Friday, November 27, 2009

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

(Click here for the whole list.)

30. Ra Ra Riot — "Ghost Under Rocks"

This song has a great propulsive energy. There's some debate on the internet about the correct lyrics of the chorus, but I hear:

Here you are, you are breathing

Life into ghost under rocks

Like notes found in pocket

Coats of your fathers

Lost and forgotten

29. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — "Maps"

The kind of song that inspires graffiti.


28. The Dodos — "Red and Purple"

This song has a personal resonance to me. I started listening to this song around the time, I was one of many people who had to say an emotional goodbye to someone important to us, and I kept finding parallels between that situation and this song. On one day when we said goodbye, many people showed up wearing this person's favorite colors: red and purple.

27. Rihanna — "Umbrella"

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

26. Arcade Fire — "Rebellion (Lies)"

25. MGMT — "Kids"

This song feels to me like a living, breathing creature on the prowl.

The instrumental interlude (starting about 3 minutes in) is outstanding. First, there's an adventurous and floridly Baroque keyboard solo — which is abruptly cut off and followed by a simple but effective drum passage, backed by just one relentlessly repeated chord. Then the bottom drops out for a moment, and we're back to the catchy chorus.

24. The Strokes - Last Nite

The Strokes and Tom Petty have admitted that this is derivative of Petty's "American Girl."

23. Esperanza Spalding — "Fall In"

22. OutKast "Ms. Jackson"

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

This is a masterful fitting of melody to chord progressions. He must have taken exquisite care to make this sound so effortless.