Top Ten Plus

Hey Get Ya Mom a Crazy Milkshake in Da Club

JOE LEVY
Manhattan

It's been years since I've seen a band take the stage with such evident delight in making music, putting on a show, being part of the same group, communicating the same humor and fervor to the audience and to each other. That this is exactly what you hear on the New Pornographers' records seems both a miracle and a natural fact.

GREIL MARCUS
Berkeley, California

Basement Jaxx seemed determined to load an album's worth of sounds and ideas into every track. There are songs here—some of the duo's best so far—but they treat their songs like The Matrix treats philosophy: as a jumping-off point for decadent but captivating pyrotechnics. Scrooges complain that the result is a bit like a cake with too many layers of icing, but I love icing.

TIM FINNEY
Melbourne, Australia

Damn if new Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell didn't get me every time he hit the bit about not losing your Southern accent, in one line and a half-gargled melody nailing a thousand nights spent driving around Arkansas worrying about half-imagined bullshit no kid could fix.

MIKAEL WOOD
Manhattan

Hip-hop has become almost entirely a producer's game—this is the age of the genius beatmaker and the nitwit MC—but Dizzee Rascal's sad, funny, eloquent songs were a reminder of how potent the rapper's art can be. Incidentally, Boy in Da Corner also featured the year's deepest beats, courtesy of producer Dizzee Rascal. It's every bit as great a debut album as Run-D.M.C. or Ready to Die or Pretenders or The Clash.

JODY ROSEN
Brooklyn, New York

I didn't vote for "Hey Ya!" because . . . well, OK, my bad.

NICK CATUCCI
Brooklyn, New York

I love "Hey Ya!" But who even pretended not to? It's the most accessible hip-hop hit since Kris Kross's "Jump." It's also a hopeful sign that people still crave weirdness from pop music even in this most conformist of times.

ROB SHEFFIELD
Brooklyn, New York

When my wife's father dropped "shake it like a Polaroid picture" into a Thanksgiving table conversation about real estate prices and da Bears, I felt Andre and Big Boi jump up a tax bracket.

JERRY DANNEMILLER
Columbus, Ohio

The beauty of "Hey Ya!" is that it's hip-hop that doesn't sound like hip-hop. Andre takes a riff from '60s surf rock, gives it a Bootsy Collins swirl with some Toni Basil hand claps thrown in, and mints a classic that's as hip-hop to me as anything Jay-Z, 50 Cent, or Gang Starr dropped this year. Maybe more so.

OLIVER WANG
Oakland, California

"Hey Ya!" is the year's true milkshake. Dre drove from Atlanta to Athens balancing a thermos on his knees, squeezed a few squirts of Elephant Six in there, and jerked it like an egg cream.

CARYN GANZ
Manhattan

Unnerving that the desperate subtext of "Hey Ya!" has been airbrushed out of the mass consciousness by the same mysterious process that transformed "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" or "Billie Jean" into feel-good oldies. Y'all don't want me here, y'all just want to dance to keep from cryin'.

KEITH HARRIS
Bordentown, New Jersey

When my girlfriend's sister got married in September, she eschewed Mendelssohn, blasting Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" instead, and it was perfect. It's those horns, so lovingly lifted from the Chi-Lites, impossibly loud, dramatic, and passionate. It's just the anthem for newlyweds to charge into the world with.

OLIVER WANG
Oakland, California

Big googly eyes, exhausted pelvic twitching, completely unconvincing come-ons that demand you sing along, if for no reason other than to inject spits and twitters into Beyoncé's soul-by-numbers canoodling. Each shower of uh-ohs falls flat, while remaining insanely, gloriously palatable. Then Jay pens the best line ever: "My texture is the best fur, chinchilla." It's like alien robots talking to each other, with bleating horns in the background.

AMANDA PETRUSICH
Charlottesville, Virginia

I'd take a sip of Kelis's milk-shake over a lick of Beyoncé's jelly any day.

AMY PHILLIPS
Manhattan

All summer I felt stalked by "In Da Club." It poured out of speakers in every bodega, SUV, boom box, and clothing store I walked past. When I came out of the subway in Brooklyn it greeted me on DeKalb Avenue, sending me home on the flow of a groove that was infectious, sinister, and funky. It'll take the Neptunes another 10 years to smell the fumes on Dr. Dre's Caddy.

NELSON GEORGE
Brooklyn, New York

The single that launched a thousand catchphrases: birthday-girl shorties go go go for the Bacardi all don't-give-a-fuck style as he tips a bottle full of bub, goes for sex over lovemaking, gets loved like pot—so give your uncle Fitty a hug already.

NATE PATRIN
St. Paul, Minnesota

"Stacy's Mom" is essentially the Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl." Mssrs. Collingwood and Schlesinger devise a May-December fantasy straight out of Penthouse Letters that blunders into Rick Ocasek's sticky love triangle like a Jack Tripper pratfall. When Collingwood explains to his erstwhile girl that "since your dad walked out your mom could use a guy like me," the bad '70s porno film suddenly veers into Mrs. Robinson territory and becomes pop for the ages.

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