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100 TRACKS OF THE DECADE

 

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.

 
 
 
 

A surprising cover from one of the UK's most treasured indie bands

For all the lazy comparisons of modern-day female artists to a wily singer-songwriter most recognisable for her creative output in the '70s and '80s, there's only one band in the indieverse that has managed to capture the true essence of Kate Bush's quirky greatness. With their 2005 hit 'Hounds Of Love' Sunderland four-piece

 
 
 

The riff that made millions pogo

The first single from their second album, 'Origin Of Symmetry', 'Plug In Baby' marked the moment Muse stopped being Jeff Buckley/Radiohead copyists and found their own voice. It started life as a ballad before Matt Bellamy realised it'd work better as full-pelt moshpit-fodder. The lyrics are pretty dumb – the "plug-in baby" with which he "crucifies his...

 
 
 

The song that started a love affair. Raw, simple and heartbreaking

One of those tracks that has the ability to instantly make everything else around it seem sham and flimsy, ‘Daddy’s Gone’ sounded like nothing else at the time. Sonically in an echo-washed, cold urban Spector world of its own, opening with that heart-wrenching “Oh-oh, how you’re my hero/Oh-oh, how you’re never here though”, lyrically it took simplicity and openness to a level few could stomach...

 
 
 

The best indie anthem from Wakefield's finest

"Nah-nah-nah-naah-nah-nah-na-na-na, Nah-nah-nah-naah-nah-nah-na-na-na" – the opening riff of the Wakefield brothers' most anthemic moment has become an indie dancefloor catchphrase in itself. Alex Kapranos' under-appreciated production, using silence brilliantly between riffs for full whack, helps elevate this above similarly scraggy efforts from the band's peers into a jean-ripping triumph of what you...

 
 
 

A hip-hop crossover that caught the imagination of a nation

Prior to 2006 you'd have been forgiven for not knowing the names Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green; two men who were little more than footnotes in hip-hop, so averse to mainstream success were they. But 'Crazy' changed all that when it became a Number One hit in the UK singles chart, as well as bagging the duo a Grammy. With its soulful vocals provided by Cee-Lo, tormented lyrics and...

 
 
 

The Brooklyn outfit have never fully outshone this electro-indie funk-fused hit

Pairing the cool vocals of Tunde Adebimpe and the funk sensibilities of Kyp Malone with suave electronic beats and post-rock guitar onslaughts, TV On The Radio have made their name by sounding out against indie rock mediocrity. No song encapsulated such a stance more than the sky-soaring majesty of ‘Staring At The Sun’, from their 2004 album 'Desperate...

 
 
 

Proved the Aussie songstress was more than just an impossible pop princess

Whether you were an indie purest or a rock traditionalist, there was one certainty with Kylie’s 2001 hit, and that was that it wasn’t just the fodder of sugared dance pop zealots. For here was a song that encapsulated everything enviable in a well-crafted song. Catchy hooks, a salaciously cool video and lyrical content that did exactly what it said on the tin. Reaching Number One in over 40 countries, 'Can’t...

 
 
 

Don't you wish he still made tunes as brilliant as this?

‘Without Me’, the lead off single from Marshall Mathers' third LP, serves not only as a reminder to the world of the rapper's brilliance, but a roll call of anyone who scorned him in the years previous. This includes: Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, the FCC and MTV, Chris Kirkpatrick, Limp Bizkit and Moby, as well as – as is traditional in an Eminem tune - his...

 
 
 

Proving that machines can do emotion too

It’s one of life’s great injustices that probably more people know José González’s cover version than the glorious original from The Knife’s ‘Deep Cuts’. Ironically, it was just such an emphasis on acoustic or traditional instrumentation as more real or emotional that the Swedish brother and sister duo set out to debunk, by refusing...

 
 
 

Playground smut that was clever, bolshy and sold by the bucketload

Kelis' biggest UK single was inescapable upon its release in 2003, even though it only managed to reach Number Two in the charts (where it stayed for a month). It's a lesson in classic pop subversion, because it manages to be both playfully innocent and undeniably crude at the same time. Produced and written by The Neptunes (featuring Pharrell Williams), The Dixie...

 
 
 
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