'Better'—Guns N' Roses
Well equipped with an engaging spirit, lyrically catchy hooks, and a bone-crunching bridge that rolls up like an M1 Abrams tank, this detached past-love reflection is the kind of rock song that will set your inner rhythm on fire.
What do you get when you take Beck’s cool, psychedelic, funky flare and team him with production wizard and groove giant Danger Mouse? A mirage-induced vision journeying across a beat-filled ocean, filled to the brim with volcanic flavor.
If you’re not grooving by the 1:36 mark, you might want to check your pulse.
Three delicious pop sections in one that dynamically enjoy a hypnotic werewolf-like transformation unveiled in a beautifully cast, molded, and triumphant four minutes.
'Longest Days'—John Mellencamp
Mellencamp’s full-circle tale of life’s hopefuls descends into harsher realities when “you know you got no flame.” He opens up his soul to a new level of craftsmanship through a worn guitar and his raspy, twang-laden voice.
Singer Beth Gibbons croons from a mystical hideaway like a goddess immortal, imprisoned by fairy tale guitars and a rain shower of majestic crescendos.
'Birthday Girl'—The Roots
The best bonus track of the decade with bright guitars, a Rootstastic signature beat, and an under-age, incognito fan’s plot to seduce rapper Black Thought and “see them Roots boys fall out live.”
'Pork and Beans'—Weezer
It figures that Rivers Cuomo’s most angst-driven track in years is a kissoff to the constraints of his record label and pulled from a 1998 songbook. A sing-songy, guitar-saturated, smooth time machine ride back to the heartfelt cries of the early '90s. We need more of these, boys.
'Toes'—Zac Brown Band
Where did these bluegrassy, Margarita sippin', Georgia gunslingers come from? An island-bound jam with all the girls, guitars, and party favors to fill an end of summer trip “a long way from GA.” Zac keeps it positive, ever reminding the listener that “Life is good today.”
'Strange Times'—The Black Keys
Put down that White Stripes record and check out some sweeter noise from this Akron, Ohio, two piece. Like a manic Zeppelin riff’s haunted past life, these guys trip the alarm with an addictive, vintage fuzz.