Posted by: Dave on January 23, 2008 at 8:30 am

AmyWinehouseYouKnowSingleFor the second year in a row, my #1 song is heavily rooted in music from decades ago. Last year, Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” was a ubiquitous smash and the year’s undisputed standout, but it was unsettling to me how it oozed vintage soul, despite its modern touches. I like my year-end champ to be more forward-thinking and current.

Now, as I wrap up 2007, I can’t help but pick a song heavily influenced by ‘60s Motown. Fortunately, though, it’s amped up with a fresh hip hop beat. I’m talking about Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” The track is far more modern-sounding than her bigger hit “Rehab,” and the bad girl anthem was the best I heard this year.

As I look down the Top 20 Songs of 2007 list, I’m a little disheartened by the number of songs that borrow directly from the past (“No Dreams” from ‘60s Jefferson Airplane, “Roc Boys” from ‘70s funk, “Breakin’ Up” from early ‘80s Blondie and the aforementioned “Rehab” from ‘60s Motown). Some of the best tracks being made today aren’t necessarily helping to progress modern music, and some of this decade’s biggest innovators haven’t put out top-notch work in awhile. But there’s certainly still hope. Whether reviving the familiar or blazing ahead to the future, all 20 songs on this list contain invigorating sounds, statements and performances.

These are the best songs from albums released between December 1, 2006 and November 30, 2007 in the United States. As I do every year, I factored in the following criteria when ranking the top songs: originality, composition/arrangement/production, lyrics, catchiness/memorability, energy, emotion.

If you plan to buy any of these songs on iTunes based on my recommendation, please use the link below:

Click hear to sample or buy the iTunes iMix for New Music Nation’s Top 20 Songs of 2007

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

2. Oakley Hall “No Dreams” I’ll Follow You (Merge)

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

4. Jay-Z “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…)” American Gangster (Roc-a-Fella)*

5. Bright Eyes “Four Winds” Cassadaga (Saddle Creek)

6. Serj Tankian “The Unthinking Majority” Elect the Dead (Serjical Strike/Reprise)

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

8. Soulja Boy Tell’Em “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” (ColliPark/Interscope)

9. Rihanna “Breakin’ Dishes” Good Girl Gone Bad (Def Jam)

10. Rilo Kiley “Breakin’ Up” Under the Blacklight (Warner Brothers)

11. Band of Horses “No One’s Gonna Love You” Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)

12. Amy Winehouse “Rehab” Back to Black (Republic)

13. Sondre Lerche “Airport Taxi Reception” Phantom Punch (Astralwerks)

14. Buck 65 “Way Back When (K-Os Remix)” Situation (Strange Famous)*

15. Kenna “Out of Control (State of Emotion)” Make Sure They See My Face (Interscope)

16. The Go! Team “Grip Like A Vice” Proof Of Youth (Sub Pop)

17. Patrick Park “Here We Are” Everyone’s In Everyone (Curb Appeal)

18. Rondo Brothers “Crazed” Seven Minutes to Midnight (War Chant)

19. The Academy Is… “Bulls In Brooklyn” Santi (Atlantic)

20. CocoRosie “Rainbowwarriors” The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn (Touch and Go)

*Song not available on iTunes

2 Responses to “Top 20 Songs of 2007”

  1. Ben Says:

    “Ignorant Shit” >>>> “Roc Boys”

  2. Dave Says:

    The horns on “Roc Boys” are excellent. Plus it’s one of his finest post-“retirement” lyrical displays.

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