With all due respect to Stephen Colbert, I'm being totally serious. This list has been sitting on my notepad for ages, I've forgotten it more than once. Hearing a few of the songs on my mp3 rotation sparked its memory, no Americans scored on the weekend for once and here we are.
Long story short, this sassy nag is specifically meant to scold my fellow Americans for shockingly ignoring some instant classic tunes back in 2009. Why that year? Because it was a particularly gruesome case of widespread music fouls. For crying out loud, Miley Cyrus has two top 10 hits, while just one of these five perfect singles barely touched the top 100.
#5 - "Hip Hop Saved My Life" by Lupe Fiasco
I don't get it. This song doesn't just have smash hit written all over it, it could probably be adapted into a fine movie. Hell, I might one day write the screenplay myself. It all seems obvious to me. But nope, this jam with heart didn't scratch the charts.
#4 - "Panic Switch" by Silversun Pickups
When did America stop rocking like it mattered, stop letting the distorted guitar do the talking? So what, Nickel-freakin'-back can have four songs hit the top 50, but this dynamic brain blender can only reach No. 92 despite a fairly aggressive marketing push? It's enough to make a guy want to mosh.
#3 - "Fences" by Phoenix
While it seemed everyone in the world was slobbering all over this French band's breakout disc back in 2009, they all somehow appeared to completely miss the runaway best song on the album - if not also one of the very best few of the entire year. At the time, the NME review stated rather exactingly that this lush groove 'contained a future-funk breakdown Jamiroquai would cut off his penis to own'. Any other questions?
#2 - "Exhibit C" - by Jay Electronica
With his long-awaited first album supposedly nearing release, I can still listen to this absorbing autobiographical tale of being obscenely talented while homeless that was actually cut together in a 15-minute hurry. It certainly does not sound it; if Jay's debut CD comes anything like this musical subway ride, we won't be ready for it. How this only managed to scrape the rap chart 100 is beyond me. My 300,000,000 or so homies need a lyrical gospel slap.
#1 - "How I Got Over" by The Roots
This track did not even break the Billboard top 100 on the rap chart. All I can say is: America... are you friggin' serious?
- Greg Seltzer