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.

 
 
 
 

Anti-folk wondergirl charms birds from trees

Though it was ‘Fidelity’ and ‘On The Radio’ from 2006’s ‘Begin To Hope’ that brought Regina Spektor wider success, it was at the expense of some of the rougher edges on her preceding album, ‘Soviet Kitsch’, a bizarre, intimate and idiosyncratic record in which the sweetness of her piano-led ballads is tempered by a raw weirdness. ‘Us’,...

 
 
 

Nonsensical but thrillingly spooky glum-fest

The lead-off single and high-point of Interpol’s second album, this has a typically obtuse Paul Banks lyric (“Make revision to a dream while you wait in the van”) only somehow even worse (“Sensitive to faith not”? Bad grammar does not necessarily load things with meaning, Mr Banks). What’s remarkable about this song is that this drivel doesn’t...

 
 
 

The moment when Radiohead shook off the shackles of rock

The moment where Radiohead finally left behind the limitations of being an alt.rock band and embraced a whole wide world of weirdness that made ‘alt’ seem as silly a word as it was. The opening track of ‘Kid A’ took their fans further out than they’d ever been before, dabbling in Warp-style electronica, minimalism and all manner of glitchy creepiness....

 
 
 

The track that finally gave the Mancunian outfit the adoration they deserved

The rise of Manchester five-piece Elbow from relative unknowns into one of the biggest bands in the UK may have been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. Sourcing them a whole new generation of fans, as well as landing them with a Mercury Music Prize for ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, ‘One Day Like This’, with its choral chanting and orchestral...

 
 
 

Sea-shanties and Jim Morrison reincarnated in noughties Liverpool

Take the insanely-young genius of James Skelly (just 21-years old when he wrote the track), add the veteran know-how of producer Ian Broudie (of The Lightning Seeds fame), and the results speak for themselves. The Coral’s debut album stunned like a cattle-prod on its release in 2002, such was its...

 
 
 

Sleepy psychedelia from Aussie nutjobs

This beautiful, hazy nugget from the Aussie band was a soundtrack to the summer of 2003, even if most people had no idea what barking frontman Luke Steele was on about. But the tune was so pretty it didn't really matter. Steele has since gone on to use this track as the blueprint for further eccentricities in Empire Of The Sun, to further acclaim....

 
 
 

A song of jaw-dropping, angel-winged prettiness

The standout track from the classic 'Illinois' album, 'Chicago' is on a concept album about the state it exists in, but isn't really about the city, more about a road trip Sufjan had taken with his friend. No matter, its string-laden majesty was truly a thing of wonder. And even Snow Patrol referencing it on their 2006 song 'Hands Open' couldn't diminish its...

 
 
 

A moment of beauty sprung from the ugliness of riots

"There are fewer more distressing sights, than that, of an Englishman in a baseball cap" sang Pete Doherty in an inch-perfect lyric from this anthemic indie classic inspired by London’s violent May Day riots. The third single from The Libertines’ debut album ‘Up The Bracket’, it was yet another wake-up slap in the face for anyone who thought...

 
 
 

Natalie Portman-backed indie classic

Arguably the old-school indie success story of the decade can trace their popularity back to the ubiquity of this understated gem of a song. Originally released as a 7" in 2001, it was championed by John Peel before Portman's character in 2004's Garden State told Zach Braff that the song "would change your life". It also appeared in The Sopranos, and, more surprisingly, in a McDonald's commercial....

 
 
 

Occultist-crafted lyrics and a menacing riff to dance to

Taken from their debut album ‘Myths Of The Near Future’, ‘Magick’ encapsulates much of the new rave band’s distinct flavour. Occult references? Check. (The track cites spells written by British Dark Lord Aleister Crowley). Beautiful, bird-call-esque “oo-ee-oo” harmonies to sing along to? Check. Indie guitars meshed with jump-around-the-dancefloor-and-spill-alcohol-everywhere beats? All present...

 
 
 
 
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