#5 “Lua” Bright Eyes (2004)
“And I know you have a heavy heart / I can feel it when we kiss / so many men stronger than me / have thrown their backs out tryin’ to lift it.”
The misery of young love is wasted on the young.
#4 “Kim” Eminem (2000)
“Get a grip, Marshall!” Ok, so maybe I’m a sick bastard for choosing this, but when I first heard this chilling, gruesomely brutal “song”, I’d never heard anything like it before and I haven’t heard anything like it since. It’s in a category of its own. When the biggest selling artist of the decade was at the top of his game he had the wordplay of Bob Dylan and the “wear my life/psychic pain on my sleeve” honesty of John Lennon or Kurt Cobain – and it was very exciting.
“Then there’s the way that, when Eminem murders his wife (in the most honestly unnerving six minutes in ’00s music), he’s neither a badass avenger nor a cartoon psycho, but a pathetic, insecure wreck, sodden with the same bile that’s probably welled up in you sometime–and yes, you feel for him, and no, you don’t want to be him. This album is a gorgeous mirror that only shows your worst side: the most honest practical joke ever played.” Theon Weber
#3 “Sawdust & Diamonds” Joanna Newsom (2006)
“…and it is terribly good to carry water and chop wood…and though our bodies recoil from the grip of the soil…but what was yours and mine appears to be a sandcastle that the gibbering wave takes…”
I was once asked by an Associate Professor of English if I wanted to contribute anything to a book about Joanna Newsom. I didn’t end up giving him anything. I find it hard enough just to give you a couple of sentences of commentary on this song. I feel that it would cheapen it.
Just listen to the master.
#2 “Do You Realize??” Flaming Lips (2002)
A pretty close to perfect pop song that captures the immense fragility, joy and sadness of life in just under 3 and a half minutes.
#1 “Seven Nation Army” White Stripes (2003)
It has been reported that Jack White wrote the riff to this song in 2001 at a sound check before a show at The Corner Hotel in Richmond – a gig that I attended! They opened for Trans Am and I can’t say that I predicted that they would conquer the world, but they did.
This may not be my favourite or the best song of the decade but Jack White was certainly The Rock God of the decade. Everything he touched turned to rock n’ roll gold: De Stijl, White Blood Cells, Elephant, Get Behind Me Satan, Icky Thump, Broken Boy Soldiers, Consolers of the Lonely, Horehound – that’s 8 great albums. Like the Ramones and Nirvana before them, The White Stripes grinded rock music back to its basic elements at a moment when we needed it the most.