Friday, December 4, 2009

The 100 best songs of the first decade of the 2000s (20-11)

(Click here for the whole list.)

20. The Strokes - Last Nite

Proof that rock music hasn't progressed too far beyond Bo Diddley. And the Strokes probably owe royalties to Tom Petty based on "American Girl." (Petty himself noticed the similarity but says he doesn't mind.)

19. Spoon - Everything Hits at Once

18. Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Follow You into the Dark

17. Regina Spektor - Us

16. Rufus Wainwright - I Don't Know What It Is

This is a good example of the fact that I mainly care about the music, not the lyrics. I'm not saying these are bad lyrics, but I don't really know what they mean, and they're certainly not the 16th best lyrics of the decade.

Regardless, this is a masterful fitting of melody to chord progressions. He must have taken exquisite care in writing this song to make it sound so effortless.

15. Bjork - Hidden Place

The apotheosis of introversion.

The build-up from the final verse ("Can I hide there too?") to the final chorus is quietly overwhelming. She gets so much feeling out of singing the words slightly off from the beat.

14. Goldfrapp - A & E

When I said (in this post) that one of the criteria I used in deciding whether to include a song on the list was...

Does the music have some sort of dramatic arc or development? (A bridge or other deviation from "verse/chorus/verse/chorus" is especially helpful.)
... this is one of the songs I particularly had in mind. Wow.

13. Frou Frou - Let Go

Here's an unplugged version by Imogen Heap, who is half of the defunct duo Frou Frou:

And here's the very different album version:

12. Radiohead - Sit Down. Stand Up. (Snakes & Ladders.)

A Slate reviewer said: "When 'Sit Down. Stand Up' quickens, turns on a dime, then explodes into furious broken bass chords and electro-beats and monkish chants of 'The raindrops, the raindrops,' I'm hearing something I've never heard before, something, quite literally, sensational."

11. Rilo Kiley - Does He Love You?

Ditto the above comments on Goldfrapp's "A & E."