Weekly Download Vol. IV No. 41

Mr. Brightside by The Killers

Back in WD’s infancy, when it was beset with non-sequiturs, suspect congruence, and general stream of consciousness ramblings, WD submitted the top ten songs of the decade of 2000-2009. Over the last week, the editors/writers of the now completely vital Grantland.com created a 64-song March Madness like tournament to determine the best song of the new millennium 2000-2013. The editors, in what had to be a riotous afternoon, selected the top 64 songs, seeded them, and put them in bracket format, with four divisions based on date of release with 16 seeds each. In the last week, they posted head to head match-ups on the site for Grantland readers (N.B. in the new norm for the democratic process on this planet) to vote on. Let me tell you it’s been fun and fascinating.

As to the 64 best songs, they did a fair job. There were some horrible omissions. (N.B. And they did a great job of critiquing themselves on it here.) Most notably as far as WD is concerned, Seven Nation Army, which way back when, WD ranked as the single best song of the decade, and which the Grantland illuminati essentially disqualified for the suspect reason that it’s played by collegiate bands and chanted at soccer stadiums. But in the end, it was an impossible task.

Regardless of the 64 songs they chose, I thought they did a brutal job with the four no. 1 seeds, other than Rolling in the Deep (which I completely agree with) the three other no. 1s were: Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson (N.B. Wouldn’t know it if I heard it); Ignition by R. Kelly (N.B. …OK, I like this song. But a No. 1 seed?); and Ninjas in Paris by JayZ/Kanye (N.B. Not the best Kanye song. Not the best Jay song. Not even the best JayZ/Kanye song.) WD’s four no. 1 seeds would have been: Rolling in the Deep; Seven Nation Army (didn’t even make the tournament); (Hey Ya by Outkast (3 seed, which made the final and is WD’s pick to win it all); and Wake Up by Arcade Fire or Fight Test by The Lips.

But the story of the tournament (yeah, there is one) has been No. 9 seed, Mr. Brightside by the Las Vegas New Wave/Indie Rock revivalists The Killers. Mr. Brightside is a wonderful song (N.B. No. 7 on WD’s list) and certainly the acme of The Killers’ career which since it’s release has been…uneven, but to make the final four of the decade? Wow.

Mr. Brightside’s Butler/Gonzaga-esque trip to the final four included defeats of What You Know by T.I. (N.B. Never heard it), Since U Been Gone (N.B. See above), Paper Planes by M.I.A. (N.B. Killer song), and Hot in Herrrr by Nelly (N.B. Well done, Vegas Boys) to advance to against the song that made many people love Outkast and many people hate them, Hey Ya.

But WD was correct, Brightside was vanquished and Hey Ya had a date with destiny with she who had to be the Duke of the tournament, the cherubically insuperable Adele and the song you still love. At press, they’re close to tied in the final voting, but I wanted WD’s homage to be dedicated to the tournament’s would be spoiler and still a pretty damn good song.


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