33. Michelle Branch – Through the Radio
I guess poets have a funny way of only making sense through the radio
WHY DOES THE WORLD CONTINUE TO TAUNT ME WITH PERFECT MICHELLE BRANCH SONGS THAT AREN'T OFFICIALLY RELEASED. Who is in charge of her marketing. Can Vanessa Carlton teach her how to take charge of her commercial life when unappreciated by Big Studio?
34. Katie Melua – Nine Million Bicycles
There are six billion people in the world
More or less
And it makes me feel quite small
That you're the one I love the most of all
Katie Melua is someone who seems RIGHT in my musical wheelhouse, but whom I have never quite clicked with. Kinda like Natasha Bedingfield. I'm not sure this is the song to do it either, but there is something very pleasant about its quirky lyrics and title that makes me unable to say no. Might regret this being part of the collection later, but for today it stays.
35. Melanie C – I Turn To You
When my insides are wracked with anxiety
You have the touch that will quiet me
HOW DID I FAIL TO NOTICE MY FAVE SPICE GIRL BEIN' INDEPENDENT IN '99. Anyway, I'm still not motivated enough to look up anything else, but I am totally hooked on this weird, futuristic space sound. Of note: the only version I know is the 5:52 length one on Spotify, which I cannot seem to find on YouTube.
36. Destiny's Child – Independent Woman
The house I live in, I bought it
The car I'm driving, I bought it
I depend on me
I feel like I just missed the entire Destiny's Child craze because Back in The Day, my no-longer-existent radio station of perfect taste didn't play any of their stuff, so I got launched straight into the “Queen Bey” world of 2009. Absolutely no part of me did or will ever understand why her work is so worshiped when so much is so vulgar, but the more of the group's songs I hear on nostalgia playlists, the more I agree that yeah, the trio was super catchy, actually.
37. Josh Radin – I'd Rather Be With You
I could have saved so much time for us
Had I seen the way to get to where I am today
I have exactly two other Radin songs in my music library, and tbh they both kinda sound the same so I think that is just his style, but this is the one that the All Out 00's Spotify playlist threw at me, so now I'm hooked on it as part of the set. There's just something so low-key and calming about his music. It's kind of casual and rambly, and makes me think of small towns.
38. Alanis Morissette - So Unsexy
Oh, these little rejections, how they seem so real to me
One forgotten birthday I'm all but cooked
How these little abandonments seem to sting so easily
I'm 13 again, am I 13 for good?
I grabbed “Under Rug Swept” out of the library for “Hands Clean," and my curiosity could not be resisted. I played it through once, and four caught my ear. This one mostly for the lyrics about how easy it is to have your self esteem torpedoed.
39. Alanis Morissette - Precious Illusions
Once I know who I'm not, then I'll know who I am
Just some real fun, feel-good music. Also, I love her take on the title, drawing on something you used in childhood and how giving it up is like giving up friends.
40. Alanis Morissette – A Man
We don't fare well with endless reprimands
We don't do well with a life served as a sentence
This won't work well if you´re hell bent on your offense
Really cool Middle Eastern vibe to the music. I'm pretty sure this supposed to represent a “Not All Men” / “I'm A Cool Man” / “I'm warning you not to make me stop trying to be a good man” perspective, but that's not going to stop me from reading it at face value because I don't understand nuance! (remember I am the girl who assumed for 10+ years that "Hands Clean" was about her being a cougar with a 17.5-year-old guy)
41. Alanis Morissette - You Owe Me Nothing in Return
You can express your deepest of truths,
Even if it means I'll lose you, and I'll hear it
These are just...really wonderful lyrics. With the best music of the batch. Also, the phrase “I bet you're wondering when the next payback shoe will eventually drop” is a pretty cool linguistic gymnastic.
42. Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus -- Old Town Road
Cowboy hat from Gucci
Wrangler on my booty
I had to know if it was really a country song, okay!! It's not, with or without Billy Ray Cyrus. (Name me one other country song released by a country label that drops a beat like that.) But it IS so totally addictive that I played it for like, 35 minutes straight the first time I heard it. Original and BRC remix are both great, but the second one is a touch longer so clearly it wins.
43. Nicole Richie – Dandelion
I thought he was a flower but I found out he's a weed
I somehow ended up on a list of “worst celebrity songs," and most were as bad as advertised, but since I will jam out to Paris Hilton's “Stars Are Blind” to this day, it seemed only fair to give an ear to her partner in crime. Not least because it's the most laid-back and low-key sound of the batch, with a superb metaphor about sub-par men.
44. Con Calma - Daddy Yankee ft. Snow & Katy Perry
You could be my Puerto Rican dream, I'll be your California gurl now
OR: A wild, wonderful version of Snow's “Informer,” musically, with Spanish and/or alternate English lyrics, save for one familiar verse. This is actually a remix, so let it be known I ALSO very much like the original without Perry, which is exactly the level of joy I got from Despacito. This is just the version I heard first. And somehow have not heard on the radio one day since.
45. Humbird - Kansas City, MO
Hope for sunrise, hope for change
While America goes up in flames
One of those anti-America complainer songs, but it's so pretty I don't even care. A girl & her guitar singing about America in a folksy-sounding way in any context is gonna GET ME.
Dishonorable Mention: Panic! At the Disco's “High Hopes"
I just wanted to take a moment to be VERY ANNOYED about the fact that the verses are so cool, musically; they just have the most fantastic melody with the "Mama said - burn your biographies, rewrite your histories, light up your wildest dreams / museum victories, every day...), but then the bridge is an awful drone and the chorus is just annoying and generic. I cannot properly express the heights the first verse take me to or how hard I crash in disappointment at the rest EVERY TIME. Especially because it plays like twice an hour between my four radio stations.
Redicovered Music for May (to explain why I only found 3 songs): I fell hard back into Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" album, which is truly perfection, as well as the first two Spice Girls albums (PEAK NOSTALGIA!! Spice Girls were some of the first CDs I ever owned).
CD REC: Alanis Morissette, "The Collection" (2005)
Flush with rediscovered love for Jagged Little Pill, I immediately checked out all her other CDs from the library and was...very underwhelmed by all of them, even the ones with radio hits I had loved. Except this one, which curates literally all my fave radio singles of hers except So Pure and 1 or 2 from JLP (which, to be fair, would have been overrepresented otherwise). I would have happily swapped You Oughta Know for All I Really Want, but even I know there's no way YOK would have been left off for anything. Most notably, it contains ZERO GARBAGE, except for "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)," which is some real hideous jazz. All of the other songs are eminently listenable even when they're not faves, and the best part is that it pulls in songs previously scattered about on movie soundtracks. Absolutely the best sampler platter one could ask for.
46. Alanis Morisette – Crazy (cover)
In a sky full of people, only some want to fly
Isn't that crazy?
I truly can't believe this is a cover, because when I was first listening to the above album, this really felt like the one that was most "her."
47. Alanis Morisette – Princes Familiar
Papa, listen to your princess so that she will find attentive princes familiar
Alternates between lovely requests for fathers to be the kind of man they want their daughters to date, and...I'm not totally sure; her own requests for what she wants a partner to be? It's catchy, though.
48. Alanis Morisette – Sister Blister
Sister blister, we fight to please the brothers
We think their acceptance is how we win
Calls for a feminist sisterhood, this is the only time I will heed one.
49. Rob Thomas – One Less Day
I'm not afraid of getting older
I'm one less day from dying young
What a fantastic feel-good song about being happy for every day you have.
LIST EXTRA: Darren Criss – Chasing Gold (Nacho Fries)
Darren Criss stars in an ad campaign for Taco Bell (here is the movie trailer! enjoy it before clicking on the song link), crooning about terrible fast food, and I melt like the cheese, brought to my knees -- especially after I find there is a full version of the background song. It's a full 3 minutes of product placement and it's BEAUTIFUL. Where are his real songs that sound like this.
LIST EXTRA: I have already raved about an acoustic cover of MMMMBop, but now there's an acoustic version with a FULL STRING ORCHESTRA and also I am, like, totally mesmerized by Taylor "basically a girl in 1997" Hanson's unfairly fetching face in this video.