50. “Young and Beautiful” – Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey’s sulky but lush pop had one of its finest moments here, the surprisingly perfect score to a Baz Luhrmann glitterification of Fitzgerald.
49. “Make Me Wanna Die” – The Pretty Reckless
Taylor Momsen’s coming-out party as punk rock grrrl, a serrated pledge of apocalyptic love.
48. “All the Rowboats” – Regina Spektor
A museum trip becomes a twee horror story, complete with coughing violins and vocal percussion.
47. “Civilization” – Justice featuring Ali Love
Ambitious European EDM, mythmaking worthy of a 70s heavy metal epic.
46. “Starships” – Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj’s most mainstream moment, but the dance-pop gibberish is a small price to pay for the song’s explosive power.
45. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” – Father John Misty
Ominous psychedelic folk. Like so many songs on the list, it’s about sex and death.
44. “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” – Against Me!
Primal howl for recognition for the erased, the misidentified, and the trapped.
43. “All of the Lights” – Kanye West, John Legend, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Charlie Wilson, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Rihanna & Elton John
Kanye’s recession-era street epic, packed with voices and instruments but unified in theme.
42. “Life” – Beckah Shae
Christian anthem for the start of a meaningful life. Pop music meets Scripture.
41. “Bonfire” – Knife Party
Step into the dubstep incinerator. This is the kind of noise to infuriate parents everywhere.