Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat – “Lucky” – (2008)

This song breaks my rule of not featuring any songs released in the last five years – but holy crap, 2008 was six years ago! Anyway, I figure it would never make any of my Top 100 countdowns so it would work here. It was only a top 50 hit on the Hot 100 but – guess where it excelled? That’s right, the Adult Contemporary (and they somehow different Adult Pop Songs chart) where it peaked at #10 and #9 respectively. This is far from my favorite Jason Mraz song and not even in my top five on this album. But it was popular.

#28 – Ray LaMontagne – “You Are the Best Thing” – (2008)

Gravely-voiced Ray LaMontagne sounds like something from a different era. That era could be, perhaps, 1971. Vocals like this don’t generally exist anymore. And the folksy soul feel of this song make it outstanding. It even has Motown-sounding backup singers. Prediction for 10 years down the road: Mr. LaMontagne will appear on our Top 100 Songs of the 2010s.

#29 – Michael Franti & Spearhead feat. Cherine Anderson – “Say Hey (I Love You)” – (2008)

I have mixed feelings about Michael Franti – look at the cover and title of that album (All Rebel Rockers). It makes him look like he’s some kind of militant Rastafarian reggae artist. But watch his videos and listen to his songs. He sounds like a really nice, gentle guy. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter because he finally broke through to the mainstream with this super upbeat, happy track. It was his first Hot 100 entry and the song peaked in the top 20. The first time I heard it was on Weeds and shortly thereafter it was popping up everywhere. You won’t find a happier tune anywhere.

#30 – Jason Mraz – “I’m Yours” – (2008)

This was (and still is) a really popular song. It wasn’t Jason Mraz’s first hit, but I it’s definitely been his biggest, charting at #6 on the Hot 100. It also broke a Billboard Hot 100 record: it stayed on the chart (in the top 100) for an incredible 76 weeks – almost two months longer than the last record holder. It has a pop rock/reggae feel and lyrics fired off at a quick pace. It’s a fun, summery song – and the video (which is the first place I heard this, on VH1 on some weekday morning) takes place in Hawaii, cementing the feel of the music with images. Few songs deserve to be on this list more.

#67 – MGMT – “Electric Feel” – (2008)

I listed this as having been released in 2008 (when the CD came out) vs. 2007 when it was released digitally. These distinctions are important to me. Anyway, MGMT, purveyors of psychedelic synthpop had their biggest hit up to this point with this song (the next song would top it, as this was only their second single). I don’t really know what to say other than that this is one of those songs that just has a feel to it (an electric feel, perhaps?). It’s a great groove and a great song.

#71 – Adele – “Chasing Pavements” – (2008)

Like her or not (there’s a case for both as she’s mega-talented but her songs are all downers and they are played way too often on popular radio), this was the start of it all for Adele. It won one of three Grammys it was nominated for (which would be unacceptable for post-2008 Adele) but the other winners deserved their awards as well. This song was only a #1 hit in Norway and it peaked at #21 on the Hot 100. She really made waves with this song and, in turn, the album 19 – both of which set the stage for 21 to be one of the biggest albums of its own decade.

#74 – Duffy – “Mercy” – (2008)

Duffy (born Amie Duffy) is a Welsh singer who made an international splash in 2008 with this pop song. It has a very 1960s “Swinging London” sound to it. It was nominated for Grammys and featured in a ton of TV shows. It was a #1 all over Europe, including the U.K. and Germany but only peaked at #27 on the Hot 100 – it would have charted higher had Billboard taken TV spots into account for airplay. Duffy has yet to make an impact with another single stateside – but she certainly has the talent and if she can write a song half this good, she’ll have a hit.

Well I’m wasting no time in starting our next countdown: the Top 100 Songs of the Noughties. The 100 greatest songs released between 2000 and 2009. I chose to call it “the noughties” because that is my favorite name for the decade and the “00s” looks dumb and isn’t as fun to say. Now, in previous countdowns I’ve instituted rules such as “one song per artist.” That’s not the case this time around. And I know the theme of this blog is “re-discover songs from your past” and 2009 wasn’t all that long ago. But the entire decade has ended (were in the 4th year of the next decade, if I may scare you a little). Enough time has passed to sort through the music and find what I thought was the best – and that’s just it. It’s my opinion. You probably won’t agree, but at least you’ll get an insight into my warped mind. But seriously, I will try and make an argument as to why each song is here.

Also, you may notice a slight favoring of songs from the year 2000 and early 2001. This is because I love the 1990s and the 1990s didn’t end until 9/11. Think about it. They didn’t. At least not musically (okay, 2001 was pretty different from 2000, which was just an extension of 1999). There is also a favoring of later in the decade with the middle part getting skimmed over. Because it sucked. Almost all of these songs got regular radio airplay on pop music stations (with very few, and worthy, exceptions). The two songs I feature this week were “leftovers” – songs I don’t remember hearing on the radio that I personally discovered after the decade had ended. Here we go…

Enur feat. Beenie Man & Natalie Storm – “Whine” – (2008)

This song does not have a Latin tint. Instead, we’ll go Jamaican, as it featured Beenie Man and Natalie Storm. This is my second favorite track from Enur’s 2008 album Raggatronic (which I own). The verse by Natalie Storm is awesome – and, well, so is Beenie Man’s. The beat is great. I want more songs like this. Please – artists capable of creating them, please do so.

#14 – Jack White & Alicia Keys – “Another Way to Die” – (2008)

So we jump from the first Bond movie to one of the most recent, Quantum of Solace. The song starts with loads of distortion and then one of those signature Bond-style orchestra hits that I’ve always found rather annoying – but it lets you know where you are and what you’re listening to. This is the first Bond theme recorded as a duet and what an odd pairing it is. Originally it was to be Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse, which sounds amazing. But Winehouse was in no shape to record when they needed her so Alicia Keys and Jack White were brought in instead. When I listen to this song, I wonder whether or not the two of them had even met in person before they made the music video. It certainly sounds like they were in different zip codes when they recorded this. The music is pretty awesome and the structure is pretty good. It’s just lacking something.

My Morning Jacket – “I’m Amazed” – (2008)

I have no idea why I think this song is older than it is. It’s one of the band’s best-performing singles and for whatever reason I think it’s 10 years older than it is. Or at least from like 2000 or something, but no, it came out in 2008 on My Morning Jacket’s Evil Urges album. In any case, this is the finale of our “What Decade Is It” run of songs. Hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Beltuner – “Improbable” – (2008)

A few weeks ago I posted this song – but with no way for you to hear it. I’ve fixed that. Enjoy.

Beltuner – “No Comment (Original)” – (2008)

A few weeks ago, I posted the song “Improbable” by French group Beltuner. I had no link to the song for you to hear and have since remedied that issue. I’ll feature that song on Wednesday, but today is something new: “No Comment.” It’s your standard Parisian café music. ‘Standard’ sounds like a bad thing, but in this case it isn’t.

Coldplay– “Life in Technicolor” – (2008)

I had always preferred “Life in Technicolor II,” the vocal version from Prospekt’s March EP to this, the instrumental version. But that changed when I bought my ticket to ride the London Eye. It came with a ticket for the “4D Experience” – which was some video you sat through with 3D glasses and stuff. The video that they showed really stuck with me – especially because this Coldplay song was playing and it really gave a sense of amazement or power or something (the 4D video is below and “Life in Technicolor” is the second song within it). I miss London.

Beltuner – “Improbable” – (2008)

I can’t find this song online anywhere to let you listen, so the video below is actually for group’s song “No Comment,” which comes from the same album, Beltuner Album#1 – which I can’t find on Amazon either. Both songs are modern takes on classical French music. All the stuff you’d expect to hear in Paris, but don’t.