Billboard is celebrating the 2010s with essays on the 100 songs that we feel most define the decade that was -- the songs that both shaped and reflected the music and culture of the period -- with help telling their stories from some of the artists, behind-the-scenes collaborators and industry insiders involved.
Today’s music world leans heavily on efficiency -- given the weekly barrage of content at listeners’ fingertips, artists face the challenge of quickly and effectively entertaining. Long, experimental tracks have gone by the wayside in favor of ones that slam the gas pedal.
Should it have been released today rather than in 2011, M83’s “Midnight City” might stick out like a sore thumb. Several periods of steadily-building instrumentation that eventually burst at the seams; no incessantly loopable lyrics in the chorus for listeners to latch on to (there aren’t any words in the chorus); a minute-plus saxophone solo that emerges from nowhere like a bat out of hell.