Friday, November 27, 2009

The 100 best songs of the first decade of the 2000s (30-21)

(Click here for the whole list.)

From now to the end of the list, we're clearly in "true greatness" territory.

30. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — "Maps"

The kind of song that inspires graffiti.

29. Arcade Fire — "Rebellion (Lies)"

28. Rihanna — "Umbrella"

Possibly the youngest singer on the list: she was 19 when she recorded this song.

27. Esperanza Spalding — "Precious"

26. MGMT — "Kids"

Earlier this year, I was obsessed with this song, which I said "feels (to me, at least) like a living, breathing creature on the prowl."

The instrumental interlude (starting around 3:00) is outstanding. First, there's an adventurous and floridly Baroque keyboard solo. This is abruptly cut off and followed by a simple but exhilarating drum passage, backed by just one relentlessly repeated chord. There's no pretense that this might have been played on organic instruments; it sounds like it was played on the most rudimentary of synthesizers. Then the bottom drops out for a moment, and we're back to the catchy chorus.

25. Radiohead — "Idioteque"

With impassioned vocals and minimalist instrumentation consisting of a thumping drum beat and spare minor chord progression, this sounds like the Radiohead equivalent of Prince's "When Doves Cry."

24. Camera Obscura — "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken"

When I listen to Camera Obscura, I imagine a band from the early '60s traveling through time to the '00s and trying to fit in.

23. The Flaming Lips — "Do You Realize??"

Poignant rock.

22. The Dodos — "Red and Purple"

I started listening to this song around the time I, along with many others, had to say an emotional goodbye to someone important to us. I can't disclose who it was, but there are so many parallels to this song's lyrics that it gives me chills. On the day we had to say goodbye, many people showed up wearing this person's favorite colors: red and purple.

21. Beyonce — "Crazy in Love"

Credit is also due to the Chi-Lites; the brass-section hook is sampled from their 1971 song "Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)."