Low Flying Paper Planes

WXPN-logoWXPN is a radio station in Philadelphia. When I lived there, it was easily my favorite radio station in town. It blew it’s closest competitor, Radio 104.5, out of the water. The single greatest reason why I loved XPN was the variety. In a twenty minute stretch, they could go back to back to back with My Morning Jacket, Spoon, Morphine, De La Soul and LCD Soundsystem. They do Funky Fridays every Friday at 5, live shows and the World Cafe with David Dye.

Quite simply, it’s a great radio station in a time devoid of great radio stations.

Last week XPN embarked on a daunting task. Based on audience voting, they compiled a list of the 885 greatest songs of the Millennium. Then, all week long, they played that list, starting at number 885 (LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem”) and not stopping until they reached number one (“Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.)

You can find the full list here and listen to the list on Spotify.

Here’s the top 5…

1 Adele Rolling In The Deep 2011
2 Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros Home 2009
3 The Lumineers Ho Hey 2012
4 The White Stripes Seven Nation Army 2003
5 Bruce Springsteen The Rising 2002

Overall, I was cool with the list and it was great to listen. The fact that it lives on in the form of Spotify playlist is even better.

But I did have a few issues, specifically twenty.

Twenty Songs That Should Have Been Ranked Higher on XPN’s 885 Greatest Songs of the New Millennium
*ranking in parenthesis

The Black Keys “Lonely Boy” (#15)
Amy Winehouse “Rehab” (#7)
Daft Punk “Get Lucky” (#59)
MGMT “Kids” (#121)
Dave Matthews Band “You & Me” (#183)
Kanye West “Jesus Walks” (#184)
Jay Z & Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” (#233)
Jack Johnson “Flake” (#369)
Green Day “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (#434)
Justin Timberlake “Sexyback” (#443)
The Black Keys “10Am Automatic” (#620)
Spoon “I Turn My Camera On” (#652)
Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks” (#663)
Kelly Clarkson “Since You Been Gone” (#675)
Band of Horses “No One’s Gonna Love You” (#706)
MIA “Paper Planes” (#757)
* the number one song that I felt was improperly ranked. Should have been at least in the 200’s
Kings of Leon “On Call” (#780)
The Raconteurs “Steady As She Goes” (#807)
Kaiser Chiefs “I Predict a Riot” (#817)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Thrift Shop” (#846)

“Lonely Boy” is easily the Black Keys’ biggest hit and the song that upped them from underground rockers to arena packers. And songs like “Flake,” “Sexyback,” and “Jesus Walks” were songs that introduced us to some of the biggest and most popular names to emerge in the millennium so far. No way “Empire State of Mind” should be as low as number 233 given how it flat out took over the country when it was released and the same can be said for “Thrift Shop” and “Since You Been Gone.” And finally, there’s no way “Ho Hey” makes the top 5 and “Rehab” doesn’t.

But overall, this is an amazing list; a list that makes for some interesting listening and one that frequently conjures up memories and adventures from past lives.

I can’t recommend this list or XPN enough.

Even if they did have far too many John Mayer songs included.

Nobody’s perfect.

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