Today, Curtis joins us for the first of his five part series highlighting the Top 25 songs of the past decade. It’s a great concept for sure, and I’m sure he’ll probably do a better job than me, since I’m not as nearly well-rounded as him in a musical sense. Either way, here’s Part One.
All right people, I figure since I won’t hear any music in the next few months that will have enough of an impact to make this list that I’ll just do it right now. The deal is that no songs that came out after August 1st of this year will make this list, which will be done in five parts cause I’m lazy. It seems like everyone and their mother is doing an end of the decade list on the blogs and since I don’t have a blog…well I’ll do mine here. Just know that I’ve put a lot of thought into this. It won’t have anything to do with “importance” or “impact,” just the best fucking songs.
We’re gonna start here with #25 and go down the list, with 5 every post, which will be every few days when I have the time. The albums list will come probably at the beginning of November or so. I haven’t thought of that one yet, so there.
25. “Hearts on Fire” – Cut Copy
When Cut Copy’s album came out last year I didn’t think much of it because a) a lot of dance records came out last year and b) all of the great material on Cut Copy’s record was, in my opinion, pushed to the back where my patience didn’t regularly bring me to. Well, I gotta say I’m glad that I made it far enough to hear “Hearts on Fire,” the most uplifting dance song to come out the whole decade. You have a lot of disco elements (including some disco whoops) and some very clean production, but in my mind the best part of the song is the lyrics. To hear something like “hearts on fire I reach out to you tonight” is really uplifting to most people going out to find love on the dance floor, not just sex. How this song did not become a world dominating hit is beyond me (it has all the elements you’d think) but you think that maybe if they tried a little harder it might have ruined the song. I’ll take it as is.
24. “Hip Hop” – dead prez
This shouldn’t be too much of a shocker. Not only is the song a classic in its own right, but it will be forever remembered as the song that introduced Dave Chappelle on his eponymous show. Not that it should be though as the fantastic beat is only half of the song. While the sounds do cause anybody within earshot to bob their head, the lyrics are the real highlight, with it’s call to “run up on crackers” and to destroy the record industry. Ultimately, the song is atypical of dead prez as a whole, not a song about social injustice necessarily, but a plea to the hip hop community to step up their game. Whether or not the hip hop community stepped up to the challenge is still up for debate, but at least we’re left with a classic.
23. “Criminology” (Metalface Remix) – MF DOOM
It’s amazing how simply changing the beat can change the whole perspective of a song. While DOOM didn’t change too much in the song, simply changing the beat without adding extra verses, this small change shifts the whole dynamic of “Criminology” from a horrifying, drug-crazed banger to a contemplative, introspective poem. Sure, “Criminology” proper fits perfectly in the Cuban Linx mafioso galaxy, but as a stand alone track on DOOM’s Special Blends album, the track is really able to shine, the lyrics becoming more focused on the nihilistic elements rather than the uncaring elements personified in the original. I’m not sure myself if it usurps the original (the beat on that one is stellar too) but the way DOOM is able to add a whole different elements to the track so simply is definitely worthy of praise.
22. “Brothersport” – Animal Collective
The last track on the newest Animal Collective album just so happens to be the best track and also probably the most perfect and appropriate ending to any album in recent memory. While lyrical repetition may not be everybody’s favorite thing in the world, Animal Collective use it masterfully in this song, transforming the otherwise simple lyrics into a positive mantra for overcoming struggles. Seriously, the positive energy almost seeps out of this song. “I know it sucks that daddy’s gone but try to think of what you want” isn’t the best lyric ever written, but surrounded by upbeat arrangement it turns into an overpowering call to live your life. Animal Collective has always been greater than the sum of their parts and it really shows in this song, as it builds to a crescendo at around the 5 minute mark with a wave of power. Too bad this song just came out this year or else it’d definitely be higher.
21. “Digital Love” – Daft Punk
I’m not gonna say too much about this song because pretty much everyone who has listened to Daft Punk, knows this song is great, and knows why it’s on the list. I mean come on. A Daft Punk love song? That’s gotta be just about the greatest thing in the world, right? Well, yes, it is. And if anybody else tries to tell me one more time that “Too Long” is their best song, I’ll just force them to go listen to Homework. Sheesh. Well, anyway, it’s like taking ecstasy. So there.
Next time: #20 – #16!!