MY FAVORITE SONGS OF 2004

Not that I know what constitutes a single anymore, but for what it’s worth, here goes…

20. Sondre Lerche. Two Way Monologue. Cute song, cuter video.

19. Scissor Sisters. Take Your Mama. Much like “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies, I found this song so catchy and so kitschy that as soon as I fell in love with it, I knew I was doomed to someday hate it. I still don’t hate it, and thankfully, their album shows that they’re more than just a novelty band. But if I ever hear that damn Barenaked Ladies song again…

18. Jamie Cullum. All At Sea.

17. Razorlight. Golden Touch. It sounds like it was probably influenced by some legendary band I don’t know very well, but whom I’d like very much if I ever listened to them.

16. The Streets. Fit But You Know It. Not the best song on the album, but maybe the one that works best outside the context of the album. It also features the second-best opening line of the year: “I reckon you’re about an eight or a nine. Maybe even a nine and a half in four beers time.” Offensive and brilliant.

15. The Killers. Somebody Told Me.

14. The Shins. Kissing the Lipless. I also like the song they did for the SpongeBob soundtrack.

13. Piebald. Haven’t Tried It. I still don’t know who this guy is, but I doubt he writes many songs this catchy. It has the feel of him telling the record company, “You want a single? Fine, I’ll give you a fucking single!” He should write more singles.

12. Modest Mouse. Float On.

11. Alicia Keys. If I Ain’t Got You. The token R&B song on this list. I don’t hear a lot of R&B these days, and that’s too bad. If there’s more like this out there, I’m missing out.

10. Phoenix. Everything Is Everything. Just catchy, no other reason.

9. Franz Ferdinand. Take Me Out. The intro is the best part.

8. Britney Spears. Toxic. Just when I’d had enough, she goes and makes me pay attention again.

7. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Me and Mia.

6. Tears For Fears. Closest Thing to Heaven.

5. Dogs Die in Hot Cars. I Love You ‘Cause I Have To. I love a band whose name doubles as a public service announcement. The song has a great XTC-meets-Madness sound and is just plain fun.

4. Keane. This is the Last Time. This is the one song on the list that I’m pretty sure wasn’t a single this year. But it was the current single in the U.K. when Drew and I went to London in November, so I made an exception. It sort of became the unofficial soundtrack of that trip, and every time I hear it now, it reminds me of waiting in line for theatre tickets or browsing bookstores for stuff that wasn’t available in America.

3. The Darkness. I Believe in a Thing Called Love. This is such a perfect parody of an 80s hair band single, with such a ridiculously goofy video, that it’s hard to believe the band itself isn’t in on the joke. Whether or not they are, though, it’s still a great joke.

2. Keane. Somewhere Only We Know.

1. Snow Patrol. Spitting Games. I’ve decided that there’s no better way to start a pop song about tortured adolescent romantic longing than with the line “I broke into your house last night”. I liked Snow Patrol’s album a lot, but it was a little too uneven to make my top 10. For moments, though, it was brilliant. And this particular moment was my favorite moment of the whole year in music.

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