My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 210-201

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

210. The Go! Team – Universal Speech

Cheerleader chanting, party-inducing raps, and cheeky melodies made the Go! Team an indie rock sensation right around the time I entered college in 2005.  This rarely-referenced album track from the sophomore effort Proof of Youth is one of my personal favorites.  I’m pretty sure it’s that infectious drum beat at the beginning and the way it glides along with that piano line.  It’s a surefire way to get sampled in hip-hop in the future, that’s for sure.

209. Groovie Ghoulies – Jet Pack

This is quite possibly the most obscure track on this entire list, from a pretty much unknown pop-punk group.  Initially, “Jet Pack” sounds like nothing special, but it works in the best of ways – the finest gifts and quirks of the aforementioned sub-genre are beautifully orchestrated here.  It’s a unique tale utilizing a form of transportation that no one uses – a love song regarding an impossible activity becoming a spectacular date night.  And the chorus is subtle lyrically, focusing instead on the song’s strengths – that driving power-chord crunch we all love from pop-punk.

Groovie Ghoulies – Jet Pack

208. Band of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You

It’s clear from the “meh” that was Infinite Arms that Cease to Begin is this group’s masterpiece, never to be duplicated.  One of the highlights asks the age-old question: how long should you stay together after you know it’s over?  Still, there’s that declaration at the end, the one we mean when we say it, though it’s doubtful we’ll mean it forever: “no one’s gonna love you like I do.”  The song gets the point across – you can hear the vulnerability and uncertainty, and still it’s proclaimed repeatedly, as if saying it more will make it come true.

207. Death Cab For Cutie – A Movie Script Ending (Acoustic)

The original never did it for me.  Ben Gibbard’s voice is left to echo on this rare take of the Photo Album classic, and it’s perfect for both clarity and mood.  Plucking through verses, strumming to an addictive bob during the chorus, and the simple repetition of “high…way” give the emotion this song deserves.

206. Radiohead – 15 Step

Much ado has been made about In Rainbows – an album that will unfortunately be remembered more for its revolutionary marketing strategy than its musical content.  And that’s a damn shame, because it’s one of the band’s best works.  As we all know, that’s really saying something.  It’s clear from the intro (the electric pulsating of this song) that the world’s most innovative group really found a way in 2008 to mix and mold a soundscape of futuristic sounds with conventional accessibility in a way no popular musical force ever dreamed of.  Here’s hoping the upcoming sounds are just as good.

205. Coheed and Cambria – A Favor House Atlantic

I had a small fling with this band in high school; as I matured, the overzealous prog tendencies, generally poor songwriting, and ridiculous lyrics (centered around an equally ridiculous comic book series) triggered the terms “masturbatory” and “trying too hard.”  Still, these one-hit wonders will always have their highlight – this gem of golden power pop sweetness.

204. Kings of Leon – Knocked Up

The Followill family may have hit their stride on the previous album, but Because of the Times was still pretty stellar, and this track is seven powerful, real-life testimonial minutes to give you an example.  The album’s opener starts with a marching drum beat and two infectious guitar lines.  At the time, the boys had stuck to their Southern twang, but it becomes apparent quickly that their progression would lead to a more urbanized, and ultimately more successful, future for Kings of Leon.

203. Waiting to Derail – Streetsigns In a Junkyard

Before it was the REM-influenced, harder-rocking, more introspective One Wolf, Daniel Markham had a little short-lived alt-country band called Waiting to Derail, and “Streetsigns In a Junkyard” was the biggest fan favorite from the album.  Showcasing even at a younger age Markham’s chops for a catchy melody, the song features arguably the most addictive chorus ever written by a Lubbock artist.  Georgia’s gonna have a hard time keeping this one down.

Waiting to Derail – Streetsigns In A Junkyard

202. Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body

Nowadays, when most people hear “bet I have you naked by the end of this song,” they picture Timberlake ripping Janet Jackson’s dress and starting Nipplegate, the most blatantly staged and over-stated “scandal” in the history of television.  And that sucks – this song is so badass it’s unreal.  That “Billie Jean”-esque bass line, the male/female back-and-forth, the light-show music video, JT’s undeniable falsetto, and let’s not forget the white boy can beatbox.  Classic dance track.

201. Passion Pit – Little Secrets

I’ve already mentioned how this song would fit perfectly alongside Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.”  Now I’m just waiting for the mashup to appear on YouTube.  For now, there’s still this entertaining music video.


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