Pitchfork Counts Down The Decade, Embraces Early-’00s Nostalgia

noah | August 21, 2009 9:30 am

Pitchfork’s “P2K” project completed its first installment today, with its countdown of the best singles released between 2000 and “sometime in mid-2009” revealing its top 20. The site bequeathed its “No. 1 single of the decade” title on OutKast’s “B.O.B.”—which, as it turns out, was also No. 1 for the site’s best of 2000-2004 list from a few years back. I actually don’t have a problem with either the pick or the implied classic-rock consistency; the messy chaos of “B.O.B.,” which splatted all over the genre map when it came out at the beginning of this decade, was and remains, as the ‘Fork’s Stuart Berman writes, “a future-shocked ferocity… that just cannot be duplicated.” But it made me wonder about how well the songs from the first part of the decade had aged in the minds of writers—and, by extension, the minds of people who love arguing over every proclamation Pitchfork makes. Let’s get counting down! The top 10 of Pitchfork’s 2000-2004 list, with the end-of-decade placement in parentheses: 10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Maps” (No. 6 of the decade) 9. The Rapture, “House Of Jealous Lovers” (No. 16 of the decade) 8. Missy Elliott, “Work It” (No. 54 of the decade) 7. Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z, “Crazy In Love” (No. 4 of the decade) 6. Annie, “Heartbeat” (No. 17 of the decade) 5. Kylie Minogue, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” (No. 37 of the decade) 4. Missy Elliott, “Get Ur Freak On” (No. 7 of the decade) 3. LCD Soundsystem, “Losing My Edge” / “Beat Connection” (“Losing My Edge”: No. 13 of the decade) 2. OutKast, “Hey Ya!’ (No. 12 of the decade) 1. OutKast, “B.O.B.” (No. 1 of the decade) In contrast, we can say that the Revised Top 10 Of 2000-2004 (i.e. the “best of the decade” list with songs from 2005-2009 stripped out) looks like this: 10. Jay-Z, “99 Problems” 9. LCD Soundsystem, “Losing My Edge” 8. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” 7. Arcade Fire, “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” 6. Radiohead, “Idioteque” 5. Missy Elliott, “Get Ur Freak On” 4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Maps” 3. Daft Punk, “One More Time” 2. Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z, “Crazy In Love” 1. OutKast, “B.O.B.” I present these lists side-by-side with the obvious disclaimer that Pitchfork isn’t a monolithic entity, despite Internet types’ constant attempts to characterize it as such; the makeup of the staff has changed over time as far as population and “growing up,” etc., etc. But it’s still kind of neat to juxtapose these two lists; the plunge of “Work It,” for example, makes me wonder if the critical love affair with Missy Elliott has sort of ended thanks to her not-so-consistent outing. On the flip side, “99 Problems” was No. 22 in 2004. Has time made it a better song? Is the secret hidden somewhere within Rick Rubin’s beard? And just for the sake of Making More Lists, here’s the list’s broken-out Top 10 of 2005-2009: 10. Antony & the Johnsons, “Hope There’s Someone” 9. Justin Timberlake feat. T.I., “My Love” 8. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z, “Umbrella” 7. LCD Soundsystem, “Someone Great” 6. Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone” 5. Hercules & Love Affair, “Blind” 4. Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” 3. Animal Collective, “My Girls” 2. M.I.A. feat. Bun B and Rich Boy, “Paper Planes (Diplo remix)” 1. LCD Soundsystem, “All My Friends” Note also that the Top 10 of 2000-2004 ended at No. 14 on the big list, while the back end of the decade petered out at No. 28; if “Ignition (Remix)” (No. 19 on the big list) had come out in 2005, it would have placed just behind “Blind” and rendered the Top 10 even more pop-centric. Your theories for why this might be the case are welcome!The Top 500 Tracks Of The 2000s: 20-1 [Pitchfork]The Top 100 Singles Of 2000-2004 [Pitchfork] [HT: Hipsters United]