The Best Songs of 2003

rhap_logo.gifFor the past few years I’ve put together discs or playlists of my favorite songs of the year. Today I’ll feature 2003.

With 2002 as best year ever on record, 2003 had a tough act to follow, but made a strong showing. While I didn’t have 2 CD’s worth of qualifying songs this year, I still had to do some paring. 2003 saw the introduction of garbage and lawsuits clouding downloads on KaZaa. We also saw the introduction of online music stores and streaming services. iTunes, Napster, and Rhapsody will be followed by much competition in 2004 which benefits everyone but record store owners (sell, sell, SELL!!!) . CD of the year: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Fever To Tell”


  • The Laws Have Changed (The New Pornographers) – The laws definitely changed in 2001, when great music returned to the market! TNP is one of those breakthrough bands of 2003, and this song makes a great statement. This is a good overall CD, but they should let her sing more.
  • Down on the Corner (Johnny Marr and the Healers ) – Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has a new project, and this song is one of the best in years. Why in the world isn’t this one on the radio???
  • It Is What It Is (Minibar) – This one will bounce around in your head for days.
  • Jerk It Out (Caesars) – So which Pulp Fiction-esque soundtrack will include this one. Get up and dance y’all! “I’m Gonna Kick You Out” is another great song on the “39 Minutes of Bliss” CD.
  • Reoffender (Travis) – Domestic violence in a maudlin setting. Sorry to bring you down. This one will always make me think of the video that features the band all beating each other up. Make sure you’ve heard The Invisible Band before buying the disappointing 12 Memories.
  • The Riches (Jane’s Addiction) – My favorite band returned with an outstanding CD. I’m glad that Carmen hasn’t ruined Dave Navarro. Now if they’ll just come back through Raleigh!!!
  • I Can’t Remember (The Thorns) – Supergroup consisting of Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins, and Pete Droge has put out my favorite song of the year. Eat your heart out Crosby, Stills, Nash! This song ought to be saturating every radio station. Oddly, The Thorns’ cover of the Jayhawks’ “Blue” is getting more traction. The CD is, overall, disappointing. We’ll see if they stay together to put out another disc.
  • Cannonball (Damien Rice) – Don’t know a whole lot about him. This song did finish at #11 in the WBER countdown.
  • You Were Right (Badly Drawn Boy) – They’ve been around forever, but never really broken through. This one will do!
  • The Rising Has Been Defeated (Jack Johnson) – Former surfer movie guy Jack Johnson is every bit as cool as Steve Miller wanted to be. Jack’s latest disc On and On sounds just like the 2001 breakthrough Brushfire Fairytales, but that’s a good thing.
  • Blackest Eyes (Porcupine Tree) – The most interesting song I’ve heard in a while. Caustic AND beautiful in one!
  • Watching the Sun Come Up (Ed Harcourt) – Don’t know much about him either. This was on a CMJ disc in the Summer and just kept popping out at me. Hey Ya (Outkast) – Fun! It seems that every sportscast is using this as bumper music.
  • Wheels (Grand Drive) – Like Paul Simon minus the Africa! This was featured on CMJ this Summer, too, and stood out.
  • I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself (The White Stripes) – Sofia Coppola (Director of “Lost in Translation”) sealed this entry with her GREAT video. Actually, all videos these days should feature Kate Moss’ pole dancing. WBER had “Seven Nation Army” as their #1 song of the year. Many critics hailed this CD, Elephant, as the best of the year.
  • Cutest (Shamra) – Featured on CMJ this Summer, but I know nothing about them.
  • Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) – Think Chrissie Hynde on acid. This CD is infectious and ended up being my favorite of the year. Good drummer, too.
  • Pain Killer (Turin Brakes) – You heard this one on a Volvo ad soon after the pretty good CD was released. What a clean recording!
  • Amsterdam (Guster) – Maybe you’ve tried to steal this one and only gotten the “meow” song, but here’s the real thing. Guster opened for John Mayer in Cary and really got the place going. They are a favorite of Rochester’s great station WBER.
  • Special (Wilshire) – This song was on a CMJ disc this year and the song is infectious. Too bad the CD is one of the worst this year. It makes Rubin and Clay’s discs look edgy and groundbreaking.. Great song, though!

Listen Using Rhapsody



Comments are closed.