50. FABOLOUS feat TAMIA — ‘Into You’

As I write this I’ve been married two months to a woman I’ve been with for twelve years. There were times when I thought it was going nowhere, when I’d have put money against us ever reaching the altar (not that it was an altar: it was a table). She was ill; I was depressed; we argued; we were distant. I thought we might be keeping it going for the worst reasons — fear of the unknown, wanting to be ‘settled’. Then gradually I realised we’d been doing it for the best reasons. ‘I can’t explain it — I’m so into you now’.

‘Into You’ isn’t ‘our song’ — my wife wouldn’t especially like it, plus the Tamia bit is annoyingly supine — but Fabolous’ lyrics and the gently delighted way he delivers them touch something in me. And the groove is as tender and pretty as the song demands.

49. COLDPLAY — ‘Clocks (Royksopp Remix)’

Three or four encounters with ‘Clocks’ and it was obvious that Coldplay had written i) the song that people who hated Coldplay might like; ii) the ultimate Coldplay song; iii) the most remixable rock track in ages. The things the band do — pretty simplicity and diffused angst — they were doing well, and they’d also hit on an unusual, ear-grabbing rhythm bed of piano triplets and uptight motorik drums. It wasn’t exactly danceable but it could be. And soon enough it was.

I’ve picked the Royksopp mix here but it might as easily be the original (offspring of Joshua Tree and Play defies two wrongs/right maxim!) or the Frenchbloke version (nervy electro cheese). Royksopp wins simply because I’m less familiar with it and because I love all the springy noises he puts in.

48. RUPEE — ‘Tempted To Touch’

I kept expecting this to be a big ’03 crossover hit. No luck, though. ‘Maybe it’s just too cheap sounding,’ I thought, but then Kevin Lyttle went massive with ‘Turn Me On’, which is the same song but less propulsive and less wonderfully yearning. Rupee’s theme — he’s in a dance, he’s feeling the beat, and the women all look so good he wants to touch every one of them — is a winner, surely; the track is full of mouth-along lines to bring listeners closer on the floor; the beat is instant. So why isn’t it an anthem? Shows how much I know.

47. CHRISTINA AGUILERA — ‘Beautiful’

Christina’s writing teams have obviously realised that she is going to do that voice thing on every song she ever does, as much as she likes, because she is a diva and this is what divas do. So this album’s key tunes were all tracks written with that in mind: either the beat outguns the vocal fireworks (‘Fighter’, ‘Dirrty’) or the song tries to be big enough to actually need that extraordinary precision holler. ‘Beautiful’ is so vast it just about copes. We will be hearing ‘Beautiful’ done awfully at karaoke for the next thirty years so it’s probably best to do as I did and give up on disliking it pretty quickly. Submit, puny ants.

46. NATAHLEE — ‘Tickle Me Fancy’

I can’t exactly remember what Tracer Hand wrote in his NYLPM slating of Soca: it was one of those reviews where you have to nod glumly along with every point and then just end up blurting ‘B-b-but it’s still REALLY GREAT!’. Yes it’s tinny; yes it’s inane; yes it’s repetitive; it’s the most inauthentic-sounding authentic music on the planet and it makes the Caribbean sound like a lost province of Sweden and I still love almost every song I download. Until the next one comes along. One thing I love about Soca — Natahlee’s track is a great example — is how positive and bawdy it is; so many of the best tunes are women singing about how they like a drink, a dance and a shag. Maximum arse-shaking, minumum attitude. I like vicarious bad-boy stuff as much as the next blogger but it’s good to change the channel sometimes.