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Taking sides: Which iTunes bestseller is really the best?

itunesYour iTunes most downloaded include (clockwise, from upper left): Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and Coldplay. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images; Reuters/Mario Anzuoni; Bryan Bedder/Getty Images; Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Last week, iTunes patted itself on the back for selling its ten-billionth download. (Impressive!) They also published a list of its most-purchased songs since the service launched in 2003. (Scary!)

The hits that fill out the top ten are by no means the best singles that pop music has produced in the last seven years. In fact, are Jason Mraz or Leonna Lewis a best anything?

We digress. Even a cloud this dark must have a silver lining. Vote for your favorite top-tenner in the poll below and see which songs Click Track's contributors picked as their favorites, after the jump.

Chris Richards: Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow"
The ubiquity of this song may be working America's last nerve, but "Boom Boom Pow" still jumps out of Apple's top-ten list like a strange electro-pop mutant that doesn't belong. It's an oddly paced, oddly structured tune that ditches melody for two other languages altogether: deep bass and party-starting gibberish. Taylor, I love you, but you're just so normal.

David Malitz: Lady GaGa, "Poker Face"
This list is why I need to find a new job. If we were singling out a song from the top 20, at least I could vote for Beyonce or Kanye. But this list? Yikes. I have to go with GaGa's "Poker Face," if only because it gave birth to the endlessly hysterical Eric Cartman version.

Allison Stewart: Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"
It's pretty astounding that of all Coldplay's hits, this is the most popular on iTunes (I would have guessed "Clocks," or "Yellow"). But it's an unabashedly great song -- catchy and kind of deep. It's got a novel "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" motif that I assume relates to the band's discomfort with super-stardom. It's also the only track in the top ten to make (very oblique) mention of John the Baptist -- unless I'm really missing something in "Tik Tok."

Sarah Godfrey: Flo Rida feat. T-Pain, "Low"
There is probably an argument to be made that while “Low” fails as a hip-hop track, it succeeds as a dance track. Frankly, I think it pretty much bombs on all musical fronts. And yet "Low" stands as a perfect snapshot of 2007/08, capturing the dominant pop sound, fashion and slang of that time. In the not-so-distant future, a DJ will throw on "Low" at some karaoke night or high school reunion and the conversation will go something like this: “Oh snap, remember this song? Wow, remember Apple Bottom jeans? And those boots with the fur?! Wow, remember when people used to say 'gwap?' Ha! Hey, it’s that guy with the funny voice! T-Pain, right? Remember Auto-Tune? Crazy. Wait, but who’s the main guy rapping, though? Can’t think of his name...”

By Chris Richards  |  March 4, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags: Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Flo Rida, Jason Mraz, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Leona Lewis, Taylor Swift  
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Next: Clicky shuffle


I think Viva La Vida is the only one of those I've heard, much less downloaded.

Maybe "I'm yours"? If so, it wasn't memorable.

Posted by: wiredog | March 4, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

wiredog, you should not be commenting on the best pop songs if you haven't turned on your radio in the past year or so to a pop station.

Posted by: chas11man | March 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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