2010 in Review: The year’s best Idol songs

This is part four of my look at 2010 in review, the year in American Idol.

Previous blogs include the best of Idol in 2010, the worst of Idol in 2010 and the top 5 Idol albums of 2010.

Today, a look at my picks for the top 10 Idol songs of 2010. The only requirement: That the song was first released this year, on an album, EP or as a single.

In other words, singles released from albums released in 2009 aren’t eligible for the list.

If you disagree with the selections below or have other favorites, feel free to comment below.

1. “Farmer’s Daughter,” Crystal Bowersox:

The song that convinced me that Crystal should be a favorite in season nine, before she ever appeared on an Idol episode. You only get this kind of emotion when a singer is performing a song he or she wrote and experienced. One of the best Idol tracks ever. It might not be a hit; it’s awfully bleak for release around Christmas. But kudos to 19 for allowing its release as Crystal’s first single.


2. “Falling in Love Tonight,” Fantasia:

Love this playful dance tune off Fantasia’s 2010 “Back to Me” album, complete with a little giggle at the beginning and even a touch of auto-tune midway through. Yet another example of why she’s one of the best vocalists ever to graduate from American Idol.


3. “That’s What I’m Here For,” Jason Castro:

I was a big fan of the season seven Idol cast. I wasn’t a big fan of Jason Castro. But match this guy with the right song, and there’s no denying his talent. It happens three or four times on his self-titled debut album, never better than here, though. And, don’t forget, Jason is coming to Lancaster in February.


4. “You Take Yourself with You,” Bo Bice:

An excellent album-closer for Bo’s excellent third album. There’s a clear reference to his days on Idol in the second verse. And a nice message to boot. Bo shares writing credits for the song with D. Scott Miller.


5.  “Desperate Girls and Stupid Boys,” Kimberly Caldwell:

You might not have heard this one. If not, check it out. The song is as good as the title. And it comes from a season two contestant who is promising the release of her long-awaited first CD in the spring. Hopefully, it includes more tunes like this one.


6. “Sleep Well, My Angel,” CarlySmithson:

Wow, listen to Carly Smithson. She never sounded this good on American Idol. A beautiful ballad off an underappreciated first album from We Are the Fallen. Here’s hoping there’s a second.


7. “Speak Now,” Crystal Bowersox:

The other Crystal Bowersox song from “Farmer’s Daughter” that I can listen to over and over. Not coincidentally, it’s also another Crystal original. And that album version is even better than this live version.


8. “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me,” Danny Gokey:

When it comes to first singles, Danny was clearly the winner among the season eight Idols. Fitting song for a guy who lost his wife just before Idol, then wound up finishing third and embarking on a country music career. Here’s an acoustic version of the song. If Danny had written the song, I’d rank it higher.


9. “Say Goodbye,” Katharine McPhee:

Kat released her second album back in January. It wasn’t a big hit. Nor was this song. But in my opinion, it’s Kat’s best original song yet. Great treatment of a heartfelt song.


10. “The Other Side of Down,” David Archuleta:

David had more of a hand in writing material for his second album, and the title tune is one of his co-writes. Not to mention a nice reminder of his vocal talent. And with the upbeat message you’d expect from David.


Honorable Mention: “Princess,” Lee DeWyze: Funny, but Lee seemed to want to distance himself from his pre-Idol music when he reached the finals. It’s a shame he didn’t follow Crystal’s example and include new treatments of a couple of his best pre-Idol songs — like this one — on his post-Idol debut.


17 Responses to “2010 in Review: The year’s best Idol songs”

  1. lct says:

    I too love the song The other side of down by Archuleta! Hopefully it will be a single. It’s darn good!

  2. cassie says:

    I love “The Other Side of Down” and all songs from David Archuleta’s new album!!

  3. iavarg says:

    Even though I am a fan of Bo Bice, I can see why Farmers Daugther is your number one pick for the best song. However, I will move Fantasia’s down to the number 4 spot and Bo’s up to number 2. Just a matter of personal music genre preferences. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I really enjoyed reading your latest articles.

  4. meme says:

    I so glad to see David Archuleta on your list even I don’t agree on the 10 spot you gave him. Castro, Caldwell, Carly, Bo before David? Even though I like some of their music they don’t hold a candle to David’s vocals and lyrics IMO.

  5. VJ says:

    Yep, “The Other Side of Down” is a dang good song. And the CD by the same name is a dang good CD. Too bad JIVE didn’t see fit to push any of David’s singles to radio…Not really a fan of any other Idol, so I had to listen to the other nine songs listed. I’d say my other favorites here would be “Farmer’s Daughter” and “Sleep Well, My Angel”. Go Carly!

  6. VJ says:

    Oh, I also like Fantasia’s song, though I’ve never been a fan of her voice.

  7. Violet says:

    I really liked Jason Castro’s debut cd… had a lot of great songs on it…my favorites were “Closer”.. “Love Uncompromised”… “It Matters to Me”… “Heart of Stone”.. and a really beautiful duet with Serena Ryder, “You Can Always Come Home.” This is one of the few cd’s I’ve bought that I can listen to every song on the cd, without skipping any… they’re all great.

  8. Donna from NY says:

    Just Love everthing from David. It is too bad that Radio does not play these amazing artist.

  9. Randy says:

    Agree with My Best Days ARe Ahead of Me.

    Fits him to a tee, and a great song. Country seems to suit him, which surprised me.

    Fantasia-very talented, but her voice just annoys me.

  10. Mari says:

    I thought David should be numero uno not only did he write the majority of the songs on the album and came up with the music to go with the words but sings every song with the one of the best voices from any idol,in my opinion.

  11. suziq says:

    Lee would not have been able to use songs recorded when he was under contract to Wuli for his post-idol RCA recording. He had a lot of good songs on Slumberland and So I’m Told…and I’m sure he’s plenty proud of them.

  12. It’s better if David’s The Other Side of Down is on the top.But anyway,thanks for putting David on the list!Please visit http://www.archienoystoughlove.blogspot.com for David Archuleta updates!Thanks!

  13. breanne says:

    I thought “The Other Side of Down” by David Archuleta should have been higher on your list!! His new album of the same name is so amazing and the thing that makes it so good to me is that he co-wrote 10 of the 12 songs. They are all great!! The other songs on your list are good but no one can sing a song like David does!!

  14. Linda says:

    The Other Side of Down by David Archuleta needs to be ranked higher than #10. His vocals are nothing short of stunning and the songs most of which he had a hand in writing send a really nice message. If radio would play him once in a while, the general public would know what I am talking about.

  15. angel50 says:

    I believe David’s title song should rank much higher than 10. Although…I am an avid fan of his so my opinion may be biased! LOL

  16. parisgirl says:

    Jason Castro’s debut CD has more favorites for me than any CD I’ve ever purchased. It Matters to Me is my very favorite though Love Uncompromised is a close second.

  17. [...] in Review blogs, including the Best of Idol, the Worst of Idol, the top albums of the year and the top songs of the [...]

  18. [...] The stop motion effect is neat. The song is even better. So good, I named it one of my top 10 Idol songs of 2010. (See where it landed and check out the others here.) [...]

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