Once again I've rounded up my 40 favorite songs of the year. This time I ranked them because let's face it, that's more fun.

Let's go over some ground rules: These are not necessarily the "best" songs of the year, just the ones that I liked the best. They didn't have to be released as singles, although many of them were. I limited myself to one song per artist, or else several of these acts would have made multiple appearances; you can probably figure out which ones by perusing my albums list coming at the end of the week.

In the meantime, I'll be posting 10 songs a day until revealing the top 10 on Thursday. Then I'll unveil my favorite albums list on Friday. Regular content-Lunch Break Links and What To Do Tonight-will resume in January.

The list's third installment and some comments are after the jump. I included as many videos or MP3s as I could find, so listen up! And enjoy.

Once again I've rounded up my 40 favorite songs of the year. This time I ranked them because let's face it, that's more fun.

Let's go over some ground rules: These are not necessarily the "best" songs of the year, just the ones that I liked the best. They didn't have to be released as singles, although many of them were. I limited myself to one song per artist, or else several of these acts would have made multiple appearances; you can probably figure out which ones by perusing my albums list coming at the end of the week.

In the meantime, I'll be posting 10 songs a day until revealing the top 10 on Thursday. Then I'll unveil my favorite albums list on Friday. Regular content—Lunch Break Links and What To Do Tonight—will resume in January.

The list's third installment and some comments are after the jump. I included as many videos or MP3s as I could find, so listen up! And enjoy.

20 Akron/Family – “Don’t Be Afraid, You’re Already Dead” Even as it strayed closer to traditional pop music than Akron/Family's previous work, Love Is Simple was a complex, often perplexing listen. Like much of the band's work, it offered a challenge to listeners, presenting music that would reap great rewards from close attention. On the other hand, this folk singalong, the band at its most straightforward, brought rewards without asking anything in return. Love is about giving of yourself, after all. (Listen to the studio version at MySpace.)

19 Dolby F---ers – “Sharpshooter” Of all the wonderful lo-fi jamz on Lee Keeler's cassette/digital release, "Sharpshooter" is the one that most often had me shouting its melodies—and Keeler's praises—from the rooftops. It struck such a chord that fellow Columbus indie rockers The Kyle Sowashes began covering it before the album even came out, making the song a highlight of two local bands' sets. (Listen and download at MySpace.)

18 Times New Viking – “Imagine Dead John Lennon” Continuing with the local lo-fi theme... I believed TNV could match the glory of their 2005 debut Dig Yourself, which they accomplished ably with this year's Present the Paisley Reich. But to offer up an opening track just as furious and invigorating as that first record's first track, "Lion and Oil"? Impossible! Or not. Riding a propulsive power chord riff from sprint to stomp, they provided fodder for the canon while drestroying it. (Listen to the studio version at MySpace.)

17 M.I.A. – “Paper Planes” "Paper Planes" is one of those singles that's showing up on seemingly every year-end list—and how could it not? My guess is by this time next year every kid in America will be forming their hands into pistols and getting down to this song.

16 Kanye West – “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’” At first this seemed like a melodramatic, poorly rapped letdown of a lead single. But like everything Kanye does, it grew on me exponentially. The production was always unimpeachable, but as the picture of a deeply conflicted Mr. West began to sink in, every one of those lyrical clunkers started to make sense. I don't know how he does it.

15 Do Make Say Think – “The Universe!” Usually this sprawling band of Canadians builds up to its euphoric climaxes, like a baseball team building momentum up to a game-changing grand slam. This plays more like a home run derby. (Listen at MySpace.)

Fan video/partial track:

14 The National – “Mistaken For Strangers” Boxer is full of quiet, contemplative numbers, but this standout track was a reminder that the National is just as adept at rocking out (even if they sound a bit like Interpol when they do so).

13 The Clientele – “Isn’t Life Strange” Like Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight," only, you know, wonderful. (Listen at Hype Machine.)

12 Radiohead – “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” In the tradition of "Paranoid Android," a horrible video for an incredible song. Thank God they're back.

11 Rich Boy f. Polow da Don – “Throw Some D’s” Anybody would sound good rapping over that swelling, chiming arcade-game production (and many have), but Rich Boy and his cocky sneer made "Throw Some D's" one of the most memorable jams of the year.