10. ''Stop Me,'' Mark Ronson
It takes quite a guy to get that fussy Morrissey's blessing to remake a Smiths song. But producer Ronson (Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse) was able to do just that. With the help of Australian singer Daniel Merriweather, he turned their mope-rock classic into a haunting dance-floor rapture.
9. ''Icky Thump,'' The White Stripes
The red, white, and blues duo tears off a hot chunk of rawk — a testament to the visceral pleasures of Meg 's Muppety drum-pounding and Jack's searing guitar contortions. A dark tale of Mexican adventures gone wrong, the song, like cheap tequila, still burns in a good way.
8. ''Someone Great,'' LCD Soundsystem
This unabashedly electro dance tune creeps up sounding like an intriguing sequence of bleeps, buzzes, and beats. Then the next thing you know, you're engrossed in a classic pop song about love and loss: ''I miss the way we used to argue/Locked in your basement.''
7. ''Thrash Unreal,'' Against Me!
Quietly, without much mainstream radio or MTV support, this Gainesville, Fla., quartet amassed a major following on the strength of epic larynx rippers like this one — an anarchic collision of punk aggression and a bouncy ''bah bah bah'' pop chorus.
6. ''Can't Tell Me Nothin','' Kanye West
We hear Kanye's been known to make the occasional narcissistic boast. So it's almost subversive to hear him, self-aware, musing about A-list life: ''I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny/And what'd I do? Act more stupidly.'' Meanwhile, the beat — a glistening cascade of organs and vocal samples — might be his most mesmerizing ever.
5. ''Upgrade U,'' Beyoncé (feat. Jay-Z)
Both halves of music's power couple pay tribute to the virtues of materialism over a blaring synth-horn backdrop crafted by producer Swizz Beatz. ''Partner, lemme upgrade U, Audemars Piguet U,'' offers Jay's lady friend, name-checking the luxury watchmaker. And who are we to stand in her way?
4. ''LoveStoned/I Think That She Knows,'' Justin Timberlake
The dude who brought you-know-what back last year did it one more time in '07 with this spacey jam. It ends with a contemplative coda of echo-chamber guitars, but the meat of the tune is totally jittery, funky lust. Consider us seduced all over again.
3. ''No One,'' Alicia Keys
If Keys' wrenching ballad doesn't give you the shivers, then you, friend, have no ears. Or soul. Keys, always lovely and well composed, found something deeper here; her voice hoarse with love and longing, she summoned her most mature and moving composition yet.
2. ''You Know I'm No Good,'' Amy Winehouse
Don't be so hard on yourself, Amy. As a matter of fact, we know you're great. Whatever tabloid you end up in next, this tale of infidelity — full of swaggering brass and suggestive lyrics — will be there to remind us why we took notice of you in the first place.
1. ''Umbrella,'' Rihanna (feat. Jay-Z)
Will weather protection ever be the same? All it took was one simple, slowed-down drum loop from the music-software program GarageBand (Vintage Funk Kit 03), one legendary ''retired'' rapper (Jay-Z), and one redonkulously hot Barbadian pop songstress (Rihanna). Just add water and...voilà! Witness the year's most inescapable smash, which indubitably yielded one of its most provocative videos as well — thanks to a saucy rain dance.