Picking my favourite song of the decade is a near-impossible task, especially because no song clearly differentiated itself from the pack. So forgive me if a few years from now I change my mind and pick Peter Bjorn and John’s whistle anthem “Young Folks,” or The National’s elegiac “Fake Empire”; Ida Maria’s frenzied “Oh My God,” or Outkast’s overplayed but brilliant “Hey Ya!”; U2’s sparkling “Beautiful Day,” or Kaskade’s super-sleek “Steppin’ Out”; Radiohead’s penetrating “Everything In Its Right Place,” or Madonna’s disco classic “Hung Up”; Basement Jaxx’s thumping “Where’s Your Head At” or ... see my problem? For now, I’ll make the case for Kanye West’s 2004 pre-fame treatise on self-consciousness “All Falls Down,” a duet with Syleena Johnson (who subbed in for Lauryn Hill, whose original sample couldn’t be cleared – bet the powers-that-be want that one back). I just love everything about this song – its killer hook; its sparse, acoustic production; and especially its sharp lyrics, filled with rage and vulnerability (even some humour: “pass that Ver-say-see”) – and for me it announced a major talent that would go on to dominate the rest of the decade.
Kanye West: All Falls Down (ft. Syleena Johnson)
from the CD The College Dropout
• MYSPACE • OFFICIAL SITE
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