Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (160-151)
This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.
One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.
Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.
So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019:
160. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from Rocketman
It’s just an upbeat, lovely song. Part of the charm is that he wrote it for his own biopic and sings it with the actor who plays him in the movie. It is trading a bit off “I’m Still Standing,” since he’s basically trying to do the same thing in a different way, but hey — a fun song’s a fun song.
159. “Memories,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Ah, yes, our first Spider-Verse song. Don’t worry, there will be quite a few of these on the list. They did a lot of things right with this movie, but one thing they did very right was this soundtrack. I don’t know whose idea it was to do the old school 90s hip hop soundtrack, but it’s a great idea. This and Black Panther did the same thing, and this one did it better. That one had higher-named talent on it and probably more money, but this one has the higher ration of great songs.
This one in particular is just a smooth ride. This is almost the Lite FM of hip hop songs, the way it washes over you. You could just have this on in the living room and just groove along to it. Or like, in the office. It’s just a nice, easy listen. Which is awesome.
158. “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” from Ted
I’ll say it every time about Seth MacFarlane… he is committed to music. I don’t know how or why he chose a jazz tune with Norah Jones singing to be the opening credits to his movie, but hey, that’s cool. It’s a fun song. It’s almost too good for the movie. It’s this really pleasant, happy tune, and here we are watching him getting arrested for having mushrooms underneath it. But hey, the song is the song.
157. “Love Is a Drip,” from Band Aid
Our second song from Band Aid, and another song I keep wanting to rank higher every time I listen to it. The songs from this movie are so good.
As a refresher — this is a very underrated movie from Zoe Lister-Jones (she writes, directs, stars and produces) about a couple whose marriage is falling apart, so they decide to start a band, which helps them get all their angst and anger out in the music. It’s pretty awesome, and the songs are great.
156. “Alive,” from Vox Lux
I’m telling you, this Vox Lux soundtrack has some bangers. This one’s sung by Raffey Cassidy, who plays young Natalie Portman in the first half of the film and Natalie’s daughter in the second half. Her voice in this is really impressive (you may have heard her sing a cappella in The Killing of a Sacred Deer). It’s also a very Sia song, which means it’s a very catchy pop tune, and the kind of song that you could have heard on the radio if she gave it to an artist for the radio. Which is exactly what this character would be singing.
155. “Love Me Like You Do,” from Fifty Shades of Grey
What is it with Fifty Shades of Grey having actually passable music? It’s really only the first one. I think they realized the bubble had burst after that and threw the rest of them together. But here, they actually went all out on the music. This is just a very nice song. It’s a nice romantic ballad that is way too good for the film for which it was written. I’m not gonna pretend like it can hold a candle to any of the love ballads from 80s movies, but hey, in terms of the state of pop music nowadays, this is actually a very passable excuse for a love theme.
154. “Ancora Qui,” from Django Unchained
Ah yes, the song Ennio Morricone wrote for Django that Quentin put during a scene of Leo’s slaves setting the table for his dinner with Waltz and Foxx. And I think Morricone came out and was like, “What the fuck is that about? You ruined my beautiful song!” But anyway, the song’s really great.
153. “I’m Still Here,” from Miss Sharon Jones!
God, how good is Sharon Jones? The Dap-Kings are one of those wonderfully throwback bands that brings back that 70s funk sound that the music world just sorely misses. And she wrote this song to go along with the documentary about her continuing to tour all while fighting the cancer that would eventually take her life within a few months of the documentary coming out in theaters. But just listening to this song, she’s gonna go on for a lot longer than that. What an amazing talent.
152. “Into the Unknown,” from Frozen II
It’s a bit of a weird mashup of a song. Those opening piano notes sound just like “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” but they’re clearly going for the “Let It Go” ballad with this. The first time I heard this song in the theater, I thought, “What a weird song structure,” with all the fits and stops. And I also couldn’t make out what she was saying in the chorus at all. Truly I did not know until I looked it up afterwards that she was saying “Into the Unknown.” I have no idea what I was hearing instead, but I truly did not know what it was supposed to be.
But also, this is definitely another Elsa ballad — that doubles as a metaphor for the inherent gayness within the character that Disney refuses to acknowledge (let’s not pretend like “Let It Go” isn’t one of the gay anthems of the 2010s) because backwards people will burn their stuffed Olafs if they did that. It’s not as good as “Let It Go” by any measurement, but it definitely is a stronger song than I gave it credit for the first time I heard it.
151. “Suddenly,” from Les Misérables
Ah yes, the lesser song they wrote and shoe-horned into the film version of the musical without a single bad song in it. Fortunately for them, this song is actually okay on its own, though when put amongst the masterpieces in the rest of that musical, really sticks out. Still, Jackman does his all to make it work and the song does what it needs to do. If you isolate the song by itself and don’t compare it to the rest of them, it’s a very nice song.
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