One of the things that made him special was the way he took a microscope to the black American experience and ‘Jesus Walks’ was one of his first singles to do this. The third and final single from ‘OK Computer’ (and the first to be recorded for the album) remains one of Radiohead’s best-loved songs, its simplistic, almost childlike tune and gloomily observational lyric striking a chord as the millennium approached. When Karen O exhorts us to “shake it like a ladder to the sun” we don’t know what the hell she’s on about, but it still manages to sound like the filthiest thing in the world. An ever-so-slightly offbeat Go Go rhythm, some sparsely inputted horns and a lyric about a control freak undone by the instinctive, tempestuous power of love/lust. Constructed around a skyscraper-sized beat, the track’s lyrics might be cruder than the bits that were deemed too rude for Viz magazine, but it’s still stupidly catchy and hummable, as proved when Nicki Minaj’s underwhelming re-telling of the hook still left you singing along. But we’ll excuse the photography faux pas in an otherwise eccentrically excellent top tune of the noughties. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjsXo9l6I8. Never before has depicting a monotonous life in a dreary society sounded so compelling. That surly, chugging riff and the way the ripple of keys introduces the chorus like a sunburst through the clouds. No-one else could simultaneously sound as world-weary and mischievous as Lily Allen delivering that line about her emotionally-retarded ex “fucking the girl next door…what d’you do that for?“. Kanye would later re-visit the track on his own ‘Stronger’, but the effect was nowhere near as compelling as Daft Punk’s bold and futuristic original. (RS), By far the pinnacle of Tellier’s career to date, ‘La Ritournelle’ is also one of the most beautiful love songs of the last decade. one song per band, please. Songs by the year in which they were written, or first performed, published, recorded, or released. You don’t get that with The Kooks. It made rock ‘n roll believable again, simple as. And this scuzz bass, shape-shifting disco anthem was the clarion call, seeing The Rapture firing on all cylinders and leading indie kids off into the night like drainpipe jeaned pied pipers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6J-hxmjqII, Wunderkind producer Rodney Jerkins seemed to peak early before disappearing behind less-than-stellar work that came later in the decade, but 2000’s ‘Say My Name’ found Darkchild at his innovative best, only rivaling Timbaland and Missy Elliot in the bold sonic innovations department. Their 1995 album ‘See You On The Other Side’ had flopped, and several band members were nursing drug problems. When this casually brilliant garage-punk brawler was released, The Horrors were still routinely derided as shallow scenesters. By. Hurtling towards us on indie rock’s highway, ‘…Dancefloor’ came with its palms open. It felt like an effortless, on-the-money evocation of genre barriers melting down into one multi-coloured mass of beauty. It wouldn’t last of course, but for one album (‘One Touch’) and especially this single, they felt untouched by the machinations inside that notoriously wonky vessel that is the girl band. (PE), A nocturnal proclamation of love (that veers into dangerous co-dependent territory) this was The xx’s finest moment thus far; a simple, effective take on dark, nocturnal love action. The sax break from ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ sits next to clips from Enter The Dragon and the theme from ‘60s show Belphegor while the crew, including RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface and Raekwon, do their thing over the top. It also half-inches a riff from his dad’s old band, The Tornados (‘Telstar’). Madge has since upped her record sum to 43. In fact, we loved it so much that Mr. Music needs rebels and shit-stirrers as much as it needs visionaries and geniuses, so when a bunch of gobby bi-sexual Brazilians burst onto the scene aping Beyonce (“I’m tired of being sexy”) and with fucking and dancing on the brain, it was difficult not to take notice. On ‘Back To Black’ Amy Winehouse (aided by Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson) tied the sound of the past (“jukebox” as Winehouse called it) to the present with effortlessness. Polishing up a little (not a lot, mind – thank God) with the help of Franz man Alex Kapranos on production duties, The Cribs hurtled into album three with giddy guitar hooks and their most commercially viable track to date. The real horror came in the latter half (the tunneling screams in the closing minutes), but it didn’t matter, the mark it left was indelible. ‘Rehab’ was all Ronettes sass and Motown horns but at its heart was the memory of a very real conversation about Winehouse’s post-heartbreak addition and how best to deal with it. He looks out for them. ‘We Are Your Friends’ was one of those. Simple, full of white spaces and workman like, wipe clean surfaces, it was an unmistakably European sound. It still rules. With passing reference to the tumult of the last few years (calling herself “a walking study in demonology,”) ‘Celebrity Skin’ charts Courtney’s trajectory from indie rock grind to Hollywood A-list with a shamelessly eyes-on-the-prize sense of victory whilst choking on the ridiculous vacuity of it all. And you can’t ask for anything more than that from a pop song really. (PE), Being somewhat revered now, it’s easy to forget how worried Radiohead fans initially were after 2000’s bleep-fest ‘Kid A’ arguably signaled the point by which the band would never return from their ‘experimental’ crusade inside their own back passage. Dig deeper, though, and the lyrics reveal a divided state of affairs. It would take most people a decent-sized novel to get close to touching the subtle anger, the apt analysis of post-war social history and the flamboyant defiance that Nicky Wire lays out with classical concision here. A sense of the joyous over-rides as Gary piggybacks onto Ryan’s vocal and yet, lyrically we’re in familiarly dark Jarman territory: the gloomy specter of machismo, power and powerlessness all rearing their ugly heads. The lead-off track from Blink’s phenomenally successful album ‘Enema Of The State’, this is everything pop punk does well. “Look at the shakies, what’s with the blush?/Fresh off the plane in my fuzzy rush.” Something about a balding 18-year-old? It would be a hard challenge to go through this Top 150 song list and find a more influential British track than this one. The heavy, heavy guitar line that still somehow manages to sound like Johnny Marr. 10am - 1pm, What You Know Bout Love But in reality, it was exactly this mix that helped produce their very modern music. “History in the making,” he rapped. This track – an apology to the mother of Andre 3000’s baby mama (who happened to be Erykah Badu) – larked about with the preconceptions of what masculinity meant in hip-hop: from the surface (like the duo’s dandyish sense of style) to the depth (the track flew in the face of misogynist cliché in favour of something almost archaically polite). I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get it into the blog since then. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o22eIJDtKho. When all is said and done and Chris Martin awkwardly shuffles off towards the pearly gates, this is what he’ll be judged by. So clearly, you all like it. (PE), A disco song which called to mind the gaudy gold furnishing of Studio 54, the hedonism of the late 70s gay scene and a glitter ball spinning endlessly into musical infinity. Which is probably why it stuck with us for so long and earned a spot in the top ten. They close with this most nights and, even if its 15 years since it came out, it’s easy to hear why. And although ‘There Goes The Fear’ achieved the feat largely due to some rather crafty single pricing strategies, it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t belong in the realms of the ‘featuring Chipmunk’. In many ways it’s hard to believe that Hop Along has been around fifteen years. Again: how he rolls. (LL). But what do you know, sometimes the best bands are those that give us what we never knew we wanted. It was the perfect debut single from the weird world of MGMT. OutKast played so far away from rap’s boundaries, it’s no wonder they were so warmly welcomed by the hipsters. (MW). Smashing as she and Snoop’s ode to “Daisy dukes, bikinis on top” is, the heat of that wig is clearly going to the poor lassie’s head. Game changing. It found Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden in love with the fragmentary innocence of childhood, the lightness of just being. Piledriving a path for a legion of grime-dance crossover pretenders, no one ever really topped Dizzee and Armand’s armour-plated radio-eater for sheer ridiculous fun. Only Blondie were never this smutty (hell, neither is Lady Gaga for that matter). (TC). How about this for serendipity? Well, there’s many. While it might sit awkwardly in Foals’ cannon (imagine the surly buggers letting one of their tunes be used on Skins now), ‘Hummer’ is a relentless and joyous reminder that while their output may dally in the realms of serious-face, they’re only a glitchy riff away from pop perfection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Az_7U0-cK0. The fact it was (oh dear) used as David Cameron’s campaign song during the 2010 general election should not detract from its amazing power to uplift and exhilarate, even if – as Bill Bailey likes to point out (“I’ve got ham but I’m not a hamster”) – the lyrics are a load of old guff. All tied together with a hook that sounds like it should be a National Anthem. (AW), A classic trip down pop memory lane, ‘Two Doors Down’ is like a bubblegum version of Lloyd Cole And The Commotions for the iPod generation. Of course TV On The Radio are never short of a tune or two – they’ve got great credit at the global ideas bank and never fail to turn out something interesting – and their sophomore 9/10 album ‘Return To Cookie Mountain’ was packed full of aural joy, from ‘I Was A Lover’ to ‘Province’, but somehow ‘Wolf Like Me’ is the track that sums them up like no other. New Music Reviews. Karin delivers perhaps the prettiest vocal of her career and equally Olof’s synth playing sounds rather quaint considering what they would come up with later. Amazing how you can forget everything you learnt in school 10 years ago, but the lyrics to this song are still embedded into your brain. "When I Grow Up" by The Pussycat Dolls Post-‘Silent Shout’, many wondered out loud as to where The Knife would go next. Whether you’re Julian Casablancas’ number one fan, a Doherty-ite ’til you die, never gave up on nu rave or a total God like Kanye, there’ll be something here for everyone. You know it’ll all be forgotten in the morning when the drugs wear off. Put ‘Stay Young’ through a Wiki search and you get plenty of results: the Oasis track sitting among efforts from INXS and Gallagher and Lyle. Somehow it manages to make everyone a New Yorker, if only for a few minutes. What day was 18 years ago. The fact that we’re not even close is testimony to its masterful control. And it’s here we find her, with her defenses up, restless, singing about those moments where your personality feels annihilated by a big city (“What am I here for? (TG), It’s the song that made them huge, making Union Jack dresses and platform heels all the rage in the late 90s. And repeat. Strong physical foundations of your place of abode (that matched the strong emotional bonds between kith and kin), “four strong walls and Abode slats,” sang Noah Lennox. WE FORMED A BAND!” over and over? Forget his bizarre breathy foray into hardcore, 2008’s ‘Sexuality’, this was Sebastian at his most seductive. It stands strong as one of the cornerstones of the noughties’ indie stronghold and a bittersweet reminder of that youthful, us against the world optimism: “Oh my friends, you haven’t changed… (LS), Round about spring last year, it’s safe to say MIA had our attention. (AW), And lo, with a stripped back Joy Division bassline and a chirpy whistle The Drums made themselves known. Why it sees the band transported to 2,000,000 BC to roam with dinosaurs – before a massive samurai fight – of course. (MW). Inspired, according to an NME interview, by nights out in New York clubs and Franz Ferdinand’s pioneering dance-rock dalliances, it’s Muse at their most genre-bending, pulling together loose strands of R&B, robo-funk and industrial for one slinky shuffle. Hercules front man Andy Butler managed a rare feat: a four to the floor thumper that sounded authentically steeped in the past, but also revelatory and fresh. Post-VMAgate, Kanye was the monster, or as he put it on ‘My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy’, “The abomination of Obama’s nation,” and whilst his verse was good, it was star turns from Jay-Z (channeling his world-weary hip hop legend who just needed a cuddle) and Nicki Minaj (a show stealing turn from the heir apparent who was battling herself as much as the haterz) that took this track over the edge. Timbaland would spend the following decade attempting to re-capture a moment as innovative as this. And whilst some of their later collaborations veered too far towards the cerebral, ‘Crazy’ was a three minute slice of effortless pop heaven. Don’t blame a track for its ubiquity. It also became SFA’s regular set closer and arguably their most popular song. (TG), On which a soul legend, Bruce Lee, and a French TV series combine to provide an unlikely bedrock for one of Wu Tang’s biggest tracks. And on ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’, both worlds collide perfectly, with Khan building her David Lynch-inspired fantasy world around an insanely catchy pop chorus which perched on top of twinkling pianos and driving drum beat. (AW). They let Lego Rock Band take it though. In hindsight, Casablancas’ lyrics seem to predict the diverted, solo paths this one time band of New York brothers would find themselves in. Sadly, but not surprisingly, though, no mention of Ultrasound, the 90s’ most underrated band. A set text for any budding DJ to this day. One of Buckley’s most restrained vocal performances (vocal restraint wasn’t generally his thing), ‘Everybody Here Wants You’ must have soundtracked ‘sexy time’ for a generation of pasty indie types, but don’t let that put you off. Starting with a menacing, trance laden groove and building to an absolute dance stomper, there’s not a person over the age of 15 who doesn’t know what’s coming when they hear the first vocoded “Hey boy” filter through the speakers. One of those ballads that’s transcended indieville to the point where people who’ve never heard another Yeah Yeah Yeahs song in their life would be like ‘oh yeah, that one, I loooooove that’, where you hear it on emotional teen dramas on the telly, where it’s on bloody Guitar Hero, given the amount of times we’ve all listened to it drunk and teary, we should all be sick to death of ‘Maps’ by now. And the music! Who knew, but ‘All My Friends’ is an eight-and-a-half-minute tale of aching disco-angst, a confessional Kraut rocker about the ephemeral nature of friendship and fame. Although it wasn’t the last thing he recorded before his death, this Nine Inch Nails cover has become accepted as The Man In Black’s swansong. This eight-minute epic signalled the point that everything changed for The Horrors. Alain Whyte gives Morrissey his best hooks since the ‘Vauxhall & I’ days. This and Del The Funkee Homosapien’s rap suggested a world of brave new possibilities, not least of all for Damon Albarn, who has managed a re-invention much more all-encompassing and successful than even his biggest fans could have ever imagined. Or just buckling under the inherent solitude of being James Murphy? “The single seemed to have a strange life of its own where people kept returning to it,” Alexis Taylor said of the track. (TG), http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=33748539001, If it was brilliant at the time, it’s even more poignant now. OK, so the lyrics are about as advanced as a Moonpig Valentine’s card – Martin sounds like he’s actually wetting the bed while singing – but somehow it all comes together into one of the great indie anthems of the 21st century. 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