Saturday, December 29, 2007

The best songs of 2007

Music. It makes the road wider, faster, emptier and simultaneously less lonely. It makes the heart beat faster, ache harder, dance more gracefully. It makes the mind focus and rest and wake up. It makes life more interesting. So thank you 2007! I created what I feel like is an even stronger Best-Of this year than last year, and I didn't think I'd ever top 2006 (that year was so good that nothing from Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood made it).

This year's just-misses include: Radiohead, Missy Higgins, Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Maps, Peter, Bjorn and John, Blair (Gimma) and The Shins or Jens Lenkman. I am shocked that Missy Higgins didn't make it. Her concert at the Hotel Cafe this year was awesome.

So without further ado ...

1. Take Me To The Riot -- Stars from In Our Bedroom After The War; My favorite song from my favorite album of the year. Also the band that gave a tie for the best show of the year that I saw.

2. Paper Planes -- M.I.A. from Kala; One of the most creative forces in music, she incorporates some Wreckx-N-Effect along with gunshots and cash registers in the chorus to say it ALL.

3. Silver Lining -- Rilo Kiley from Under The Blacklight; my favorite band (sorry R.E.M.) released an ultimately good, though not great, album. Never has breaking up sounded so complete. The most deceptively delivered, yet powerful lyric of the year "I never felt so wicked as when I willed our love to die."

4. Fluorescent Adolescent -- Arctic Monkeys from Favourite Worst Nightmare; music should be about joy and sex and emotion.

5. After All These Years -- Abra Moore from On The Way; back after a hiatus, the Austin-based-singer is back with one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in any year.

6. If The Brakeman Turns My Way -- Bright Eyes from Cassadaga; another fave who released an album that didn't measure up to his previous, although the Omaha-indie-mogul didn't miss by near as much as Rilo Kiley. Just by listening to this song you'll transform.

7. Foundations -- Kate Nash from Made Of Bricks; Amy Winehouse only wishes she could be this brilliant. Lyrics with more bite, melodies more beautiful and a voice far less gimmicky.

8. Underwater (You & Me) -- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah from Some Loud Thunder; do-it-yourself rock-n-roll lives from these guys. They don't use a label to distribute domestically, so please don't download, go see them!

9. Icky Thump -- The White Stripes from Icky Thump; the dirtiest record of the year.

10. Say It To Me Now -- Glen Hansard from the Once soundtrack; Best movie of the year and best single song performance of the year for me. His amp or mic blew out during the show at the El Rey forcing him to sing with his lungs and his heart. The audience was rapt.

11. Umbrella (feat. Jay-Z) -- Rihanna from Good Girl Gone Bad; best pop song of the year by A LOT. And in an era of panty-less fallen ingenues trying to out skank each other, this song celebrates commitment.

12. The Story -- Brandi Carlile from The Story; One of many artists who has covered Hallelujah. One of few who have done it justice. This song is sincere and Mitch Album could learn something about the difference between that and sentimentality.

13. What Light -- Wilco from Sky Blue Sky; An incredibly accessible song from the American masters of music snobbery.

14. Adventures In Solitude -- The New Pornographers from Challengers; The saddest song of the year? Probably.

15. Take What You Take -- Lily Allen from Alright, Still; You've probably heard Smile, which is great, but this song not only has a stronger rhythmic edge, it also has wittier lyrics.

16. Stronger -- Kanye West from Graduation (Deluxe Edition); the ego has landed with a kick-ass song. Fusing Kanye's viscious point of view with Daft Punk's musical genius yields greatness.

17. Lips Are Unhappy -- Lucky Soul from The Great Unwanted; Probably the most obscure act on the list. They're another part of the neo-British soul invasion. But unlike the wicked as they are cute Pipettes, Lucky Soul bring the 60s back 60s style.

18. 1234 -- Feist from The Reminder; The Broken Social Scene Collective gets two on the list (Stars members) with the catchiest most delicious piece of candy-coated pop music in 4-eva!

19. Intervention -- Arcade Fire from Neon Bible; "Who's gonna reset the bone?" Well, who? Whoever does it will have answered the most urgent question posed by anyone this year. See this band in your lifetime and it will change your life for the bester.

If you read this and would like a copy, lmk by posting a comment.

1 comment:

Steph said...

I would like to know how you are shocked about Missy Higgins when you are the creator of the list?


Otherwise, I think it is a great list and I will be poaching the records I don't have yet from the library shortly. (Can you diagram that sentence for me?)

Happy New Year!