Friday, February 4, 2011

Best of 2010: Songs

This has been one of the best years of music in about the last half decade for me. It started somewhat slowly, but over time most of my musical fancies were more than satisfied. There's been so much good music that this list has taken me months to write, and been revised more times than I care to remember. And this whole time, relistening to these songs over and over and over again, I've just come to love them even more.

So here it is, my ten favourite songs of 2010 (each title includes a link to hear the song).

11. Pink Robots - Curly
I included this at number 11, as I needed my cliché Scandinavian pop-band entry for 2010 and this really just missed out. A beautiful back and forth between a female and male singer with synth-pop music. Gosh the Scandinavians do this well.

10. Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land
Greys Anatomy: destroyer/overplayer of good quality alternative-pop songs. Yet despite the thrashing Greys and Channel 7 has given this song, it’s been almost a year of listening to it and it’s still such a cheerful little indie-folk song that you just can’t help singing along to.

9. Ben Folds & Nick Hornby - Levi Johnstone's Blues
Their collaboration album seemed too much for me. The lyrics were over worked, which is what happens when an author tries to write music. But holy hell, this song is just so goddamned funny in it’s American political/celebrity satire that I had to put it in.
I'm a fuckin' redneck, I live to hang out with the boys
Play some hockey, do some fishin' and kill some moose
I like to shoot the shit and do some chillin' I guess
You fuck with me and I'll kick your ass
8. Chemical Brothers - Escape velocity
This album came out of nowhere and floored me. I was expecting more crappy dance-pop from the Chemical Brothers but instead I got epically long electronica tracks like this.

7. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - U.S. 41
Tom Petty takes a break from his continual songs about drug use and makes an excellent road trip country-blues-rock song. Possibly in my top 10 purely for the use of slide guitar.

6. Comeback Kid - Because of All the Things You Say
It’s a hardcore song that could almost be passed off as a mainstream rock song. I’m not sure what about it makes it like this, it’s still hard and heavy, it’s got very shouted/gravelly vocals, but this song just makes you want to sing along every time you hear it.

5. Menomena – Taos
That driving bass line. It just worms its way into your head and sticks there. The guitars at times sound disjointed and sampled, but so do all of the instrumentals in this song (probably has to do with their much lauded recording method). Yet it all comes together superbly.

4. Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring
The title track of their new album, it sums up everything I love about this band. Great sing alongs, male v female vocals, slightly poetic and jaded lyrics you can identify with, noisy guitars, keyboard and synth and all wrapped up in a dance-along pop package.

3. Dangers - Stay-at-home Mom
The perfect start to a crushing hardcore album. “Why didn’t you kill yourself today?” it asks, before exploding into a deconstruction of a stepford-wife existence while her kids run wild listening to bands like Dangers. Halfway through it breaks down into an almost circus-like musical ditty, before closing off rather hard and rapidly. This song has been stuck in my head all year, so much that I named my blog after a lyric in this song.

2. Ceremony - Into The Wayside Part I/Sick
A post-punk guitar riff and musical feel slowly builds up into an almost classical 80s hardcore style song, lamenting everything that the singer is annoyed at in modern life. It’s Ceremony’s cry about what has become, their sound channels the music they used to love from a better time (musically) while this happens:
Sick of living
Sick of people dying
Sick of the buying
Sick of trying
Sick of television
Sick of telephones
Sick of homophobes
Sick of condos
I'm sick.
1. Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union
Their album, the Monitor, is a concept album about a man leaving New Jersey to join the American Civil War. This song, the opening track, introduces us to the story in the most ass-kicking garage-rock way possible. Full guitars build this up into a classic rock anthem, with parts challenging Springsteen and Mellancamp of old. This is a modern classic American rock anthem. This song, every time I listen to it, gives me such goosebumps and patriotism for America, and I’m not even American! “Rally around the flag boys!” Their music video is only about half of the song, right before it builds up to the full patriotism.

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