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Posted at 1:25 PM ET, 12/22/2010

Lists: Five things in 2010 that turned out better than we thought

By Allison Stewart

bieberBieber: He ain't bad! (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

It's a Best Of Times, Worst Of Times type of thing: For every great event in 2010 (Kanye West tweeting about Persian rugs, Zooey Deschanel in the year's funniest viral clip), there was an equally questionable one (the Black Eyed Peas' new album, Swiftenhaal).

Click Track has assembled a two-part list documenting 2010's most pleasant and unpleasant surprises. Now: Five things in 2010 that turned out better than we thought.

5. Trent Reznor's score for "The Social Network"
Reznor and partner Atticus Ross's Golden Globe-nominated score was subtly creepy, unexpectedly great, and very un-NIN-like.

4. That whole Justin Bieber thing seems to be working out okay.
Look, he's not terrible. We would have no problem saying so if he was. But he isn't. The Biebs spent 2010 recording a pretty decent acoustic album, unconvincingly playing a creepy kid on "C.S.I.," holding hands with a Disney starlet in an IHOP and just generally acting like an entirely decent teenage kid.

(Diddy makes his "Dark Side of the Moon" and Kanye.. .does a lot of things, after the jump.)

wanda jackson jack whiteWorking with Wanda Jackson has made Jack White's label a winner.

3. Diddy's "Last Train to Paris"
If anyone had told you a year ago that the words "Diddy," "concept album" and "not that terrible" would appear in the same sentence, you would have thought they were crazy. But! Diddy's latest is a concept album (about...a train? That's going to Paris? And maybe it's the last one?), and it's not that terrible!

2. Third Man Records
It could have been just another rock star vanity label, but Jack White's Third Man is a testament to his obscure and exquisite tastes: Laura Marling, the Secret Sisters and Wanda Jackson all recorded for Third Man this year, and that's just for starters.

1. Kanye West, in general
He should pretty much stop talking. But his G.O.O.D. Friday leaks were staggeringly good, every last one of them. Before he got bored with it, his Twitter feed was a source of much hilarity/awesomeness. And Kanye brought more than the crazy in 2010: "Twisted Fantasy" is the album of the year.

By Allison Stewart  | December 22, 2010; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Lists  | Tags:  Atticus Ross, Diddy, Jack White, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Trent Reznor, Wanda Jackson  
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Next: Lists: Five things in 2010 that turned out worse than we thought


Click on the Third Man Records link, and the home page has a picture of Captain Beefheart. I hope that either Ms. Stewart or another writer takes a moment to remember musical greats who died this past year. In a year during which Alex Chilton and Captain Beefheart died, it seems appropriate, even if the list is only 2 names long.

Posted by: MyPostID27 | December 23, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I will add to this the Pavement reunion tour. Apparently things went bad in Vegas for the Matador 21 celebration - but the shows in New York that had everyone in a frenzy a year before they even occurred - delivered.

Posted by: universaltravaler | December 23, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

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