29 December 2009
Music: Best Songs of the Decade, Part 3 (L-R)
LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”
From the album Sound of Silver (DFA, 2007)
James Murphy writes about regret the way great novelists do. But his point is this: what good is it to grow up and start making money if you're just going to want to reclaim your youth later on? Ponder that when you think about taking that desk job.
Lecrae – “Send Me/Represent”
From the compilation EP Amped (Reach, 2007)
Musically, Lecrae is something of a miracle worker: he's brought legit skills to the heretofor (understandably) maligned genre of Christian rap. Here, he disses not other MCs, but lazy listeners who'd rather watch MTV than do something that would impact the world.
Leeland – “Carried to the Table”
From the album Sound of Melodies (Essential, 2006)
The wee Mooring took an obscure psalm and turned it into a tear-jerking anthem. It's not an end-of-your-rope giving up, but a breakthrough giving up. Beautiful.
M.I.A. – “Paper Planes”
From the album Kala (Interscope, 2008)
The kind of success story you can cheer for: she didn't have to change your sound to achieve fame. Most people heard it in that Pineapple Express trailer, but it made much more sense in the context of Slumdog Millionaire. For the gangsta in all of us.
M83 – “Kim & Jessie”
From the album Saturdays = Youth (Mute, 2008)
Wait, this isn't the theme song for the worst '80s movie ever made? Why isn't Andrew McCarthy in this video?
Mêlée – “She’s Gonna Find Me Here”
From the album Devils & Angels (Warner Bros, 2007)
The antithesis of emo. Lead singer Chris Cron doesn't think it'll never happen. It just hasn't happened yet.
MGMT – “Time to Pretend”
From the album Oracular Spectacular (Columbia, 2008)
Thirty years ago, your parents listened to Loverboy's “Working for the Weekend” when 5 o'clock Friday rolled around. Now, it's your turn.
Moby – “I’m Not Worried at All”
From the album 18 (V2, 2002)
Play may have been his big seller, but this song was the apex for the DJ. Combining all the things that made him so popular in the first place (universal themes, but mainly taking a good portion of his music from old spirituals) was on full display here.
Modest Mouse – “Float On”
From the album Good News for People Who Love Bad News (Epic, 2004)
Could anyone have guessed that people outside of college campuses and Pitchfork offices would know the name Modest Mouse before this year? I don't think they did either. But one listen to the sage advice of Isaac Brock, self-help guru, changed all that.
Morrissey – “The World is Full of Crashing Bores”
From the album You are the Quarry (Attack, 2004)
Don't call it a comeback; he'd been here for years. One of his most universal songs, even if we're not all wordsmiths.
Nas – “Made You Look”
From the album God’s Son (Ill Will, 2003)
With just one line--“Made you look/You're a slave to a page in my rhyme book”--Nasir Jones had us hooked.
New Order – “Crystal”
From the album Get Ready (London, 2001)
After years of middling with side projects, the seminal electronic band reunited for one of the decade's best club albums. Without this song, there would be no Killers (and not just because of the video).
Oasis – “Songbird”
From the album Heathen Chemistry (Big Brother, 2003)
So Noel finally deflated his ego enough to let Liam right a song, and the result is far better than when the Beatles let Ringo write a song.
OutKast – “Hey Ya!”
From the album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (LaFace, 2003)
There are many good arguments for “B.O.B.” to be on this list instead, but I still have to go with the infectious “where-do-we-go-from-here” hit. André 3000 knew how to traffic in heartbreak in addition to the regular hip-hop trappings.
Trey Parker & Matt Stone – “The End of an Act”
From the soundtrack album Team America: World Police (Atlantic, 2004)
What could be a more pure expression of love than comparing your affection to how much Pearl Harbor sucked? That's an awful lot, girl.
Pet Shop Boys – “I Get Along”
From the album Release (Parlophone, 2002)
With this song, Neil Tennant became the biggest liar since John Waite declared “I ain't missing you at all.”
Peter Bjorn and John – “Young Folks”
From the album Young Folks (Wichita, 2006)
Whistling came back into (hipster) fashion with this off-beat Dutch hit, and it's not hard to see why. It'll be stuck in your head for days, but the difference between this and most Top 40 songs is you'll actually want it there.
Phoenix – “Consolation Prizes”
From the album It’s Never Been Like That (Astralwerks, 2006)
They're just now gaining the popularity they deserve, but this song finds the French band at their peak, singing deceptively upbeat pop songs to hide the betrayal underneath.
The Postal Service – “Brand New Colony”
From the album Give Up (Sub Pop, 2003)
Should Ben Gibbard write your vows? If they're this good, you may want to ask him for some help.
The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band – “Walmart Killed the Country Store”
From the album The Whole Fam Damnily (SideOneDummy, 2008)
AC/DC sold millions of copies of Black Ice by carrying it exclusively at Wal-mart. But I doubt the Rev. Peyton cares if his shamefully unheard 2008 album will ever be sold at the Evil Empire because, truthfully, they kill mom-and-pop business. A folky bit of righteous indignation.
Rilo Kiley – “Portions for Foxes”
From the album More Adventurous (Brute/Beaute, 2004)
A song that's all about the moment when you know you shouldn't do something but you debate whether you should do it anyway. You know you've been there.