TOP TEN SONGS OF 2009!

December 22, 2009

There is something you should know about me. It is one of my deepest, darkest secrets, and it is not very exciting at all.

I love making lists.

I’m guessing it is mostly the process of organization and placing random value on random randomness that excites me! Couple this with my love of music and WELCOME TO THIS BLOG POST! I think I have a pretty extensive taste in music. I don’t consider myself pretentious or anything (I mean, I’m basically the world’s biggest Girls Aloud fan for fucking sake) so expect some oddly abrupt switches in musical style from placement to placement! I will also be using YOUTUBE clips since I’m sure most of you have no even heard most of these songs!

(I should add that I apologize in advance if these write-ups sound pretentious. It is difficult to write about music without sounding like an asshole!)

HERE WE GO?!:

10.

Lady Gaga & Beyonce, “Telephone”

Though is may be odd, I’m going to start off this little summary of why I love “Telephone” with the reasons I’m not a fan of Lady Gaga. As we all know Lady Gaga is a creation, not a real person. She wears bubbles and mimes suicide onstage. Unfortunately I don’t think her music has been able to live up to this off the wall persona. Every song on The Fame was pretty typical pop music with the occasional off color lyric (bluffin’ with my muffin?). With the release of The Fame Monster she started to show a little more authority. I chose “Telephone” mainly because it is just kind of insane in every way. It is basically 5 choruses smashed into one song, with fucking Beyonce (!!!), swirling about before it all comes crashing down. At any moment the song could spin out of control, which is what makes it so amazing that it doesn’t.

9.

Dirty Projectors, “Two Doves”

I’m basically picking “Two Doves” because I just can’t get it out of my head. Dirty Projectors’ album Bitte Orca is full of oddball, pseudo acid rock/R&B tracks with bleeping guitars, underlying synths, and show choir harmonies. It’s basically amazing is what I’m getting at. But halfway through the album comes “Two Doves”, an acoustic guitar and string driven ballad with enough similes to make your head spin. Similes that I would never think of, but make perfect sense (“your eyes are like two doves”) when applied to specific people. It’s the perfect song for that feeling you get when you meet a new infatuation. The details of their appearance and mannerisms are wonders and every difference a failing. Rarely is this all so perfectly displayed.

8.

Raekwon featuring Ghostface Killah, “Cold Outside”

I would love to know Chuck D’s thoughts on contemporary rap music in the way of Flo Rida and the gaggle of artists who are basically ruining any credibility the genre ever had. The reliance on stealing hooks from previously released songs and inserting them as the chorus of a future #1 hit when it has nothing to do with the rest of the song lyrically has become sickening, even for a genre which was created upon sampling other songs for beats to rap over! Thankfully, Raekwon is still in the business and maintaining his reign as rap music’s greatest storyteller. On “Cold Outside” Raekwon (with help from Ghostface Killah) tackles AIDS mothers, nazis, war, prison, and the murdering of children in a swell of confusion and anger without ever sounding preachy like Kanye West would. Never do you doubt that he has dealt with these issues throughout his life, even as he piles the problems of the world higher and higher. It’s a conceptual song on a conceptual album that, more than any other track, makes the album fully work.

7.

Solange Knowles, “TONY”

I’ll say it straight off; Solange Knowles > Beyonce Knowles. YEAH?! WHAT?! Bring it. I basically flipped my shit when Solange released Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in 2008. It’s the perfect blend of old school R&B, funk, pop, and the contemporary versions of the same genres with a little bit of electronica thrown in for good measure. While Beyonce is out making typical R&B/Pop, Solange is inventing new genres. On “TONY” Solange rants about the guy from “The Other Night (oh, WHYYYY?!)”. It’s not the most clever play on words, but it’s the knowing wink in the production that makes it work. Solange doesn’t take herself too seriously. She laments of rejection from a one night stand, their ensuing phone tag, games played, and sarcastically remarks what a great song this would all make in her rap-singing that she displays throughout the entire album. It’s a song produced within an inch of its own life, and only Solange has the energy to keep it all under control.

6.

Shakira, “She Wolf”

Basically just because this song/video makes me think Shakira might be mentally insane.

5.

Grizzly Bear, “Two Weeks”

I’m getting tired of doing write-ups because I’m tired! But like…duh!

….

4.

Girls Aloud, “Untouchable”

Don’t pay attention to the fact that the video basically makes no sense. That’s kinda just what they do. For those of you that don’t know, Girls Aloud is the UK’s biggest girl group with 20-something consecutive top ten songs and critical praise to back up their success. My guess why they haven’t been able to break into the US market is that they may be a tad bit too unconventional for the States. In “Untouchable” the pay-off (chorus) doesn’t arrive until the 3 minute mark, which is basically unheard of in pop music. They’re a group that takes the typical pop song and completely reverses the structure while containing every other aspect of the song so specifically. In my honest opinion, they are the best pop group in decades.

3.

Phoenix, “Lisztomania”

I chose a Brat Pack mash-up video instead of the official music video because it perfectly captures the feeling of the song. Whenever I hear “Lisztomania” I just want to get up and dance like someone from the 1980s. It’s easily the catchiest song of the year (sorry “Poker Face”?), without being completely devoid of quality. “Lisztomania” is built upon perfect pop construction with catchy hooks, sudden decrescendos, and keyboards that would put even “Don’t Stop Believing” to shame.

2.

Miranda Lambert, “Airstream Song”

This is my 3rd draft of a write-up for my #2 song completely due to the fact that I couldn’t decide which Miranda Lambert song to choose. I limited myself to one song from Miranda Lambert because otherwise she would take up half of this list. I finally settled on “Airstream Song” because it best shows Miranda Lambert’s strengths as a lyricist and her overarching themes of loneliness, longing, and simplicity in her life. She is a woman full of contradictions with the capability to admit these contradictions and the refusal to do anything to fix them. A woman who wants to live on the outskirts of society, but only if she can go into town every once in a while to sleep around and pull a gun on anyone who crosses her. She hasn’t figured herself out yet, which has made her the best country artist out there.

1.

Dirty Projectors, “Stillness is the Move” & Solange Knowles, “Stillness is the Move”

The Dirty Projectors’ version of “Stillness is the Move” was pretty much just asking to be covered as a bumping soul track, wasn’t it? That thumping beat, the whirling runs, and the layered harmonies? Perfect. Then Solange just had to go and lay “Bumpy’s Lament” (you may know it from Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” which is obviously where Solange got it from) under it and her trademark lazy growl to create a cover of the best song of the year that actually matched it and all but challenges Dirty Projectors to up their game. Solange sings with the kind of swagger that implies that this is how the song should’ve been sung in the first place. It’s the perfect meeting of two of the more creative acts in music.

And that is all you are going to get from me!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: