The best way to compile a year-end list is to wait for everyone else’s year-end lists before making any rash decisions. Not only does this method allow for appropriate deliberation, but also makes it easy to sidestep any of the poor choices made by other list-makers. For instance, upon scientific study of the P’fork singles list, Torontoist decided that both Beyonce’s “Naughty Girl” and Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” can NOT be included singles of the year. Other mathematical impossibilities include anything by the Killers.
Using our tried and tested formula, Torontoist came up with this definitive best singles list for 2004. Because the list is a product of meticulous results-based decision-making, there are very few surprises. Here are the good(ie)s.
1. Ciara ft. Petey Pablo – “My Goodies”
Behind every good man there is a Princess of Crunk. But in this case, she’s very much in front of both “Goodies” producer Lil’Jon and rapper Petey Pablo. The battle of the sexes begins with Mr. Pablo’s assertion of his “sick reputation for handling broads,” and then goes on with Ms. Ciara’s empowering rebuttal. In the end, it’s not Ciara’s well-kept “goodies” that deflate Pablo’s dirty south bravado; it’s her refusal to be objectified with some drop-dead catchy vocal flips. The First Lady of Crunk even outshines Lil’Jon’s minimalist Crunk’n’B beats with her sexy independence. Watch the video here.
2. The Walkmen – “The Rat”
The emotional centrepiece of the year in music. Well, not really – “My Goodies” was the emotional centrepiece of the year and perhaps the decade thus far. “The Rat” is good enough to land at number two though.
3. Arcade Fire – “Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)”
Not much explanation needed here. The song builds to a fist-clenching crescendo that gets higher than the latest Trump Tower.
4. A.C. Newman – “Miracle Drug”
You know it. We love this guy.
5. Ghostface – “Save Me Dear”
Le Tigre named Ghostface one of their favourites in a recent New York Times article, though they disagree with some of the lyrical content. So that makes it okay to sing along as Ghostface a.k.a Tony Starks gives props to women “who cook and clean” for their man, and men who like women with “good brains on them.” Great samples too, Ghost.
6. Modest Mouse – “Float On” / Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
Two singles that stalked Torontoist for the entire summer, eventually falling out of favour. At one point, Torontoist refused to even distinguish the songs, referring to each as “Float Me Out” by Franz Ferdimouse.
7. D12 – “My Band”
Ha! Just kidding.
7. Junior Boys – “Birthday”
Just like good “intelligent dance music” should, this song becomes more interesting with every listen.
8. The Libertines – “Can’t Stand Me Now”
Disparate lyricism with Clash-esque guitars. Torontoist prediction for 2005: a Libertines reunion/break-up.
9. M.I.A. – “Galang” / Annie – “Chewing Gum”
This is sort of a cop-out. Both these import singles gave such a late push for best of lists that it’s too difficult to give the edge to either track. Might have to settle this one on the dance floor.
10. The Streets – “Fit But You Know It” / Dizzee Rascal – “Dream”
Oh such a cop-out! If we lumped M.I.A. and Annie together, why can’t we put these two U.K. rappers together at number 10? Torontoist appreciated the left-of-centre sensibility of both tracks: Mike Skinner’s odd ball ode to the picking-up in the Greek Islands and Dizzee’s infantile nursery-rhyme grime.
Coming to Torontoist tomorrow: The top 10,000 albums of 2004.