160. Jimmy Eat World – Authority Song
The band’s breakthrough was in the form of a pretty spectacular power pop album, and while their new sounds reveal the group to have eased into generic territory, this self-titled disc (originally called Bleed American, but changed due to the post-9/11 attack on media and music) was a welcome escape from the over-saturation of bland hip-hop and post nu-metal radio dreck. “Authority Song” is a forgotten album track that has more hooks than the uplifting, cheesy lead single “The Middle.”
159. Turbo Fruits – Murder
Remember how awesome that first Be Your Own Pet album was? That was how the first Turbo Fruits album sounded, a trio that featured half of the former band. The disc was a blistering half-hour of goovy psych blues and rapid-fire garage punk. And “Murder” is one of the finest examples of the energy provided from the group’s live show as well.
158. Third Eye Blind – My Hit and Run
Once the late 90′s alternative songwriter wave stops being laughable, people will stop laughing at me for loving Third Eye Blind so much. Many of these types of bands have been panned recently as nostalgic corporate hit machines, forgetting the solid rock hits they produced. Critics now wince at the rise of Eve 6, Counting Crows, Everclear, and others, but this will eventually pass as time does. The frustration is best explained with a simple quote from the Crows’ Adam Duritz, who once told Rolling Stone, “One day, people just decided my band sucked.” Like you all didn’t fucking love that first self-titled 3EB disc – like you all didn’t enjoy the hits from Blue. And “My Hit and Run” is a great example of Stephen Jenkins continuing to press on and write pop gems into the next decade, even when the world had stopped listening.
157. Mclusky – Alan Is a Cowboy Killer
One of the greatest losses of the past decade was the breakup of this absolutely loud and awesome band. Future of the Left lacks the dynamics and songwriting prowess of Mclusky, no doubt. “Alan Is a Cowboy Killer” is a 00′s indie classic, with its simple crooned verses and deafening, distorted instrumental chorus. It might be the softest song they ever recorded, but it’s still pretty explosive.
156. Korn – Break Some Off
By the time this album came out (whatever it’s called, all the Korn albums after Issues kind of run together), this band was pretty washed up and out of ideas, as is still evident today. I can’t honestly say this is a song (or a band) that I listen to a lot these days (read: never). Like I’ve said before, this list reflects an entire decade of my favorites, and there was a point (high school) when I blared the slap-pop dirge and rhythmic growl of Korn. “Break Some Off” is a rare highlight, a throwback song reminiscent of the band’s raw days in the 90′s.
155. The Strokes – Last Nite
Julian Casablancas looks so young – and drunk – in the amateur music video for this breakthrough single, a spectacle I witnessed in awe about a million times back when MTV2 actually played music videos. Nowadays, the group is coming back from a torturing hiatus, selling out shows and playing ACL, but here, they were knocking on the door of a dramatic shift in alternative music.
154. Atlas Sound – Walkabout
Logos was overall, a disappointing album for me – I suppose I’m more keen to Deerhunter than Atlas Sound. But “Walkabout,” with obvious help from a superior songwriter, Noah Lennox (Animal Collective’s Panda Bear), is a standout if only for its infectious singalong chorus and psychedelic background humming.
153. Fountains of Wayne – Stacy’s Mom
Back in 1996, FoW had a lot of promise. A mostly ignored group by the mainstream, they scored a minor hit (which was totally NOT novelty) with “Radiation Vibe.” But alas, fame came calling, and this power pop ode to a friend’s MILF became a huge, unforgettable hit and a future classic rock staple, and deservedly so. The song is a pop gem, lyrics, melody, video, and all, though I can’t speck for the rest of the album and anything the group has composed after. Chalk them up as a one-hit wonder, but man, what a hit! You know I’m a sucker for three-part harmonies and handclaps!
152. Justice – Phantom
The French house emergence into American popular culture happened very slowly considering the times we live in. I mean, think about it – Daft Punk released three albums (all of which had many years in between each other – 1997, 2001, and 2006) and went on a highly-publicized worldwide tour (remember the pyramid?) before we had a proper imitator. And make no mistake, Justice are the finest duo to pay homage to the genre’s most popular robots. Cross was a futuristic dance masterpiece, making the candy-pop of Discovery rock hard with chopped bass and heavy metal riffs. “Phantom,” smack dab in the middle of the record, is the trademark.
151. Fall Out Boy – Of All the Gin Joints In the World
Have you listened to From Under the Cork Tree lately? At all? The sophomore album was Fall Out Boy’s emergence to superstardom, but also their transformation from a simple pop-punk band to a group fully capable of writing crunchy hooks, well-crafted, weird-time-signature pop, and witty, sex-soaked lyrics? Go back, dust it off, and re-live your passionate high school relationships with Patrick Stump’s candor:
“Turn off the lights and turn off the shyness
Cause all of our moves make up for the silence
And oh, the way your makeup stains my pillowcase”