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Sunday, December 20, 2009


ModFabulous: The Best Songs of the Decade, 2000-2009

We Are Scissor Sisters...

The list mania continues with my highly-subjective list of the best tracks of the decade. Well, kind of...I set rules for myself, which skewed the results somewhat. First, I decided to allow only one song by any artist, which means some great tracks were skipped (Kylie's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head, OutKast's "Hey Ya," and numerous Pet Shop Boys tracks among them).

I also decided to avoid tracks that are receiving (over)praise elsewhere on other year-end lists -- so you won't see Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," Hercules and Love Affair's "Blind," M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" or The Killers' "Mr. Brightside," here, for instance. And finally, I ignored any criteria besides my own enjoyment. Here they are.

75. Badonkadonk, Hot Pink DeLorean
74. Breathe You In, Samantha James
73. I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Panic at the Disco
72. Like A Star, Corinne Bailey Rae
71. Move Your Feet, Junior Senior
70. Milkshake, Kelis
69. I’m Not Alone, Calvin Harris
68. Toxic, Britney Spears
67. William's Blood, Grace Jones
66. Bootylicious, Destiny's Child
65. Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken, Camera Obscura
64. Sexyback, Justin Timberlake
63. Pull Shapes, The Pipettes
62. D.A.N.C.E., Justice
61. Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand
60. My Secret Lover, Private
59. Grace Kelly, Mika
58. Everyday Is A Holiday (With You), Esthero
57. If I Ain't Got You, Alicia Keys
56. No More Drama, Mary J. Blige
55. It's All True, Tracey ThornGod Is A DJ, P!nk
54. Kal Ho Naa Ho, A.R. Rahman (2003)
53. Crazy in Love, Beyonce
52. Menage a Trois, Alcazar
51. Irish Blood, English Heart, Morrissey
50. Golden, Jill Scott
49. I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You, The Black Kids
48. Get This Party Started, Dame Shirley Bassey
47. Consider Me Gone, Hilary McRae
46. No Such Thing, John Mayer
45. Feel Good Inc., Gorillaz
44. Maybe, Emma Bunton
43. Drop It Like It's Hot, Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell
42. Get Outta Town!, Lucky Soul
41. Maybe Tonight, Nicole Atkins
40. Backwards Forwards, DJ Earworm
39. She’s Madonna, Robbie Williams
38. Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani
37. American Boy, Estelle
36. Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson
35. Emerald City, United State of Electronica
34. Walking on a Dream, Empire of the Sun
33. Hope There's Someone, Antony and the Johnsons
32. Black and Gold, Sam Sparro
31. Soda Shop, Jay Brannan
30. One of These Days, Kraak and Smaak
29. Mercy, Duffy
28. I Try To Despise The Ugly People, Napoleon
27. Chasing Pavements, Adele
26. Get Ur Freak On, Missy Elliot
25. Pagan Poetry, Bjork
24. One More Time, Daft Punk
23. Roses, OutKast
22. Vertigo, U2
21. Hella Good, No Doubt
20. Inner Smile, Texas
19. Bad Things, Jace Everett
18. Let There Be Music, Prefab Sprout
17. Take Me Home, Sophie Ellis-Bextor
16. Wow, Kylie Minogue
15. Home and Dry, Pet Shop Boys
14. Love's Divine, Seal
13. Better Life, Keith Urban
12. The Fear, Lily Allen
11. Standing in the Way of Control, The Gossip

THE TOP TEN, 2000-2009

10. A Thousand Beautiful Things, Annie Lennox
On 2003's sparse, fragile, poignant Bare, the former lead singer of Eurythmics stepped away from the ironic romanticisms of “Why” and “No More I Love You's” to a piercing examination of her own personal struggles. The album began with this pristine, staggeringly powerful lament. It remains an unappreciated classic, and one of the high points of the still-vibrant artist's career.

9. I Feel Loved, Depeche Mode
The reigning gods of electronic music released finer albums this decade than 2001's Exciter, most certainly. But buried in the last half of that record is a mind-blowing surprise – the group's finest dance track since “Strangelove,” nearly 20 years earlier. The obsessive, ominous lyrics counter the propulsive rhythm (and its remix, by the genius Danny Tenaglia, circles the upper reaches of Heaven).

8. Tenderoni, Chromeo
I defy you to keep your bootie still while listening to this bass-heavy wonder...or to keep from giggling with delight as you do so. The bumps and blips evoke retro style, but in our post-postmodern culture, everything old is new again. Sometimes dazzlingly so.

7. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, Rufus Wainwright
There were a half-dozen Wainwright tracks I could have chosen – “Grey Gardens,” “I Don't Know What It Is,” “Tiergarten,” the Beatles cover “Across The Universe” – but this cheeky, savage track kept coming back to mind. In a world littered with pop charlatans, the real artists working in the field are few. Here is the decade's finest addition to their number.

6. Hurt, Johnny Cash
A career like Cash's deserves to finish strong. Rubin-produced and Reznor-written, the decade's greatest cover was a shockingly intimate revelation of pain and damage, sung by a one of the 20th century's greatest balladeers.

5. Goldigger, Kanye West
In a career peppered with the highest highs and the lowest lows, this tell-it-like-it-is, vaguely misogynist anthem was the apex. Literally, you couldn't turn on a radio without hearing it. Crossing the soul, pop, rap and dance divides, it was the rare track that everyone could recognize as greatness.

Watch dance videos and dance lessons at DanceJam.com

4. Rehab, Amy Winehouse
Sure, she's a laughing stock now, but try to remember back to the first time you heard this fierce chunk of Motown-ish rebellion. In 2007, it stood out on the radio like nothing else, a potent (and ironic) declaration of one's right to do whatever the hell one wants. Certainly, it reeks of irony now...but that does nothing to reduce its charm, its power, or its magnificence.

3. Filthy Gorgeous, Scissor Sisters
New York's best new act of the decade emerged in a glittering wave of European chart success, debuting with a succession of superbly-written singles that kept their roots in 70's ephemera. The best of them was this witty, sleazy nightclub crawler, replete with a torrid video directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Like its own lyric, this is a song you want to open up like Christmas.

2. Lola’s Theme, Shapeshifters
Built around a sizzling horn sample from Johnnie Taylor's 1982 R&B hit “What About My Love,” the dancefloors of 2004 were ruled by this tribute to personal change. Traveling under the name Shape:UK in the United States, the Shapeshifters elevated sampling to the sublime.

1. Let Me Know, Roisin Murphy
Is there anything more heavenly than a groove that sounds classic and yet totally fresh, an immediately possessing hook, or an artist reaching the height of their powers? On this midtempo plea for, umm, companionship, the fashion-forward, silky lead singer of Moloko stepped fully out on her own, and onto the global stage...with a full intention to stay.

Previously: ModFab's Best CDs of 2009

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Blogger xolondon said...


12/20/09, 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great list, I love these ones:

64. Sexyback, Justin Timberlake
57. If I Ain't Got You, Alicia Keys
45. Feel Good Inc., Gorillaz
37. American Boy, Estelle
32. Black and Gold, Sam Sparro
29. Mercy, Duffy
27. Chasing Pavements, Adele

Great to see Jace Everett listed, and for Rufus, Amy, Kanye and Roisin to be in the Top 10!


1/1/10, 11:21 PM  

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