Widely considered by many to be the finest hip-hop song of the year, its a warm, intimate affair about how much Black Rob loves women and denounces weed. Oh, wait a minute, that's not it.... Wow, that shit's whoa!
34. Darude - "Sandstorm"
First we had Stevie Wonder's Pastime Paradise, then we had Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise and now we have Darude's Raver's Paradise. What luminous times we live in today, truly!
33. Sugababes - "Overload"
The New Spice Girls? You could argue your case, but if this understated song with an actually guitar solo (!) and smart lyrics (!!) doesn't signal the end of these talented (!!!) gals, then we could see the new Spice Girls indeed. Please don't go away, please don't go away...
32. Dandy Warhols - "Bohemian Like You"
The finest British band to come from America, the Warhols deploy the most convincing use of "Whoo-hoo" since Blur's classic Song 2 and the most sublime Rolling Stones riff-tribute ever. Sticky, sweet and more catchy than a seal, this'll be stuck in your head for weeks after hearing it.
31. Primal Scream - "Accelerator"
Don't adjust your dial. The loudest and most unbearable song from their loud and unbearable monsterpiece XTRMNTR, the Scream enlist the help of MBV's reclusive (and quite fat, I hear) Kevin Shields and shred the fuck out of your sub-woofer with feedback that would make Yoko Ono cringe. If your ear starts bleeding, consult a physician. But don't forget to burn the place down when you're done.
30. Eiffel 65 - "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"
So formulaic, so stupid, so monotone, it was hard not to like it. By the way, what the hell was the guy saying in the chorus?
29. Limp Bizkit - "Rollin'"
Yes, everyone hates them (quite true, they is). Yes, they are the worst band in the world. And yes, Fred Durst is the least intimidating angry guy in music. But this song's chorus is the finest fist-pumping one outside of Kid Rock.
28. Edwin - "Alive"
Probably unheard of outside of the Great White North, this six minute song is one that makes you appreciate life because you see how pretty it can be. Simple, yet powerful, its video was also one of the finest this year.
27. Smashing Pumpkins - "The Everlasting Gaze"
The Pumpkins' last hurrah is a boombastic return to their old stomping grounds: heavy guitars, the return of their amazing drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and a soaring chorus. The 30-second "spoken word" bit halfway through is ugly, uncommercial and in-your-face. Congrats to the Pumpkins for getting on the radio unedited. We'll miss you guys.
26. *N Sync - "Bye Bye Bye"
It anchored their record-breaking first week sales and was perhaps the most played song on radio this year. This represents everything that is wrong with music: formulaic, but exciting; bland, but danceable; too commercial, but too catchy. Damn them to hell.
25. Baha Men - "Who Let The Dogs Out?"
A slamming reggae song that would be unheard if not for that damn chorus, destined for the Jock Jams Hall of Fame. And why don't we found out who did it?
24. Lenny Kravitz - "Again"
The new track off of his "Greatest Hits" album, it is one of his strongest singles in years and perhaps the only rock ballad that doesn't get sappy. Intriguing.
23. D'Angelo - "Untitled (How Does It Feel?)"
The sexiest song of the year channells Prince at his funkiest, sultriest, sexiest best. It feels damn good, D.
22. Kid Rock - "American Badass"
A head-banging pseudo-cover of Metallica's "Sad But True", this song is everything that one wasn't: proud and not depressing. Thank you Mr. Rock for showing how much better Metallica's shitty songs sound when done by you. Show me some metal!!
21. Bloodhound Gang - "The Bad Touch"
Perhaps the stupidest song of the year, it was also the catchiest. I mean, hearing impressionable 13-year old girls singing "You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals/So let's do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel"? Any band that can pull that off with a riff straight out of the 80's deserves our respect and admiration.
20. Destiny's Child - "Independent Women Part I"
A beat lifted from Santana’s “Maria Maria” and lyrics about being rich, not independent. Aaah, materialism! NOTE: Inspired more sing-a-longs from football players at my school’s gym than any other song this year.
19. Robbie Williams - "Rock DJ"
Dismissed by Robbie himself as “silly,” it is nonetheless a great pop song. A throwaway rap, a bumpin’ piano beat and a knock-’em-dead chorus. Sounds very much like “B.O.B.”, doesn’t it?
18. David Gray - "Babylon"
It’s all about being young, high on life and other illicit drugs, but with an air of longing for the good ol’ days. In other words, the perfect nostalgia song for aging hipsters.
17. Daft Punk - "One More Time"
Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You” was a side project of one half of Daft Punk, so it’s no surprise that this should sound like a sequel to that worldwide hit. Sleazy, dirty and funky, it is the perfect dance-floor filler.
16. Dynamite Hack - "Boyz 'N Tha Hood"
A melodic gangsta-folk take on a keyboard-and-bass-heavy song with almost no melodies? Well, that is quite dynamite (pun very much intended).
15. Jay-Z - "Big Pimpin'"
Is there anything but?
14. Sonique - "Feels So Good"
British solo dance artist Sonique’s debut single is another one of the great dance tracks of the year. It is also one of the emotional ones, in which Sonique sings of love as something that takes her higher and makes her feel good. If that doesn’t sell you, the hook will.
13. Spiller - "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)"
This single was involved in a highly publicized battle for the UK chart supremacy against Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and came out victorious. Upon hearing it, it is easy to see why. “Groovejet” features a large amount (for a dance song, anyways) of emotional and thoughtful lyrics, as guest vocalist Sophie sings of understanding and love over an enjoyable beat. Highly recommended.
12. Britney Spears - "Oops!... I Did It Again"
She sure loves those ellipses. Or at least the songwriters do. Another typical, bland, formulaic offering from the Virgin Queen about how she’s not serious about flirting. So how come it’s still stuck in my damn head?
11. Madison Avenue - "Don't Call Me Baby"
They’re Australian and they’re funky. Sort of like Alanis, but with a snappier and a more enjoyable (and more danceable) delivery.
10. Sisqo - "Thong Song"
Anyone who said you couldn’t make a hit song with strings, timpanis and lyrics about that skimpy underwear can eat Sisqo’s shorts (or thongs).
9. Madonna - "Music"
The lead-off single and title track from her finest album since “Like A Virgin”, it is quite the chirpy affair: funky keyboard farts and Vocoder vocals, it sounds like a raunchy Air song. But it’s Madonna, as witnessed in her impossible simple lyrics about boogie woogie and acid rock, sung in her distinct voice while producer Mirwais runs amok on the track, highlighting the simple chorus that made us all believe in the power of music again.
8. Alice Deejay - "Better Off Alone"
Although most dance songs are not too memorable, this one has potential. It has a slamming beat, a haunting vocal, and an instantly recognizable keyboard line. This song was heard all around the world and became personal anthems to many single peoples. Only time will tell if it stands up, but its good while it’s here.
7. Eminem - "The Real Slim Shady"
The anticipation for this track could have deafened the world: Eminem was a very bankable star, and this track exploded all over radio and MTV, anchoring “The Marshall Mathers LP”’s 1.76 million selling first week. Although overexposure has dulled its huge impact in May, it is still a compelling listen, as Eminem raps with lightning-quick precision about men eloping, humping dead mooses, Christina Aguilera giving head to Fred Durst and Carson Daly, and jacking off with Jergens over a very memorable harpsichord-laced beat. This, plus for providing the year’s ultimate catch-prase (other than “the tribe has spoken”), gives Eminem the privilege of having two of his singles on my elite list.
The best hip-hop songs this year come from St. Louis newcomer Nelly, who celebrates the lifestyle, St. Louie style: weed, street sweepers, women and parties are the overall themes of his songs, and they are best represented in these two low-riding songs. “Hot Shit” was the best surprise hit this year, a stunning mix of freestyling that is smooth with an edge, a fat beat and those exquisite harp sweeps, while “Ride Wit Me” is the catchiest, bounciest crossover hit this side of “California Love.” It prominently features acoustic guitars and an eerie keyboard pitch while rhyming about blunts and bitches. After hearing the irresistible style of St. Louis funk, nobody wanted to leave.
5. Aaliyah feat. Timbaland - "Try Again"
A delicious slice of Chicago-style funk that is the standout track off of the very successful (and surprisingly good) Romeo Must Die soundtrack, it is one of the finest R&B/hip-hop songs to grace radio this year. Aaliyah sings to a suitor to try again if they fail to seduce her, but Timbaland’s excellent programming convinces the guy its already too late.
4. U2 - "Beautiful Day"
The long-rocking transforming Irish rockers made a huge triumphant comeback in 2000 with this boombastic anthem. Hearing it’s optimism in the chorus, you are tempted to sing along like in the days of the “Joshua Tree”. Although the drum machines and keyboard strings somewhat contradict a return to their “roots”, it is nice to see that they have a firm foot in 1987 while looking forward to a never-brighter future.
3. Coldplay - "Yellow"
This is Coldplay’s big one: the hugely anthemic song that will be resonating from stadiums in the years to come. It is surprisingly emotional and more mature than Coldplay’s tender age will let you believe. Perfectly written, exquisitely crafted, it is a song that sounds great both live (see their inspired performance at Glastonbury 2000) and in your bedroom. It’s good to have comfort like this in a song.
2. OutKast - "B.O.B."
Lightning-quick rapping (Eminem, take some notes!), a political message, a dead-catchy chorus and a progressive drum-n-bass beat. What more can you ask for in a rap song this year? How about an acidic guitar solo, furious scratching and a Baptist congregation declaring "Power music/Electric revival". Add in to heavy rotation on MTV and radio, and you have rap's saviours. Crunktastic!
1. Eminem - "Stan"
While OutKast has Em's number in rap speed and spaced-out musicality, Marshall Mathers beats anyone and everyone in real-life confessionals and deliriously lyrical prose. The Single of the Year chronicles fictional Stan, a huge fan of Eminem who goes from admiration to desperation to killing himself and his girlfriend over time when Eminem doesn’t respond to his increasingly frustrated letters. It is obvious from the thunderstorm before the beat, acoustic strumming and a sample of Dido’s haunting “Thank You” that Stan is doomed. Throughout the song, you get a feeling that Eminem is just trying to tell his critics (not directly, of course) to not read into his lyrics too much as a way of saving himself from the intense criticism he’s facing. Whatever. When Em’s voice as Stan cracks before going off the bridge, you realise he’s right. Not only extremely chilling, but absolutely brilliant as well.
Well, there you go. My opinion of the 35 best singles on the radio this year. Think otherwise? Why don't you E-Mail me your thoughts and l'll see if l can do something with them.