Fifty Years of Great Music: The Top 100 Songs of the 2000s


At last we arrive at the final decade of Fifty Years of Great Music, the one that’ll be over in a matter of weeks (none of that stickler talk about the decade not ending until the start of 2011). And with a few weeks still left to play out, is it really fair to judge the cream of the musical crop already? Maybe not, but I’m hedging my bet. Besides, I’m sure this list would look very different in a year, and different again the year after that. After all, how I judge the best songs of last year has changed considerably just in the last eleven months. These things aren’t set in stone, not even the older decades; Fifty Years of Great Music is just how I feel right now.

As a special treat for the penultimate decade, I have included links and/or streaming audio inside for every one of the Top 100 songs so that you can sample, stream and/or watch the songs if you need a refresher or want to enjoy them right then and there. Also, I have added the full list of 500 nominees on the last page so you can get a better shape of how I felt about the 00s (or “aughts,” as I like to call them, not the “noughties”—ugh, are they gonna name the next ten years the “teenies”?). Eventually, when I have the free time, I will do my best to update past lists with the same features, but consider this my gift to you for now. Ho ho ho.

If there was one dominant trend of the 00s, it was that indie music came out of the shadows and mainstream music went into the cellar. But since the line between independent and major label music blurred to the point that you can’t even recognize it anymore, this signified, to a small degree, an emergence of independent music on the main stage. Most radio stations still churn out the same predictable crap, true, but thanks to the Internet and the oversaturation of all forms of visual/audial media in the last ten years, everyone knows who the White Stripes and Arctic Monkeys are. Even though only a handful of the following songs ever got radioplay on Top 40 stations, most are still quite recognizable, even popular. Suddenly, indie was primarily used to describe an aesthetic, not the way the bands/artists were releasing their music, and the music they were putting out there was plenty accessible.

Even though you can view all 500 of the songs in contention on the last page, for the purposes of symmetry, I will still list the artists/songs with no correlating entries to come that came up just short of the Top 100. In alphabetical order, they are: Ryan Adams, Animal Collective, Aqueduct, the Avalanches, “Bear Face,” Beirut, Andrew Bird, “Brother,” Caribou, “Cashout,” Cat Power, “Deceptacon,” Dirty Projectors, Doves, “Downtown Chapel,” Fleet Foxes, Fucked Up, “The Funeral,” “Get By,” Ghostface Killah, “Gila,” Grandaddy, PJ Harvey, “Heartbeat,” the Hold Steady, “Jesus of Suburbia,” “Junior Kickstart,” the Killers, Lampshade, Jens Lekman, “Lisztomania,” the Mars Volta, M.I.A., “The Moon,” the Mountain Goats, “One More Time,” “Over the Ice,” Pearl Jam, Portishead, Q-Tip, “The Rising,” the Roots, School of Seven Bells, Sea Sick, the Shins, “Strange Overtones,” the Streets, “Teen Creeps,” the Thermals, Kanye West, What Laura Says, “Where Do You Run To?” Wolf Parade, Women and the XX.

And now, here’s the Top 100 Songs of the 2000s:

100. Portions for Foxes
by Rilo Kiley
from More Adventurous
2004 / Pop

Coincidentally, I can emphasize the belief that indie-friendly bands produced music just as fundamentally infectious and accessible as the million-selling majors right off the bat with “Portions for Foxes.” Jenny Lewis had one of the decade’s sweetest and most winsome voices (but when she goes sexually aggressive here, hang on), the melody is spry pop rock with just enough gnash and country twang to keep from melting entirely upon contact, and the lyrics have a universal appeal relating to bad choice relationships going wrong—“I know I'm alone if I'm with or without you/But just being around you offers me another form of relief/When the loneliness leads to bad dreams/And the bad dreams lead me to calling you/And I call you and say, ‘C’mere!’” In a more ideal world, this would have been a massive crossover hit and elevated Rilo Kiley from darlings to sensations. Oh well, their fans probably like ‘em better this way anyhow.

99hardtobeat99. Hard to Beat
by Hard-Fi
from Stars of CCTV
2005 / Rock

I recall television ads that used to run many, many years ago for a collection of disco hits where one of the spokespeople said with utter (cardboard) sincerity: “I love disco, and I hear it’s making a comeback!” Fat chance then, slightly better in the aughts. Disco’s biggest resurrection lunge came from the dance punk and indie electro-house crazes and the mightiest single to straddle both in that stride was “Hard to Beat.” Hip-popping beats and arcing synth swipes are par for the course (and exceptionally well executed), but sizable hooks only take you so far before you hit the mirrorball light-speckled ceiling. Yet no matter how undemanding and even obvious it is for Richard Archer to strut across the club with, “I seen you darling/Seen you hanging ‘round town/You in a short skirt/Shining eyes of deep brown/You had a dirty look/You caught me on your hook/Turn up the thermostat/I wanna see you sweat,” that crisp and playful sentiment makes this a much better dancefloor jam than, say, the tuneless vulgarity of “My Neck, My Back,” dime-a-dozen shorty shout-outs, or “toxic” Britney tracks.

"Hard To Beat"

98lazyeye98. Lazy Eye
by Silversun Pickups
from Carnavas
2006 / Alternative

A nice, husky female voice can take you far in the incessant chirping and melodramatic wail of pop music, so Silversun Pickups were a natural candidate for buzz band notice. As Ms. Aubert grunts, “I’ve been waiting/I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life/But it’s not…” Wait, what? You mean that’s a guy? I can never get past that when I see Mr. Brian Aubert sing (it looks like he’s lip synching in the video linked below), but that’s my beef. Another beef, though, relates to how some wrote this off as a nod to the windy guitar workouts of Smashing Pumpkins—this is a lot more accessible than “Drown” or “Starla.” As expected from a song that might earn that comparison, the slightly vague and well-worn lyrical phrases take a distant backseat to the instruments, especially nervous guitar lines that dance tentatively from moody, indistinct haze to crystalline, repetitive spring riffs—hearing them coil up is just as exhilarating as witnessing them unwind during the spacious denouement. Those fuzzy near-meanderings make the boisterous, howling, “lost and loaded” centerpiece that much more effective—just twenty-three seconds long, but it feels like all six minutes are devoted to that desperate release.

“Lazy Eye (Single Edit)”

97graveyardgirl97. Graveyard Girl
by M83
from Saturdays=Youth
2008 / Electronic

With Anthony Gonzalez’s warbling sigh of a voice, a nostalgic affection for John Hughes, the ethereal synth puffs and a melody faintly resembling Cyndi Lauper’s ode to girls wanting to have fun, “Graveyard Girl” has all the makings of a warm, lush charmer. Instead, it’s dark, wry, weird and intentionally hypocritical—how else can you explain its “heroine” who “worships Satan like a father, but dreams of a sister like Molly Ringwald”? Are we supposed to take her seriously as a wounded creature of depth, a vacant poseur following trends (hello, ‘tween vampire fanatics) or is Gonzalez being entirely tongue-in-cheek? You certainly can’t take the ripped-from-a-diary soliloquy in the bridge seriously (“The cemetery is my home, I want to be a part of it…Waiting for someone to kiss me, I’m fifteen years old and I feel it’s already too late to live”), but while most artists would indulge in that drama to hammer home a point, amidst all the walls of keyboards and Jesus and Mary Chain-esque noise jangle, you can’t help but grin at his audacity. You also can’t help but sigh merrily to that melody. 

96letyoudown96. Let You Down
by the Arrogants
from Your Simple Beauty
2000 / Pop

“Let You Down” is a strange little love song, buoyed by arcing key lines poking out of the billowing haze, seemingly pristine, effortlessly serene, dreamily inviting but strangely two-faced. If you believe Jan Heller, her heart is practically singing with aching devotion and adoration (“When you are here, I have to smile/I love your every word/You are the one, you are the only one/I could ever want to love”), but an opposing voice faintly layered over hers—following no recognizable meter at all—seems despondently reactive to her feelings (“If a bird has wings, don’t nail it to the floor. ‘It’s only love,’ you said. Well, excuse me, is there something else worth living for?”). Perhaps from an ex or perhaps from a lover who doesn’t share the same temper, it’s just askew enough to keep this song from evaporating with too much airy joy. And with the second verse adding Heller’s perspective that she promises not to make the same mistakes again, the listener becomes even more addled—just how much can we trust her? These moments, along with some intriguing little flourishes (electronic tickles of buzzing and psychedelic whistles right before the final run through of the refrain, especially), make this more than just an irresistible pop song—it’s positively captivating.

95shortskirtlongjacket95. Short Skirt/Long Jacket
by Cake
from Comfort Eagle
2001 / Alternative

Nobody would accuse Cake of taking too many formative liberties or evolutionary left-turns during their run in a fairly empty niche during the 90s and 00s, but as early as Fashion Nugget, they had discovered their formula and stuck to it, for better or worse (well, for better and worse). Still, after a string of singles either undervalued or overplayed and the usual mix of unsung winners and redundant filler, it wasn’t until 2001 that they got around to releasing their most infectious single, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.” There’s nothing original about it by band standards—and if you have an allergic reaction to John McCrea’s monotone “singing” style and “hip” lyricism, nothing here will make you change your mind—but all the elements feel just right on this recording. The stuttering guitar riff, the thumping funk bassline, the eccentric percussive elements, the horn stabs, the stop-start melody, the na-na-na-nas, the goofy back-ups echoing McCrea…even the flimsy tale of Karen, once known as Kitty, fits this mold perfectly. Try and resist it if you like, but if you’re not bobbing your head and grinning goofily halfway through, you’re trying way too hard to prove you don’t have a sweet tooth for these characters.

94radiokaliningrad94. Radio Kaliningrad
by Handsome Furs
from Face Control
2009 / Alternative

For all of the self-styled smarm oozing out of Dan Boeckner’s vocal thrust on Face Control, he was still showing a dependent and desperate emotion lacking in the chillier, more clinical Handsome Furs debut (not to mention the more fragmented dementia of his slobbering tone with the best bits of Wolf Parade). But he walked in fire on this one, and his passion burned out of the speakers on the densely fuzzy, rhythmically throbbing closer, “Radio Kaliningrad.” Crying through the primitive radio wavelengths, “I know you love me, baby, I know the horror is just a little trial,” and, “My home is you! My home is on the other side!” Boeckner makes his boot-crushed broadcast radical sound anxiously romantic, too, while the hook-strewn grooves around him build up a stirring, anthemic punch that no one expected from this duo. When most indie-grad bands tried their hand in stadium rock during this decade, they couldn’t have flailed any more wretchedly; Handsome Furs will never get the chance, but this song could bring down Wembley any given night.

93ninetynineproblems93. 99 Problems
by Jay-Z
from The Black Album
2004 / Hip Hop

Of the two biggest hip hop moguls in the last ten or fifteen years, Jay-Z certainly trumps P. Diddy (or whatever name he’s going by now), but I just wasn’t buying what he was selling on hits like “Hard Knock Life,” “Big Pimpin’” and “Can I Get A…” Then he teamed up with Rick Rubin for The Black Album and delivered “99 Problems.” Think you got issues dealing with your girlfriend? Enter Jigga’s world for a few minutes and prepare to feel a little sheepish (“Back through the system with the riff raff again…Half-a-mil’ for bail ‘cause I’m African”). Suddenly, years of chorus hooks overpowering the verse beats and competent but rarely spectacular rhymes disappear underneath the punishing force of Rubin’s heavy, metal-edged arrangement and the belligerent but intelligent propulsion of the rapper’s flow. That you can believe the authenticity of a multimillionaire rap icon laying out a laundry list of complaints without thinking about elements of hypocrisy or PR savvy justifies the reaction—when it’s this hot, don’t stand around looking for the smoke, dummy.

“99 Problems [Dirty]”

92gowiththeflow92. Go with the Flow
by Queens of the Stone Age
from Songs for the Deaf
2002 / Rock

In the 90s, we had Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins. In the 00s, Nickelback, Three Doors Down, Linkin Park and Shinedown. Clearly, worthwhile hard rock getting nationwide love was dying fast in the aftermath of the band that straddled the platinum-plus divide and pointed us there—Creed. The act carrying the torch and keeping the heart beating (barely) is Queens of the Stone Age, which before and after Songs for the Deaf barely saw the red light on most corporate rock stations. But that album’s second single, “Go with the Flow,” a hyperactive dragster barreling down the desert highway—imagery conveniently mirrored in its dazzling video—temporarily gave us all hope. With standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus setup, there’s nothing spectacularly inventive or hooky about this song; it simply floors you with a chugging groove and breakneck riff. Not many people can pull off a “husky falsetto,” but Joshua Homme does, and his confident attitude when singing about washing “you off my skin” and “little soldiers in a row” (I hope I don’t need to explain that one) delivers swagger that even Dave Grohl’s crashing piston drums can’t do on their own. Who knew that not being boneheaded, patently generic or grossly insipid could seem so freaking heroic?

91crazy91. Crazy
by Gnarls Barkley
from St. Elsewhere
2006 / Soul

Collaborations between divergent artists is hardly anything new, but rarely has it worked out the way it did for Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green. The former was a producer best known for The Grey Album, which gained notoriety for the threat of suit from EMI, while the latter was a performer for Goodie Mob, an act dating back to the mid-90s that managed a few hits but were hardly a household name. The shocker is that the pairing would make both much bigger than they ever were before; Gnarls Barkley’s debut single became one of the biggest songs of the entire year, arguably even the whole decade, entering the Top 5 in more than a dozen countries, getting massive exposure on television, and spawning seemingly countless remixes and covers. Both men deliver the goods—Danger Mouse’s obscure sample tugs at the fringes but is refreshingly uncluttered and Cee-Lo’s vibrant vocal performance is refreshingly alive among the charts’ plastic imitators, where the strain during the widescreen chorus feels entirely natural like the best full-blooded soul sounds around. Hitmaker R&B and soul music has been so stagnant for so long that when a song of its ilk comes along and not only moves your hips but also moves your mind and heart, that’s one to cherish.

90headswillroll90. Heads Will Roll
by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
from It’s Blitz!
2009 / Pop

I’m not sure why there was a ripple of uproar when Yeah Yeah Yeahs went beyond New Wave into disco pop during several stretches of It’s Blitz! (did those people miss the dance-friendly beats permeating the band’s first two LPs?). They were more overt (and infectious) about it on “Heads Will Roll,” though, as scissor-string synths dominate Nick Zinner’s arsenal instead of typically rambunctious guitar distortion, the drumbeats sound pre-programmed instead of punk splattered, and Karen O playfully yelps, “The men cry out, the girls cry out…Off with your head! Dance ‘til you’re dead!” Considering that the band specializes in various vagaries and clichés on the lyrical side of their songwriting (simple but effective), it doesn’t feel like an intellectual regression to cast themselves as party igniters rather than party crashers, and since they know their way around a good rock hook better than just about any other artist in the new millennium, it’s fashionable here for obvious to outweigh complexity. Besides, they only make it sound simple—they sound like they’re sweating their asses off to make sure we do the same.

89picturesofsuccess89. Pictures of Success
by Rilo Kiley
from Takeoffs and Landings
2001 / Pop

On a quick, sketchy listen, it might be tempting to write off Rilo Kiley as a band pretending not to just be fit for coffee shop counters since the sensitive indie pop and bleeding-heart quaint folk sound is all there for us to recognize. Certain segments of Rilo Kiley’s debut LP would back up that quick judgment; even the first taste of “Pictures of Success” might do the same. Jenny Lewis’ gentle but carefully plotted voice might make her sound unoriginal—maybe you can even imagine a kid sister poring over a demo—but she pulls off the moves with an almost wry deftness (hearing her drop an f-bomb is a thousand times more potent than any cookie cutter rapper or wannabe shock rocker). The spare, twinkling guitar melody is nothing jarringly original either, but it draws you in, amplified by a subtle synthesizer hook. And after it slowly unwinds to a surging climax, you’re ready to leave it at that with a smile, but it continues on, adding Blake Sennett’s vocals to the mix and throwing in some playful horns, until the coda repeating, “These are times that can't be weathered/And we have never been back there since then,” proves that here’s a group that can deal in blunt melodrama and really make it sing. Okay, Lewis helps on that account…a lot.

“Pictures of Success”

88pigeon88. Pigeon
by Stone Gossard
from Bayleaf
2002 / Rock

Stone Gossard’s side project Brad disappointed in the new millennium with an uneven and occasionally sluggishly routine offering, but a year before that, Stone’s first solo outing generated several excellent numbers including “Unhand Me,” “Anchors,” “Bayleaf” and “Pigeon.” The latter struck most immediately—with its distorted ripple and looping guitar riff vaguely reminiscent of Keith Richards on “Satisfaction” and a swaggering but sarcastic chorus where Gossard announces like Mick Jagger that, “I’m not through sleeping/I’m not through sleeping around,” you could even deem Stone trying for Stones-esque, but the riff also pays tribute to Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Knock off this deer in my headlights/Knock off my seed and my wife” could have easily been written by his day-job’s own Ed Vedder. However you’d like to classify it, catchy should do the trick universally, brawny but not overbearing fits the bill as well, and arguably better than anything his day job came up with this decade by a couple of hairs is tough for me to refute. A rock song fit for the classic bin, and not in a moldy-oldie way.

87withyou87. With You
by the Subways
from Young for Eternity
2005 / Rock

Demonstrably nonspecific (!) upon arrival, the Subways offered the same echoing stew of post-punk/post-grunge riffage filtered through the more snarky attitudes of Britpop and a brash confidence pouring out of every snotty little English brat to form a rock band in the mid-00s…wait, who am I describing again? Was it the Arctic Monkeys? The Automatic? Maximo Park? Oh yeah, the Subways…where was I again? That’s right—it’s rebellious attitude and youthful spirit as marketed by tried-but-true formula; even if you’ve never seen their faces, you know exactly what they all look like and even what they’re wearing. And then there’s the…damn it, I forgot I was supposed to be doing a little celebrating. Maybe that’s because no matter how risible the notion that this fad’s afterbirth would keep churning round and round for years after, all but the absolute worst offered a catchy enough track or two to earn spots on your iPod playlist. “With You” was shuffled about to the point where I got really sick of it, stayed away for eight or ten months, and the revisit made me hoist my rawk flag once again. The opening couplet is this: “I live my life walking down the street/Meet the faces of the people I see.” The riff could have been churned out by the Vines. But it wins…God help me, it wins. “My best days are with you!” I scream along every time, “They are so easy! They are so easy!” Easy and irresistible, Subways, well done.

86youngfolks86. Young Folks
by Peter Bjorn and John
from Writer’s Block
2006 / Pop

My natural disposition whispers to reject anything as ridiculous as a whistle hook. For “Young Folks,” it was the hook, the one that made it one of those crossovers that got a ton of iTunes and Amazon downloads because it was showing up everywhere on TV. But even though it wore down my resistance through sheer quirkiness and hummability (whistlability?), there’s a lot more going on here that makes me love this tune—the drum splash and shuffle that leads us in, Peter Morén’s recognizable vocal tenor “competing” in his lovely duet with the Concretes’ Victoria Bergsman (“Would you go along with someone like me?/If you knew my story word for word…I would go along with someone like you/It doesn’t matter what you did”), the bouncing bassline that’s the actual foundation of this song’s catchy appeal, the jittery and jazzy beat that keeps stutter-catapulting towards the finish line, the stark echo underneath the busy melody (that would be amplified twenty fold for their follow-up album, a blatant but successful attempt to distance themselves from this indelible buzz hit). Actually, the whistle bit was used as a placeholder during the recording for a different instrument to fill in later, but the trio liked the sound and left it there. I admit it: accidental stroke of genius.

85lesartistes85. L.E.S. Artistes
by Santogold
from Santogold
2008 / Alternative

Santi White seemed to be criticizing the very insular, hipster nature of those who helped illuminate/exploit all of those pocket musical uprisings in the past thirty or so years (the ones that defined scene-predicated navel-gazing among indie fans). But with the installation of the Internet into virtually every home in America earlier this decade, it became easier than ever to find what you were looking for (I’m certainly no exception). “Build me up, bring me down/Just leave me out, you name dropper/Stop trying to catch my eye/I see you good, you forced faker/Just make it easy/You’re my enemy, you fast talker.” She’s a self-professed introvert and excavator, but that doesn’t mean she gets all bitter and rancorous about it—all accusations of riding on M.I.A.’s coattails dissipate the moment the lustrous, soaring chorus bursts in (Ms. Arulpragasam had pop chops to be sure, but never carried out as effortlessly effervescent as this)—why can’t all accusatory cuts sound this joyous? Middle finger or not, it’s a safe bet that even the Lower East Siders were letting the residue of this catchy hit run up and down every block.

84allthatcoundhavebeen84. And All That Could Have Been
by Nine Inch Nails
from Still
2002 / Alternative

I wonder what it would sound like if Trent Reznor tried to write a happy song. I don’t mind the dourness that hasn’t let up in the last twenty years—he does them well, and he makes them believable—but you still like to see your favorite artists smile once in a while. He could have been smiling at the outset of “And All That Could Have Been,” but instead he knows the suffocating regret of unspoken realizations/actions. “Please,” he begs during the troubling but potent chorus, “take this and run far away, far away from me. I am tainted. The two of us were never meant to be. All these pieces and promises and left behinds…if only I could see. In my nothing, you meant everything to me.” Simple but troubling sentiment, splayed out no more originally or complexly than what we’ve come to expect from Reznor, and even the dull hammer of the piano melody, a table saw synth wash rumbling underneath, and faintly-recognized hooks owe more than just a minor debt to The Downward Spiral’s “Hurt.” But he picked a good one to revisit/tweak and the moody ache of his vocal thrust is even richer and breathier than it was before—he may never climb out of his head-shaped hole as a recording artist, but I’m sure he’s savvy enough to realize that his pain is our pleasure.

83sleepinggiant83. Sleeping Giant
by Mastodon
from Blood Mountain
2006 / Metal

I have a love/hate thing going with Mastodon—I love how progressive their sound is without trading out tough, gnarly riffage, but I hate how uninspired it sometimes sounds. Compositional form and sludge density rarely favor each other, and as near-great as albums like Leviathan and Blood Mountain are, they’re still deeply flawed. Flaws can’t be spotted on “Sleeping Giant,” though, a song of tremendous magnitude and subtle majesty. It opens slowly, swelling but never cresting, creating an Opeth-style sense of atmospheric dread, eventually sliding into a crater for a rippling guitar riff bent by digital delay—melodic prog without ever devolving to glimmering soup, and the band’s technical mastery has rarely been displayed more clearly or ingeniously. It’s more than a minute-and-a-half before the heavy riff finally comes roaring in, which makes it all the more massive for the waiting; it’s even easy to forgive the opaque style of its D&D-metal lyricism (“Earth has burst/Mountain flames,” “Father snake…has left its nest,” “Wooden vessel/Broken wings/Caught my killer/In my graves”). Of course, anything less than words that suggest exploding volcanoes and epic journeys would be a disservice. Yeah, raise the devil horns for this one.

82outerbanks82. The Outer Banks
by the Album Leaf
from In a Safe Place
2004 / Electronic

There is no doubt that Jimmy LaValle has a thing for Sigur Rós; the third album for his solo project, the Album Leaf, sounds like a love letter to Jónsi Birgisson and company, especially the vast, glacial texture of Ágætis byrjun. If this is the American response to Iceland’s frosty but beautiful take on post-rock, call it a good impersonation if you like, but it has the instincts, personality and crew to back it up. LaValle even went so far as to record it in Sigur Rós’ Sundlaugin studio and brought on several members for collaborations and guest performances. In a Safe Place lacks the grand ambition and the out-of-nowhere “wow factor,” but the parts are just as easily digested. Not just fan favorites “On Your Way” and “Over the Pond,” but also “The Outer Banks,” which finds LaValle’s gently ringing and spacey keyboard tracking skittering, splashy digi-drum patter, building until ambience is overwhelmed by an ascending three-note hook that sounds like audio rapture. Tracks like this one proved that LaValle wasn’t just in it “for the atmosphere,” and while he’ll never be able to comfortably pull off anything resembling Hopelandic, its studied but easier-to-decipher formula hardly makes this kind of bliss sound routine.

81inauguraltrams81. Inaugural Trams
by Super Furry Animals
from Dark Days/Light Years
2009 / Alternative

Damned if I know what the hell Gruff Rhys is usually getting at; “Inaugural Trams” is certainly no exception. First he describes a town designed like a face so that “we could promenade down the infranasal depression.” Then he beams with pride about the “monumental progress” of the “integrated transport hub,” just in time to proclaim that emissions have been reduced by 75% (perhaps the most instantly memorable line in the song, unless you count the repeating “trams” hook). Oh, and then he activates “the beam that welcomes spaceships” shortly before Franz Ferdinand’s Nicholas McCarthy shows up to drop some German rap verses during the bridge. So, to reiterate, damned if I know… What I do know is that the Furries’ gift for piling on the crazy to irresistible pop melodies has rarely been stronger or savvier ever before. If your head isn’t bouncing along to the playful beat and you’re not humming gleefully to its literal absurdism, then you have no business bothering with them at all. The Deustch part might emphasize the Krautrock element, but not even Kraftwerk churned out repetitive beats as shamelessly catchy as this does.

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Matt Medlock


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