We've already shared our Albums Of The Decade. Now it's time to list the 100 best tracks of the noughties, as compiled by a jury made up of NME critics.

Disagree with our choices? You can vote your own favourite tracks to the top in our Tracks Of The Decade Readers' List - and let us know what you think by piling into the debate over on the NME office blog.

NME's 100 Tracks Of The Decade was written by Tim Chester, Jamie Fullerton, Luke Lewis, David Moynihan, Hamish MacBain, James McMahon, Emily Mackay, Ash Dosanjh, Ben Patashnik, Alan Woodhouse, Martin Robinson, Matt Wilkinson.

100Apply Some Pressure (2005)

With this, [a]Maximo Park[/a] showed they can do rollicking pop songs as flexible and captivating as Paul Smith’s crotch. It’s the rather marvellous keyboard riff that’s the key here, one which hooks you into the main thrust of the song without making too much of a big deal about ‘going electro’. You can’t help but think it was written with Paul Smith’s drum-rise leaps in mind, such is the way it repeatedly quietens then explodes into life, which is probably the best approach to songwriting you can have. The [a]Maximo Park[/a] song even the naysayers have to begrudgingly appreciate. [b]MR[/b]

99Do You Realize?? (2002)

“Do you realize, everyone you know some day will die.” Not an obvious idea to present in a pop song, but it worked incredibly well in this highpoint from [a]The Flaming Lips[/a]’ ‘Yoshimi…’. Presented as a sweet, necessary reminder of mortality required in order for you to truly appreciate your life and the people around you, it married space-age sonics with heartfelt emotion without being cheesy. The Flaming Lips live experience is this song writ large, joy at life taken to transcendent levels, though always with the knowledge that death is close. It's also fun if you want to see a man in tweed bounce about in a big plastic ball. [b]MR[/b]

98Irish Blood, English Heart

[a]Morrissey[/a]’s truly great ‘comeback’ song, a stirring little nationalistic drama which comes across as impassioned rather than bombastic. It heralded the new barrel-chested, gladiatorial [a]Morrissey[/a], who was soon seen brandishing a tommygun on the cover of his ‘You Are the Quarry’ album. The revolutionary spirit was burning strong in him at this stage, a man angrily wishing to reclaim the heart of his nation so he can stand by the flag, “not feeling shameful, racist, or partial.” Controversy's never far behind Moz, but here his sentiments were expressed in the most strident rock'n'roll terms. [b]MR[/b]

97Round Round (2002)

Probably one of Xenomania’s most perfect tracks, ‘Round Round’ is mean, it’s taut, it’s sexy and it’s awesome. Preceding ‘Sound Of The Underground’ by several months, it never falls into the slightly nudge-nudge Carry On ‘knowing’ territory that [a]Girls Aloud[/a] often do – [a]Sugababes[/a] were by far the cooler proposition. The chugging, locomotive introduction and whip-smart rhythms are totally dancefloor irresistible and the classic Destiny’s Child you-ain’t-all-that lyrics (“I don’t need no man, got my kicks for free”) perfectly nonchalant, in the days when they could still draw on Mutya’s sultry drawl. [b]EM[/b]

96The Shock Of The Lightning (2008)

The song which announced [a]Oasis[/a]' new psych-rock direction on the ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ album, and showed that while the lads had added sitars, drones and joss-sticks to the equation, they weren’t sacrificing any of their rabble-rousing, singalong chops. The difference with the gibberish Noel writes, as opposed to most other similar buffoon lyricists, is that his actually stick in your head: “Love is a time machine, up on the silver screen" (so, so true). The whole thing sounds like Liam riding a massive tequila worm in the desert like that bit in Beetlejuice, or Dune. [b]MR[/b]

95All These Things That I've Done (2005)

The best [a]The Killers[/a] single by some distance, a stirring, huge-hooked, last-song-of-the-night monster which is the only time the band have truly touched greatness. The final refrain of “[i]I got soul but I’m not a soldier[/i]” is a meaningless phrase when you think about it, but when you’re yelling it in a field along with thousands of people while your seventh pill of the night is threatening to change your sex, it can feel pretty powerful. It manages to pull off that early U2 trick of being both a misty-eyed call of romantic defiance, and a song you can bounce around to with your mates. [b]MR[/b]

94My Girls (2009)

The fact that [a]Animal Collective[/a] are to blogging what the electric guitar was to rock and roll music is not their fault. Yeah, loads of idiots like to write a load of nonsense about them in corners of the web that no one with any semblance of a life ever visits, but ultimately, stripped of any context, songs such as the taster for ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’ exhibit a band who trade in come one, come all euphoro-rave. It would be a tragedy if they were remembered for being merely ‘a blog band’, rather than what they actually are, which is simply an incredible band. [b]HM[/b]

93House Jam (2008)

How groovy and catchy can dreamadelic indie ambience get? Well. Pretty damn groovy and down-right catchy-as-hell, as it turns out. On ‘Saint Dymphna’ the Brooklyn five-piece ran their jam-happy hotchpotch through a big fat washing machine, jiggling the hooks into new tangible form and cleaning up their often stifling backdrop of distorted humdrum, making something of an underground anthem for off-kilter electronic fans and indie die-hards alike. [b]JH[/b]

92Hurt (2002)

When the svengali of Cash’s reinvention Rick Rubin contacted Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor to request if the country legend could cover the song on Rubin’s suggestion, Reznor, replied that he was ‘flattered’ but concerned it’d be ‘gimmicky’. Upon viewing the video, he relented the song was no longer his. The stark, desolate sorrow of the original was translated into harrowing, minimal balladry by the Man In Black. When he died later that year it instantly became a chilling serenade to his fan’s mourning, worldwide. [b]JH[/b]

91Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above (2004)

Predating the onslaught of lame leggings and skin-burning cracked glow-sticks, [a]CSS[/a]’ breakthrough hit did everything you never even knew you wanted from a hit of mid-Noughties indie-disco. The winning recipe of naïve flirtiness, shuffling spacey infectiousness and surprising and irreverent NME-culture references put the spotlight on Sao Paolo in a way pop culture hadn’t seen for some time. As nu rave took hold it became one of the most incendiary sure-fire dancefloor bangers at lektro discos across the world. [b]JH[/b]

Share This

Connect With Us
This Week's Magazine