31. nine inch nails – Discipline
After the head-scratching Year Zero and Ghosts’ tedious instrumentals, it was a relief to hear Trent Reznor do what he does best: Grinding, angsty, melodic rock. And for free!
32. My Morning Jacket – Touch Me I’m Going To Scream (Parts 1 & 2)
Don’t say you weren’t warned: MMJ set up Evil Urges with a radical, electro-flavored break from their jamband past. If “Part 1” is twisted robot pop, “Part 2” finds the humanity in all technology… and a feeling too wonderful to ever turn off.
33. Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire
The Kings remain too overrated for their own good—even Razorlight can sell out UK stadiums, after all—but this sleek, pounding single from Only By The Night finally delivered on all those years of anthemic promise. Shame about that title, though.
34. The Hold Steady – Sequestered In Memphis
Over a classic ‘70s chord sequence, Craig Finn reminds us why he’s the best lyricist in rock today. Most quotable line: “In bar light she looked alright/ In daylight she looked desperate.”
35. AC/DC – Rock N’ Roll Train
Australia’s ageless schoolboys mine that glorious three-chord vein once again, this time with full Wal-Mart approval!
36. Lil Wayne featuring T-Pain – Got Money
Weezy and TP exchange AutoTuned volleys over an infectious club beat, in what will undoubtably go down in history as the final “we got cash” jam before the economic collapse.
37. Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
Best white-boy ska since The English Beat disbanded. Or, alternately, best white-boy Soweto since Graceland.
38. Oasis – The Shock Of The Lightning
Dig Out Your Soul was only half of the great comeback Oasis has been threatening for years now. Fortunately, this up-tempo blast comes from the good half.
39. Bell X1 – Rocky Took A Lover
Twinkly Britpop by way of Damien Rice’s old band. Perfect for those who miss the days when Coldplay was just four romantics with guitars.
40. Counting Crows – Come Around
Last year at this time, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings seemed poised to be the Crows’ glorious return to form. More bittersweet pop songs like this one, and it would’ve been.
Discover Counting Crows!