Dan Martin writes:
“Beyonce Number 1? WTF, NME? Who else is in your list, Bob The Builder?”
Take that comment, repeat several hundred times in various configurations, and you’ll get some idea of the reaction our 100 Tracks Of The Decade generated on Twitter and via our blog. It was ‘heated’, to say the least.
People seemed furious that we’d voted Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ Number 1 – as if pop music were somehow ‘un-NME‘.
Now, the idea that we’re somehow obliged to vote a white guitar track as the best of the decade is so wrong-headed that it doesn’t even dignify of a response.
But to respond anyway, this was a chart about tracks. Songs. Singles, as we used to call them. The place for serious wordy contemplation, for depth, is in the album. Guitar music suits this better. That’s why the greatest albums list was mainly made up of guitar bands.
‘Is This It’ by The Strokes, taken as a whole, means so much more than any of its constituent parts. That’s why it was Number 1 on the albums list. By contrast, ‘Crazy In Love”s parent album – 2003’s ‘Dangerously In Love’ – doesn’t even figure.
Tracks are different from albums. They are about an immediate rush to the heart and the head, about something that makes you feel superhuman for three-and-a-half minutes. The simple fact is, ‘Crazy In Love’ does this better than any other song released in the last 10 years. It makes you feel more than alive.
Technically it’s perfect, the ultimate tune for the holy sphere of the dancefloor. Moreover, it’s a significant song, an important one. Here was the falling-in-love moment of the two most influential people in music in the noughties, set to riotously uplifting horn stabs and a ridiculously simple, perfect vocal.
The fact is, in a simple “oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh”, Beyonce says more about love and life than a thousand Frank Turner soliloquies could ever hope to. If you don’t get that, you’re missing out on something special.