My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 240-231

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

240. Menomena – Wet and Rusting

The finest track from Friend and Foe begins with Menomena’s trademark effects layered across an odd strumming pattern.  By the time we reach the second chorus, the track turns into a cavalcade of rolling drums and scaling piano lines.  And to top it all off, it’s simply beautiful.

239. The Hold Steady – Chips Ahoy!

Craig Finn’s straightforward, frank, and occasionally funny lyrics tell the story this time around of a substance-abusing couple who have an addiction to betting on horse races.  But the trademark “whoa-oh-ohs” and Finn’s deadpan “how am I supposed to know that you’re high?” make the chorus weirdly anthemic and singalong….kind of like every Hold Steady song ever.

238. Of Montreal – Oslo In the Summertime

A great introductory song to one of the wildest, most unorthodox, most upbeat, and just plain catchiest band to emerge this past decade, Kevin Barnes’ liquid “ba-ba-bas” sit perfectly alongside a bass synth line that will never leave your brain.  And like most Of Montreal tracks, there’s too much imagery to completely decipher the meaning.  But like most Of Montreal tracks, the beat thumps loud enough you won’t care.

237. Hot Chip – One Pure Thought

In a decade of churning out groundbreaking “dance” albums, Hot Chip went full circle from a soft-electro staple to the finest boogie and remix project of the past ten years, to something softer once more.  Their sound is perfected on Made In the Dark, and “One Pure Thought” is the single that best captures the duo’s essence.

236. Friendly Fires – Jump In the Pool (Thin White Duke Remix)

The video below is, unfortunately, the trimmed version of the best remix of 2009, a club take on a song from a band I don’t really care for.  The scope of this remix, however, is pretty powerful.  Beginning with a pulsating bass beat, the layers begin to gradually build as the verse-chorus-verse routine hovers above.  The result is a giant blast of noise, melody, and beat that envelops the final minutes.  The build is so powerful it compels you to move til you sweat.  And you will.

235. Outkast – The Rooster

While most would agree that The Love Below is the superior of Outkast’s bestselling, Grammy-winning 2003 solo double-disc, that doesn’t mean Speakerboxxx doesn’t shine on its own.  The fact is, Big Boi’s more hip-hop project is so different and incomparable to Andre’s romantic funk-pop indulgence.  The highlight is the overlooked horn-orgy of “The Rooster.”  You will throw your neck and back out simultaneously.  Guaranteed.

234. Shifty – Slide Along Side

Thanks to an ex and my sister, the Crazytown frontman’s solo effort Happy Love Sick was on repeat in my car for a period in high school.  While “Starry Eyed Surprise” was the one featured on commercials, “Slide Along Side” is a Sugar Ray throwback made for the beach.  It’s tepid, and Shifty’s cringe-worthy raspy throat and cliche-filled lyrics don’t help my defense.  So all I’m going to say is that it’s catchy and nostalgic.  And I like it, brah.

233. Portastatic – Oh Come Down

In the early 2000’s, acoustic indie pop was burgeoning, begging to be heard.  And while forerunners Death Cab and the Shins broke from the pack and became superstars, we still have forgotten gems like “Oh Come Down” from Portastatic, a song I immediately fell in love with upon its debut on 97X (WOXY FM).  A five-minute chorus-less build from a simple acoustic intro to a militaristic march to a steady balls-out rock song, “Oh Come Down” is, for lack of a better term, epic.

Portastatic – Oh Come Down

232. MIA and Timbaland – Come Around

Kala is easily one of my favorite discs of the decade; MIA shined in 2007 with that album.  Trading substance for style has certainly been done before by female artists, but never with a third-world flavor.  Maya recruited hip-hop producer powerhouse Timbaland to lay down his lame rhymes for the conclusion of the disc (something he unfortunately does all the time now), but the track does not suffer.  In fact, it’s one of the best tracks off Kala, a banging ending to a trend-setting album.

231. Jimmy Eat World – A Praise Chorus

Fun fact: this self-titled disc was originally going to be called Bleed American, but thanks to the over-censorship standards post-9/11, Jimmy Eat World’s breakthrough disc was added to the list of works of art snubbed in our First Amendment-loving country.  Perhaps it was for the best that this album was named after the band; it is, after all, the go-to disc in the band’s catalog for most people – the disc that propelled Jimmy Eat World to mainstream popularity.  It’s also the best album they ever made.  “A Praise Chorus” is a fun overlooked single that lifts lyrics from 80’s songs and looks to nostalgia for answers.  Something I do everyday.

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