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MUSIC SPECIAL 2003
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Top 25 Albums
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Top 10 Singles
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The Larry Awards
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Years Past
Throw all heart-felt sincerity out the window, because the greatest songs of 2003 were about shakin' your thing, rockin' your body and movin' your feet.

THE WHITE STRIPES Seven Nation Army
Remember a year or two ago when there was glimmer of hope that garage rock bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes might be the next phase of rock radio. Well, needless to say those dreams have all but died. But somehow the left-right-left drum bangs of "Seven Nation Army" were still able to complete on the air waves among tiresome extreme rock and Green-Day-wannabes. A true force.
SNOOP DOGG featuring PHARRELL Beautiful
After a decade of self-name-dropping, aging gangsta rhymes and even a stint to rock-bottom with No Limit Records, Snoop Dogg released "Beautiful," his most memorable single since "Gin and Juice." Although, it's mostly the Neptunes production and the stratospherical vocals of Pharrell that really set the single apart, at least Snoop's hanging out with the right people again. Um, no offense to Master P.
THE RAPTURE House of Jealous Lovers
It's quite likely The Rapture's Echoes was this year's most anticipated release from a group that had gained new fans purely on the energy of one single. "House of Jealous Lovers" not only excited listeners because it's a fine song to dance to, but it also brought a piece of the late '70s and early '80s that revivalists (like new-new wave bands and even most electroclashers) had largely ignored -- the fun stuff.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE Rock Your Body
Timberlake has made all the right moves since the fall of 'NSync. He got great producers to work with him on Justified. He released the Jacko-inspired "Like I Love You" and the sarcastic ballad "Cry Me a River," which proved he could make it on urban radio as well as Top 40. And he made us dance with his third single, "Rock Your Body," which shows that, yes, there truly can be originality in pop music.
!!! Me and Guiliani Down by the Schoolyard
A nine-minute-long song from an eight-piece band with a name you have to explain to pronounce, "Me and Guiliani Down by the Schoolyard" inquires about the most important issue of the year: Can politicians get freaky on the dancefloor? My guess is that if they heard !!!'s complexity of orchestration and the power in their driving beats, then the answer would be, undoubtedly, "yes."
OUTKAST Hey Ya
No artist in the music industry can find fans in the most gangsta of gangsta-rap circles and in the most indie of indie-rock crowds as well as Outkast. Andre 3000 is a 21st-century Sly Stone. The unique combination of funk, hip-hop, rock and circus that Andre brings to Outkast is comparable in today's music scene. "Hey Ya" even helped them grab hold of teeny boppers. The song was retired on TRL!
BEYONCE featuring JAY-Z Crazy in Love
"Crazy in Love," like everything that Beyonce seems to do, is one big-ass production. Horns blaring, thumping bass, dramatic rhythm changes, random Jay-Z inserts, Beyonce singing over Beyonce, gyrating hips, finger licking, bigger horns, bigger beats. It's the juicy morsel of chaos that played on every station on the hour every hour, driving some folks "Crazy" and proving Beyonce had solo chops.
JUNIOR SENIOR Move Your Feet
In an industry where image can be nearly as important as the music itself, no one had a better gimmick than Junior Senior, a Danish duo that features one big gay man and one little straight guy, who simultaneously sing about fooling around with boys and making out with girls. Wacked-out melodies to please everyone. "Move Your Feet" is even kind of like a "We are the World" for hipster dance floors.
KELIS Milkshake
It seems the rest of the world had figured the genius of the Neptunes before the U.S. did. Kelis' Neptunes-produced Kaleidoscope was a big hit in Europe, but here, she just scraped the bottom of the R&B charts with her debut single, "Caught Out There (I Hate You So Much Right Now)." Now, she's back, with her little bit of naughty, her little bit nice and a planetful of spunk that could make her R&B's next big thing.
SEAN PAUL Get Busy
Almost single-handedly reggae/hip-hopper Sean Paul made dancehall seem like it'd be the biggest trend in 2003. He scored huge hits with "Gimme the Light" and "Like Glue," yet none of his songs captured the sexuality and charm of modern reggae quite like "Get Busy," a song that'll have you poppin'-and-lockin' from the opening "Shake that thing, Miss Annabella" to well-past its fade out.
HONORABLE MENTIONS

Erykah Badu
"Danger"

Beyonce featuring Sean Paul
"Baby Boy"

The Darkness
"I Believe in a Thing Called Love"

50 Cent
"In Da Club"

Hot Hot Heat
"Bandages"

R. Kelly
"Ignition (Remix)"

Talib Kweli
"Get By"

Lumidee
"Never Leave You (Uh oh)"

Pink
"Trouble"

Rooney
"Blueside"

MUSIC SPECIAL 2003
|
Top 25 Albums
|
Top 10 Singles
|
The Larry Awards
|
Years Past