erasing clouds

Hit List, October 2003: The Top Five Songs You'll Hear Over and Over and Over

by matthew webber

Dave Matthews - "Gravedigger"

If Johnny Cash hadn't covered "Hurt" and then died, Dave Matthews' first solo single would be the year's best song about death. Years and albums removed from Glen Ballard's forced smile of a DMB album (Everyday), Matthews returns to writing the sad songs I always preferred to his fraternity row bangers. Think of this single as the six-feet-deep seven-inch. Think of death as the frequent part of life it truly is, and it's surprising how few mainstream pop acts mention it.

Jason Mraz - "You and I Both"

Speaking of death, this song kills me. The poor-man-with-a-sense-of-humor's John Mayer, Jason Mraz loves clever wordplay so much he almost chokes on it. He also loves melody. And I love singing along.

Hilary Duff - "So Yesterday"

Hiring the songwriting and production team the Matrix to concoct hits for teenagers is sooo yesterday. I liked this song better back when it was called "Why Can't I" (sung by a thirtysomething), which I liked better back when it was called "Complicated." Oh, who am I kidding? I actually like all these songs, which is sooo completely different from respecting them. The Matrix, if they truly produced this song (I'm not sure, but I'd bet you a Pixie Stix), are the Max Martin of 2003.

Christina Aguilera featuring Lil' Kim - "Can't Hold Us Down"

Q: What do you get when you cross Christina Aguilera with Lil' Kim? A: An activist who melds soft-core porn with feminism. Several singles ago, Xtina traded her dirrty sex talk for beautiful sloganeering. "Fighter" and this song are her for-the-ladies shout-outs about empowerment and equality. Okay then: Color me an apologist. My words will never again bring her down.

50 Cent - "P.I.M.P."

I'm back to not getting the appeal of 50 Cent. I mean, there are more mainstream rap hits about being a pimp than there are actually working pimps. This song sounds like all of them. Ohhh. Now I get why people like him. My bad.

Issue 16, October 2003

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