20) Kiley Dean – Escape - Kiley's smooth, soulful tone floats with ease over rhythmic guitar and lingering piano. The lyrics ring pretty true, too.
19) Dixie Chicks - Top of The World - Country songs have some of the best storytelling in music, period, and this song is a really good example. The dissatisfaction of the main character is almost palpable. The Chicks' harmonies are oh so sweet here, as well.
18) Natalie Imbruglia - Wrong Impression - This song is infectious. I can't help but feel happy and in love (with music!) when I hear it.
17) OneRepublic - All We Are (unreleased version) - This is the very first version of the song that now appears on the band's debut album Dreaming Out Loud. I played this song non-stop when I first heard it. The emotion was so real, and the chorus so memorable. I'm very happy that 1R is getting their chance to shine.
16) Britney Spears - I'm A Slave 4 U - The Neptunes and B. Spears at the peak of her pop glory created a musical "moment" right here... yeah, so what, I love this song. What?
15) The Cardigans - Celia Inside - Okay, this songs bouncy, '60's lounge vibe and Nina's sugary sweet vocals are perfection, but also misleading. The main character of the song wishes that his would-be-lover (who doesn't return his affections) was dead. Wow, is it that crucial? Lots of pescadas in the sea, dude.
14) Mary J. Blige - Be Without You - Talk about musical synergy, this is a prime example. Brian Michael Cox (producer) + Johnta Austin (songwriter) + MJB (Queen of Hip Hop Soul) = monster hit. Again, when I begin to lose faith in modern R&B, songs like this come along.
13) Dave Matthews Band - Crush - This song's vibe perfectly evokes its lyrics. And yep, it's almost 8 minutes long. How cool is that!
12) Eric Clapton - Pilgrim - "I was a pilgrim for your love," Eric sings. Clapton trades in his bluesy rock edge, for a more somber, R&B-tinged flavor on this one, and it works.
11) Boyz II Men - On Bended Knee - Ha! Yeah, that's the excitement I feel when I hear my boys Nathan, Shawn, Michael and Wanya harmonize like nobody's business. Need to apologize to your lady? Here's the perfect song to help you (unless of course, you were just dead wrong, then, uh, the good Lord help you).