Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rolling Stone's Best 100 Songs of 2006

Rolling Stone has released its list of the Best 100 Songs of 2006. I'm sad to say that my habit of listening to NPR on a regular basis has left me out of touch and unable to recognize many of these songs. However, I do like the #1 song quite a bit -- it's refreshingly different that much of what I hear when I do listen to music stations.

1 "Crazy" [Listen]
Gnarls Barkley
In a perfect world, Al Green could still sing collard-green soul gems like this one, but Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse stepped up with an instant classic, winning this year's "Hey Ya!" award for the song nobody even pretended not to like. Everybody tried to cover it (our personal fave: the Raconteurs') -- but nobody can hit the chorus like Cee-Lo, and nobody ever will.

2 "Steady As She Goes" [Listen]
The Raconteurs
The first single from Brendan Benson and Jack White's garage-glam band was a perfect dirty sundae of fuzz-box stutter, metallic zoom and pop-chorale candy. It is also a good reason to hope the Raconteurs are no one-album project.

3 "Ridin'" [Listen]
The song least likely to be played in Drivers' Ed.: Chamillionaire dodges the cops, riding dirty with a car full of thugs who don't care where they're rolling or if they get there in one piece.

4 "What You Know" [Listen]
T.I. gets majestic with bass and synth strings booming like your car just flipped the corner. What you know about that? T.I. knows all about that.

5 "Vans" [Listen]
The Pack
Bay Area MCs the Pack broke out with this sleek, bare-bones ode to midpriced sneakers. Words of warning: "Lace 'em past the fourth hole, you some type of sucker."

6 "Thunder on the Mountain" [Listen]
Bob Dylan
So that's how you bring sexy back! Dylan slaps on a cowboy hat and greases up his favorite Chuck Berry guitar riff, one step ahead of the apocalypse and one step behind Alicia Keys.

7 "Smile" [Listen]
Lily Allen
This deceptively named ditty was '06's most gloriously bitter breakup song: Part Mike Skinner, part Gwen Stefani, part Blondie, the young Allen defined her very own bratty, musically adventurous style on "smile," a reggae-lite platter about the joys of an ex's despair.

8 "Wamp Wamp (What It Do)" [Listen]
Clipse with Slim Thug
Best line: "So proper/Hammertime gun-cocker." But the lyrics aren't really the point here -- the cuckoo-for-coconuts Neptunes steel-drum beat is.

9 "Dimension" [Listen]
Aussie guys dig out their big brothers' worn vinyl copy of Master of Reality and let the brain-bludgeon guitars off the chain.

10 "Ooh La La" [Listen]
The kind of groovy dance number Kylie used to write, full of steamy, sweaty vocals and a fierce Sixties vamp.

Check out the rest of the top 100.

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