...you know, I wouldn't do this if I didn't, on some level, enjoy pop music, and I love pop music. I love hating the bad stuff, and I love listening to the good stuff. And I do mostly negative reviews, and if I...if I ever think I have enough material for a positive review, I'll do that 'cause I do enjoy... I don't wanna seem like a hater 100% of the time. So, this is my Top Ten Favorite Songs of 2009. Top 11, I forgot. Yeah, Top 11 because I'd written the whole review, and then I listened to the entire list of the year again, I realize I need to find a spot in there for "Green Light" by John Legend and Andre 3000 because that was...I couldn't leave that out because I want it to be an honest list and I'd already written the other 10, so...I bumped it up to a Top 11, so it's the Top 11 Favorite Songs of 2009.
Fade into Todd walking in. He plays Taylor Swift's "Love Story" on his piano.
THE TOP 11 BEST HIT SONGS OF 2009
A year end review
Todd: Someone called me a hater the other day, but I'm not a hater. I don't make these videos because I hate pop music, I do it because I love pop music. [picks up list] This list I have of Billboard's Top 100 Songs of 2009—I honestly liked way more songs than I didn't. So this is me painting a big target on my chest. This is what I actually listen to. *ding, pause (And you're going to hate all of it!)* And remember, once again, we're going by the list. No Silversun Pickups, no Animal Collective, nothing. Just the hits, baby! So grab your rotten fruit, we're counting down...
- Video clip of DJ Earworm - "United State of Pop 2009," which serves as the interlude through the countdown
Todd (VO): The Top 11 Best Hit Songs of 2009.
Todd (VO): #11.
- Clip of Gary Brolsma lip-syncing to O-Zone's "Dragostea din tei"
- Gary: Ma-ia-hii, Ma-ia-huu
Todd (VO): In 2004, the Internet collectively decided that a fat guy dancing to an obscure foreign pop song was just the funniest thing ever. The Internet makes no sense to me whatsoever.
Todd: But you know, what if they took this hilariously inane video and made a hit song out of it?
- Video for...wait for it...
- Rihanna: You're gonna be...
Todd: Yeah, in case you missed it, this happened. And yes, I just put it on this list, so if that's a dealbreaker for you, turn back now, it's not getting better.
#11. T.I. ft. Rihanna - "Live Your Life"
- Rihanna: So live your life
- T.I.: Hey!
- T.I. and Rihanna: Ay-ay-ay
Todd: I don't know why they sampled the "Numa Numa" song, and I long ago stopped asking, but T.I. has never sounded smarter or more mature, especially compared to his other big hit of the year [single cover of...] "Dead and Gone," where he tried so hard, yet utterly failed to convince me that he was a smarter, more mature person, maybe 'cause his thoughtful ghetto anthem had an [picture of Justin Timberlake] 'N Sync member on it. No, it turned out to be the upbeat, celebratory party song with the goofy sample where he actually sounded like he had learned something from life, and I'm sure he is using those lessons quite well in prison, which is where he currently is.
- T.I.: Live your life
- Brief clip of Gary dancing
Todd (VO): #10.
- Clip of Outkast - "Ms. Jackson"
- Outkast: Sorry, Ms. Jackson
- André 3000: Oooh, I am for real
Todd (VO): Oh, I miss Stankonia. That seemed like such a nice place.
Todd: But because of Outkast's dramatic and tragic drop-off in quality, I will take whatever scraps I can get.
#10. John Legend ft. André 3000 - "Green Light"
- John Legend: Give me the green light
- Give me just one night
Todd: This was barely a hit, only narrowly made it onto the list, which is a shame. It should've been a lot bigger.
- John: Do I have a girlfriend
- Technically no
Todd (VO): John Legend proves here that he doesn't deserve to be called boring all the time, which, for the record, happens during the track, which is very funny to me.
- André: Sometimes you gotta step from behind the piano
Todd (VO): But it's André 3000, who is on fire here.
- André: She said what kind of girl
- Do you think that I are
- The kind that you meet at a bar
Todd (VO): So maybe that old magic can still be found, right? [Beat] Let's hope.
- André: Well, time to go.
Todd (VO): #9.
- Video for Drake - "Best I Ever Had"
- Drake: You the, you the best
- You the, you the best
Todd (VO): One of the big new names of 2009 was Drake. And you know, it took me a while to buy into him. Maybe he wasn't distinct enough from his mentor Lil Wayne. Maybe I just couldn't get past the fact that he was Canadian, and a cast member of... [clip of opening credits, complete with Drake (real name: Aubrey Graham) in wheelchair, for...] Degrassi??? That's ridiculous to me. That's like...
Todd: ...if we let James Van Der Beek have a rap career. But you know, sometimes you just hear that one song and it all clicks into place.
#9. Drake ft. Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem - "Forever"
- Drake: It may not mean nothing to y'all
Todd (VO): So long, Jimmy Brooks; Drake went all out with this song.
- Drake: Last name ever
- First name greatest
Todd (VO): Your mileage may vary, of course, but Drake came out more hardcore than ever and I bought it hook, line and sinker.
- Drake: Everybody got a deal, I did it without one
Todd (VO): And after Drake comes Kanye West...
- Kanye West: Ever-ever, Mr West is in the Building
Todd (VO): ...who...who kinda ruins things. Quite frankly, this track would've been a lot higher if not for him.
- Kanye: Superbad chicks givin' me McLovin
Todd: I swear to God, Kanye gets cornier every time I hear him.
- Kanye: Trade the Grammy plaques just to have my granny back
- Remember she had that bad hip like a fanny pack
Todd: *sigh* Kanye! [beat] Imma let you finish, but that was one of the worst lines of all time.
Todd (VO): And you know, this was supposed to be a boast track. It's kinda killing the mood to whine about being famous. Fortunately, Lil Wayne comes in, salvages things, it's a solid verse. But you know, I honestly prefer Drake, and I thought maybe Drake would've walked away the winner with this one.
Todd: But then, he showed up.
- Eminem: There they go, back in stadiums as Shady spits his flow
- [Todd is awestruck] Nuts they go, macadamian they go so ballistic, whoa
- We can make them...
- You dealin with a few true villains
- Whose stand inside of the booth truth spillin'
- And spit true feelings, until our tooth fillings come flying up out of our mouths
Todd: Oh my God! This is awesome! Who is this guy?! I sure hope he replaces that [clip from Eminem - "We Made You"] lame, washed-up, has-been other white rapper we've got right now!
- Eminem: I'm Hannibal Lecter so just in case you're thinking of saving face
- You ain't gonna have no face to save
Todd: Eminem just threatened to eat your face! AWESOME!
Todd (VO): #8.
Todd: 2009 had a lot of hysterically silly moments in pop music.
- Clips of "Tik Tok"...
- Ke$ha: Wake up in the morning feelin like P. Diddy (P. Diddy??!)
- ...Shakira's "She Wolf"...
- Shakira: Open up and set it free, ah-ooohh (AAAAA OOOOH)
- ...and Lady Gaga's "LoveGame"
- Lady Gaga: Let's have some fun, this beat is sick
- I wanna take a ride on your disco stick (DISCO STICK!)
Todd: But of them all, was there anything better than this?
- Video of...wait for it...
- Black Eyed Peas: Fill up my cup
- Fergie: Drank!
- Peas: Mazel Tov
- Fergie: L'Chaim!
Todd: L'Chaim! If you can't tip up your cup and throw your hands up to that, what can you?
#8. Black Eyed Peas - "I Gotta Feeling"
- will.i.am: I got a feeling
Todd (VO): "I Gotta Feeling" might have been higher if not for the extreme overplay—it's still in the Top 10 right now—but if ever a song deserved to be overplayed, it was this one. This song is fun personified. It's a big labrador retriever that's always happy to see you.
Todd: I'm one of the nitpickiest people in the world, and I honestly, really, just have no idea at all how anyone can not like this song. It just puts me in the mood to do it.
- Peas: Let's do it
Todd: And do it.
- Peas: Do it
Todd: And do it.
- Peas: Let's do it, let's do it
Todd: Do it, do it, do it.
- Peas: Let's do it, do it, do it
Todd: And do it.
- Peas: Let's do it
Todd: Let's do it.
- Peas: Do it, and do it
Todd: Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it
- Peas: And do it.
Thumbs up from Todd
Todd (VO): #7.
Todd: I don't even really like Lil Wayne, but he's so ubiquitous, he showed up twice on this list. Go figure.
#7. Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil Wayne - "Let It Rock"
- Kevin and Lil Wayne: Because when I arrive
- I, I'll bring the fire
- Make you come alive
Todd (VO): Such is Lil Wayne's baffling power that he can make any random nobody into a star. For the most part so far, he's used this power for good, and his elevation of no-name producer Kevin Rudolf into a chart-topping hitmaker was his greatest act of benevolence.
Todd: I guarantee you, no pop song rocked harder on the charts this year than "Let It Rock."
Todd (VO): This is the song that gets you pumped up, you know. You play this right before you start working out, and you're ready to go for the rest of the day.
Todd: I assume, at least. You people who actually exercise are gonna have to confirm that for me.
Todd (VO): Plus you have to admire a song that shouts the word "rock" enough times to make Def Leppard jealous.
- Lil Wayne: Angels like Angela
- And Pamela
- Twisted Sister: [clip from "I Wanna Rock"] Rock!
- Lil Wayne: And Samantha
- Kevin and Lil Wayne: Just let it rock, let it rock, let it rock...
Todd (VO): And it ends with a face-melting guitar solo.
Todd: Do not front on this song—it is awesome.
Todd (VO): #6.
Todd: I don't feel guilt about any of my picks for this list, but if I did, it'd be for this one.
#6. Katy Perry - "Hot N Cold"
- Katy: Cause you're hot then you're cold
- You're yes then you're no
- You're in then you're out
- You're up then you're down
Todd (VO): I thought Katy Perry's first hit, "I Kissed a Girl," told me everything I needed to know about her.
Todd: She's dumb, she's obnoxious, and she has a singing voice so bad, it makes Bob Dylan sound like Pavarotti. And the weird thing is that's all still true. She's still dumb and obnoxious...
- Katy: Like a bitch
Todd: She still sounds like Kermit the Frog.
- Katy: Someone call the doctor
Todd: But I say, if you can't appreciate a big, stupid, happy pop song every once in a while, what good are you?
Todd (VO): And that's gonna be my defense for a lot of these songs, especially in a world where most of the pop songs are so grim and dead. I say the bigger, stupider, and happier the song, the better.
Todd (VO): #5.
#5. Kid Cudi - "Day N Nite"
- Kid Cudi: Day and night (what, what)
Todd: [imitating] What, what
- Kid Cudi: I toss and turn, I keep stressing my mind, mind (what, what)
Todd: [imitating] What, what
- Clip from Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, with the unseen Miss Othmar talking in that "waa-waa" sound we all know
Todd: To properly explain why I adore this song so much, let's look at the chorus.
- Kid Cudi: 'Cause day and night
- The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night
- He's all alone through the day and night
- The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night
Todd: And let's compare that to the rest of the hip-hop world.
- Clips of 50 Cent's "Baby By Me"...
- 50 Cent: Have a baby by me, baby! Be a millionaire
- Fabolous ft. The-Dream - "Throw It in the Bag"
- The-Dream: tha baton, Louie vuttion
- Rihanna ft. Jeezy - "Hard"...
- Jeezy: See my Louis tux, Louis flag, Louis frames
- Birdman ft. Lil Wayne and Drake - "Money to Blow"
- Drake: Money to blow
- Gettin' it in
Todd: Wow, that all seems to be about spending money. You know how much money I have right now? Jack! And neither does anyone else right now, so I don't know why we continue to listen to this garbage!
Todd (VO): But "Day N Nite" is a song about smoking pot at the end of the day to keep yourself sane, and that's something I can actually relate to, and I don't even smoke pot and I never have. But paranoia, loneliness, depression? I know all about that.
Todd: I mean, I'm sitting alone in the dark right now! [Long pause, he looks around] What, what.
- Kid Cudi: Day and night
Todd (VO): #4.
#4. Black Eyed Peas - "Meet Me Halfway"
- Fergie: Can you meet me half way
- Right at the borderline
- That's where I'm gonna wait, for you
Todd (VO): YES! YES! That's right!
Todd: TWO Black Eyed Peas songs on the list! And you know what you can do about it?
- Clip from Metalocalypse
- Nathan Explosion: NOTHING!!!
Todd (VO): "Meet Me Halfway" is the most shining example of what the Black Eyed Peas are actually capable of when they actually try. This is easily Fergie's best performance, and the Black Eyed Peas' always simple lyrics are them actually being direct for once, rather than just simply asinine. And the epic sweep of this song is pretty hard to deny.
Todd: God bless you, Black Eyed Peas. You may actually force me to call myself a fan someday.
- Clip from Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2010, with the Peas performing...
- will.i.am: Imma Be, Imma be, imma-imma-imma be
- Imma be, Imma be, Imma-Imma-Imma be
Todd: Or not.
Todd (VO): #3.
- [Video begins...]
- Cobra Starship: I make them good girls go
- I make them good girls go
- [Todd rocks out]
- Good girls go bad
#3. Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester - "Good Girls Go Bad"
Todd (VO): You know the pop music of the decade has gotten shallow when even dorks like Cobra Starship and 3OH!3 are making silly dance songs. I don't understand this at all. These are people who should be remaking [clip of "Buddy Holly" by...] Weezer's first album for eternity. And yet here it is, and quite honestly, dance music by nerds, for nerds is something I'd like to see more of.
- Leighton Meester: I know your type
Todd (VO): It also features an actress from a [brief clip of opening of Gossip Girl] show I don't watch, and it came out right as she got hit with rumors of a sex tape. I'm pretty sure that sex tape never materialized, so I think it was just invented as publicity for this song.
Todd: You evil geniuses.
- Cobra Starship: Good girls go bad
Todd (VO): What makes this song so great is that it's so obviously a lie. Look at this guy. He couldn't make good milk go bad, and he knows it. This is geek wish-fulfillment at its very, very finest.
Todd mouths, "yeah!"
Todd (VO): #2.
- Video for Shinedown - "Second Chance"
- Shinedown: Tell my mother, tell my father
Todd (VO): You might notice that there are no rock songs on the list. That's because most rock songs don't make the pop charts anymore; and the ones that do, like this one, you could say, are generally terrible. I mean, what do you want me to put here? [Clips of "Gotta Be Somebody" by...] Nickelback? No, thank you. ["No Surprise" by...] Daughtry? Maybe when he stops putting me to sleep. [...and "Good Girls Go Bad"] Cobra Starship? That does not count and you know it.
Todd: So I guess it's time to give up on ever seeing an honest-to-God decent rock band in the Top 40, right? I mean, is there any hope? Any at all?
#2. Kings of Leon - "Use Somebody"
Todd: It's like a choir of angels! [Plays the vocals on his keyboard in choir setting]
- Caleb Followill: You know that I could use somebody
- [Todd does air drums]
- Someone like you
Todd (VO): This is how you do it. In an era of moaning morons like Chad Kroeger, the pain in singer Caleb Followill's voice speaks volumes, and it's about something we can all relate to—looking down at everyone and trying to write a song that might get you noticed by happy, popular girls whose names you don't know. Actually, when I put it like that, it actually sounds a little lame.
Todd: Am...am I right? I mean, that does sound like something a lame person would sing about.
Cut to Todd in his room strumming a guitar, crying and writing
Todd: I...want...love... (24 hours earlier)
Todd (VO): Okay, yeah, maybe it hits closer to home than I'd like to admit, but it's still a fantastic song, one of those songs you like instantly and never get tired of. The world needs more Kings of Leon in it.
- Caleb: I've been roamin' around, always look down at all I see
Todd (VO): #1.
Todd plays the tune on his piano, as the video comes on for...
#1. Lady Gaga ft. Colby O'Donis - "Just Dance"
- Lady Gaga: RedOne, Konvict, Gaga
Todd: I had no choice; Gaga made me do it.
- Gaga: Just dance
Todd (VO): Decades from now, historians will be baffled by how quickly the Lady Gaga experiment spiraled out of control into outright anarchy. I still fear for humanity, but over the short term, I support what Lady Gaga is doing—pushing pop music into weirder, more baroque, more over-the-top areas. Those are all good things. And yet, the most normal of her songs is easily her best. [Clip from "I Gotta Feeling"] "I Gotta Feeling" may perfectly capture the moment where a good night turns into a great night, but "Just Dance" is about that moment where a great night turns into a bad one. I seriously love this song, and maybe that's just because I've always had a thing for dance music that sounds desperate. I mean, check out the out-of-control breakdown here.
- Gaga: [in the round] Half psychotic, sick hypnotic got my blueprint it's symphonic.
- Half psychotic, sick hypnotic...
Todd (VO): Yeah, I'm betting there's a lot of people out there who know exactly what that feels like. This is a dance song that's suddenly also about being a miserable train wreck, but for the moment, it doesn't matter because everything's all right.
- Gaga: Alright. Just dance.
Todd: I drank the Kool-Aid, you can't stop me. There you have it. "Just Dance"—my pick for pop song of the year. Thank you, and pray for my soul.
- Gaga: Just ju-ju-just dance
Closing tag song: DJ Earworm - "United State of Pop 2009"
This video is owned by me
and I regret nothing
- ↑ #5 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #18 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #92 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #88 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #4 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #32 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #25 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #28 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #58 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2010; did not appear on 2009 list
- ↑ #43 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #14 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #3 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100