100. Sum 41 – Always
Their best offering in years. A send off?
99. Dragonette – Pick Up The Phone
Ms. Sorbara knows her way around a tight outfit and a tight melody. Bonus points for the really catchy dance remix.
98. Muse – The Resistance
A solid addition to the Muse pantheon, soaring ozone-layer high at the 4:18 mark, at which point it doesn’t look back. “We must ruuuuuuuuuuuuh-uuuuhhhhhh-uhhhhhhh-unnnnnnn.” Yes Mr. Bellamy, I’m right behind you.
97. Jordin Sparks – Battlefield
Pop often strives to be this big, but very rarely does it succeed like this.
96. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Zero
I was late to this party. I thought it wasn’t as strong as the rest of It’s Blitz!, but I was wrong–big time. “Zero” is bloody mega.
95. Alberta Cross – Low Man
94. Alexisonfire – Young Cardinals
They swing for the fences and sing to the rafters on this one. This song cannot be contained. An anthem for anthems. It’s crazy how great they’ve become at writing songs.
93. Mumford & Sons – The Cave
“I will hold on hope, and I won’t let you choke on the noose around your neck…I’ll find strength in pain.” As for me, I’ll find a cathartic hymn in this song. Extraordinary.
92. Black Kids – Look at Me (When I Rock Wichoo)
91. The Sounds – My Lover
Throwing the kitchen sink into this track. Hard to pin down. It’s poppy and it’s fun. Really like the electronic bridge at 2:31.
90. 3OH!3 – Don’t Trust Me
As catchy as Jim Edmond’s glove in his prime.
89. Dragonette – Easy
The slickest song on their underrated pop offering, Fixin’ to Thrill.
88. Neko Case – Prison Girls
The first of three from Indie’s 7th Wonder of the World. A movie put to song. What a vocalist. What a lyricist. “I love your long shadows, and your gun powder eyes,” and “Prison girls are not impressed, they’re the ones who have to clean this mess” being prime examples of the latter.
87. The Mission District – So Over You
86. Silversun Pickups – Growing Old is Getting Old
That bassline and what sounds like the sprinkling of well thought out twinkles, making baby-soft skin out of worn out wrinkles.
85. Spinnerette – Sex Bomb
Electro-grunge? A Halloween orgy soundtrack? Sick.
84. Jay-Z f. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
A tune so big any metropolis can rep it as its own.
83. Woodhands – Dancer (CFCF Remix)
Completely different than the original, and reminiscent of prime, 90’s era Sex’n’B with a hint of new school flavouring. This song oozes sex.
82. Bombay Bicycle Club – Always Like This
81. Green Day – The Static Age
The most immediate, if not best, song from their latest, 21st Century Breakdown. A rousing affair. They can write catchy tunes in their sleep.
80. John Frusciante – Unreachable
From The Empyrean, his sometimes-stunning latest solo record. The main cog behind the Chili’s awesomeness over the past two decades has decided to go solo for good. I’m sad because the Chili’s won’t be nearly as good without him, but excited because this man is one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, period.
79. Fever Ray – If I Had a Heart (Familjen Remix)
A completely different song than the original, but in my opinion, a better one. The original flashes gang signs of desperation and disguise, whereas this mix offers the tiniest glimmer of hope and light into the darkest of places. A sick beat.
78. Maximo Park – Calm
They write the catchiest pop-rock songs ever and I love pretty much all of it.
77. Owl City – Umbrella Beach
Cheesy, breezy, and a little redundant. I’m on board for all of it.
76. Noah & The Whale – The First Days of Spring
It takes a while to reach full throttle, but when it does, the gorgeous strings carry the melody into the outer regions of the atmosphere.
75. Manic Street Preachers – This Joke Sport Severed
The exultant hymn from their amazing Journal For Plague Lovers.
74. La Roux – Quicksand
Probably should be much, much higher on the list. The steel drums seal the deal on this piece of pop magic. Not sure which of the two subtly different versions (album vs. single mix) I like better.
73. Fever Ray – Seven
“I’ve got a friend, who I’ve known since I was seven” begins the catchiest and maybe best song from the irrepressible eponymous record from the Queen of the Swedes, The Lady of Dark Magic, The Heiress of the Haunted House, Karen Dreijer Andersson. She is one of the coolest chicks on the planet, hands down.
72. Basement Jaxx – Raindrops
They’ve still got it after all these years.
71. Built to Spill – Life’s A Dream
From another band rediscovering their form, “Life’s a Dream” features probably my favourite extended guitar solo passage of the year.
70. The Tragically Hip – Coffee Girl
From one of their strongest records ever, this is The Hip saying we can do slick pop just as good as anyone. Sweet and strong lyrically, as always.
69. Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension
An amazing synth-pop ditty.
68. Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes
I didn’t think they had it in them to be game changers. I thought niche band. I was bloody wrong, and this song is bloody fantabulous.
67. TV on the Radio – Heroes
Really sick cover. Love the dance re-imagining.
66. Lykke Li – Dance, Dance, Dance
Love the sax usage.
65. Franz Ferdinand – Katherine Kiss Me
Beautiful balladry from the normally taut rockers.
64. Metric – Sick Muse
One of the five best songs they’ve ever written. Direct from the jump and filled with so much hookery they could be found guilty of solicitation without a trial.
63. Marianas Trench – Masterpiece Theatre (Pt’s 1, 2, and 3) & Acadia
Yup, I’m cheating. Four songs in one spot, but they all fit and follow each other perfectly. Other songs were more popular on this record, but the singles were not even close to being as good as this concept segment of the record.
62. Lily Allen – Not Fair
Trying her hand at wink-filled country-pop, Ms. Allen succeeds brilliantly on this ode to an underachieving partner.
61. Apocalyptica – Nothing Else Matters
A song from a record I think is over ten-years old that I’ve only this year come to know and appreciate. What a truly emotional take on an already great song. I feel every peak and valley in this song. And all from an instrumental made up solely of strings. Wow. Absolutely breathtaking. They cover other Metallica songs, but to me, this is far and away the Queen Mum of them all. If you liked the original, you NEED to know this version.
60. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Soft Shock
“Heads Will Roll”, “Dragon Queen” or “Skeletons” could’ve made this spot, which speaks to the strength of the fantastic It’s Blitz! album, but there was something standoutish about this cut, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. Great nevertheless.
59. Andrew Bird – Tenousness
A clear, stands-above-the-rest-of-his-offerings song. Pure and natural and heartfelt to the core.
58. The Tragically Hip – The Depression Suite
I doubt they’ve recorded a longer song. At 9:28 in length, you would expect it to take minutes to get going and leave its mark. Not so. This song is four songs rolled into one. It never lulls, it never leaves you thinking they could’ve cut it down, and it never ceases to amaze. Those cheeky bastards have the gaul to ask, “What if this song does nothing?”, knowing full well that was never an option. A band going on thirty years with this much still to offer is really, really exciting, and I’m proud to call The Hip Canada’s best band ever–and one of my all-time faves too.
57. Manchester Orchestra – I Can Feel a Hot One
Probably the most heartfelt ballad of the year. Pure class.
56. The Big Pink – Crystal Visions
The Dark Horse. That fuzzed-out guitar slithering. That cocksure bassline. An alarm of mega proportions. A microcosm of the supersized year of 2009.
55. Sunset Rubdown – You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)
The sweetest weird song of the year, like pandering to a panda bear on Pandora, not knowing if it’ll eat you or the bag of herbs you’re offering. The most accessible I’ve ever heard Sunset Rubdown.
54. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
The title track that took me quite a while to get into, though I’m not sure why. Her voice, those wonderful, meaningful lyrics, and that can’t miss music box make this the most angelic ballad of the year and probably most others. Ms. Case can transcend like no other.
53. Great Northern – Houses
The best song they’ve ever done.
52. Manic Street Preachers – Marlon J.D
Wow, did they ever come back super-charged. Seminal.
51. Gossip – Heavy Cross
A heavy cross? More like a round one KO. I love when the mood changes and the tune hits another gear as she yelps “I trust you.” Sounds like an awesome, lady-led Franz Ferdinand song.