1. Chris Isaak, “You Owe Me Some Kind of Love.” Stylized cool.
2. The Feelies, “The High Road.” I’m a little backwards from the standard view of the Feelies. I loved their later albums more than the early ones. This one came in between, and isn’t a favorite of either view, far as I can tell. Not that they ever made a bad record.
3. Paul Simon, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” As Christgau said, “Opposed though I am to universalist humanism, this is a pretty damn universal record.”
4. Alexander O’Neal, “Criticize.” More than 20 years later, this track found a home on the soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto IV.
5. Huey Lewis and the News, “I Never Walk Alone.” I liked Huey Lewis more than the cool-critic crowd, and I liked Fore! more than Sports. This is my favorite Huey Lewis song, and I think it captures what was worthwhile about these guys when they were good: camaraderie, basic bar-band rock, good-natured with a dab of “meaning.” Completely un-cool, I know … they were, after all, the ones who said it was hip to be square.
6. Run-D.M.C., “You Be Illin’.” A lot of the music on this list clearly comes from another era. At least the rap music sounds a little like 2009.
7. New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle.” Much as I love this band and this song, Bernard’s dancing in the video is kinda scary.
8. Sabrina, “Sexy Girl.” Maybe you have to be European to appreciate this one. It hit #20 in Italy, and #11 in Finland. The subsequent album, which featured covers of “Kiss,” “Lady Marmalade,” “My Sharona,” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,” made #4 in Finland. It had a picture of her large cleavage on the cover, which I’m sure was irrelevant to its popularity in Finland.
9. Robert Cray, “I Guess I Showed Her.” You know, Christgau gave this album an A+, and I can’t for the life of me remember a single song off of it. Even this one, and I just listened to it.
10. The Beastie Boys, “Brass Monkey.” Back in the day, my kids would tell me I liked all the wrong songs on Licensed to Ill. This is one of the tracks they preferred.
[Edited to add Spotify playlist]