Friday, December 4, 2009

The 100 Singles Of The Decade: 70-61

70. Britney Spears

[Jive, 2004]

Arguably the last time our favorite tabloid fixture truly and fully inhabited one of her own songs, “Toxic” is groundbreaking, hermetically sealed Top 40 fodder of the finest order. For evidence why people still continue to care about the ex-Mrs. Kevin Federline, look no further.

69. The Hives
Hate To Say I Told You So

[Burning Heart/Epitaph, 2000]

Remember the days when journalists argued whether the Hives or the Vines would achieve world domination first? Me neither, but at least these besuited Swedes produced one fantastic single before slipping (noisily, no doubt) back into obscurity.

68. Scissor Sisters
Take Your Mama

[Jive/Nonesuch, 2004]

Europe fell so hard, even America had to come around for a little while. Unapologetically camp, gloriously hooky, and better than anything Elton’s done in two decades.

67. LCD Soundsystem
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House

[DFA, 2005]

This is what James Murphy does so well: namechecking one hipster icon, stealing from a couple more (Gang Of Four? The Fall?), then wrapping the whole thing in a winking, yet eminently catchy, package. Makes you wish the furniture really was in the garage.

66. Daft Punk
Harder Better Faster Stronger

[Virgin, 2001]

Years before Kanye jumped on board, the cool kids already knew: French robots make the best dance music. At their best, the Punks take simple aural building blocks and rebuild them in ridiculous, dazzling ways; for further proof, check out Alive 2007, which mashes “Harder” against its older brother, “Around The World,” and brings the whole thing full circle.

65. Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
Falling Slowly

[Overcoat, 2007]

Show of hands of those who watched the movie Once (or the 2008 Academy Awards telecast) and did not fall in love with this amazing song. I thought not.

64. Eminem featuring Dido

[Aftermath/Interscope, 2000]

Proof that, at his peak, Marshall Mathers was more than just clever catch phrases and gimmicks. Few artists have ever detailed the complicated relationship between celebrity and fan more accurately or—thanks to that Dido sample—poignantly.

63. Paramore
Misery Business

[Fueled By Ramen, 2007]

Hayley Williams has a voice for breaking windows and a band with hooks to match, but “Misery” was something even greater: the aural equivalent of Mean Girls, high school drama and “girl power” delivered with adult smarts.

62. Radiohead
Pyramid Song

[Parlophone, 2001]

If the best band of the last fifteen years fell off in one area during the 2000s, it would be the release of commercial singles: nothing from their masterwork Kid A, and just months-after-the-fact efforts from In Rainbows. So “Pyramid” marked one of the only times this decade when a new ‘Head album was preceded by its own teaser, and if Amnesiac the album fell a bit short, this glorious slow-burn anthem most certainly did not.

61. Kings Of Leon
Use Somebody

[Sony, 2008]

Sure, “Sex On Fire” was a gloriously dumb (and fun) come-on, but this was KOL’s true moment in the sun, a pristinely polished anthem that still felt like flesh and blood.

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