My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 220-211

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

220. Eisley – Marvelous Things

The Tyler, Texas quintet has remained active over the years, but it was this song, played late night on MTV2, that made me fall in love with their soft take on indie pop. It’s infectious, laid-back, and a perfect introduction to the band.

219. The National – Start a War

The National has been critically praised for everything they’ve ever done, and rightly so – Matt Berinnger’s soothing baritone can not be ignored, especially set alongside such a crescendo of instrumentation.  “Start a War” was a particularly quiet track, even for the National, on their finest work, 2007’s Boxer.

218. A New Found Glory – Hit Or Miss

I annoyed a good friend of mine in eighth grade by playing this song nonstop for about two months.  I watched the video incessantly (I remember thinking the leader looked like a young, even uglier Quentin Tarantino) and dreamed of sitting under a Dallas sun at the Warped Tour. How things can change.

217. Lily Allen – LDN

Surprise! Much like Kate Nash, Lady Sovereign, and the wave of snotty Brit girls, Lily was a one trick pony with only a few minor hits here in the States.  But this one was her best – while “Smile” was bratty lyrically, it was musically plain compared to the hop-along bass line of “LDN” and the dark story it told.  It’s quite gimmicky now, but Lily’s schtick of matching happy melodies with sinister lyrics worked the best here on her debut.  I played this song so much during my KTXT shift, the other DJs began associating me with it in the same sentence.

216. Queens of the Stone Age – Sick Sick Sick

Josh Homme and his crew have never made a bad album, and Era Vulgaris was all I hoped it would be – more of the same. Hey, if it ain’t broke… Thanks to the guys at Ralph’s Records, I heard this song repeatedly during a summer, but that was totally cool with me, because that guitar line after the chorus beckons you to just crank it.

215. Avett Brothers – I and Love and You

Of course there is no doubt that Emotionalism and everything before trumps the major label debut that is I and Love and You; while one of my favorites of 2009, it just didn’t compare to the earlier, more traditional-country based work.  The title track, however, is the highlight of what was a pretty good album overall – a slow build to a begging plea for a shining New York borough to take a confused soul under its wing.

214. Weezer – Fall Together

The 90’s era Weezer is untouchable, no question, but many argue about the material afterward, especially 2002’s Maladroit.  While most regard it as the hardest-sounding album in Weezer’s catalog, I personally think it is one of their best.  “Fall Together” is smack dab in the middle, and shows the louder, more aggressive approach the band took for this album, while still crafting a sweet little pop song under three minutes.  Give the disc another listen, with the volume up higher this time.

213. Incubus – Pardon Me

When analyzing an entire decade of music, there’s always songs that creep up on the list that would never belong on a present-day favorites tabulation.  But alas, ten years is a long time, and there was a point when Incubus didn’t suck so bad (everything before Morning View, pretty much).  Make Yourself was my intro course, and “Pardon Me” was my first Incubus song, and I doubt I’m the only one with that story.

212. The Hives – Hate to Say I Told You So

I’m holding out that the new disc from these Swedes will rock a la Veni Vedi Vicious and Tyrannosaurus Hives and less Black and White Album, because man, that one sucked. This song made these dudes huge back in the day, and it’s still fun to hear. Regardless of their future and where it leads, as long as they keep their sharp James Brown-esque choreographing and raucous live presence, there will still be a spot for them on my “bands to see before I die” list.

211. Deftones – Minerva

Search the archives – I’ve talked about this group a lot, and I love them dearly.  In fact, I just bought my ticket to see them in San Antonio.  Go grab yours while you listen to the best track off of their underrated 2003 self-titled effort.

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