I'll start by saying that this song would be on the list regardless of if I'd written on it or not. Michael McFarland is devastatingly good songwriter on his own and that deserves to be acknowledged for what it is. "Paying Attention" is a banger that's aware of the world around it. I will always have room for a song with a conscience, and this one song sees the world around it and dares to ask "is this fine?" in a bold, loud tenor. The opening riff still sticks in my head for days. It's rock that hits all of the right notes- churning riffs, cinematic dynamics, a soaring sing-along chorus. The song stands shoulder to shoulder with songs from artists like Switchfoot or Jimmy Eat World (artists I happen to love). If you've got a penchant for rock music? This could be your next favorite song.