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90. The Streets – “Blinded By the Lights”
A Grand Don’t Come For Free, the second album by The Streets—the hip-hop/garage alias of vocalist Mike Skinner—was a concept album that dealt with an unraveling of unfortunate events as a young man loses a thousand pounds and his girlfriend in short order. While other singles from the album “Fit But You Know It” and “Dry Your Eyes” were bigger hits, the third single is an unsettling, hazy trip through a confused and increasingly substance-inflicted night out. It’s not his most immediately striking single, but it’s certainly one of the most carefully constructed. – Seb Patrick


89. Aphex Twin – “Avril 14th”
It shouldn’t have been as big a surprise that Richard D. James, master of squelchy ambient soundscapes, throbbing dance music and terrifying electronica, should have such a strong ear for minimalist piano. But this little gem, hidden in the disorienting sprawl of his double album Drukqs and sounding for all the world like a pastoral lament in the vein of Erik Satie, proved to be just as shocking a transformation as any of his more grotesque incarnations. – Fraser McAlpine


88. Roots Manuva – “Witness (1 Hope)”
A colossal rap favorite from 2001 mixing dancehall and funk—plus a slick nod to the Doctor Who theme to boot—this song established English rapper/producer Roots Manuva as a critical force in hip-hop in the early millennium. Hot and fresh today as it ever was, we still want to Witness the fitness! – MacKenzie Wilson


87. Gorillaz – “On Melancholy Hill”
“Melancholy” is an appropriate word for the darker and more downbeat tone of much of the latter Gorillaz material—but as Damon Albarn, mastermind of this virtual band, explained when third album Plastic Beach was released, this gorgeous, gentle track actually represents the opposite of that approach. “It’s that feeling, that place, that you get in your soul sometimes, like someone’s let your tires down. It’s nice to break up the album with something a little lighter. It’s good to have something that’s a genuine pop moment on every album. And this is one of those.” It’s almost certainly one of the peaks of Albarn’s post-Blur career. – Seb Patrick


86. Wild Beasts – “Mecca”
Wild Beasts have always boasted a strong libido as a band, with song titles like “She Purred While I Grrred.” But never has that sexuality been used so maturely than as with this stirring slow jam, with its Hounds of Love drums and lyrics that compare romantic union to a religious pilgrimage. – Kevin Wicks


85. Estelle – “American Boy”
With funky disco panache for the modern world and Kanye West on guest vocals, British singer/rapper Estelle went to No. 1 on the U.K. charts and reigned in much of the globe with this exceptionally fine number. Listening to Estelle gushing about globetrotting to the finest spots with that “American Boy,” you know you want to be exactly where she is, but if you can’t, might as well just shake what ya got on the dance floor instead. What’s not to love? – MacKenzie Wilson


84. Mumford and Sons – “I Will Wait”
One could say that several Mumford & Sons songs could be featured here on our list, but the vibrant “I Will Wait,” found on the band’s megahit sophomore LP, Babel, deserves this spot. With its earnest disposition driving instrumentation that nails it straight to the heart, and the band’s signature soaring harmonies, it’s absolutely a shining star in the vast indie rock canon. – MacKenzie Wilson


83. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – “Me and My Imagination”
Full disclosure: game playing during dating is a pet peeve of mine. But even frustrated singles who are sick and tired of the cat-and-mouse machinations involved in romance have to be enchanted by this single, in which Ellis-Bextor advises her suitor that “magic stays where myth remains.” Ellis-Bextor, who ruled the disco in the early ’00s with “Murder on the Dancefloor,” topped even that high-water mark with this new classic. – Kevin Wicks


82. The Clientele – “Since K Got Over Me”
This single was an unmitigated flop on U.K. charts upon its release, and it’s a shame: pop this effervescent hasn’t existed since “Don’t Walk Away, Renee” conquered the airwaves. Frontman Alasdair MacLean and his crew clearly absorbed the psychedelia of the ’60s and created an atmosphere of melancholy and despair with this underrated masterpiece. – Kevin Wicks


81. Sade – “Soldier of Love”
This is how you make a veteran comeback record. Sade, a band best known for its sleepy, jazz-inflected hits like “Smooth Operator” and “No Ordinary Love,” came roaring back from a nearly decade-long hiatus in 2010 with this track, with its martial rhythms, urgent strings, and electric guitar. “I’ve lost the use of my heart, but I’m still alive,” sings frontwoman Sade Adu, one of pop music’s great survivors, and “Soldier” was her boldest statement to date. – Kevin Wicks

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Filed Under: British Music, Music
By staff