In a perfect world, Al Green could still sing collard-green soul gems like this one, but Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse stepped up with an instant classic, winning this year's "Hey Ya!" award for the song nobody even pretended not to like. Everybody tried to cover it (our personal fave: the Raconteurs') -- but nobody can hit the chorus like Cee-Lo, and nobody ever will.
2 "Steady As She
The first single from Brendan Benson and Jack White's garage-glam band was a perfect dirty sundae of fuzz-box stutter, metallic zoom and pop-chorale candy. It is also a good reason to hope the Raconteurs are no one-album project.
The song least likely to be played in Drivers' Ed.: Chamillionaire dodges the cops, riding dirty with a car full of thugs who don't care where they're rolling or if they get there in one piece.
Bay Area MCs the Pack broke out with this sleek, bare-bones ode to midpriced sneakers. Words of warning: "Lace 'em past the fourth hole, you some type of sucker."
6 "Thunder on the Mountain" [Song]
So that's how you bring sexy back! Dylan slaps on a cowboy hat and greases up his favorite Chuck Berry guitar riff, one step ahead of the apocalypse and one step behind Alicia Keys.
This deceptively named ditty was '06's most gloriously bitter breakup song: Part Mike Skinner, part Gwen Stefani, part Blondie, the young Allen defined her very own bratty, musically adventurous style on "smile," a reggae-lite platter about the joys of an ex's despair.
8 "Wamp Wamp (What
Clipse with Slim Thug
Best line: "So proper/Hammertime gun-cocker." But the lyrics aren't really the point here -- the cuckoo-for-coconuts Neptunes steel-drum beat is.
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