Friday, November 20, 2009

The 100 best songs of the first decade of the 2000s (40-31)

(Click here for the whole list.)

40. Decoder Ring - Fractions

39. The Dresden Dolls - Good Day

38. Andrew Bird - A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left

37. Tori Amos - A Sorta Fairytale

36. OutKast - Ms. Jackson

Yes, there is a rap song on this list!

35. My Brightest Diamond - Inside a Boy

34. Mika - Grace Kelly

And here's a solo unplugged live performance.

33. John Mayer - Daughters

I couldn't stand this song when I first heard it (playing in a convenience store). It was just too earnestly tear-jerking, with eye-rollingly gendered lyrics. Later on, for some reason, I suddenly found it perfectly effective.

32. Dntel - (This Is) the Dream of Evan and Chan 

This song was created by the same lineup as The Postal Service.

Another blog, The Factual Opinion, ranked this the best song of the decade, saying:

The 2001 people imagined decades ago must have sounded like this--the electronic squall, the nearly overwhelming surge of drums, the drifting grasp on reality. ... 8 years on, “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” sounds like a future that we still haven't caught up with.
The Factual Opinion quotes the line, "He then played every song from 1993," and says, "I always imagine that he’s talking about hearing *every* song from 1993, from 'Whoomp (There It Is)' to 'Mr. Jones.'" Although that's what the line would seem to literally mean, I always imagine that he's talking about Kurt Cobain in the last full year of his life, and "every song from 1993" means every one of his songs from 1993 -- in other words, In Utero, Nirvana's last studio album. That's why (I imagine) Ben Gibbard wittily accentuates the next line, which I hear as a reference to Cobain's famous diffidence toward his own success: "The crowd applauded as he curtsied bashfully."

31. Polydream - Hollywood

Click here to play the mp3. [Dead link]

(Full disclosure: I'm friends with these guys.)


Summer Anne said...

I love, love, love, love that DNTEL song and what you've shared about it here. Thanks.

Your list is great, in general, but I've always listened to and enjoyed that song without contemplating the specifics of the lyrics much and I'm glad to have the opportunity to do so.

John Althouse Cohen said...


I wouldn't have expected you to pay less attention to the lyrics than me -- see my comments on "Marry Me" (#42).

That whole post by The Factual Opinion -- or, the whole part about "This is the Dream..." -- is worth reading. Lots of lyrical and musical analysis. Another sample:

"The story is a simple one — he and his girl watch a concert — and he never attempts to make it sound anything less than mundane. Instead, he gets wrapped up in the details of dreaming itself.... When a telephone finally disrupts his reverie, he repeatedly sings the word 'ringing,' as if his voice were either the ring itself, or another part of the dream, swirling into a new place in his psyche."