There's a difference between "great singles" and "great songs," despite all evidence to the contrary. For starters, the rise of iTunes means every song on every album is now technically a single... at least for 99 cents (or the occasional $1.29). Plus, as we continue to see the end of radio (and MTV, VH1, et al) as a cultural force, the idea of "singles" as unifying mass-culture watercooler moments becomes more and more an antiquated notion. Nevertheless, I still cling to the idea that a stellar single needs to do more than just stand out on an album; it needs to take on a life of its own—whether that life exists on television, or YouTube, or a particularly memorable commercial—and it needs to represent something greater, whether serving as a calling card for an artist's latest endeavor... or the first (or last) volley of an entire movement.
That said, there were a ton of great singles released this decade—far more than great albums, especially towards the tail end. Not all of them came from the likeliest of sources, and not all of them got the recognition they deserved (especially in America), but each one held a special place in my heart at some point in the last ten years... or at least a prime spot on a past mix CD or playlist. As always, this is only one man's opinion, and even though I did my best to factor "mainstream resonance" into the equation, I'm sure plenty of popular touchstones still got overlooked. (Sorry, "Single Ladies.")
And so, without further ado... my picks for the 100 Singles of the Decade, ten at a time for ten days. Agree, argue, and enjoy.