The Singles Jukebox
Singles Going Steady: The One Year Extravaganza



yes, that’s right—tomorrow it will have been a whole year since we first graced the Stylus front page here at Singles Going Steady. Back then we were called Radio Goo Goo, we reviewed Young Gunz and Jet, and we updated on Thursdays, not Fridays—truly, how far we have come since then. To celebrate, we have prepared for you a list of the 50 greatest singles we have covered on this column in the past year, as well as the ten most shameful. Next week we go back to our normal singles-reviewing, but for this week, salut!


T.I. – “Bring ‘em Out”

First Reviewed: 12/17/04
Average Score: 6.3
Peak Chart Position: #9
What We Said: T.I. for me falls into the large subclass of rappers I think are perfectly talented but have never really gotten into, but he does fine here. I really like the production, though—the chorus is nicely bullying. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: Kanye and Cam'ron, watch your backs: T.I. seems convinced that he's the rightful heir to Jay-Z's throne, the LeBron to Hov's MJ. If this track's any indication of things to come, he just might be right, too. [Josh Timmermann]


Usher – “Burn”

First Reviewed: 5/14/04
Average Score: 6.0
Peak Chart Position: #1
What We Said: I guess Urrsher really does have the voice to make your booty go [smack]. [Andrew Unterberger]
What We Say Now: Setting the world on fire with emotional torment and a whole lot of multi-tracking. I count fifty-leven hooks and um-teen spins. [Anthony Miccio]


Houston f/ Nate Dogg, I-20 & Chingy – “I Like That”

First Reviewed: 7/16/04
Average Score: 3.9
Peak Chart Position: #11
What We Said: I am so fuckin' singing this song to Chingy when I see him working at McDonalds three years from now. [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: “I Like That” sounds like the best thing ever recorded under three hundred basses and a waterfall. I can only hope that in ten years, Houston will be remembered for this and not that eye incident. [Sam Bloch]


Lil' Scrappy - "No Problem”

First Reviewed: 8/06/04
Average Score: 5.8
Peak Chart Position: #29
What We Said: Sigh. Each one’s a little less memorable than the last, isn’t it? [Andrew Unterberger]
What We Say Now: As soon as that tension building piano starts, you know it’s on. Driven by propulsive bass kicks and space-crunk wooshes, Lil Jon provides an equally amped backing to Scrappy’s threatenin’ mugging. [Matt Chesnut]


Natalie – “Goin’ Crazy”

First Reviewed: 3/25/05
Average Score: 5.4
Peak Chart Position: #13
What We Said: Crazy people aren’t so fucking boring. [Erick Bieritz]
What We Say Now: The music and sentiment are pure Shanice, but the urgent post-Nelly flow implies good times will be had once you acknowledge her affection. [Anthony Miccio]


Bobby Valentino - "Slow Down”

First Reviewed: 4/08/05
Average Score: 7.0
Peak Chart Position: #10 (so far)
What We Said: Sometimes you see an ass on the street that's so nice you just wanna go up and MARRY it! [Anthony Miccio]
What We Say Now: Walking down the street, he spots her, turns, and watches as she passes, and the buildings and people and sounds and colors around him begin to bleed together, and for five minutes, he’s lost in wooden drums and harp flourishes as time itself slows down. [Erick Bieritz]


Pitbull f/ Lil’ Jon – “Culo”

First Reviewed: 7/09/04
Average Score: 4.3
Peak Chart Position: #32
What We Said: “No sir, I will not shake my ass when you tell me to. I have more self-respect than that. And I regret your mother didn’t teach you accordingly.” [Gabe Gloden]
What We Say Now: Pitbull swaggers across the room, flicking his tongue and putting the freak in bed/lady in streets hypocrisy to rest; Lil Jon walks over hot coals and yells "HEY!" a lot. The crunk Martin and Lewis. [Anthony Miccio]


Terror Squad – “Lean Back”

First Reviewed: 7/02/04
Average Score: 5.0
Peak Chart Position: #1
What We Said: Screw the rest of the song (which is relatively undistinguished) and give me more of that chorus. Even if whoever the rapper is sounds oddly out of breath while repeating the title. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: Much like Singles Going Steady itself, “Lean Back” proves that the best party jams are posse cuts with very little effort from everyone. Fat Joe puts it best himself: they don’t have to play to win the championship. [Sam Bloch]


Taking Back Sunday – “A Decade Under the Influence”

First Reviewed: 8/13/04
Average Score: 5.8
Peak Chart Position: #16 (Modern Rock)
What We Said: If I were 14, this would be anthemic. [Matt Chesnut]
What We Say Now: How can this sublime emo-pop weepie be disposable if it makes moping with the guys while driving to the landfill in Mom's Volvo seem like heaven? [Akiva Gottlieb]


Ciara ft. Missy - "1-2 Step”

First Reviewed: 10/29/04
Average Score: 7.2
Peak Chart Position: #2
What We Said: Even if this one doesn’t touch the instant impact and replayability of “Goodies” (what does?), it’s hardly a slouch itself. [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: The true test of a great modern pop song: It sounds as good as a MIDI ring tone as it does an Mp3. [Gabe Gloden]


The Von Bondies - "C'mon C'mon”

First Reviewed: 7/09/04
Average Score: 6.3
Peak Chart Position: #25 (Modern Rock)
What We Said: One of the better singles spawned by garage rock part deux. [Akiva Gottlieb]
What We Say Now: Garage rock distilled to its essence: I mean, if you could only use one word in a song like this, wouldn't it be "c'mon"? Plus, the entire two minutes, thirteen seconds, is almost nothing but fierce, sing-along hooks. Knockout! [John M. Cunningham]


My Chemical Romance – “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”

First Reviewed: 11/12/04
Average Score: 6.3
Peak Chart Position: #86
What We Said: If Simple fucking Plan can make it big, these guys should be stars. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: Proof that all you need is a great chorus and a video mixing what your high school experience was like and what you wish it was like to win over even the most skeptical emo haters. Iron Maiden breakdowns also help. [Andrew Unterberger]


Ludacris - "Get Back”

First Reviewed: 12/03/04
Average Score: 6.6
Peak Chart Position: #13
What We Said: Luda catches me with an uppercut and kicks me in the ay-ass with this highly nefarious variation on Britney/Lindsay’s latest leave-me-the-fuck-alone memos masquerading as hit singles. [Akiva Gottlieb]
What We Say Now: Cris is barking, but he doesn’t mean much harm. This song is way too playful to be malicious as calls to “Get back, mafucka, you don’t know me like that” are countered by the carousel-ridin’ keys in the back. [Matt Chesnut]


N.O.R.E. f/ Daddy Yankee, Big Mato, Tego Calderon & Nina Sky - "Oye Mi Canto”

First Reviewed: 9/03/04
Average Score: 6.8
Peak Chart Position: #12
What We Said: This song is good, but not great—one gets the feeling that some great reggaeton is on the way, though. [David Drake]
What We Say Now: N.O.R.E. adds the perfect dosage of ridiculousness to an otherwise pristine piece of quasi-reggaeton, and somehow it works (probably Nina Sky’s fault). [Ian Mathers]


Fabolous - "Breathe”

First Reviewed: 10/08/04
Average Score: 6.8
Peak Chart Position: #10
What We Said: Fabolous is normally the most boring rapper in America, and this track isn’t even doing anything that interesting, but the backing female exhortation and the countdown and the fact that he just keeps going without any other MCs stepping in for like five minutes is all very impressive. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: Who cares if there aren’t any more James Brown drum loops left to recycle – we’ve got Supertramp! Fabolous counts the chorus and phones in a few verses but otherwise saunters effectively over another brilliant beat from the nearly omnipotent Just Blaze. [Erick Bieritz]


The Hives - "Walk! Idiot! Walk! ”

First Reviewed: 7/16/04
Average Score: 6.0
Peak Chart Position: #19 (Modern Rock)
What We Said: No match for the battle cry of “Hate To Say I Told You So”, but The Hives have nonetheless rescued themselves from their inevitably encroaching irrelevancy. [Akiva Gottlieb]
What We Say Now: This song has even more of a cheeky swagger than their others. You can actually "hear" their matching white suits here. [Gabe Gloden]


Modest Mouse – “Ocean Breathes Salty”

First Reviewed: 7/30/04
Average Score: 6.7
Peak Chart Position: #6 (Modern Rock)
What We Said: Moral hypocrisy and goes God-baitin’ to boot—you know, typical late-July radio fodder. [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: Slyly and subtly reminiscent of 90's-era Beck, Modest Mouse's *other* single is a bass-driven, organ-riffing affair, equal parts funk and spunk. [Akiva Gottlieb]


Christina Milian - "Dip it Low”

First Reviewed: 5/21/04
Average Score: 4.5
Peak Chart Position: #5
What We Said: Ttoh. That’s the opposite of hott. [Akiva Gottlieb]
What We Say Now: “Dip It Low” is a stellar example of how good Eastern influences can be on pop, pinning a delicate and hummable melody against a pound-pound-clap rhythm. [Matt Chesnut]


Good Charlotte - "I Just Wanna Live”

First Reviewed: 12/03/04
Average Score: 6.2
Peak Chart Position: #51
What We Said: Add this to the list of evidence that meta-pop needs to go on hiatus for a while. [Matt Chesnut]
What We Say Now: The individual ingredients are mostly unimportant—the pop punk band Least Likely To amalgamate them into a killer pop tune. [Ian Mathers]


Mis-Teeq – “Scandalous”

First Reviewed: 7/02/04
Average Score: 7.8
Peak Chart Position: #35
What We Said: Uh-oh. Are those sirens, bass rumbles and fizzing sound effects I hear? Hoo, that’s seriously dangerous. [Andrew Unterberger]
What We Say Now: It’s good because it’s sublimely goofy: the naïve whats and uh-huhs, the pouty rap distracting us from frankly flimsy girl-group harmonies, the ambulances in the background. Thus, we will never again underestimate the healing powers of whack production on a pedestrian chorus. [Sam Bloch]


Nelly f/ Tim McGraw - "Over and Over”

First Reviewed: 10/15/04
Average Score: 7.0
Peak Chart Position: #3
What We Said: This could’ve been a disaster had either star made a half-assed bid to mime the other’s style, but thankfully Nelly and Tim find common ground in genreless slow-dance fare [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: The best example this century of form following content, a smoothly subliminal constant reminder of the ache of leaving. [Ian Mathers]


Tweet f/ Missy Elliot – “Turn Off Da Lights”

First Reviewed: 2/25/05
Average Score: 7.3
Peak Chart Position: #39 (Hip-Hop / R&B)
What We Said: “Turn Da Lights Off,” with its bent string beat and trippy, backward structure, sounds more like a weird b-side remix than a single. Not that anyone is complaining. [Erick Bieritz]
What We Say Now: “This beat so sick I’ma have to take it back one more time.” Word, Missy. [Andrew Unterberger]


Interpol – “Evil”

First Reviewed: 2/04/05
Average Score: 6.8
Peak Chart Position: #24 (Modern Rock)
What We Said: Once you get past the intro, there’s really not too much to go on besides Interpol’s well-established formula. [Andrew Unterberger]
What We Say Now: The rhythm section takes center stage and it’s beautiful. “Evil” proves that it is, in fact, possible to describe Interpol without using the world “angular.” [Sam Bloch]


OutKast - "Ghettomusick”

First Reviewed: 11/19/04
Average Score: 8.2
Peak Chart Position: Did Not Chart
What We Said: I'll stop giving them high marks when they start releasing bad singles. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: As heady as OutKast’s double-album proved to be, this is ultimately the only track that marries concept with execution as successfully as the bulk of their previous two records. If nothing else, proof that OutKast still has the ability to knock you flat on your ass, “B.O.B.”-style. [Josh Timmermann]


Ying Yang Twins - "Wait (The Whisper Song) ”

First Reviewed: 3/18/05
Average Score: 5.5
Peak Chart Position: #22 (So Far)
What We Said: In the next sentence, when I say "disgusting" I really mean "hott hott hott." This song is disgusting, the whispering is disgusting, and the implied objectification of females is doubly disgusting. [Akiva Gottlieb]
What We Say Now: The lyrics are a litmus test guaranteed to divide listeners who will either consider it the most shamelessly lustful record of recent memory or a come-on so dark it marks a new low in popular culture. But there’s no argument on the beat: It’s just hot. [Erick Bieritz]


The Strokes – “The End Has No End”

First Reviewed: 8/20/04
Average Score: 7.4
Peak Chart Position: #35 (Modern Rock)
What We Said: To borrow from Threesome: the Strokes are like pizza, even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. [Gabe Gloden]
What We Say Now: Sweeter than anything The Rapture could have attempted, this song evokes what disco should sound like when played by insouciant, weathered post-punks. [Akiva Gottlieb]


The Killers – “Somebody Told Me”

First Reviewed: 7/09/04
Average Score: 5.5
Peak Chart Position: #51
What We Said: Not capable of killing anything larger than a very small puppy. [Josh Timmermann]
What We Say Now: It might’ve just been the warm-up before nationwide breakthrough of “Mr. Brightside,” but even if so, it’s got me doing curl-ups and touching my toes like nobody’s business. [Andrew Unterberger]


Snoop Dogg - "Let's Get Blown”

First Reviewed: 1/07/05
Average Score: 5.8
Peak Chart Position: #54
What We Said: Hearing Snoop act “romantic” is a bit nausea inducing. Nice, smoove production though. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: A sly, understated Neptunes groove with alluring vocal harmonies and the odd wide-eyed request, "can I get more thrills?" Snoop's eyes aren't even half-open, though: he's just happy to hang out, lazily dropping rhymes between sips of rum. [John M. Cunningham]


Big & Rich - "Save a Horse (Ride A Cowboy) ”

First Reviewed: 7/30/04
Average Score: 6.5
Peak Chart Position: #56
What We Said: A message to the students of O’Connor High School. Before long, every Copenhagen dipping, Wrangler-wearing douche bag at your school will be blaring this from their Confederate flagged monster truck. I am thankful I have graduated. [Matt Chesnut]
What We Say Now: There's this bar in my small hometown that attracts cowboys and Gs in equal numbers. The dance floor was only big enough to accomodate half the crowd at a time, which wasn't really a problem until this song came out. [Gabe Gloden]


Trick Daddy f/ Lil’ Jon & Twista – “Sugar (Gimme Some)”

First Reviewed: 1/14/05
Average Score: 7.4
Peak Chart Position: #22 (So Far)
What We Said: You can imagine the MC and his guests smiling, arm in arm, relishing quality time spent with good people. [Akiva Gottlieb]
What We Say Now: Luda's comically enunciated enthusiasm for sex is predictable, Trick Daddy's use of it as a food substitute is not. Cee-Lo's homage to Sand In The Vasoline: Popular Favorites REALLY isn't. [Anthony Miccio]


Mike Jones f/ Slim Thug & Paul Wall - "Still Tippin'”

First Reviewed: 3/18/05
Average Score: 7.3
Peak Chart Position: #60
What We Said: Paul Wall’s got the Internet going nuts and that may be the first actual rap song thank you to bloggers and message boards. Guaranteed 7+ on Stylus. [Erick Bieritz]
What We Say Now: There is so much bravado and swagger in the trio’s catchphrase-worthy rhymes which seem to battle the almost-mournful string loop, making one of the most ominous and mean songs of recent memory. [Matt Chesnut]


Kanye West – “Jesus Walks”

First Reviewed: 6/10/04
Average Score: 8.2
Peak Chart Position: #11
What We Said: I can’t wait to hear the DJ cue this one up in between Juvenile and Hilary Duff. [Gabe Gloden]
What We Say Now: This is the sound of Kanye working his shit out, exorcising those proverbial demons, over a beat the U.S. army’s pissed it didn’t come up with first. And while the sentiment of aspiration to model Christianity may seem in step with our current cultural climate, its sense of inclusion is nothing short of radical. [Josh Timmermann]


Destiny's Child - "Lose My Breath”

First Reviewed: 9/17/04
Average Score: 7.8
Peak Chart Position: #3
What We Said: Linking up Beyonce to a drum line was pure genius – they’re both communally engaging but still culturally resonant inheritors of African-American artistic expression. [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: The modern Supremes float above a marching band and offer no respite for three-and-a-half glorious minutes. [Ian Mathers]


Trick Daddy f/ Lil’ Jon & Twista – “Let’s Go”

First Reviewed: 10/08/04
Average Score: 7.2
Peak Chart Position: #7
What We Said: Basically southern bounce times Andrew W.K., isn’t it? Or in other words, completely awesome. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: An instant pump-up-the-volume can of crunk, "Let's Go" is where the rap-rock genre *should* have started, with it's Ozzy-sample and shout-along chorus. [Akiva Gottlieb]


Ciara f/ Ludacris - "Oh! ”

First Reviewed: 3/11/05
Average Score: 7.3
Peak Chart Position: #2 (So Far)
What We Said: Who among us, upon hearing “Goodies” for the first time, thought Ciara’d have another two singles of this caliber in her? [Andrew Unterberger]
What We Say Now: Ciara vamps slowly on “Oh!” and paves the way for a step-by-step demonstration of Ludacris’ brilliant enunciation, drawling and pure, simple control of language. [Erick Bieritz]


Modest Mouse – “Float On”

First Reviewed: 5/21/04
Average Score: 7.5
Peak Chart Position: #68
What We Said: From trailer trash to studio craftsmen, Modest Mouse have finally achieved an O.J Simpson-esque level of stardom and talent; he at football/murder, they at rock and roll. [Akiva Gottlieb]
What We Say Now: Dance song of 2004! For real! Don't believe me? Put it on at your next party after "In Da Club". Not a soul will leave the floor. [Gabe Gloden]


Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone”

First Reviewed: 1/21/05
Average Score: 7.2
Peak Chart Position: #2
What We Said: Yeah, well, let’s take a page from Karen O, and see how much ... oh, I can’t keep up this esoterospeak. I love this song!!! [Sam Bloch]
What We Say Now: Masterfully crafted pop, rising from tense verses to huge, surging choruses, the anthemic guitars finely complementing Clarkson's voice, which booms and soars over them like Texas fireworks. Easily the most cathartic song of the year. [John M. Cunningham]


Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl”

First Reviewed: 4/15/05
Average Score: 7.2
Peak Chart Position: #1
What We Said: I’m not quite sure if I see the point in spelling out the word “bananas” just to prove how amazingly bananas this song is, but aside from that, it’s a marvel. [Andrew Unterberger]
What We Say Now: They're just about to announce the starting lineup over the loudspeaker and everybody around you's going absolutely apeshit 'cause this is THE BIG GAME and if you win, you're going to state FOR THE FIRST TIME IN, LIKE, FIFTY YEARS! Meanwhile, you're on your cellphone, and can't even hear with one finger stuck in your ear, and are all like, "Uhhh, I'll holla right back, girl." [Josh Timmermann]


The Diplomats f/ Jim Jones, Cam’ron & Juelz Santana – “Crunk Muzik”

First Reviewed: 1/28/05
Average Score: 8.3
Peak Chart Position: Did Not Chart
What We Said: A blurting, blunted splat that says nothing but says it pretty fucking loud. “Rock ‘n’ roll like Bon Jovi” indeed. [Erick Bieritz]
What We Say Now: In which Juelz, Cam and Jim Jones face-off for who is the most diplomatic of them all--pop culture references are bandied about, weaponry is alluded to on multiple occasions, and onomatopoeia is spat from all corners. It ain’t pretty, but it is fucking awesome. [Andrew Unterberger]


Gwen Stefani - "What You Waiting For”

First Reviewed: 10/22/05
Average Score: 5.7
Peak Chart Position: #47
What We Said: “Take a chance, you stupid ho.” “You’re still a super hot female.” Huh? I usually don’t let these things get to me, but the only thing I get from this song is the couple of silly lines. [Matt Chesnut]
What We Say Now: I like how Gwen makes like she's gone cabaret (not before Xtina she won't) before launching into an amped-up aerobics act, calling out rivals with a chipper smile and sizzling synths. People deride the brattiness, but that's what makes her awesome! [John M. Cunningham]


Scissor Sisters - "Take Your Mama”

First Reviewed: 8/20/04
Average Score: 8.4
Peak Chart Position: #23 (Adult Top 40)
What We Said: You see, they work the same magic with the 70s as Andrew W.K. does with the 80s, by embracing the decade’s kitsch and making it into something artistically valid that transcends a “guilty pleasure” tag. [Gabe Gloden]
What We Say Now: Reminiscent of Primal Scream’s “Movin’ On Up” if you replace the gospel bits with Elton John, “Take Your Mama” shimmies and shakes with Jake Shears’ emphatic delivery. [Matt Chesnut]


Amerie – “One Thing”

First Reviewed: 3/04/05
Average Score: 7.3
Peak Chart Position: #8
What We Said: Imagine a mashup of Michael Jackson's circa-1970 gritty soprano with some chopped-up sixties rock track, mixed by, like, Jason Forrest or Caribou. [John M. Cunningham]
What We Say Now: The most propulsive, passionate, perpendicular pop single of the moment hails from the "Hitch" soundtrack. That drumbeat--that *hook*--will never age. [Akiva Gottlieb]


Nina Sky - "Move Ya Body”

First Reviewed: 6/04/04
Average Score: 6.2
Peak Chart Position: #4
What We Said: The riddim from “Jook Gal” sounds much better here; of course, the chance that Ms. Sky would be a more irritating vocalist than Elephant Man was slim to nil, so maybe that’s not surprising. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: Hot twins, a Jamaican dude, and The Riddim That Keeps on Giving: What more can you ask for, really? [Josh Timmermann]


Snoop Dogg f/ Justin Timberlake and Uncle Charlie - "Signs”

First Reviewed: 3/11/05
Average Score: 8.2
Peak Chart Position: #46
What We Said: A fonky slap bass and something about you ain’t no G, whatever, the Snoop/Neptunes collaborations are a goldmine. [Matt Chesnut]
What We Say Now: “Beautiful” maxed out on the sugar, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” cruised on the keyboard glaze. “Signs” just explodes from the oven on a series of excellent vocal performances, horn flairs and a hopscotch bass riff. [Erick Bieritz]


The Killers - "Mr. Brightside”

First Reviewed: 11/05/04
Average Score: 8.0
Peak Chart Position: #11
What We Said: MUCH better than “Somebody Told Me,” it’s kinda heart-stopping and heart-breaking at the same time, bittersweet I think is the word. All apologies for not actually listening to this album before we did the Shortlist column a couple weeks back. [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: The best marriage of great synthesizer work and overstated angst since, I don’t know, “Don’t You Want Me?”, and very nearly perfect. [Ian Mathers]


Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Y Control”

First Reviewed: 8/06/04
Average Score: 7.7
Peak Chart Position: Did not chart
What We Said: The genius of the thing is that it never quite gets there, but instead leaves you all hot and bothered, waiting out in the fog fog fog of the cold, cold night because (psyche!) she don't love you like you love her. Blue balls never felt so good. [Josh Timmermann]
What We Say Now: Mumbled romantic regret over busted-muffler ringtones and some serious trash can slam. A "Maps" you can dance to. [Anthony Miccio]


Ciara f/ Petey Pablo – “Goodies”

First Reviewed: 8/13/04
Average Score: 7.0
Peak Chart Position: #1
What We Said: This is different: hushed crunk. Some shit that’ll either make you freak, or drift off. This is dope. [Gabe Gloden]
What We Say Now: Ciara’s great on this and everything, but to me this song is still all about Petey Pablo, managing to out-class even his own “Freak-a-Leek” atop Lil’ Jon’s lullaby air-raid. Truly capable of beating the baddest. [Andrew Unterberger]


Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”

First Reviewed: 6/04/04
Average Score: 7.0
Peak Chart Position: #66
What We Said: Mostly I’ve got no time for such self-consciously “manic” post-punk nonsense, but this track definitely sticks out like a sore thumb, an irrepressible, highly danceable sore thumb. [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: I couldn’t have been prouder when the dance-punk music everyone hollered about for so long it went out in a blaze of glory on American top forty radio. Even after all the wiry upstarts we’ve heard in the post-Franz era, “Take Me Out” is still the chicest sound around. [Sam Bloch]


The Game ft. 50 Cent - "Hate It or Love It”

First Reviewed: 3/04/05
Average Score: 7.8
Peak Chart Position: #2
What We Said: It’s like coming home after a weekend away and finding Thursday’s answering machine message from a friend who is no longer a friend after the events of said weekend. It’s suddenly irrelevant and terribly bittersweet. [Erick Bieritz]
What We Say Now: A surprisingly humble how-I-got-here track, with both hip-hop stars copping a sharp yet relaxed flow amid warm, soulful horns. When the bass is pushed in, I'm with my girl Mary J.: that shit is hot. [John M. Cunningham]


Snoop Dogg f/ Pharrell - “Drop It Like It’s Hot”

First Reviewed: 10/08/04
Average Score: 7.8
Peak Chart Position: #1
What We Said: The weirdest thing either performer’s been involved in recently, and not surprisingly also the best. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: It may seem too simplistic and gimicky to love at first, but upon multiple listens, “Drop It Like It's Hot" eventually reveals nothing short of a modern hip-hop classic. [Gabe Gloden]


The Worst


10. U2 - "All Because of You"

First Reviewed: 1/07/05
Average Score: 3.0
Peak Chart Position: #20 (Modern Rock)
What We Said: I hope this song goes straight to #92. [Sam Bloch]
What We Say Now: All the futility of a retreat to the safe, the old, and the traditional is compacted into Bono’s pathetic “Wahhh!” [Erick Bieritz]

09. Straylight Run – “Existentialism on Prom Night"

First Reviewed: 2/11/05
Average Score: 4.8
Peak Chart Position: Did Not Chart
What We Said: And the winner of the 2005 senior song is…well, doesn’t it feel like the last song that will be played before everyone graduates and the girls all cry and the guys also cry but not as much and certainly not as visibly? Don’t blame me, I voted for Ludacris. [Matt Chesnut]
What We Say Now: Maybe it's unfair to hate the song for its maudlin, absurd video full of emphatic sign language and audacity to show non-adolescents singing emo. Maybe the song is merely mediocre and doesn't deserve this degree of disdain. Fuck if we care. [Anthony Miccio]

08. Eminem – “Mockingbird"

First Reviewed: 2/11/05
Average Score: 5.0
Peak Chart Position: #11
What We Said: Alternately heartbreaking and painfully cheesy, and it proves Eminem’s ability to hold pop culture’s spotlight despite his wild inconsistencies. [Erick Bieritz]
What We Say Now: I still don’t know what’s more fucked up, that Eminem continues to utterly destroy any chances his daughter has at having a normal adolescence, or that he actually refers to himself as “daddy” throughout the song, as if she was the only one who was going to hear this. I wish that were the case, but probably not as much as she does. [Andrew Unterberger]

07. Hillary Duff f/ Haylie Duff - "Our Lips are Sealed"

First Reviewed: 6/10/04
Average Score: 4.2
Peak Chart Position: Did Not Chart
What We Said: It's too safe to really suck. [Josh Timmermann]
What We Say Now: The best argument yet for the total extermination of the Duff family line. Preferably by enraged Go-Gos. [Ian Mathers]

06. Weezer - "Beverly Hills"

First Reviewed: 4/15/04
Average Score: 4.2
Peak Chart Position: #13 (So Far)
What We Said: If this is the best track on the album I'll cry. [Anthony Miccio]
What We Say Now: There was a time when Weezer could mingle slacker cool with geeky earnestness and get away with some wicked riffs on the side. Now the band struggles to jam an amateurish chorus into a blocky song so choked with artifice that it’s a wonder it can ooze so freely out of Cuomo’s smirking mug. [Erick Bieritz]

05. The Killers – “Mr. Brightside"

First Reviewed: 11/05/04
Average Score: 8.0
Peak Chart Position: #11
What We Said: MUCH better than “Somebody Told Me,” it’s kinda heart-stopping and heart-breaking at the same time, bittersweet I think is the word. All apologies for not actually listening to this album before we did the Shortlist column a couple weeks back. [Josh Love]
What We Say Now: 100% nauseating affectation; notable purely as a case-in-point to like-minded bands: having a C-list celebrity appear in the video doesn't magically make an awful song any less awful. [Josh Timmermann]

04. Counting Crows – “Accidentally In Love"

First Reviewed: 7/30/04
Average Score: 4.5
Peak Chart Position: #39
What We Said: The crowd you choose to hang out with begins to influence a pattern of behavior and, in the case of the Crows, it has been unfavorable, causing their songs to suck progressively more and more. [Gabe Gloden]
What We Say Now: The Counting Crows accidentally flopped their way closer to irrelevance when they played to the largest audience of their career on the Shrek 2 soundtrack, nicking a Del Amitri melody and spinning trite yarn about strawberry ice cream. To say the least, it’s certainly palatable to an audience of eight hundred million. [Sam Bloch]

03. Gwen Stefani f/ Eve – “Rich Girl"

First Reviewed: 1/07/05
Average Score: 4.8
Peak Chart Position: #7
What We Said: What’s the point of this song? Why is Eve here? Were they reading magazines as they recorded it? [Erick Bieritz]
What We Say Now: I only recently found it that this is a cover, and now I have less respect for it than ever—not only did Gwen choose to sing “if I was a rich girl, then I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl,” she had to borrow it from someone else. Yuck. [Andrew Unterberger]

02. Jessica Simpson - "Take My Breath Away"

First Reviewed: 5/14/04
Average Score: 2.3
Peak Chart Position: #20
What We Said: Simpson’s delivery is too airy to dictate any sort of catchiness, that key change is just so cloyingly manufactured, that acoustic guitar is really god damned annoying, and worst of all, you can’t see cleavage through computer speakers. [Sam Bloch]
What We Say Now: Utterly unnecessary, and proof that getting cheese right is actually a very delicate balance. [Ian Mathers]

01. Simple Plan - "Welcome to My Life"

First Reviewed: 10/01/04
Average Score: 1.0
Peak Chart Position: #40
What We Said: I take back anything bad I’ve ever said about any emo act who isn’t Simple Plan. [Ian Mathers]
What We Say Now: Just what I need: a bunch of 20-somethings humorlessly admonishing me for not knowing what it’s like to be a suburban teenaged twit. No, YOU don’t know what it’s like to have to sit through this. [Matt Chesnut]



By: US Stylus Staff
Published on: 2005-05-13
Comments (5)
 

 
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