Continuing my look at some of the songs that narrowly missed making my top 100 of the decade, here are five more brilliant pieces of music that cheered me up in the past ten years;
Dario G - Dream To Me - 2001
Another aging dance anthem, British dance act Dario G, best known for the anthemic Sunchyme, returned in 2001 with a semi-hit Dream To Me, a cover of The Cranberries song Dreams. With a guest Icelandic vocalist Ingfrid Straumstoyl (wow, I still remember her name!), and a lovely video, the song was very uplifting my favourite part being the bridge where Ingfrid simultaneously manages to sing the lead vocals in a high register and the backing vocals in a low register, giving a very interesting sound clash. Brilliant.
Beautiful Small Machines - Robots In Love - 2009
A very recent song next. New York duo Beautiful Small Machines make a very interesting brand of cutesy electropop, none moreso than this song which is probably the most charming song I've heard all year. The lyrics are brilliant, Bree Sharp's vocals are very nice and the song would make anyone who doesn't have a heart of stone feel incredibly happy. I hope to see more from them in the future.
Tone Damli Aaberge - Butterflies - 2009
Another one from this year, Norwegian Idols contestant Tone scored her biggest domestic hit with a song that is even more charming than Robots In Love. Butterflies came 2nd in Norway's 2009 Eurovision selection, Melodi Grand Prix. The winner got eight times more votes to win, but then the winner was eventual Eurovision winner and now European superstar Alexander Rybak's contest crushing Fairytale!!! This twee song has lovely strings making and a really nice harmonica making for a very different type of pop song, but incredibly commercial nonetheless due to the simplistic nature of the lyrics. I'd love to hear this sort of thing on UK radio but the only Norwegian act they've supported recently is the awful Madcon.
Girls Aloud - The Loving Kind - 2008
I'm putting this down as 2008 because it's the album version, from last year's Out of Control album, that I love as opposed to the 2009 single version. A hugely underrated track from Girls Aloud, it only peaked at #10 in the UK although I recall it being a radio favourite, so maybe the public just didn't buy into it. Personally it's one of my three favourite Girls Aloud tracks, absolutely gorgeous winter-y electro pop which reminds me of late last year. Clearly they were going for Call The Shots 2.0 with this one, but whilst others have called it an inferior imitation, I actually prefer it, it feels slightly more emotional/real somehow.
Liberty X feat Rev Run - Song 4 Lovers - 2005
A real shocker. Liberty X are a band who were incredibly hit and miss for me. I loved Thinking It Over and their cover of Got To Have Your Love but was disinterested in everything else. After looking down and out, they returned for one last gasp in 2005 with a completely unexpectedly great song. A highly uplifting pop song with Run DMC rapper Rev Run providing a very different feel to the song. The gospel choir adds to the effect and in pop terms the only song I can think of to compare it to is Eternal and BeBe Winans' I Wanna Be The Only One. After a year filled with singer-songwriters and identikit indie, this song along with others around at the time from Friday Hill, Rachel Stevens and Sugababes, pushed pop back into the spotlight briefly.