Apa’s Top 100 Singles of the 2000’s

December 25, 2009 at 1:39 pm (Uncategorized)

So, here it is. My top 100 of the decade. It’s pretty different from Wacky’s and Marte’s and I made mini-write-ups of all the songs. Get ready for various mentions of “simple love song” or “soaring vocals” or “sparkling production” and brace yourselves for 100 very awesome songs. Top 50 Albums to follow.

100. Cool – Gwen Stefani (A sweet, simple song about love outgrown.)
99. Jesus of Suburbia – Green Day (A long, epic, powerful ode to the alienation of a generation.)
98. Blue Orchid – The White Stripes (Ferocious song about innocence lost, BITE.)
97. Fighter – Christina Aguilera (Angry vocals. Epic.)
96. Dream On – Robyn (An inspiring song for social outcasts, especially if they can dance.)
95. Hot ‘N’ Cold – Katy Perry (Feisty and bouncy.)
94. Tripping – Robbie Williams (Melancholic and tongue-in-cheek little thing.)
93. Fascination – Alphabeat (Really fun Danish pop band with a lotta punch. We’re fascinated.)
92. Disturbia – Rihanna (Her first venture into dark territory, a success.)
91. Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too – Say Anything (The hook is instantly unforgettable.)

90. Do You Want To – Franz Ferdinand (I do.)
89. Shut Up And Let Me Go – The Ting Tings (Cutesy but firm in its insistence. A gem.)
88. Magic – Ladyhawke (Oh, 80’s beats, choirs and a long-distance romance, a recipe for brilliance.)
87. Early Winter – Gwen Stefani (A throwback to “Don’t Speak”. So sad.)
86. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys (A powerful R&B love song, heartfelt.)
85. Spiralling – Keane (Loud, bombastic and pretty weird.)
84. It’s In Our Hands – Björk (Brilliant beats and the usual insane vocals and handclaps!)
83. Eet – Regina Spektor (Gibberish hooks that sound like “eat” can be awfully lovely.)
82. Wake Up Call – Maroon 5 (Adultery is always perfect for music.)
81. King Of The Mountain – Kate Bush (Her first single in nigh 20 years made for a beautiful paean to fame.)

80. On The Radio – Regina Spektor (Bouncy and sweet love song for love songs.)
79. Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Vaguely condescending but really fun.)
78. Smile – Lily Allen (Darkly hilarious love story, told with the perfect deadpan Lily delivery.)
77. Stronger – Kanye West (Forgive the heavy sampling, but this is an incredible song.)
76. Poker Face – Lady GaGa (Cheeky and catchy to death.)
75. Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down – Fall Out Boy (Boo, sadness.)
74. a sorta fairytale – Tori Amos (A love story that is sad and unforgettable, set on a journey across America.)
73. Be Mine! – Robyn (Bitter but danceable. Always a good combination.)
72. Grace Kelly – Mika (An instant hook and distinct vocals.)
71. I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Trying To Get You Off (Me & You) – Fall Out Boy (Pretty long title for something with a three-syllable hook.)

70. Russian Roulette – Rihanna (Manages to take her completely into a dark world, convincingly. Powerful.)
69. Galang – M.I.A. (Bouncy, jangling with succinct political juju we’ve come to expect from M.I.A.)
68. If I Were A Boy – Beyoncé (The title raised a few eyebrows but the song is unforgettable.)
67. White Houses – Vanessa Carlton (Teenage love. Sigh.)
66. Is It Any Wonder – Keane (An ode to being an anachronism and I’ve always related.)
65. Somebody Told Me – The Killers (We were young and the chorus got our attention. No regrets.)
64. Simple Kind Of Life – No Doubt (We were even younger and saw it on MTV. A sweet, desperate song.)
63. Love Letter To Japan – The Bird and the Bee (Inara’s sweet cooing voice over Greg’s sparkling production.)
62. She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5 (Unforgettable love song.)
61. For What It’s Worth – The Cardigans (Even less forgettable. So memorable, you get a headache.)

60. Don’t Tell Me – Madonna (Country + Electronic = really freaky in concept but the results are too good.)
59. Foundations – Kate Nash (She’s like a more mellow Lily Allen with around the same number of swear words.)
58. I Don’t Feel Like Dancing – Scissor Sisters (A dance song about not wanting to dance. Astounding.)
57. The Fear – Lily Allen (Materialism, famewhoring and all that. Lily knows best.)
56. Chewing Gum – Annie (This equates men to chewing gum, spat out after the flavor is lost. I like how she thinks.)
55. The New Workout Plan – Kanye West (Hilarious and really well-produced.)
54. New – No Doubt (Introduced the band’s new sound with a bang. Nothing odder than the feeling of newness.)
53. Just Dance – Lady GaGa (Simple but effective, always imitated, never replicated. That means you, Ke$ha.)
52. Coin-Operated Boy – The Dresden Dolls (Punk cabaret never sounded like a better idea.)
51. Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys (Soaring vocals from Alicia, with Jay talking about my favorite city.)

50. Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones (Us neither, but Norah snuck her way into a million coffee shops with this.)
49. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand (A thoroughly unique sound at the time. Epic.)
48. Bust Your Windows – Jazmine Sullivan (Great vocals, great song and lots of sass.)
47. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys (Short, simple and very effective.)
46. Bring Me To Life – Evanescence (And we all wanted to be goths when we heard this. And it can wake the dead.)
45. That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings (We never do find out what her name is but we do remember what it isn’t.)
44. Underneath It All – No Doubt featuring Lady Saw (Bouncy, relaxed ska love song.)
43. Energy – The Apples In Stereo (Jam-packed with goddamn energy. An amazing song.)
42. Love Lockdown – Kanye West (Like him or not, he turned Auto-Tune into an art form with this song.)
41. 4 Minutes by Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland (Incredible production and impending doom. Just note that Madonna and Justin don’t survive in the vid. x_x)

40. Sunrise – Norah Jones (Simple, but one of the sweetest songs we’ve ever heard.)
39. These Words – Natasha Bedingfield (A lot of people can relate to being unable to express love.)
38. Time Is Running Out – Muse (The song soars, with incredible guitars and Matt’s vocals, rawr.)
37. Lost Cause – Beck (Depressing but well-done.)
36. Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Impeccable production for a pretty love song.)
35. Summer Sunshine – The Corrs (Filled with warmth, even in its despair.)
34. We Are Golden – Mika (Loud and obnoxious and all kinds of brilliant.)
33. My Immortal – Evanescence (Our love song before any of us had even fallen in love. The song lives forever.)
32. Welcome To England – Tori Amos (Stellar production and taut lyrics of bringing your own sun.)
31. Earth Intruders – Björk (Eco-friendly and dead serious about it.)

30. I’m A Cuckoo – Belle & Sebastian (One of the most poignant breakups ever set to music.)
29. The Scientist – Coldplay (This just makes me all sad. The music vid was brilliant too.)
28. Black Cherry – Goldfrapp (A slow electro-jam of puréed love)
27. Everybody’s Changing – Keane (The perfect Holden Caulfield anthem.)
26. Falling Slowly – The Swell Season (A simple love song. There isn’t much to say about it. Just listen to it.)
25. Fidelity – Regina Spektor (About not wanting to fall in love, but it might happen. Regina at her best.)
24. Music – Madonna (So simple, you’d wonder why no one thought to write something called “Music” before.)
23. Fucking Boyfriend – The Bird and the Bee (I swear, Inara’s sweet voice saying “fuck” a lot is great.)
22. Kids – MGMT (A paean to the kids with some really great production.)
21. Rehab – Amy Winehouse (Career-defining because no one can sing it except for Amy, ever. Sassy and deadpan in the face of rehab, she is.)

TOP 20

2o. Daniel – Bat For Lashes (The production mixes so many influences, from Baroque strings to dance beats and the song is, obviously, about a dude named Daniel. Natasha Khan is definitely one of the most talented songwriters of our time.

19. First Train Home – Imogen Heap (A watercolor splash, production- and lyric-wise, because it’s something of a mess but a brilliant one. It’s a true work of art about what happens sometimes, when you just wanna get home.)

18. Pagan Poetry – Björk (The instrumentation is primarily composed of a fiberglass music box and the lyrics speak of love coming into bloom. The lyrics are haunting and beautifully delivered.)

17. She Wolf – Shakira (Unlike anything we’ve ever heard before. From the song’s rapid-fire lyrics to the wild production, “She Wolf” is an experience that is thoroughly unique and innovative. This is the future of dance music.)

16. Hung Up – Madonna (Running on an ABBA sample, the song proved to outsell every other ABBA song. It’s catchy, simple and proves that Madonna still has it for at least a couple more decades.)

15. Love Today – Mika (Instantly catchy and after a few listens, you start dancing along too. It’s a song that’s simple, positive and exciting. Just keep bouncing along.)

14. Bad Romance – Lady GaGa (She proved herself as a gigantic artistic force to be reckoned with with this song. It’s an epic record about wanting the deepest, darkest parts of someone, and that’s what love is all about, really. Add some industrial beats and an amazing hook, and we have a winner.)

13. Mr. Brightside – The Killers (We were all Mr. Brightside and the song proved to be anthemic for us and thousands of people who wanted people who were with other people.)

12. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight – U2 (Simply produced but the lyrics are gorgeous and memorable. Bono’s never sounded better than this. Sure, they talk about the world, briefly, but in the end, it’s about love.)

11.  Run – Leona Lewis (Sure, it’s a cover, but Leona’s voice fills this dark ballad with so much poignancy. She just kills it.)

TOP 10

10. 1234 – Feist (A bouncy love song made famous by an Apple commercial. The video was one of the most brilliantly-conceived ever. Feist knows how to write a love song.)


9.  L.E.S. Artistes – Santigold (A thoroughly uniquely-produced creature. Santigold is quite an anomaly, as a black woman who bridges R&B and rock and electronica with a single record. Her vocals stand in stark contrast with the soundscape of heavy beats she’s created. A masterpiece.)


8. Starlight – Muse (A hook that is unforgettable, brilliant pianos and pure love. The trio tried to make an anthemic love song and it really worked out here.)


7. Chasing Pavements – Adele (Love, simply and totally miserable. Adele’s got the pipes to blow people away and she really just kills it here. Once again, this is something anthemic because it is unique, because its imagery is so evocative of running towards something you’ll never have.)


6. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley (Dark and innovative, Gnarls Barkley burst out on the scene with this killer song that everybody just fell in love with. Production, lyrics, vocals are impeccable.)

5. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (Really difficult to sing. The concept and production are simple enough but the lyrics are fresh, exciting and could not have been written by anyone else.)

4. Paper Planes – M.I.A. (It’s a parody of American views on immigrants. It’s hilarious and makes for a really good pop song. The gunshots, the cash registers, the snaps, everything just clicks. The lyrics are cheeky and fun and the production is great. No one on the corner has swagger like M.I.A..)


3. Oceania – Björk (It was written for the 2004 Athens Olympics and it’s a great theme for that. Mother Oceania supposedly unites all humans because we all came from the sea first. The lyrics are mythical in proportion and the realization of our oneness at the end makes for an incredible punch line: “Your sweat is salty; I am why.”)


2. A&E – Goldfrapp (Dashing into folktronica, Goldfrapp made some of their best stuff ever. Mixing acoustic guitars and electronic beats, “A&E” is something of a hangover love song. It’s waking up and wondering what the hell happened last night and realizing all you want, really, is to be loved.)

And Number 1 is….

1. Hide And Seek – Imogen Heap (Built completely around Imogen’s vocals, it talks about a love that’s falling apart, and the guy is hiding from her, saying it’s all for the best. The song is haunting and Imogen’s stark production keeps your attention on the desperate, broken emotions here. It contains all the nuances a real love story has, unique bits and pieces that come together, like oily marks on the wall or newspaper word cut-outs. The depth and detail are impressive and add to the absolute convincingness of the song. It is the best single of the decade, hands down. Jason Derülo may be on the charts, but Imogen has something he’ll never have: a song with heart.

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9 Comments

  1. Marte C. said,

    Great list! Love your Top 10 (Especially Starlight :3)

    And I still can’t believe I haven’t heard of Chasing Pavements despite all this clamor =))

  2. Moca in a White Louboutin Cup said,

    Splendid selection! Impressive manner of presentation.

    I love Adele! I appreciate that you’ve included her album in your top ten.

    Love it.

  3. Mico Lopez said,

    Great list Apa! All these lists are making me want to go and buy albums. ~.~

  4. mindfullofmotion said,

    Awesome list! It has the most familiar songs for me, compared to Wacky and Marte’s(SORRY! :)), too much Killers!)

    PS: Her name is Katie D:

  5. Wacky said,

    Argh. Awesome list. @-) I love how we double on Adele and Jason Mraz in our top tens. And I love the write ups. :))

    I agree with the Bad Romance write up. And I will not be able to watch all the videos to make an objective best of the decade list, but Bad Romance and… OMG, 1 2 3 4 would be there. @-) I think 1 2 3 4 would be in the Top 3 or something.

  6. Harvey said,

    I love your #s 4, 7 and 8. Great reviews per song. :-bd

  7. mariamaria said,

    NUMBER 2.
    Nostalgiaaa. One of my favorite songs ever. (Next to Fixing A Broken Heart; Indecent Obesession AHAHA)

  8. Best Of The Decade Lists « Nicholasjensen's Blog said,

    […] Post (pop music) The Wenatchee World (best new songwriters) Where Is Our Lost Infantry? (albums) The Word of Winter (top singles) Y.I.P.C.A.N.J.O. (top albums) Yes! Weekly (music) Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon (top […]

  9. Ela said,

    Downloaded nearly everything on this list. Love it :”>

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