10 Best Singles of the Decade #10-6
With the decade coming to a rapid close, the time has come to reflect back on the best entertainment we had during those ten years. Considering how many singles are released each week, compiling a top ten list is damn near impossible, but I have given this very subjective list much thought and followed a simple guideline: which songs still remain strong in my mind and soul. These songs still strike the same emotions that they did when I first heard them, they take me back to times and places. And surprisingly, the two most consistent artists of the decade (Nickelback and Keith Urban) did not make my list. My favorite songs of the early 2000s, #6-10:
(10) Marc Anthony "Tragedy" (2002) - This single hardly got a proper release, for reasons to complicated to explain, but it's well worth seeking out. Quite possibly the best English language track Marc Anthony has ever done, it captures the finale of a steamy romance with a tropical zest and an almost rocking beat (it was co-written by Rob Thomas). Check out the great video shot on location in Rio. Most Latin music becomes too commercialized when it goes into English; this one keeps the fiery passion and strikes showcases Anthony's vocals at their best.
(9) Ne-Yo "Because of You" (2007) - On the surface, this sounds like any other modern R&B track, but listen to the individual lyrics and you'll see some quite inventive songwriting. Comparing a lover to an addictive drug may seem simplistic, but Ne-Yo uses the theme to create a true sense of addiction, and isn't afraid of making the song a tad creepy. Not a disturbing "creepy," just creepy in the sense that there's something going on in the psyhce. The line "It's got me stuck between my fantasy and what is real" is an apt description for where this great tune will send your mind.
(8) Dr. Dre feat. Eminem "Forgot About Dre" (2000) - A great rap song should be very specific to establish individuality, yet at the same time it should general enough so that it's content remains relevant years later. Dr. Dre's comeback track in 2000, this song utilizes the politics involved in his return to make a statement about the hip-jop industry, and how the true masters never fade. The content could produce a standard song, but Dre and Eminem (both at their creative peaks), find a great balance between anger and humor that flows terrifically with one of the greatest hip-hop beats of all time. These days, we need more rapping like this.
(7) U2 "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of" (2001) - U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind" became the unofficial soundtrack during the days following 9/11/01. It was't the band's intention; people just found the album to be very comforting with it's large scale songs about life. This was the best because of it's simplicity. It's an almost all vocal song that captures a moment of heartbreak, but leaves open the possibility of a better day. It's a clear pop song, and a great reminder (like anything by Seal) that pop can be the most powerful and emotional of genres, if done well. A 9/11 anthem to be sure, but over eight years later it still stikes the same feelings that it did back then. This song will become part of the America's musical time capsule.
(6) Leona Lewis "Bleeding Love" (2008) - Some songs I remember hearing for the first time. I will never forget that rainy April day, when I first heard this on the shuttle bus' radio, and fell in love with it right there. Like the U2 song, it speaks of hope a after heartbreak, but on a smaller, more personal scale. A great example of vocal ability and songwriting; lyrics like "Something happened for the very first time with you/my heart melts into the ground/found something true" and "Trying hard not to hear/but they talk so loud/their piercing sound fill my ears/try to fill me with doubt" reminds us of Mariah Carey's best songs, and the way they penetrate into the heart. Leona Lewis may have come up through a reality show ("X-Factor"), but she is a real artist. This is the most beautiful song of the decade.
#5-1 coming on Monday 12/21.