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The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part II

December 22, 2009 | 10:00 am

POP_2009

Worst apology song: Chris Brown’s “Famous Girl.” In one of the most baffling and repellent songs of the year, Brown quotes a bevy of top 40 hits to accuse Rihanna of starting their notorious fight, sleeping around with Drake and unapologetically breaking Brown’s heart. The song would be a fascinating case of unfathomable self-absorption, if only the real-life implications weren’t so terribly ugly. (August Brown) Photo: Jive Records

Music_go_music Best local band not yet mentioned by the Los Angeles Times: Music Go Music. Released on acclaimed Midwestern indie Secretly Canadian (Bon Iver, Antony & the Johnsons), “Expressions,” the debut album from Music Go Music, had little pre-release hype – it was issued with only a vague news release with clearly made-up aliases (TORG, Gala Bell). In reality, the band is fronted by Meredith and David Metcalf from prog-ish outfit Bodies of Water, and their debut is a hook-filled blast through pop’s past. Or to be more specific, the ‘70s, as Music Go Music’s songs are packed with spooky synths, brash guitars and colossal, ABBA-inspired choruses. (TM) Photo credit: Secretly Canadian


MILEY_TEEN_GETTY_FOX85 Most thinly veiled attempt to sell your children jeans: “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus. After a performance on the Teen Choice Awards in which she may or may not have danced briefly on a stripper pole (depending on your level of innocence), Cyrus found herself caught in a mini-scandal over the age-appropriateness of her routine. But no one seemed to mind the fact that “Party in the U.S.A.” is an ad disguised as a song. To quote the young and always refreshingly frank Cyrus herself, “Honestly, I picked that song because I needed something to go with my clothing line.” The “Time of Our Lives” EP, on which the track appears, shot up the charts and has sold more than 1 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (TM) Photo credit: Getty Images


U285 Best U2 lyric in need of a better song: U2’s “No Line on the Horizon” didn’t get the kind of Grammy love the band is used to, and it hasn’t spawned a hit like “Beautiful Day.” Which is unfair, as the album showcases U2 at its more atmospheric and adventurous. But it does contain a stinker, and that’s the single “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight,” which is U2 at its most romantic-comedy end-credits cliche. Except for this line, in which Bono cuts the grand pronouncements about hills and mountains and a bunch of other nature-inspired nonsense and just gets bitter: “Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot.” It’s a line that needs a killer guitar riff, not the twinkly notes it received. (TM) Photo credit: Wally Skalij

Wilco_the_album Biggest cause for concern that turned out to be one of the year’s best theme songs: When Wilco announced that its upcoming album would be titled “Wilco (The Album)” and its lead-off cut would be “Wilco (The Song),” it was good for a chuckle but also a cause for alarm that the band was getting too self-referential and too silly. Not so, as “Wilco (The Song)” is a feel-good, recession-timed anthem. “Is someone twisting a knife in your back?” asks lead singer Jeff Tweedy in the opening moments of the rootsy rocker. It’s rock ‘n’ roll comfort food. (TM) Photo credit: Nonesuch

Banhart Best gentle landing at a big label: If the ‘90s taught us anything, it’s that big corporate labels can sometimes eat the beating heart out of our most delicate indie artists. Not so with Devendra Banhart, whose “What Will We Be,” out from Warner Bros. in October, found him making comfortable, laid-back folk that didn’t sound like a compromise – more like an artist growing into himself. (MW) Photo: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times

RELATED:

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part VII

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part VI

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part V

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part IV

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part III

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part II

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part I

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