308. "The Sign" by Ace of Base

The album named after this song has gone 9 times platinum. And people outside of my generation probably have no idea how huge Ace of Base was for a sliver in time.

This electronic-reggae number is just the best. I think you can be the hardest of hardcore and still let yourself hum along with this thing.

Here's what I’ve noticed about the European/British pop culture: Even in their most mainstream stuff, there is this current of edgy intelligence. In movies, even things that match up most accurately with kids Disney films in American culture -- I'm thinking of things like Bend It Like Beckham -- use impressive camera and editing flourishes that draw attention to themselves. A TV show like the Office delved into dicier psychology than its simpler Americanized counterpart. In music, there are groups like Ace of Base, who enjoyed working with minor chord shades even in major key dance tunes and delighted in melodies of ambition and originality. And it opens up our minds.