49. The Ghost of You- My Chemical Romance
48. White Shadows- Coldplay
47. Florida- Modest Mouse
46. Disco Sheets- Wolf Parade
45. For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti- Sufjan Stevens
44. One Way In, No Way Out- The Music
43. Your New Twin Sized Bed- Death Cab for Cutie
42. Map of the Problematique- Muse
41. Striptease- Hawksley Workman
40. Dismantle. Repair- Anberlin
39. We Want Guarantees, Not Hunger Pains- Closure in Moscow
38. In Repair- Our Lady Peace
37. Existentialism on Prom Night- Straylight Run
36. Let it Happen- Jimmy Eat World
35. The Shame of Life- Butthole Surfers
34. Banquet- Bloc Party
33. The Engine Driver- The Decemberists
32. Atlantic- Thrice
31. The Noose- A Perfect Circle
30. Let Down- Dead By Sunrise
29. Gold Mine Gutted- Bright Eyes
28. Here to Stay- KoRn
27. Skin of the Night- M83
26. Cold (But I’m Still Here)- Evans Blue
25. So Far Away- Stabbing Westward
24. Shespider- Mew
23. In Pieces- Linkin Park
22. Sweet Talk- The Killers
21. Beach- Mew
20. Make this Go On Forever- Snow Patrol
19. Rusted Wheel- Silversun Pickups
18. 23- Jimmy Eat World
17. A Favor House Atlantic- Coheed & Cambria
16. Waiting…- City and Colour
15. Deaf Ears- The Hourly Radio
14. According to Plan- I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness
13. Always- Neverending White Lights
12. Change (In the House of Flies)- Deftones
11. Ground Beneath her Feet- U2
Well here we are, the very best. As you might imagine, this will be a slightly longer read, cuz I spewed my guts about these songs, which, you know, I kinda like. Aight settle down folks, here they are:
THE TOP 10 SONGS OF THE DECADE
Featured solely on the soundtrack to the first Spiderman movie, it’s a huge mystery as to why the song ‘Hero’ by Chad Kroeger ended up getting the single treatment when this song is far and away the better song. Pete Yorn’s impressed me with a few of his other singles, but his vocals really shine on this song, when they were usually weak. (The song ‘Lose You’, while also decent, had him straining. Here he’s great.)
9. [Someday You Will Be Loved- Death Cab for Cutie]-
For the longest time I proclaimed that the best song off the excellent album “Plans” was the piano driven “Brothers on a Hotel Bed”. But the lack of a discernible chorus in that song always left me feeling a little empty. This song, on the other hand, snuck up over the years and eventually won me over as the star of Plans. Although it sounds like an indie take on The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun”. Gibbard sings with great conviction, ignoring the fact that there may be any similarity to the classic. Chris Walla’s lush production also adds to the dreamlike nature of the track, with a hazy, delayed guitar smeared across the first third of it. It’s also probably the only song I’ve ever liked that’s in waltz-tempo. (I’m not smart and don’t know the actual time signature for that).
8. [E.S.T.- White Lies]-
Yes, although it just came out this year, it really is that good. This is one “song of the year” (2009) that I’m sure will stand the test of time. Although there was a lot of other good tunes in ’09, nothing came close to hitting all the right notes…literally, and sonically. For a more in-depth analysis see my countdown for this year.
7. [Bug Eyes- dredg]-
Imagine Deftones if they dropped all metal from their sound and instead threw in some alternative post-rock. Soaring vocals, skyward guitars, and just a hint of piano augmenting the nostalgic lyrics, it’s definitely odd why this never made it to mainstream radio, as well as slightly upsetting considering this would have been their crossover hit that made them big. Following the release of their 2005 album ‘Catch without Arms’ they were plagued with problems and delays, and the follow-up record was far less impressive, with none of the innovative songwriting of 2005’s release. Dredg may have just missed their golden ticket.
6. [Jesus Christ- Brand New]-
It’s a pretty simple tune really. Borrowing a few stylistic tricks from Modest Mouse and then pondering existential thoughts for 5 minutes over a repeating guitar line, finishing with a louder and more raw section of the song. The simplicity of this song definitely works in the song’s favour, though– the focus is set on creating an intensely introspective look at singer Jesse Lacey’s psyche, and it succeeds enormously.
5. [Where I End and You Begin- Radiohead]-
I’ve said a LOT of negative things about Radiohead over the years, and I feel bad because even though I do think they’ve gone crazy and make sub-par music nowadays, they still wrote this amazing song. With it’s hypnotic bass, psychedelic keyboard flourishes, and simultaneously cryptic and poignant lyrics, it’s the best of all their output this decade. Plus Thom Yorke sings about dinosaurs.
4. [The Weight of the World- Editors]-
A grandiose epic constructed around a simple but huge cascading drum, this is what an Ian Curtis fronted Coldplay would sound like. Although singer Tom Smith can sometimes get to be annoying imitating the aforementioned idol of his, here his voice is less nasally affected, and doesn’t stray much in terms of melody until the bridge, when he imbues every syllable with monumental emotion. It’s after the bridge though, when the songs shines most. The final chorus is swathed in guitars and keys and reverb, providing a sort of giant blanket of warmth to aid Smith’s sentimental lyrics.
3. [Nothing Better- The Postal Service]-
Well, there is something better …two things better, because this is only #3 on the countdown. But it’s still a great song, allowing for a conversation to play out between two ex-lovers as the guy (Ben Gibbard) pleads his case while the girl (Jenny Lewis) tells him that no matter how hard they try, it won’t work out. It’s done in a very clever and tasteful manner, showing both sides of the equation in a break-up with wordplay and common world references without sacrificing the honest feelings and intentions behind each person’s argument.
2. [My Body is a Cage- The Arcade Fire]-
If Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” had a Canadian indie hipster kid, this would be it. The second best song of the past 10 years boils slowly for about 2 minutes, with the organ slowly creeping up on you until the mid-section, when it explodes massively, complete with corporal drums and horns. I don’t like to overuse the word “explode” because it loses its effectiveness if constantly employed (take note Michael Bay). However if there’s one song on this countdown that actually explodes, it’s this one (there are a few, but this one does it best! Seriously, CRANK IT when it gets to the 2:10 mark.) Lead vocalist Win Butler’s frantic, dramatic vocals complete the sense of strained urgency in the song, enhancing the massive orchestral arrangement with a powerful anxiety.
So, what could be the #1 song?
It’s a very well written piece of alternative pop.
It’s a strangely effective lyrical mash-up of envy and starry-eyed optimism.
It’s got a simple but exhilarating keyboard hook that provides a great post-chorus.
It’s been praised by indie critics and the general public alike. Indie folks (begrudgingly) admit that it’s one of the best songs that the band has ever written, and well, the mainstream folks ate it up when it was a big hit on MTV.
It’s the best song of the past 10 years, and it’s…
DUH! The Killers started this countdown and they’re now ending it.