SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on February 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

KNaan Troubadour.jpgExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2009, these are the rest of the best electro funk/hip hop/modern caribbean and soul/r&b tracks of 2009. To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009.

1. K’Naan featuring Chubb Rock “ABC’s” Troubadour (A&M/Octone)

2. B Real featuring Damian Marley “Fire” Smoke N Mirrors (Duck Down)

3. Wale featuring Lady GaGa “Chillin'” Attention Deficit (Interscope)

4. Common “Universal Mind Control” Universal Mind Control (Geffen)

5. N.A.S.A. featuring David Byrne, Chali 2Na, Gift of Gab & Z-Trip “The People Tree” The Spirit of Apollo (Anti-)

6. Kid Cudi featuring Ratatat “Alive (Nightmare)” Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D.)

7. Kid Cudi featuring MGMT and Ratatat “Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)” Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D.)

8. Anthony Hamilton featuring David Banner “Cool” The Point of It All (La Face)

9. Musiq Soulchild featuring Damian Marley “I Wannabe” OnMyRadio (Atlantic)

10. Chrisette Michelle “Epiphany (I’m Leaving)” Epiphany (Def Jam)

11. Mariah Carey “It’s A Wrap” Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (Island)

12. Prince “Here” MPLsound (NPG)

13. Jeremih “Birthday Sex” Jeremih (Def Jam)

14. Maxwell “Pretty Wings (Uncut)” BLACKsummers’night (Columbia)

15. Q-Tip “Even If It Is So” Kamaal the Abstract (Jive)

16. Busta Rhymes featuring Pharrell and Tosh “Kill Dem” Back on My B.S. (Universal Motown)

17. Pitbull featuring Lil Jon “Crazy” Rebelution (J)

18. MSTRKRFT featuring N.O.R.E. & Isis “Bounce” Fist of God (Downtown)

19. N.A.S.A. featuring Sizzla, Amanda Blank & Lovefoxxx “A Volta” The Spirit of Apollo (Anti-)

20. N.A.S.A. featuring Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Fatlip “Strange Enough” The Spirit of Apollo (Anti-)

21. Prince “Valentina” MPLsound (NPG)


Posted by: Dave on at 11:04 pm

LilyAllenItsNotYouExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2009, these are the rest of the best pop tracks of 2009 (Volume 1 of 2). To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009.

1. Lily Allen “Everyone’s At It” It’s Not Me, It’s You (Capitol)

2. La Roux “Bulletproof” La Roux (Cherry Tree)

3. Gossip “Men In Love” Music for Men (Columbia)

4. K’Naan featuring Adam Levine “Bang Bang” Troubadour (A&M/Octone)

5. Amerie “Dangerous” In Love & War (Def Jam)

6. Kelly Clarkson “All I Ever Wanted” All I Ever Wanted (RCA)

7. Kelly Clarkson “I Want You” All I Ever Wanted (RCA)

8. Chrisette Michelle “Porcelain Doll” Epiphany (Def Jam)

9. Lady Gaga “Speechless” The Fame Monster (Interscope)

10. Regina Spektor “Folding Chair” Far (Sire)

11. A Fine Frenzy “Blow Away” Bomb In a Birdcage (Virgin)

12. The Noisettes “Never Forget You” Wild Young Hearts (Mercury)

13. Gabriella Cilmi “Sweet About Me” Lessons to be Learned (Republic)

14. Ida Maria “Louie” Fortress ‘round My Heart (Mercury)

15. Lily Allen “Never Gonna Happen” It’s Not Me, It’s You (Capitol)

16. Chrisette Michelle “Mr. Right” Epiphany (Def Jam)

17. Gossip “Pop Goes the World” Music for Men (Columbia)

18. Gabriella Cilmi “Save the Lies” Lessons to be Learned (Republic)

19. Lady GaGa “Teeth” The Fame Monster (Interscope)

20. Adam Lambert “Strut” For Your Entertainment (RCA)

21. Adam Lambert “Music Again” For Your Entertainment (RCA)

22. Kelly Clarkson “I Do Not Hook Up” All I Ever Wanted (RCA)

23. Gabriella Cilmi “Terrifying” Lessons to be Learned (Republic)

24. Lily Allen “Not Fair” It’s Not Me, It’s You (Capitol)

25. Lily Allen “Him” It’s Not Me, It’s You (Capitol)

26. The Bird and the Bee “Polite Dance Song” Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future (Blue Note)

27. Mandy Moore “Fern Dell” Amanda Leigh (Storefront)

28. Asa “Fire On the Mountain” Asa (Downtown)


Posted by: Dave on at 11:02 pm

Britney Spears Circus.jpgExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2009, these are the rest of the best pop tracks of 2009 (Volume 2 of 2). To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009.

1. Britney Spears “Womanizer” Circus (Jive)

2. Lady GaGa featuring Beyonce “Telephone” The Fame Monster (Interscope)

3. Shakira “Long Time” She Wolf (Epic)

4. Kristinia DeBarge “Somebody” Exposed (Island)

5. Iyaz “Replay” Replay Single (Reprise)

6. Pitbull “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” Rebelution (J)

7. Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean “Spy” She Wolf (Epic)

8. Mariah Carey “Obsessed” Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (Island)

9. Beyonce “Poison” I Am…Sasha Fierce: The Bonus Tracks (Sony)

10. Britney Spears “If U Seek Amy” Circus (Jive)

11. Britney Spears “3” Britney: The Singles Collection (Jive)

12. Kid Cudi “Up Up and Away” Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D.)

13. Musiq Soulchild “Radio” OnMyRadio (Atlantic)

14. Madonna featuring Lil Wayne “Revolver” Celebration (Warner Brothers)

15. Shakira “Why Wait” She Wolf (Epic)

16. Shakira “Men In This Town” She Wolf (Epic)

17. Britney Spears “Lace and Leather” Circus (Jive)

18. Jordin Sparks “Watch You Go” Battlefield (Jive)

19. Ryan Leslie “Diamond Girl” Ryan Leslie (Casablanca)


Posted by: Dave on at 11:00 pm

Air Love 2.jpgExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2009, these are the rest of the best electronic/synth pop tracks of 2009. To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009.

1. Air “Do The Joy” Love 2 (Astralwerks)

2. Miike Snow “Plastic Jungle” Miike Snow (Downtown)

3. The Prodigy “Invaders Must Die” Invaders Must Die (Cooking Vinyl)

4. Basement Jaxx featuring Jose Names “Gimme Somethin’ True” Scars (Ultra)

5. The Juan MacLean “Accusations” The Future Will Come (DFA)

6. Annie “I Don’t Like Your Band” Don’t Stop (Small Town Supersound)

7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Dragon Queen” It’s Blitz! (Interscope)

8. La Roux “Reflections Are Protection” La Roux (Cherry Tree)

9. Fischerspooner “The Best Revenge” Entertainment (FS Studios)

10. Empire of the Sun “Swordfish Hotkiss Night” Walking on a Dream (Astralwerks/Virgin)

11. Basement Jaxx featuring Yo Majesty “Twerk” Scars (Ultra)

12. Royksopp “Tricky Tricky” Junior (Astralwerks)

13. Royksopp “The Girl and the Robot” Junior (Astralwerks)

14. Kleerup with Lykke Li “Until We Bleed” Kleerup (Astralwerks)

15. Beast “Microcyte” Beast (Verve Forecast)

16. MSTRKRFT “1,000 Cigarettes” Fist of God (Downtown)

17. The Prodigy “Take Me to the Hospital” Invaders Must Die (Cooking Vinyl)

18. Peaches “Mud” I Feel Cream (XL)

19. Royksopp “Happy Up Here” Junior (Astralwerks)

20. Royksopp “Vision One” Junior (Astralwerks)


Posted by: Dave on December 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm

At the Drive-In Relationship.jpgNo artist appears on this list more than Conor Oberst, the mastermind behind Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos. With stunning lyrics and expert pop songcraft, he relentlessly released one classic album after another—both with his bands and as a solo artist—throughout the decade. No musician was more consistent or prolific, so I’m left with no choice but to declare him the Artist of the Decade, with four entries in my Top 100 Albums of the ’00s list.

Mr. Oberst didn’t release the #1 album of the ‘00s, however. That distinction belongs to At the Drive-In. In 2000, the seminal aggressive rockers released their furious masterpiece Relationship of Command, a CD that inspired hundreds—if not thousands—of imitators. Inner-band turmoil caused Relationship to be their last record, but thankfully, the two warring camps within At the Drive-In emerged out of the ashes as distinct new acts—The Mars Volta and Sparta. Both bands put out classic releases that appear on this list.

Only a handful of other artists appear in the Top 100 multiple times. The Decemberists (3), Neko Case (2 – once as a member of The New Pornographers and once as a solo artist), The White Stripes (2), The Shins (2), Blonde Redhead (2) and Interpol (2) emerged as elite acts this decade. Meanwhile, the impressive output from Stephen Malkmus (2) and Ian MacKaye (2 – once as a member of Fugazi and once as a member of The Evens) demonstrated that a couple of indie-rock veterans were still capable of creating at a level on par with the highly influential work of their past.

Notably, no hip-hop artist appears on this list more than once. The genre was far more successful than rock when it comes to sales, radio play and producing quality songs (see my Top 100 Songs of the ‘00s). And Kanye West, Dead Prez, Eminem, Outkast, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, K-Os, Nas, T.I. and several others each dropped one stellar album. But none of them could quite muster a second top-tier, full-length release.

Each selection in the Top 100 below links to either a New Music Nation album review or the Top 20 Albums of the year round-up from the year it was released. These are my picks for the most complete, well-executed, ambitious and influential albums of the ‘00s (focusing primarily on rock, hip-hop, metal, pop, electro/dance, r&b and alternative country). Enjoy.

1. At the Drive-In Relationship of Command (Grand Royal, 2000)
2. Kanye West The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella, 2004)
3. Sleater-Kinney One Beat (Kill Rock Stars, 2002)
4. Bright Eyes Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (Saddle Creek, 2002)
5. Dead Prez Let’s Get Free (Relativity, 2000)
6. AFI Sing the Sorrow (Dreamworks, 2003)
7. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (Aftermath/Interscope, 2000)
8. Stephen Malkmus Face the Truth (Matador, 2005)
9. Bright Eyes I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (Saddle Creek, 2005)
10. The New Pornographers Electric Version (Matador, 2003)

11. Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine (Epic, 2005)
12. Kings of Leon Youth and Young Manhood (RCA, 2003)
13. Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand (Domino, 2004)
14. My Morning Jacket Evil Urges (ATO, 2008)
15. Outkast (Big Boi) Speakerboxxx (Arista/La Face, 2003)
16. The Strokes Is This It (RCA, 2001)
17. 50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (Interscope/Shady/Aftermath, 2003)
18. Jay-Z The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella, 2001)
19. The Arcade Fire Funeral (Merge, 2004)
20. My Chemical Romance Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (Reprise, 2004)

21. John Legend Get Lifted (Sony Urban Music, 2005)
22. M.I.A. Arular (XL Recordings, 2005)
23. Conor Oberst Conor Oberst (Merge, 2008)
24. Band of Horses Cease to Begin (Sub Pop, 2007)
25. Abandon Jalopy Mercy (Stank Face Laboratories, 2002)
26. The White Stripes White Blood Cells (Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2001)
27. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley Welcome to Jamrock (Universal, 2005)
28. Fugazi The Argument (Dischord, 2001)
29. The Decemberists Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars, 2005)
30. Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend (XL, 2008)

31. System of A Down Toxicity (American, 2001)
32. The Mars Volta Frances the Mute (Universal, 2005)
33. Drive By Truckers Decoration Day (New West, 2003)
34. K-Os Joyful Rebellion (Astralwerks, 2004)
35. The Evens Get Evens (Dischord, 2006)
36. Menomena Friend and Foe (Barsuk, 2007)
37. Nas God’s Son (Columbia, 2003)
38. The Shins Oh, Inverted World (Sub Pop, 2001)
39. Adele 19 (XL/Columbia, 2008)
40. The Coup Pick A Bigger Weapon (Epitaph, 2006)

41. T.I. Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic, 2008)
42. The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan (V2, 2005)
43. Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones (Interscope, 2006)
44. The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Brothers, 2002)
45. The Rural Alberta Advantage Hometowns (Saddle Creek, 2009)
46. The Perceptionists Black Dialogue (Definitive Jux, 2005)
47. Annie Anniemal (Big Beat, 2005)
48. Blonde Redhead Misery Is A Butterfly (4AD/Beggars Group, 2004)
49. The Killers Hot Fuss (Island, 2004)
50. TV On the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope, 2006)

51. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists Hearts of Oak (Lookout!, 2003)
52. The Shins Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop, 2003)
53. The Hold Steady Boys and Girls In America (Vagrant, 2006)
54. Clipse Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up Gang/Star Trak/Zomba, 2006)
55. Gnarls Barkley The Odd Couple (Atlantic, 2008)
56. Okkervil River The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar, 2007)
57. Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti-, 2006)
58. Jane’s Addiction Strays (Capitol, 2003)
59. Basement Jaxx Rooty (Astralwerks, 2001)
60. Green Day American Idiot (Reprise, 2004)

61. Regina Spektor Begin to Hope (Sire, 2006)
62. Beck Guero (Interscope, 2005)
63. Kid Cudi Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D., 2009)
64. Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose (Interscope, 2004)
65. Common Like Water for Chocolate (MCA, 2000)
66. Blonde Redhead Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (Touch and Go, 2000)
67. Gomez In Our Gun (Virgin, 2002)
68. Interpol Turn on the Bright Lights (Matador, 2002)
69. Lupe Fiasco The Cool (Atlantic, 2008)
70. The Decemberists The Crane Wife (Capitol, 2006)

71. Matisyahu Youth (Epic/JDub, 2006)
72. Badly Drawn Boy Have You Fed The Fish? (Artist Direct, 2002)
73. Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way (Warner Brothers, 2002)
74. Roisin Murphy Ruby Blue (Echo, 2006)
75. Cursive Happy Hollow (Saddle Creek, 2006)
76. Deltron 3030 Deltron 3030 (75 Ark/Tommy Boy, 2000)
77. The Streets Original Pirate Material (Vice/Atlantic, 2002)
78. Bright Eyes Cassadaga (Saddle Creek, 2007)
79. The Chemical Brothers Come With Us (Astralwerks, 2002)
80. White Rabbits Fort Nightly (Say Hey, 2007)

81. Hot Chip Made in the Dark (Astralwerks, 2008)
82. Stephen Malkmus Stephen Malkmus (Matador, 2001)
83. Sparta Wiretap Scars (Dreamworks, 2002)
84. Interpol Antics (Matador, 2004)
85. Linkin Park Hybrid Theory (Warner Brothers, 2000)
86. Portugal. The Man Church Mouth (Fearless, 2007)
87. Brother Ali Us (Rhymesayers, 2009)
88. Saul Williams The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust (The Fader, 2007)
89. Turin Brakes Ether Song (Astralwerks, 2003)
90. PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (Island, 2000)

91. Aesop Rock None Shall Pass (Definitive Jux, 2007)
92. Psapp The Camel’s Back (Domino, 2009)
93. The Decemberists The Hazards of Love (Capitol, 2009)
94. Aaliyah Aaliyah (Blackground, 2001)
95. Guided By Voices Isolation Drills (TVT, 2001)
96. Death Cab for Cutie Narrow Stairs (Atlantic, 2008)
97. The Hush Sound Goodbye Blues (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic, 2008)
98. Coldplay Parachutes (Parlophone/Capitol, 2000)
99. Queens of the Stone Age Rated R (Interscope, 2000)
100. Secret Machines Now Here Is Nowhere (Reprise, 2004)


Posted by: Dave on at 3:00 pm

8MileSndtrk.jpgSeveral of the songs listed below were massive popular hits. Others reached much smaller, niche audiences. Regardless, the commercial success of these tracks was a non-factor when considering their stature as the decade’s elite recordings. Instead, as always, I factored in originality, composition/arrangement/production, lyrics, catchiness/memorability, energy and emotion. And I focused primarily on rock, hip-hop, metal, pop, electro/dance, r&b and alternative country.

Here are my picks for the Top 100 Songs of the ‘00s. Click here to sample or buy the iTunes iMix.*

1. Eminem “Lose Yourself” 8 Mile Soundtrack (Interscope, 2002)

8 Mile (Eminem’s feature film debut as an actor) was above average, but the ubiquitous and stellar lead single from the soundtrack made you think the film was phenomenal. Eminem channeled a far more accessible and universally likeable character on “Lose Yourself” than he did with his Slim Shady persona. This more positive and uplifting narrative was borderline cheesy—especially for such a hardcore rapper—but the fiery passion that builds throughout each verse and chorus is undeniable. By verse three, if you’re not completely caught up in the emotional crescendo, you’ve either never had to overcome any adversity or never had to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

2. At the Drive-In “One Armed Scissor” Relationship of Command (Grand Royal, 2000)

At the Drive-In’s music mixed visceral aggression, progressive ambition and hook-filled melodies. The seminal rockers influenced thousands of bands and spawned The Mars Volta and Sparta when they prematurely imploded in 2001. With five entries on this list (between At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta), this was their greatest moment. The “verses” defy pop song structure convention—none of the three pre-chorus sections are repeated, each sounds completely different from the other, and only one sounds like a verse. Though this irregular setup could be disorienting to the listener, the explosive, rally-cry chorus makes sure you never lose your way.

3. Outkast (Andre 3000) “Hey Ya!” The Love Below (Arista/La Face, 2003)

Try to remember how insanely catchy and creative this track was the first 25 times you heard it. Overexposure then—you heard it literally everywhere—and now—it remains a dance party/wedding staple—continues to try and tarnish its legacy. But the reason “Hey Ya!” became so massive is because it’s a true original. It was so clever and infectious that it made old white people think they loved a freakishly experimental and often sex-crazed hip-hop duo.

4. Eminem “The Real Slim Shady” The Marshall Mathers LP (Interscope, 2000)

Eminem had already introduced himself in 1999 with “My Name Is” and The Slim Shady LP. But he took his Slim Shady persona and his unparalleled rhyming skills to lofty new heights on The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000, defying hip-hop’s color barrier in the process. The songwriting, vocal performances and production are so strong on The Marshall Mathers LP that four of its tracks appear in the top 50 of this list. The pinnacle was the highly entertaining, all-time classic anthem “The Real Slim Shady.”

5. The Mars Volta “L’Via L’Viaquez” Frances the Mute (Universal, 2005)

With At the Drive-In, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez firmly shoved the creative boundaries of aggressive rock music. With The Mars Volta, they destroyed those boundaries and often forgot they ever existed. But when Cedric’s wicked, soaring vocals and Omar’s guitar wizardry align properly, they achieve superhuman feats. This 12-minute journey alternates between mindblowing prog rock (mostly sung in Spanish) and creepy salsa (sung in English). The resulting sounds can’t be explained with mere words—they must be heard to be believed.

6. The New Pornographers “Mass Romantic” Mass Romantic (Matador, 2000)

When it came to sweet, multi-part-harmony pop tunes with an indie rock edge, no one did it better than The New Pornographers in the ‘00s. And the tracks that showcased Neko Case’s powerful pipes added a pleasing female dimension to the otherwise male-dominated vocals. The hip-shaking boogie of “Mass Romantic” was their finest moment.

7. Sleater-Kinney “One Beat” One Beat (Kill Rock Stars, 2002)

An irregular, tribal beat. Hypnotically minimal and jagged guitar lines. Polyphonic yelping and floating vocal lines. Powerful crescendos. A tangible tension that builds continuously. “One Beat” is essentially an indie rock séance, a powerful out-of-body experience.

8. Kanye West “Jesus Walks” The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella, 2004)

Mainstream hip-hop creativity was in need of a serious jolt in 2004—especially with Eminem entering a lengthy hiatus—and Kanye West rose to the occasion on his debut The College Dropout. The album’s best track was simultaneously militant and spiritual, and found Kanye openly challenging hip-hop conventions. The result was a powerful, thought-provoking tour-de-force that introduced him to the masses.

9. Nas “What Goes Around” Stillmatic (Ill Will/Columbia, 2002)

With his first two albums in the mid-‘90s, Nas established himself as one of hip-hop’s most gifted MCs. But by the end of the decade, his music was starting to lose its way. He re-emerged in the ‘00s as one of the most dependable and capable lyricists, attacking a variety of political and social issues. His greatest performance—of many, many great performances—was “What Goes Around.”

10. The Mars Volta “The Widow” Frances the Mute (Universal, 2005)

Cedric-Bixler-Zavala demonstrated more melodic ability than most aggressive rock vocalists during his time with At the Drive-In. But his vocal prowess reached shocking new levels with The Mars Volta. Simultaneously tender and eerie, on this jaw-dropping ballad he lets it all hang out.

11. Eminem “The Way I Am ” The Marshall Mathers LP (Interscope, 2000)

12. Jay-Z – I Just Wanna Luv U (Give it 2 Me)” The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (Roc-A-Fella, 2000)

13. The Decemberists “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid” The Hazards of Love (Capitol, 2009)

14. Aesop Rock “No Regrets” Labor Days (Definitive Jux, 2001)

15. Outkast (Big Boi) “Bowtie” Speakerboxxx (Arista/La Face, 2003)

16. R. Kelly “Ignition (Remix)” Chocolate Factory (Jive, 2003)

17. Bright Eyes “Bowl of Oranges” Lifted or The Story Is In the Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground (Saddle Creek, 2002)

18. Shout Out Louds “Very Loud” Howl Howl Gaff Gaff (Capitol, 2005)

19. Fugazi “Cashout” The Argument (Dischord, 2001)

20. Destiny’s Child “Independent Women, Pt. 1 ” Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack (Columbia, 2000)

21. AFI “The Leaving Song Pt. II” Sing the Sorrow (Dreamworks, 2003)

22. System of A Down “Deer Dance” Toxicity (American/Sony, 2001)

23. Common “The Corner” Be (Geffen, 2005)

24. Queens of the Stone Age “No One Knows” Songs for the Deaf (Interscope, 2002)

25. The Killers “Mr. Brightside” Hot Fuss (Island, 2004)

26. Kanye West “We Don’t Care” The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella, 2004)

27. Eminem “Stan” The Marshall Mathers LP (Interscope, 2000)

28. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists “The High Party” Hearts of Oak (Lookout!, 2003)

29. AFI “Bleed Black” Sing the Sorrow (Dreamworks, 2003)

30. DMX “Who We Be” The Great Depression (Def Jam, 2001)

31. Gorillaz “Clint Eastwood” Gorillaz (Virgin, 2001)

32. Devin the Dude featuring Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000 “What A Job” Waitin’ To Inhale (Rap-A-Lot, 2007)

33. Jay-Z “So Ghetto ” Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter (Roc-A-Fella, 2000)

34. Amy Winehouse “You Know I’m No Good” Back to Black (Republic, 2007)

35. Green Day “Jesus of Suburbia” American Idiot (Reprise, 2004)

36. The New Pornographers “It’s Only Divine Right” Electric Version (Matador, 2003)

37. Kanye West “Gold Digger” Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella, 2005)

38. Drive-By Truckers “Outfit” Decoration Day (New West, 2003)

39. My Chemical Romance “To the End” Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (Reprise, 2004)

40. Dead Prez “They Schools” Let’s Get Free (Relativity, 2000)

41. Eminem “Drug Ballad” The Marshall Mathers LP (Interscope, 2000)

42. Flo Rida featuring T-Pain “Low” Mail On Sunday/Step Up 2 The Streets Soundtrack (Atlantic, 2008)

43. Bright Eyes “We Are Nowhere and It’s Now” I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (Saddle Creek, 2005)

44. At the Drive-In “Arcarsenal” Relationship of Command (Grand Royal, 2000)

45. Chemical Brothers “Come With Us” Come With Us (Astralwerks, 2002)

46. Lady Gaga “Bad Romance” The Fame Monster (Interscope, 2009)

47. Stephen Malkmus “Pencil Rot” Face the Truth (Matador, 2005)

48. Linkin Park “One Step Closer” Hybrid Theory (Warner Brothers, 2000)

49. Nas “Heaven” God’s Son (Columbia, 2003)

50. Gnarls Barkley “Crazy” St. Elsewhere (Downtown, 2006)

51. Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris “Yeah!” Confessions (La Face/Arista, 2004)

52. The Perceptionists “Black Dialogue” Black Dialogue (Definitive Jux, 2005)

53. Interpol “Evil” Antics (Matador, 2004)

54. Black Ice “The Ugly Show” The Death of Willie Lynch (Koch, 2006)

55. Bright Eyes “Landlocked Blues” I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (Saddle Creek, 2005)

56. AFI “This Celluloid Dream” Sing the Sorrow (Dreamworks, 2003)

57. Wilco “Jesus Etc.” Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch, 2002)

58. Nas “My Country” Stillmatic (Ill Will/Columbia, 2002)

59. D12 featuring Eminem “Purple Pills” Devil’s Night (Shady/Interscope, 2001)

60. Franz Ferdinand “Jacqueline” Franz Ferdinand (Domino, 2004)

61. Abandon Jalopy “Speed Bumps” Mercy (Stank Face Laboratories, 2002)

62. The Mooney Suzuki “Alive & Amplified” Alive & Amplified (Red Ink/Columbia, 2004)

63. Mr. Lif “Home of the Brave” Emergency Rations EP (Definitive Jux, 2002)

64. Karen O and the Kids “All Is Love” Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack (Interscope, 2009)

65. Fiona Apple “Tymps (Sick in the Head Song)” Extraordinary Machine (Epic, 2005)

66. Matisyahu “Youth” Youth (Epic/JDub, 2006)

67. Queens of the Stone Age “The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret” Rated R (Interscope, 2000)

68. The Mars Volta “Goliath” The Bedlam In Goliath (Universal, 2008)

69. Oakley Hall “No Dreams” I’ll Follow You (Merge, 2007)

70. Mya “Case of the Ex ” Fear of Flying (Interscope, 2000)

71. Bright Eyes “If the Brakeman Turns My Way” Cassadaga (Saddle Creek, 2007)

72. The Veils “The Tide That Left and Never Came Back” The Runaway Found (Rough Trade, 2004)

73. Outkast “B.O.B.” Stankonia (La Face, 2000)

74. Cypress Hill “You Can’t Get the Best of Me” Skull & Bones (Columbia, 2000)

75. The White Stripes “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” White Blood Cells (Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2001)

76. Dixie Chicks “Not Ready To Make Nice” Taking the Long Way (Open Wide/Columbia, 2006)

77. My Chemical Romance “Thank You for the Venom” Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (Reprise, 2004)

78. DMX “What’s My Name ” …And Then There Was X (Def Jam, 2000)

79. Rihanna “Disturbia” Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded (Island/Def Jam, 2008)

80. The Killers “Somebody Told Me” Hot Fuss (Island, 2004)

81. The Decemberists “The Engine Driver” Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars, 2005)

82. Missy Elliot “Get Ur Freak On” Miss E…So Addictive (Elektra, 2001)

83. Justin Timberlake “Cry Me a River” Justified (Jive, 2002)

84. Electric Six “Danger! High Voltage” Fire (XL/Beggars, 2003)

85. Avril Lavigne “Complicated” Let Go (Arista, 2002)

86. Conor Oberst “I Don’t Want To Die (In the Hospital)” Conor Oberst (Merge, 2008)

87. The Strokes “New York City Cops” Is This It (RCA, 2001)

88. Jane’s Addiction “The Riches” Strays (Capitol, 2003)

89. Erykah Badu “…& On” Mama’s Gun (Motown, 2000)

90. The Living End “Uncle Harry” Roll On (Warner Brothers, 2001)

91. Aimee Mann “Momentum ” Magnolia Soundtrack (Reprise, 2000)

92. Ghostface Killah featuring Raekwon “Kilo” Fishscale (Def Jam, 2006)

93. Brother Ali “The Travelers” Us (Rhymesayers, 2009)

94. Chrisette Michelle “Fragile” Epiphany (Def Jam, 2009)

95. My Morning Jacket “Thank You Too!” Evil Urges (ATO, 2008)

96. K’Naan featuring Mos Def and Chali 2na “America” Troubadour (A&M/Octone, 2009)

97. 50 Cent featuring Lloyd Banks, Prodigy, Spider Loc & Mase “I Don’t Know Officer” Get Rich or Die Tryin’ Soundtrack (G Unit/Interscope, 2005)

98. Shakira “She Wolf” She Wolf (Epic, 2009)

99. Rainer Maria “Ears Ring” Long Knives Drawn (Polyvinyl, 2003)

100. Dizzee Rascal featuring UGK “Where’s Da G’s” Maths & English (Definitive Jux, 2008)

*Note: Unfortunately 1/3 of the songs on this iTunes iMix are missing due to an iTunes glitch. This iMix will get you started if you’re interested in having this playlist, and you can add the rest of the songs separately using the iTunes Store.


Posted by: Dave on December 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm

RuralAlbertaAdvantageHometowns.jpgAs the decade draws to a close, the future of the album is as iffy as it’s been since the early ‘60s. Commercially, album sales dropped another 13% in 2009 (after declinining steadily each of the last several years) while digital single song sales continue to rise. At the same time, more EPs are being released and—most alarmingly—there’s been a major influx of commercially successful albums getting the “deluxe” re-release treatment. This beefed-up, re-packaged album trend makes it difficult to determine which is the actual album—the original or deluxe release—particularly when the updated versions contain several top-notch, brand new hit songs (most notably Lady GaGa’s The Fame and Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad.)

I assume the album concept will survive throughout the next ten years, but I think we’ll see increasingly fewer true and great full-lengths. Classic albums often take time, money, and commercial/label pressure to produce. In many cases, that energy will go towards making a great song or handful of songs, instead of a complete 8-to-15-song artistic statement.

Naturally, though, there will still be some musicians that strive to make a great album. 2009 could very well be indicative of the future. Below is a list of solid artistic statements—all of them. But none of these will rank as all-time classics. None of these are likely to end up in the upper fourth of my Top 100 Albums of the ‘00s (coming very soon to New Music Nation). Every one of them is a quality listen, though.

Here are my picks for the 20 most complete, ambitious and well-executed albums of 2009 (followed by 20 honorable mentions), focusing primarily on rock, hip hop, metal, pop, electro/dance, r&b and alternative country. Enjoy the list.

1. The Rural Alberta Advantage Hometowns (Saddle Creek)
2. Kid Cudi Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D.)
3. Brother Ali Us (Rhymesayers)
4. Psapp The Camel’s Back (Domino)
5. The Decemberists The Hazards of Love (Capitol)
6. The Mars Volta Octahedron (Warner Brothers)
7. Grizzly Bear Veckatimest (Warp)
8. Jack Peñate Everything Is New (XL)
9. Shakira She Wolf (Epic)
10. M. Ward Hold Time (Merge)
11. Neko Case Middle Cyclone (Anti-)
12. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Lightning Rod)
13. Franz Ferdinand Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Domino)
14. Handsome Furs Face Control (Sub Pop)
15. Electric Owls Ain’t Too Bright (Vagrant)
16. Chali 2na Fish Outta Water (Decon)
17. UUVVWWZ UUVVWWZ (Saddle Creek)
18. Thrice Beggars (Vagrant)
19. P.O.S. Never Better (Rhymesayers)
20. N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo (Anti-)

Honorable Mentions

21. Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures (Interscope)
22. The Black Crowes Before the Frost… (Silver Arrow/Megaforce)
23. Gossip Music for Men (Columbia)
24. The Features Some Kind of Salvation (429)
25. Sunset Rubdown Dragonslayer (Jagjaguwar)
26. Peter Bjorn & John Living Thing (Almost Gold)
27. Monsters of Folk Monsters of Folk (Shangri-La)
28. Heartless Bastards The Mountain (Fat Possum)
29. Lily Allen It’s Not Me, It’s You (Capitol)
30. St. Vincent The Strangers (4AD)
31. Morrissey Years of Refusal (Attack/Lost Highway)
32. Matt & Kim Grand (Fader)
33. Beast Beast (Verve Forecast)
34. Manchester Orchestra Mean Everything to Nothing (Favorite Gentleman/Canvasback)
35. Wilco Wilco (the album) (Nonesuch)
36. The Fiery Furnaces I’m Going Away (Thrill Jockey)
37. Bishop Allen Grrr… (Dead Oceans)
38. U2 No Line On the Horizon (Interscope)
39. Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)
40. Empire of the Sun Walking on a Dream (Astralwerks/Virgin)


Posted by: Dave on at 8:00 am

DecemberistsHazardsofLoveSomali-born rapper/singer K’naan appears on this list far more than any other artist. His ambitious, global hip-hop/rock/pop sound and unique lyrical perspective made him one of the most exciting newcomers here in the U.S. in 2009. But you won’t find his major-label debut Troubadour on my Top 20 Albums of 2009 list. When all the elements align properly, he’s excellent. When they don’t, he’s overbearing and awkward. His best work—along with 16 other highlights from the last year of the decade—is listed below.

Look for the Top 100 Songs of the ‘00s list to appear on New Music Nation in the very near future.

Click here to sample or buy the iTunes iMix for New Music Nation’s Top 20 Songs of 2009.

1. The Decemberists “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid” The Hazards of Love (Capitol)

2. Lady Gaga “Bad Romance” The Fame Monster (Interscope)

3. Karen O and the Kids “All Is Love” Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack (Interscope)

4. Brother Ali “The Travelers” Us (Rhymesayers)

5. K’Naan featuring Mos Def and Chali 2na “America” Troubadour (A&M/Octone)

6. Shakira “She Wolf” She Wolf (Epic)

7. Wale featuring K’Naan “TV in the Radio” Attention Deficit (Interscope)

8. K’Naan featuring Damian Marley “I Come Prepared” Troubadour (A&M/Octone)

9. The Felice Brothers “Run Chicken Run” Yonder Is the Clock (Team Love)

10. Immaculate Machine “Don’t Build the Bridge” High On Jackson Hill (Mint)

11. Chrisette Michelle “Fragile” Epiphany (Def Jam)

12. Mr. Lif “What About Us?” I Heard It Today (Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises)

13. Chali 2na “Righteous Way” Fish Outta Water (Decon)

14. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes “Home” Up From Below (Vagrant)

15. Grizzly Bear “While You Wait For The Others” Veckatimest (Warp)

16. Kid Cudi “Day ‘n’ Nite” Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D.)

17. Jeremy Enigk “Same Side Imaginary” OK Bear (Lewis Hollow)

18. …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead “Bells of Creation” The Century of Self (Justice)

19. Pet Shop Boys “Love Etc.” Yes (Astralwerks)

20. K’Naan “Somalia” Troubadour (A&M/Octone)


Posted by: Dave on January 23, 2009 at 6:00 am

HushSoundsGoodbyeBluesExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2008 and the representative tracks from my Top 20 Albums of 2008, these are the rest of the best indie and indie-minded rock tracks of 2008 (part one of four). To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Click here to sample or buy this iTunes iMix

1. The Hush Sound “The Boys Are Too Refined” Goodbye Blues (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic)

2. The Hush Sound “Medicine Man” Goodbye Blues (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic)

3. Santogold “You’ll Find A Way” Santogold (Downtown)

4. Santogold “L.E.S. Artistes” Santogold (Downtown)

5. El Madmo “Scary Lady” El Madmo (Team Love)

6. El Madmo “Fantasy Guy” El Madmo (Team Love)

7. Vampire Weekend “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” Vampire Weekend (XL)

8. Vampire Weekend “M79” Vampire Weekend (XL)

9. Okkervil River “Pop Lie” The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar)

10. Okkervil River “Starry Stairs” The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar)

11. Death Cab for Cutie “Cath…” Narrow Stairs (Atlantic)

12. Death Cab For Cutie “I Will Possess Your Heart (Radio Edit)” Narrow Stairs (Atlantic)

13. Beck “Youthless” Modern Guilt (Interscope)

14. Beck “Gamma Ray” Modern Guilt (Interscope)

15. Blitzen Trapper “Fire and Fast Bullets” Furr (Sub Pop)

16. Blitzen Trapper “Sleepy Time In The Western World” Furr (Sub Pop)

17. The Presidents of the United States of America “Ladybug” These Are the Good Times People (Fugitive Recordings/EMI)

18. Matt Costa “Emergency Call” Unfamiliar Faces (Brushfire)

19. Islands “Creeper” Arm’s Way (Anti-)

20. Thao “Swimming Pools” We Brave Bee Sting and All (Kill Rock Stars)

21. Thao “Bag of Hammers” We Brave Bee Sting and All (Kill Rock Stars)

22. Santogold featuring Trouble Andrew “I’m A Lady” Santogold (Downtown)

23. Laura Marling “Cross Your Fingers” Alas I Cannot Swim (Astralwerks)

24. Vampire Weekend “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” Vampire Weekend (XL)

25. Vampire Weekend “Walcott” Vampire Weekend (XL)

26. Conor Oberst “Souled Out!!!” Conor Oberst (Merge)

27. Hymns “LA, or Babette Sange” Travel In Herds (High Wire Music)

28. The Baseball Project “Gratitude (For Curt Flood)” Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails (Yep Roc)

29. The Baseball Project “Past Time” Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails (Yep Roc)

30. Nada Surf “Whose Authority” Lucky (Barsuk)


Posted by: Dave on at 5:59 am

StephenMalkmusRealEmotionalExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2008 and the representative tracks from my Top 20 Albums of 2008, these are the rest of the best indie and indie-minded rock tracks of 2008 (part two of four). To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Click here to sample or buy this iTunes iMix

1. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks “Gardenia” Real Emotional Trash (Matador)

2. Koufax “Once In A While” Strugglers (Doghouse)

3. Koufax “Any Moment Now” Strugglers (Doghouse)

4. Of Montreal “Gallery Piece” Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)

5. MGMT “Time To Pretend” Oracular Spectacular (Red Ink/Columbia)

6. Sia “Playground” Some People Have Real Problems (Monkey Puzzle/Hear Music)

7. The Kills “U.R.A. Fever” Midnight Boom (Domino)

8. The Black Keys “Strange Times” Attack and Release (Nonesuch)

9. Firewater “Borneo” The Golden Hour (Bloodshot)

10. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks “Baltimore” Real Emotional Trash (Matador)

11. Secret Machines “Atomic Heels” Secret Machines (TSM)

12. Parts & Labor “Nowheres Nigh” Receivers (Jagjaguwar)

13. Ra Ra Riot “Ghost Under Rocks” The Rhumb Line (Barsuk)

14. Ra Ra Riot “Can You Tell” The Rhumb Line (Barsuk)

15. Sia “Electric Bird” Some People Have Real Problems (Monkey Puzzle/Hear Music)

16. The Heavy Circles “Henri” The Heavy Circles (Dynamite Child)

17. Lykke Li “I’m Good, I’m Gone” Youth Novels (Atlantic/ADA)

18. Lykke Li “Little Bit” Youth Novels (Atlantic/ADA)

19. Dodos “Park Song” Visiter (Frenchkiss)

20. Death Cab for Cutie “No Sunlight” Narrow Stairs (Atlantic)

21. Ra Ra Riot “Dying Is Fine” The Rhumb Line (Barsuk)

22. The Mountain Goats “Autoclave” Heretic Pride (4AD)

23. What Made Milwaukee Famous “Sultan” What Doesn’t Kill Us (Barsuk)

24. Cold War Kids “Something Is Not Right With Me” Loyalty to Loyalty (Downtown)

25. Eagles of Death Metal “Heart On” Heart On (Downtown)

26. Rachael Yamagata “Faster” Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart (Warner Brothers)

27. The Breeders “German Studies” Mountain Battles (4AD)


Posted by: Dave on at 5:58 am

MMJEvilUrgesExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2008 and the representative tracks from my Top 20 Albums of 2008, these are the rest of the best indie and indie-minded rock tracks of 2008 (part three of four). To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Click here to sample or buy this iTunes iMix

1. My Morning Jacket “Evil Urges” Evil Urges (ATO)

2. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks “Dragonfly Pie” Real Emotional Trash (Matador)

3. The Black Keys “Psychotic Girl” Attack and Release (Nonesuch)

4. TV On the Radio “DLZ” Dear Science, (Interscope)

5. Wolf Parade “Fine Young Cannibals” At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)

6. Death Cab For Cutie “Pity & Fear” Narrow Stairs (Atlantic)

7. The Mountain Goats “Lovecraft In Brooklyn” Heretic Pride (4AD)

8. Rachael Yamagata “Accident” Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart (Warner Brothers)

9. Flowers Forever “American Dream” Flowers Forever (Team Love)

10. My Morning Jacket “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 1” Evil Urges (ATO)

11. Fleet Foxes “Ragged Wood” Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)

12. TV On the Radio “Lover’s Day” Dear Science, (Interscope)

13. The Mountain Goats “Sax Rohmer #1” Heretic Pride (4AD)

14. The Hold Steady “One for the Cutters” Stay Positive (Vagrant)

15. Elbow “Grounds For Divorce” The Seldom Seen Kid (Geffen)

16. Lackthereof “Choir Practice” Your Anchor (Barsuk)

17. Cold War Kids “I’ve Seen Enough” Loyalty to Loyalty (Downtown)

18. The Old Haunts “Not Hopeless” Poisonous Times (Kill Rock Stars)

19. The Duke Spirit “The Step and The Walk” Neptune (Shangri-La)

20. R.E.M. “Accelerate” Accelerate (Warner Brothers)

21. Wolf Parade “Call It a Ritual” At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)

22. Ray LaMontagne “Meg White” Gossip In the Grain (RCA Victor)

23. Thrice “The Earth Isn’t Humming” Alchemy Index, Vol. III & IV: Fire & Earth (Vagrant)


Posted by: Dave on at 5:57 am

MGMT OracularExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2008 and the representative tracks from my Top 20 Albums of 2008, these are the rest of the best indie and indie-minded rock tracks of 2008 (part four of four). To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Click here to sample or buy this iTunes iMix

1. MGMT “Weekend Wars” Oracular Spectacular (Red Ink/Columbia)

2. My Morning Jacket “Highly Suspicious” Evil Urges (ATO)

3. Man Man “Big Trouble” Rabbit Habits (Anti-)

4. Cold War Kids “On the Night My Love Broke Through” Loyalty to Loyalty (Downtown)

5. Portishead “Threads” Third (Mercury/Island)

6. Ladytron “Ghosts” Velocifero (Nettwerk)

7. Dengue Fever “Seeing Hands” Venus On Earth (M80)

8. Islands “The Arm” Arm’s Way (Anti-)

9. Deerhoof “Fresh Born” Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars)

10. Wolf Parade “California Dreamer” At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)

11. The Dresden Dolls “Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner” No, Virginia… (Roadrunner)

12. Man Man “Top Drawer” Rabbit Habits (Anti-)

13. Man Man “Mister Jung Stuffed” Rabbit Habits (Anti-)

14. Benji Hughes “Neighbor Down the Hall” A Love Extreme (New West)

15. My Morning Jacket “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2” Evil Urges (ATO)

16. Portishead “Silence” Third (Mercury/Island)

17. Portishead “Nylon Smile” Third (Mercury/Island)

18. Ladytron “Season of Illusions” Velocifero (Nettwerk)

19. Laura Marling “Night Terror” Alas I Cannot Swim (Astralwerks)

20. Death Vessel “Exploded View” Nothing Is Precious Enough For Us (Sub Pop)

21. Wolf Parade “The Grey Estates” At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)

22. Cold War Kids “Mexican Dogs” Loyalty to Loyalty (Downtown)

23. The War On Drugs “Taking the Farm” Wagonwheel Blues (Secretly Canadian)


Posted by: Dave on January 22, 2009 at 6:00 am

BlackKidsPartieTraumaticExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2008 and the representative tracks from my Top 20 Albums of 2008, these are the rest of the best Brit and Brit-sounding pop/rock/punk tracks of 2008. To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Click here to sample or buy this iTunes iMix

1. Black Kids “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” Partie Traumatic (Red Ink/Sony)

2. Hushpuppies “Moloko Sound Club” Silence Is Golden (Minty Fresh)

3. Hushpuppies “You’re Gonna Say Yeah!” Silence Is Golden (Minty Fresh)

4. Bloc Party “One Month Off” Intimacy (Atlantic)

5. The Young Knives “Counters” Superabundance (Rykodisc)

6. The Fratellis “Tell Me A Lie” Here We Stand (Interscope)

7. Ed Harcourt “I Am The Drug” The Beautiful Lie (Dovecote)

8. Ed Harcourt “Revolution In the Heart” The Beautiful Lie (Dovecote)

9. Keane “Pretend That You’re Alone” Perfect Symmetry (Interscope)

10. James “Whiteboy (Radio Edit)” Hey Ma (Decca)

11. The Verve “Love Is Noise” Forth (On Your Own/Megaforce)

12. The Fratellis “My Friend John” Here We Stand (Interscope)

13. Hushpuppies “A Trip To Vienna” Silence Is Golden (Minty Fresh)

14. Hushpuppies “Broken Matador” Silence Is Golden (Minty Fresh)

15. The Cure “Sleep When I’m Dead” 4:13 Dream (Suretone/Geffen)

16. Black Kids “Partie Traumatic” Partie Traumatic (Red Ink/Sony)

17. Travis “J. Smith” Ode to J. Smith (Fontana Universal)

18. James “Hey Ma” Hey Ma (Decca)

19. Keane “Better Than This” Perfect Symmetry (Interscope)

20. The Verve “Sit and Wonder” Forth (On Your Own/Megaforce)

21. British Sea Power “Waving Flags” Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade)


Posted by: Dave on January 21, 2009 at 6:00 am

JaguarLoveExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2008 and the representative tracks from my Top 20 Albums of 2008, these are the rest of the best aggressive rock tracks of 2008. To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Click here to sample or buy this iTunes iMix

1. Jaguar Love “Jaguar Pirates” Take Me To the Sea (Matador)

2. Jaguar Love “Vagabond Ballroom” Take Me To the Sea (Matador)

3. Jaguar Love “Bats Over the Pacific Ocean” Take Me To the Sea (Matador)

4. Damiera “Quiet Mouth Loud Hands” Quiet Mouth Loud Hands (Equal Vision)

5. Damiera “Blinding Sir Bluest” Quiet Mouth Loud Hands (Equal Vision)

6. Alkaline Trio “In Vein” Agony & Irony (Epic)

7. My Morning Jacket “Remnants” Evil Urges (ATO)

8. Rise Against “Re-Education (Through Labor)” Appeal to Reason (DGC/Interscope)

9. 31Knots “Strange Kicks” Worried Well (Polyvinyl)

10. 31Knots “Compass Commands” Worried Well (Polyvinyl)

11. One Day As A Lion “One Day As A Lion” One Day As A Lion EP (Anti-)

12. One Day As A Lion “Wild International” One Day As A Lion EP (Anti-)

13. One Day As A Lion “If You Fear Dying” One Day As A Lion EP (Anti-)

14. Future of the Left “Small Bones Small Bodies” Curses (Too Pure)

15. Jaguar Love “Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers” Take Me To the Sea (Matador)

16. Jaguar Love “The Man With the Plastic Suns” Take Me To the Sea (Matador)

17. The Mars Volta “Wax Simulacra” The Bedlam In Goliath (Universal)

18. Damiera “Teacher, Preacher” Quiet Mouth Loud Hands (Equal Vision)

19. Damiera “Chromatica” Quiet Mouth Loud Hands (Equal Vision)

20. Toadies “So Long Lovey Eyes” No Deliverance (Kirtland)

21. The Night Marchers “Whose Lady R U?” See You In Magic (Vagrant)

22. The Duke Spirit “Send A Little Love Token” Neptune (Shangri-La)

23. The Duke Spirit “Into the Fold” Neptune (Shangri-La)

24. Flowers Forever “Wet Diamonds” Flowers Forever (Team Love)

25. Future of the Left “The Lord Hates A Coward” Curses (Too Pure)

26. Warship “Where’s Your Leash” Supply & Demand (Vagrant)

27. The Mars Volta “Aberinkula” The Bedlam In Goliath (Universal)


Posted by: Dave on January 20, 2009 at 6:00 am

RaconteursConsolersExcept for the songs that made my Top 20 Songs of 2008 and the representative tracks from my Top 20 Albums of 2008, these are the rest of the best mainstream rock tracks of 2008. To be eligible, a song needed to be included on an album released in the United States between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Click here to sample or buy this iTunes iMix

1. The Raconteurs “Consoler of the Lonely” Consolers of the Lonely (Warner Brothers)

2. The Raconteurs “Salute Your Solution” Consolers of the Lonely (Warner Brothers)

3. Guns N’ Roses “Better” Chinese Democracy (Geffen)

4. Buckcherry “Too Drunk…” Black Butterfly (Atlantic)

5. Buckcherry “Rescue Me” Black Butterfly (Atlantic)

6. We Are Scientists “After Hours” Brain Thrust Mastery (Astralwerks)

7. We Are Scientists “Impatience” Brain Thrust Mastery (Astralwerks)

8. Coldplay “Violet Hill” Viva La Vida (Capitol)

9. Coldplay “Viva La Vida” Viva La Vida (Capitol)

10. Bell X1 “Flame” Flock (Yep Roc)

11. The Raconteurs “Many Shades of Black” Consolers of the Lonely (Warner Brothers)

12. Scars On Broadway “3005” Scars on Broadway (Interscope)

13. Tom Morello The Nightwatchman “Whatever It Takes” The Fabled City (Red Ink/Sony)

14. We Are Scientists “Dinosaurs” Brain Thrust Mastery (Astralwerks)

15. Oasis “The Shock of the Lightning” Dig Out Your Soul (Warner/Reprise)

16. The Hold Steady “Stay Positive” Stay Positive (Vagrant)

17. The Hold Steady “Slapped Actress” Stay Positive (Vagrant)

18. The Hush Sound “Not Your Concern” Goodbye Blues (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic)

19. Panic At The Disco “She’s A Handsome Woman” Pretty. Odd. (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic)

20. Socratic “Boy In A Magazine” Spread the Rumors (Drive Thru)

21. Weezer “Dreamin'” Weezer (The Red Album) (Geffen)

22. R.E.M. “Man-Sized Wreath” Accelerate (Warner Brothers)

23. Kings of Leon “Closer” Only by the Night (RCA)

24. Blind Melon “Make A Difference” For My Friends (Adrenaline)

25. Guns N’ Roses “Street of Dreams” Chinese Democracy (Geffen)




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