Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Is this burning, an eternal flaaaame?

45. The Corrs - Summer Sunshine - 2004

After four years out, it seemed unlikely that Irish family band The Corrs, who had their biggest year in 1998 with the huge Talk On Corners album, would make much of an impact with new album Borrowed Heaven. However, they made a massive impact as the album went in at No.2 in the UK, led by the brilliant Summer Sunshine, probably their best single since the Talk On Corners era. A joyous uplifting pop song with the typical Corrs trademarks' Jim's melodic piano, Sharon's violin, Caroline's emphatic drumming and Andrea's perfect vocals and of course the brilliant harmonies provided by Sharon and Caroline. It was like nothing at all out in 2004 and seemed completely irrelevant to the music scene at the time, but it was brilliant to see them back on top form.

44. Mariah Carey feat Joe and 98 Degrees - Thank God I Found You - 2000

From her 1999 album, Rainbow, Mariah Carey's second single from the album was the ballad Thank God I Found You. Given a fresh lick of paint with an excellent remix package - namely Stargate's radio edit, and the fantastic Make It Last remix with Nas - which was essentially a completely different song but still great, the song quickly became my favourite Mariah single. Hugely underrated and forgotten by most, the song was a #1 in the US but only reached #10 here. I'm not sure why I loved it so much - the harmonies by 98 Degrees, the soulful backing vocals by Ne-Yo's predecessor Joe, or Mariah's typically brilliant lead vocals. The chorus is brilliant, I love the key change and the general feel of the track. Such a forgotten gem.

43. Atomic Kitten - Eternal Flame - 2001

After the huge and completely unexpected success of one of the decade's definining British pop songs, Whole Again, Natasha, Liz and Jenny re-released their debut album, Right Now, with some new tracks and obviously replacing Kerry Katona's vocals with those of Jenny Frost. Leading the repackaged album was Bangles cover Eternal Flame. Obviously a brilliant song, although I was never a huge fan of Susanna Hoffs' voice so needless to say, I absolutely loved this version of the song. I was hardly a huge fan of Atomic Kitten beforehand but this converted me into one. One of my favourite cover versions of the decade, from one of my favourite groups of the first half of the noughties.

42. Thrillseekers feat Sheryl Deane - Synaesthesia (Fly Away) - 2000

I know very little about either this band or the featured singer but I do know that this was one of my defining anthems of the early noughties. I first heard it in late 2000 but can't recall where and was absolutely mesmerised by the song. In 2001 it finally got a UK single release but peaked at something ridiculous like #27...for one of the greatest vocal trance anthems of the decade, it was a huge and very sad injustice. Such an uplifting song with a beautiful melody, it is one of many tracks that prove that dance - seen as a very cold genre by some - can in fact be more emotional than many other genres if you find the right song.

41. Alexander Rybak - Fairytale - 2009

After the fantastic 5th place for the classy Hold On Be Strong by Maria Haukaas Storeng in 2008, the pressure was on for Norway to produce something special for Eurovision 2009. I heard all of the songs in their national selection, Melodi Grand Prix, in January this year and two songs instantly stood out. Tone Damli Aaberge's gorgeous mid-tempo pop strummer Butterflies and Fairytale, an uptempo violin led track by Alexander Rybak. The song fused together contemporary pop with traditional Norwegian music and it worked absolutely perfectly. I was hardly surprised to see it storm to victory in Melodi Grand Prix with a sensational winning margin of 7-1 against Tone who finished a deserved 2nd. The song had winner written all over it and instantly became the bookies overwhelming favourite to win Eurovision, despite the fact that Norway have only one neighbouring country, and most of the other winners of the decade have been criticised for only winning because of neighbourly support. Alexander put in a typically great performance and stormed to victory with by far the biggest winning score ever, with points from every single country. The song became a worldwide hit, it even reached the top ten in the UK, typically anti-Eurovision!!! An amazing pop song and a well deserved winner, easily the best of this decade.

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