November 9, 2005
One of the best things about today's online music services is the opportunity to purchase individual songs for unlimited listening regardless of whether or not they have been released as a single. Each week I uncover some of the best pop tracks to download from online music services. The music will range widely across pop genres. The tracks listed may not be available at all of the major online music services.
Read lists from previous weeks.
1. Kanye West - Touch the Sky
I lead off this week's list with one of the best tracks on one of the top albums of the year. Kanye West's Late Registration is filled with great work, but the soulful horns keep me coming back to "Touch the Sky."
2. Depeche Mode - Damaged People
Dave Gahan and company have returned with Playing the Angel, one of the best albums of their long career. "Damaged People" is just one example of the glorious new collection of songs. Gahan's brittle voice, sounding as if it is in danger of shattering, coupled with a gorgeous melody will make this tune haunt you for some time.
3. Blink-182 - All the Small Things
As they release their Greatest Hits collection in time for Christmas shopping, let's revisit the picture perfect punk pop of Blink-182's breakthrough top 10 pop hit. For fans of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and the Used, download this and demonstrate the appropriate level of respect for your musical ancestors.
4. Robbie Williams - Sin Sin Sin
At this point there are no plans to release Intensive Care, the latest album by the UK's biggest pop star, in the US. However, iTunes subscribers can download the album and its songs. "Sin Sin Sin" exploits the low end of Robbie's vocal register to magnificent effect.
5. James Blunt - Goodbye My Lover
In opposing fashion to Robbie Williams, ex-soldier James Blunt has a voice pitched somewhere in the stratospheric range of someone like Barry Gibb, but don't let that scare you away. "Goodbye My Lover" is positively gorgeous and just one of many rewarding tracks from the album Back To Bedlam.
6. Destiny's Child - Jumpin' Jumpin'
I'm with millions of fans mourning the breakup of this stellar r&b trio. "Jumpin' Jumpin'" is one of my personal favorites on #1's, a compilation packed with memorable hits. These women can sing!
7. The Donnas - Drive My Car
Recording a tribute album to show due respect for...another album? This Bird Has Flown is a 40th anniversary tribute to the Beatles' groundbreaking Rubber Soul. All of the original album's songs have been re-recorded, mostly by alt-rock favorites. However, the Donnas version of "Drive My Car" is appropriately bratty in keeping with their punkish profile.
8. John Fogerty - Fortunate Son (Live)
The hits collection cascade of the holiday season continues with The Long Road Home, one of the most complete collections of the music of pop/rock pioneers Creedence Clearwater Revival and their leader John Fogerty. This live version of "Fortunate Son" really does rock.
9. Nirvana - Do Re Mi (Demo)
For those who felt a bit overwhelmed by 3 whole discs of Nirvana outtakes, Sliver has come along with the "best" of the tracks included on the With the Lights Out box. This may still seem like a lot to wade through for the casually interested fan, but if you just want to download a few tracks, "Do Re Mi" is fascinating as one of the last demos recorded by Kurt Cobain.
10. Nickelback - If Everyone Cared
I'll close out this week's list in warm and fuzzy fashion. That's not a description usually used for the music of Nickelback, but "If Everyone Cared" is a disarming moment from the All the Right Reasons album.