The Best Singles of 2010, Part 3: #20-#11

Here are the ten singles that were almost the best of the year:

The Best Singles of 2010, Part 3: #20-#11


Crazy Women
LeAnn Rimes

Poised, calculated and ferocious all at once, Rimes’ performance captures the exact persona of the scorned “ex-wives and old girlfriends” she sings of. It’s a wiser, cooler revenge anthem than we’ve heard in awhile, and it takes the crown for the year’s most fabulous opening line: “Who’d have guessed that Aqua Net could start a fire with a single cigarette?” – Tara Seetharam


What Do You Want
Jerrod Niemann

A contemporary spin on the standard country theme of heartache, “What Do You Want” owes its brilliance to its perfect storm of elements: The raw honesty of Niemann’s plea (“I get so tired of living like this/I don’t have the time/Neither do my friends”). The hollow, pulsing arrangement that mirrors his cycle of pain. The killer vocal performance, soaked in emotional fatigue. Each element draws out the potency of the next, culminating in one of the most captivating releases of the year. – TS


Steal You Away
Randy Rogers Band

If you can say anything about Randy Rogers, it’s that he emotes somberness in every note that he sings. In this song, he is tortured by the knowledge that the object of his affection is not properly appreciated by the man that she’s currently with. More than anything, he’d like to steal her away from her loveless relationship, but moral boundaries stop him from carrying out his desire. – Leeann Ward


Kiss Goodbye
Little Big Town

If you love somebody, set them free. Easy to say, maybe even easy to do, but what’s left behind is empty and cold. This powerful song explores that truth with subtlety and sincerity. – Kevin Coyne


Lover, Lover
Jerrod Niemann

I heard Sonia Dada’s Dan Pritzker wrote this goodbye number when his real-life lover forgot to make him a pot of coffee or something. That should give you a good sense of the depth here. But a ditty like “Lover, Lover” is really only about one thing: achieving a compulsive singalong. And it gets that job done ably, even offering equal opportunity for all voice parts with its thick, stacked harmonies. – Dan Milliken


Undo It
Carrie Underwood

Judging from what I’ve heard people say about this song, I don’t think there’s any middle ground on this one. Either turn the radio off in disgust, or turn it up and sing along.  – KC


Tim McGraw

Memories. The very best ones are stripped of all the reality that existed in the moment.  All the irks and irritations and utter banality of every day life fade away in hindsight, and all that’s left is the warm comfort of knowing that in a certain moment of time, you were there and so were they.  There isn’t a reference to Christmas in “Still”, but the holidays make it feel that much more real. Achingly real. – KC


Rain is a Good Thing
Luke Bryan

One of the more charming frat-country hits in recent years, as Bryan celebrates how precipitation in a farm town nourishes both the crops and the spirit. Oh, and helps him get some! Yeah, bro!!! – DM


LeAnn Rimes

It’s always a bold move to try to recapture the novelty of an already dubbed novelty song. Instead of recreating what John Anderson had already done with “Swingin’”, LeAnn Rimes wisely reinvents the tune by ramping things up up with a jaunty, high octane production that dares us to try to sit still. The result is one of the most energetic, free spirited songs of the year. – Leeann Ward


Turning Home
David Nail

High school nostalgia songs are typical these days, but Nail’s soars above most others with a sensitive performance that brings each little detail to life. Annoyingly loud production toward the end keeps the single from home-run territory, but unfortunately that’s pretty typical now, too. – DM

Check out the rest of the list:


  1. Kevin is right about “Undo It.” There is no middle ground, and whichever ground I stand on depends entirely on what mood I’m in at the moment.

    I sure loved “Swingin’,” “Rain Is a Good Thing,” “Kiss Goodbye,” “Steal You Away,” and “What Do You Want,” though I wasn’t a huge fan of “Lover, Lover” or “Still.”

  2. …”rain is a good thing” made it, “undo it” made it – but you didn’t go as far as placing jason aldean’s
    “crazy town” among the top ten, did you?
    you can tell me – i think, i could handle the truth.

    randy rogers band’s “steal you away” is fine song – nice call.

  3. “Rain is a Good Thing” and “Undo It” are great songs. “Crazy Town” is not. I’m with the folks who turn up the radio when “Undo It” comes on. I love Carrie Underwood!

    Nice picks with “Coming Home” and “Kiss Goodbye.” David Nail (who is nominated for a Grammy for this one) has a spectacular vocal on that song.

    The Little Big Town song is one of my favorites of theirs from their new record. Phillip Sweet’s vocal is so vulnerable. Let’s all hope radio plays this one…it could be their first #1!

    “Still” is the only Tim McGraw song in recent memory that resembles the Tim McGraw we all remember from the 90s. Why every single of his cannot be as good as this one is very puzzling. He used to be so good.

    (He’s had moments here and there but his song selections have been very spotty – what exactly is a Southern Voice?)

    Will have to give Randy Rogers Band a listen – I’ve heard a lot about them (all good) but have never listened to them.

    Also, my favorite song of 2010 hasn’t been listed yet…I wonder where it’ll place in the top 10…

  4. Interesting list but I do not agree on the Carrie Choice. What the heck kind of song was that? And “Swingin?” UGH Jerrod is ok but not high on my list. But David Nail is amazing & his album was solid like someone previously mentioned. I have watched him for a few years & told folks he is one to keep your eye on. “Turning Home” is a great song & he deserves the Grammy nom for that.

  5. Very nice list guys! I’ll definatly have to check out a few of the lesser-known tracks.

    My favorites:

    “Undo It”- Trite, inane, ridculous…call it what you want, but the mere fact that this is a catcby earworm worthy of Shania Twain caliber, combined with the fact that it’s extremely well-sung (and even shows off Carrie’s voice, in my opinon), gives her the win with this one.

    “Kiss Goodbye”- I’ve made it known I’m no LBT fan, but this song caught my attention from the first time I heard it. It combines raw valunerablity with a simple-yet complex- story of human emotion. Shame it didn’t garner more attention.

    “Rain Is A Good Thing”- Great vocals, combined with cherry, infectious country charm. If an artist wants to claim how country they truly are via the country lifestyle, this is the right way to do it.

    “Still”- I like a fair amount of McGraw’s earlier music, but I think this is one of his worst songs in recent years. The vocal is so lifeless, it’s almost painful. Not to mention the lyrics are about as uninteresting as you can get, even by country radio standards.

  6. Interesting song choices for this portion of the list. Surprised to see Carrie’s “Undo It” and Luke Bryan’s “Rain Is a Good Thing” on the list. I wouldn’t think they would be considered “best of” this year, but to each their own. (By the way, I love both the songs but don’t think they were among the 20 best singles of the year)

    Love both the Jerrod Niemann’s songs as well as the Leann Rimes songs. I can’t wait to see the top 10 tomorrow!

  7. My favorites from this list:

    -“Undo It” – This is a kickbutt song. Say what you will, but this song was easily the summer anthem of 2010, and Carrie has had great success with this nearly-platinum single. That, and the fact that it shows off Carrie’s range like no other. From the lower-registered verses to the soaring “everything you lack” lines in the chorus, it’s a rockin’ song.

    -“Turning Home” – Perfect. Perfect. Give him the Grammy now, please. Emotion + realistic writing + great vocal = love.

    Can’t agree with:
    -“Rain Is a Good Thing” – I find that song to be a bit stupid, to be quite honest (*ducks from the flying tomatoes*). “Rain makes corn. Corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisk-ay.” I just find those lyrics very bland and rather stupid, to be quite frank. It was definitely a major step backwards from “Do I”.

  8. Oof. I think “Do I” is incredibly melodramatic; the desperation kind of makes me squirm with embarrassment for the guy. Maybe I’d like it better if it wasn’t so overblown. Love “Rain Is A Good Thing” though.

  9. I think “stupid” is a pretty apt way to describe “Rain Is a Good Thing,” actually. But I think it’s stupid in a more effective way than a lot of its peers, if that makes sense. Blake Shelton’s “All About Tonight” this past year was similar in mood but had none of the unique perspective, details or musical moments.

  10. “Rain Is a Good Thing” is stupid. “Stuck Like Glue” is also stupid. But to me they’re fun-stupid, and I love them both.

    With regard to “Still,” I never really scrutinized the lyrics all that closely, but the overblown power balladry and grating guitar solo were instant turnoffs for me.

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