My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 50-41

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

50. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead

Named my favorite song of 2009, I’ve already explained how much I love this song. Even a casual reader of the blog knows how many times I’ve blared it loudly, as I’m doing right now. It never gets old. The song is littered with hooks – in the singing, in the wordless chorus, in the sampling, in the background synths. It all just works. And Passion Pit will likely never top it.

49. Beck – Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes

It was not Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a film in which this song is featured at the conclusion, but WOXY-FM, or 97X as it was once known, that introduced me to this captivating, melancholy work of brilliance, as sharp as anything off of Beck’s somber Sea Change.

48. Busdriver – The Troglodyte Wins

Busdriver is one of the most unique, talented, under-appreciated, and downright weird characters in the world of underground rap.  But if the majority of Roadkill Overcoat is a psyched-out journey into the mind of a spastic lyricist, consider “The Troglodyte Wins” Busdriver’s version of “Got Your Money” or something akin – the craziness is still there, the odd flow is prominent, but the production is slightly more accessible.  And it somehow all works quite well.

47. Justice – Stress

We may have heard the last from Justice, in fact, I’m almost certain we have.  They know they can’t top their excellent debut, and they were just adding to the impressive work of Daft Punk in the first place.  But that doesn’t take away exactly just how awesome that debut it, and how great “Stress” is.  It still strikes me as the Batman theme for a future incarnation – maybe Batman In Space or something.  Either way, the tone has to be as dark as the music video for this song is.

46. Mclusky – Without MSG I Am Nothing

Man, sometimes I really miss these guys.  Like every time I put on one of their records.  While “To Hell With Good Intentions” is often the track mentioned in reference, this one is by far my favorite.  The angry energy is there, mixed in with a genuine fuck-you to ooh’s and la-la-la’s of music’s all too exposed in the popular arena.  As usual, Mclusky do it their way.

45. Of Montreal – Faberge Falls For Shuggie

There’s no getting around Kevin Barnes’ eccentric sexuality.  His lyrical imagery is all at once unorthodox and arousing.  Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer is likely the most lyrically depressing album the group has ever done, but consider this track the sex-soaked interlude that picks us up from the sadness and into bed.

44. Cadence Weapon – Sharks

It seems apt the video for “Sharks” is a video game rendering – the song sounds about as 8-bit as Castlevania – but the flow accuses fake rhymers for biting a style all too unique.  The beat booms along as Cadence runs “bullshit like a matador.”

43. The Avett Brothers – Will You Return?

They may be Grammy-performing stars of alt-country nowadays, but Emotionalism remains the best thing they’ve ever done, and it’ll likely stay that way.  And “Will You Return,” while all Avett, could sincerely be an early Beatles hit – the harmony is reminiscent of something off Please Please Me.  Just replace the acoustic with electric; they even count the song off a la “I Saw Her Standing There.”

42. Modest Mouse – Ocean Breathes Salty

The follow-up single to the breakthrough hit “Float On” is a maturing Issac Brock, and a band destined for well-deserved fame.  Oddly catchy, even with no discernible hook or definite chorus, I blame its infectious-ness on the guitar line in the verses and, during the Brock freak-out, that skipping bass line.

41. Missy Elliot – Get Ur Freak On

Timbaland and Missy had already made a name for themselves by the time this track came out – what “Get Ur Freak On” did was make them superstars.  And obviously so – the song is one of the wildest things to dominate pop radio in the past decade.  While Elliott’s rhyming is standard laziness, it all fits because Timbaland produces one of the highlights of his career, a minimalist, yet creepy, beat-dropping classic.

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