10. “Heretic Anthem” – Slipknot
I was introduced to Slipknot when they absolutely killed it on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The performance was intense, insane and hilarious. Slipknot continues to be the only heavy metal band that fuses melody and crushing music successfully.
9. “Up to You” – Damone
A great quiet/loud song that erupts into my favorite guitar solo of the decade from Dave Pino. Solo at 2:24.
8. “99 Problems” – Jay-Z
Old-school storyteller rhymes over Rick Rubin’s industrial hip-rock beat. You need to watch the “Fade to Black” documentary to see Jigga Man laying down this song in the studio (below).
7. “That’s What You Get” – Paramore
Listen to this song once and try to tell me it won’t be in your head the rest of the week. Again, “Misery Business” was a bigger hit, but the melodies and hook on “That’s What You Get” blow it away.
6. “Since You’ve Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson
The best pop song in the last ten years? Maybe. The most powerful chorus explosion from an American Idol? Easily.
5. “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” – Kanye West
Probably my favorite sample and beat from Kayne this decade, and not because it’s from a James Bond film. Smart lyrics and better song than “Gold Digger” despite being not nearly as popular.
4. “Everlong” – Foo Fighters
This song came out in 2000 and feels like it got stronger every year. Whether it’s the rocking full band version or the tender acoustic version (a combo of both, below), this is Dave Grohl’s best work.
3. “American Idiot” – Green Day
Two middle fingers directly at George Bush and government. Love the context of the word “faggot” directed as a non-homosexual slur.
2. “Party Hard” – Andrew WK
Do what we like, and we like what we do!
1. “Cheryl” – Waltham
The construction of a perfect song: great hook, killer story, guitar solo, chorus breakdown, vocal riffing on the outro. I will never grow tired of hearing Frank sing “I knew this girl who couldn’t read my face/I’m 21 and she thought I was 28.”