1. Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Green Day: Greenday re-
entered the scene this year to remind us that the 90s havent
slipped away just yet. Boulevard, the groups take on
alienation is poignant and telling.
2. Diamonds from Sierra Leone, Kanye West: Kanye West
deserves credit alone for finding such diverse sources for
his material and reintroducing them to new generations. In
this case he uses an underrated James Bond theme, Shirley
Basseys haunting Diamonds are Forever, speeding up the beat
and playing around with the subtext. Is he using the diamonds
theme to call attention to deaths that result from demand for
diamonds or as an excuse to talk about himself? Either way,
its most interesting to try to figure it out.
3. Golddigger, Kanye West: Striking while the fire is
hot (on the movie Ray and the popularity of Ray Charles
period), West uses Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles for another
4. Since Youve Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson- In her single
before this, Breakaway, Clarkson was just expressing
wishful thinking. It wasnt until she let loose on the chorus
of this single that Clarkson finally broke away from her
status as a contest winner into a force to be taken seriously.
5. Speed of Sound, Coldplay- Maybe Coldplay is a little
diluted in their career plans to be the best rock stars in
history but they have a certain unique mix of synthesized and
instrumental in their sound that they can make work for them
sometimes. Speed of Sound, has a quasi-futuristic
otherworldly sound to it, made up of synthesizers and a
pulsating beat thatâ€™s like nothing else.
6. Lonely No More, Rob Thomas- Through four albums now,
Matchbox 20s front man has kept producing good songs from
his passive-aggressive rock. His voice matches his
songwriting incredibly well and he has a great sense of
placing his words in the right places. Lonely No More opens
with a memorable riff that Thomas sings himself between
7. Incomplete, Backstreet Boys: Was the boy band and the
endless NSync vs Backstreet Boys debate just a phase? Well,
the Backstreet Boys are back to convince us that theyve
matured and grown, and despite bad timing (we forgot about
them 2 or 3 years ago), they come through pretty well with
8. Feeling Good, Michael Buble: This severely underage
crooners quest to bring jazz standards back into the main
stream is a noble one and he did much more for his cause by
writing his own songs on his latest album. The beauty
of Feeling Goodis that it doesnt sound like an obvious
effort to write a song, it sounds like something written for
a James Bond movie 30 years ago.
9. Landed, Ben Folds Five: One of Ben Folds more colorful and
complete songs with an octave-jumping chorus that gets you
10. Blue, Sheryl Crow and Zuchero: Crowe, who is unfairly labeled
as county, has a voice that can evidently match opera
singers. She sings beautifully on a duet, thats a grandiose
orchestral work that has a way of sounding like a Sheryl Crow
11. Mr. Brightside, The Killers: The Killers have an edgy
intensity just this side of mainstream. Its a close call
over whether this or 2004 Somebody Told Me are more
memorable, but both have a lot of firepower. Their video is
also one of the few thats worth watching.
12. Holiday, Greenday-Adolescent California fun that makes us
want to join in. Its catchy if nothing else.
13. Dreamgirl, Dave Matthews Band: Back with his band,
Matthews produced a song that in my opinion was anything
better than he did in his last album in which he went solo.
The spiritual chant at the beginning of the track didnt
really do much for me, but no complaints once the bass, sax
and guitar kicking in. Also, this was Julia Roberts last
acting gig before going into retirement (Im not COMPLETELY
sure thats true, I just read it somewhere and also Julia
Roberts is like 30 or 40-something and she seems really
flaky, shell probably change her mind somewhere along the
14. Best I Ever Had, Gary Allain-In an effort to include all
kinds of music and since this is one of the few country songs
Ive heard, and also because I like Vertical Horizon which
originally wrote this song a few years ago, Ill throw this
in here. This version sounds a lot better than the original,
which is strange because, again, I dont really like country
music too much.
15. Let Me Go, Three Doors Down-On the one hand, Three Doors
Down is awfully generic for southern rock, but on the other
hand with their virtuosic rhythmic guitar and their insertion
of intensity in the right places, they might be the best
example of it. I dont recommend buying their album, their
songs sound a lot alike, but they make a good song now and
then, this being one of them.
True, Ryan Cabrera-Only because maybe if we throw our weight
behind Ryan Cabrera, maybe Jesse McCartney will go away.
When September Ends, Greenday-Another good Greenday song that
also seems like something I can relate to
I Aint as Good as I Once Was, Toby Kieth-OK, Ive heard
about 2 country songs this year
Photograph, Nickelback-I imagine a lot of people must have
really liked it if it was played every five minutes on the
Sunday Morning, Maroon 5-I put Maroon 5 all over last years
list, so I thought Id mix it up, this is a great new song, a
more upbeat tone than Harder to Breathe and This Love and not
as emotionally straining as She Will Be Loved
Goodbye is All We Have-Allison Krauss & Union Station-A great
Be Without You, Mary J Blige-Although, I might be thinking of
another one, not really into hip-hop/rap either, but like I
said, trying to be inclusive of everyone.