When considering country songs that could qualify for this list, I had a very hard time setting aside my personal biases. Miranda Lambert will always be my favorite country singer from this decade, and we saw very strong singles from Carrie Underwood, Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, etc. However, at the end of the day, I have to recognize The Dixie Chicks for their Grammy winning Not Ready to Make Nice. No matter how popular Before He Cheats was, there was an element of dishonesty to it. Carrie Underwood, not matter how hard she tried, couldn't quite pull of the angry bad-girl act. With Not Ready to Make Nice, the Dixie Chicks shoved all of their genuine rage and frustration into four brilliant minutes. When Natalie reaches the bridge and delivers the lyric, "they'd write me a letter saying I'd better shut up and sing or my life will be over" you can really feel the girl's anguish.
14. Ignition (remix)-R. Kelly
Well, lyrically this song doesn't have anything special to say. However, there's something about how insanely catchy it is that makes me smile. I don't think I'm the only one. This is one of those tracks where people don't necessarily associate it with this decade--yet almost everyone knows it and likes it (or loves it). The groove is undeniable and the lyrics, albeit mundane, seem to capture the feeling of the perfect party. Perhaps that makes this the perfect party song?
This song is a bit meta, if you ask me. Lyrically, it's about the memory of dancing. Thematically, it is one of the best dance songs I've ever heard. It doesn't start out very special, but something about the way the song layers itself makes it get better and better not only as the song progresses, but also with each subsequent listen. It ingrains itself in you. Before you know it, you're constantly singing the lyrics to yourself. You can almost feel your heart beating with the rhythm, as if your body syncs up with the song. The first time I heard it I thought it was pretty bland. Now it won't leave me alone. I'm fine with that.
I don't know what to say. Everybody must know this one. Granted, not everybody likes it anymore, but there was a time when this song was inescapable. Many times a song inexplicably rises to the tops of the charts, defying all critical assessment and logic. Yet when this song was released, it was original and different. Its rise to to the top seemed justified and unavoidable. I think people tend to ridicule it now for its repetitive chorus and extreme ubiquity (you can't blame the song for being sung by people every time it rains), but that detracts from what it is in-and-of itself: Top-notch pop.
11. Rehab-Amy Winehouse
The British re-invasion may have been started by Lily Allen, but it was popularized by Amy Winehouse. This single blew Ms. Allen out of the water with its retro-soul vibe, shocking and autobiographical lyrics, and non-traditional vocal. The fact that it won multiple Grammy's was icing on the cake. The retro-soul movement of 2000-2009 has yet to reach these same heights. Duffy and Adele are mighty talent, but maybe they need a quick stint in rehab to get those creative juices flowing.