Friday, December 4, 2009

The 100 Singles Of The Decade: 50-41

50. Damien Rice
The Blower's Daughter

[drm/14th Floor, 2004]

Credit Closer if you must, but Rice’s gut-wrenching honesty had already won over legions of fans before Hollywood came calling. The mainstream popularity of something so proudly uncommercial still amazes.

49. Phoenix

[V2/Loyauté, 2009]

1970’s AM pop with whiz-bang production and French parts, all delivered in a giddy rush that feels like the first day of summer will never end. Shame that most Americans were introduced to one of the best singles of the decade via a car commercial, but that’s the music industry in 2009 for ya.

48. Nelly Furtado
Say It Right

[Geffen, 2006]

In which the former quirky songbird reconciles her Lilith past with Timbaland’s sex kitten production, resulting in the saddest club banger of the last few years.

47. Bruce Springsteen
The Rising

[Columbia, 2002]

Of all the songs written in the wake of 9/11, none still resonate like Springsteen’s Grammy-winning composition; like his best work, it finds its universal message in nuts-and-bolts humanity. A centerpiece of every E Street tour this decade, it’s the one recent Bruce song to find a permanent place in his canon—and rightfully so.

46. Rilo Kiley
Portions For Foxes

[Brute/Beaute, 2005]

Jenny Lewis’s moment in the sun is part kiss-off, part confessional, and all attitude. (And damn hooky to boot.) Everytime she sings “Baby, I’m bad news,” a thousand bloggers swoon in unison.

45. D'Angelo
Untitled (How Does It Feel)

[Virgin, 2000]

For women, there’s the video; for everyone else, this is D’Angelo out-Princing the Purple One himself, a falsetto come-on so potent it still connects today, even as its creator remains sadly M.I.A.

44. Tool

[Volcano, 2001]

Only Tool could hit #1 with a song so prog, you could actually hurt yourself trying to count the (arguably 47) different time-signature changes. But nothing about it feels show-offy or even angry; this is metal tempered with maturity, as deep as it is heavy.

43. Peter Bjorn and John featuring Victoria Bergsman
Young Folks

[Wichita, 2006]

The weirdest, catchiest thing to come out of Sweden since ABBA… and the coolest whistling hook since Otis.

42. The Game featuring 50 Cent
Hate It Or Love It

[G-Unit/Aftermath, 2005]

A career highlight for two of hip-hop’s one-time superstars, hitting that perfect sweet spot between street and sentiment. The feud that split Curtis and Jayceon apart is never mentioned, but you feel it in the track’s ache.

41. Arcade Fire
Keep The Car Running

[Merge, 2007]

Plenty of bands owe a debt to Springsteen, but rarely does Springsteen acknowledge in return. Just par for the course for the Montreal collective, the rare band to crossover without even a whiff of compromise.

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