Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.
60. Andrew WK – Party Hard
I love how everyone initially detested this guy, as if I Get Wet wasn’t the most awesome thing they had ever heard ever. Pitchfork, in their infinite indie wisdom, called this frat boy rock, which it probably is, in all truth, and gave it a 4.0. Of course, years later, it made their best-of list for the decade. Most people reneged on Andrew because you just can’t deny badassery, especially when it’s delivered in a completely earnest (but slightly exaggerated), multi-instrumental fashion. “Party Hard” is the intro message WK seeks to deliver, and as history has shown, it’s anything but novelty.
59. Daft Punk – Digital Love
The robots started singing on Discovery, and aren’t we glad they did – “Digital Love” is a sweet electro pop jam that basically provided the backbone for Cut Copy, MGMT, and all that other stuff. The singing is only in the first part, however, the rest is melodic breakdowns in the trademark Daft Punk French house fashion, before it all goes apeshit with a computerized 22nd-century guitar. You never see it coming – it’s like if Prince went to space.
58. M83 – We Own the Sky
Like the rest of Saturdays=Youth, Anthony Gonzalez’s finest creation, “We Own the Sky” is perfect for rainy days inside and warm summer nights on the hood of a car, kissing your teenage girlfriend while gazing at the stars. It’s no secret the entire album is based off of the majesty of John Hughes films; you can just imagine “We Own the Sky” playing in the background perfectly when Ringwald goes in for that Sixteen Candles smooch. This song makes me lightheaded, in a really good way.
57. Rogue Wave – Lake Michigan
Probably the biggest success story as a result of the dot-com bust, Rogue Wave formed when the leader Zach Schwartz lost his cool Internet job and decided to form a little band. “Lake Michigan,” which you’ve probably heard on a commercial at some point in the past three years, is their catchiest and smartest track recorded to date; it perfectly captures the acoustic-tinged, optimistic indie pop the group is known for.
56. Lucero – Chain Link Fence
When your heart breaks, all you need is Jameson and a live Lucero show to put you back on top. You think YOU’VE got it bad – just listen to Ben Nichols desperately pleading for a girl he just met and will probably never see again to give him a chance for the finest night she’ll ever know. I mean, how is she gonna say no? He followed her all the way to the Dixie Freeze!
55. MIA – Galang
Probably the first taste the vast majority of people got of MIA and Diplo was with this highlight from Arular, and it’s still a classic Maya track. While her naive political stances are in full form here, you can’t deny the unique lyrical approach and cadence. And it’s no wonder Diplo became one of the premiere producers of today’s dance music scene with sound effects and shuffling beats this sharp.
54. Green Day – American Idiot
The song that began a movement and a comeback, the lead single to the politically-charged (and now classic) concept album was released in the summer of 2004. It is often misinterpreted as stating anyone who voted for Dubya was an American idiot, and while that is certainly true, the song is more about being sucked in to the fear-based reporting of today’s news media, which is more evident than ever today.
53. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?
Ted Leo’s ode to the Specials was the first song I ever heard from him and his badass Pharmacists. All I can say is this band puts on one of the rowdiest live shows in the damn world, and the guy has never ever made a bad album.
52. Audio Bullys – We Don’t Care
The thick British accent and bumping dance beat got me moving when I first heard this random track in 2003 on WOXY-FM’s Web stream. You’ll learn the lyrics the first go-around, but I still love cranking this one.
51. Feist – 1234 (VanShe Technologic Remix)
This is one of my all time favorite remixes, hands down. The finest remixes always keep the original intact, while creating a whole new experience on its own. The crescendo and freakout in the middle make me shake every single time. While I enjoy Feist’s iPod-promoting “1234″ on its own, this is far superior in my opinion.