Friday, January 11, 2008

Behold, the Flava Favorites.

Well, I've finally got my top 10 songs up. It sure is hard to get a blog done when you've got school, work, and a wife (who desires all my attention). Anyway, here it is for you to enjoy. Again, I've included some links/videos.

These were my absolute favorites this year. Take some time to check 'em out. Let me know what ya think! I'm sure you will agree that they are ALL stupendous. And if you don't, well... that's unfortunate for you. Loser.

To start off, knock 'em out, Lily!


Quite possibly, the funniest song of the year. And one of my absolute favorites. A honky tonkin' piano starts it off, and then the beat breaks with some smashin' horns. Lily introduces: "Awright this is a song 'bout...anyone it could be anyone. Ya just doin' your own thing an' someone comes out the blue, they're like 'awright what ya sayin' can I take ya digits' an your like ' No...not in a million years. Your nasty, please leave me alone.'" The song goes off as she narrates the woes of being hit on by the likes of many a nasty fellow, and they just don't get the clue. The best part is when said nasty says "Yeah you awright, baby, you look awright, stiwl...Yeah was' yo name?" It gets me every time. The last bit of the chorus has her reply: "Just get out ma' face/ jus' leave me alone/and no you can't have my numba'/ cuz I lost my phone." Its rare that a song like this would ever even make my lists, its just a great tune! Mad props, Lily. I don't know what else to say about it, if this doesn't convince you, then....leave me alone. Your nasty.


Another runner up for funniest song. Though it may not have as much humor as Lily's, it makes up for it in pure style and songcraft. This song is interesting, cuz I can't quite tell if its SUPPOSED to be funny. It just is. James Murphy says "And for all of you who still think we're from England.../We're not. No." This song (along with the rest of the album) manages to blur lots of lines. He seems to be mocking and pridefully defending at the same time, while you find yourself laughing and contemplating at the same time. It builds in playful intensity as a girl in the backround chants "North America!" with Murphy and before you know it, you are yelling "We are North American Scum!" right along with them. The song just doesn't get old. And you can shake ya azz to it like it ain't nobody's biddness.

8.) VON (acoustic Heim version) - SIGUR ROS

I realized my top ten basically ends up being the ultimate party mix, until you hit this one. Like "Hafsol," this is another reworking of a song from their first album, also titled Von, which is translated "hope." I can't even remember the original version, but this one hit me like a ton of bricks. Er...perhaps its better described as a ton of cotton. I first heard this when I finally watched the Sigur Ros movie "Heima" that just came out. As the group wanders around Iceland, playing random shows at random spots, they stop in a small town to play in an extra small coffee house. People of all ages watch in silence, as the song progresses with Amiina on the strings. For some reason that scene struck quite a chord with me. It was just so universal in its emotion. The lyrics are the "Hopelandic" jibberish often sung by the band, the strings are absolutely beautiful, and as the crowd watches in silence, you forget the fact you wouldn't understand a word of their language. For a moment, everyone is the same, and the moment has so much purity to me. For that reason, this song is one of my very favorites of the year.

Ahem...moving on.

7.) D.A.N.C.E. - JUSTICE

If you were to open up a can of "good times," this is what would inevitably come out. When I first heard the tune, I immediately thought of early Michael Jackson. Not just in the music, but in the subtle tributes of the chanting-kid-samples: "You were such a P.Y.T./Catching all the lights/Just easy as A.B.C./That's how you make it right." The duo that makes up Justice actually admit to the song being a tribute to MJ, and a glorious one it is. When that bass busts in with the synth-strings, is there anything better? I say thee NAY! The rest of the album is more of an acid-metallisized-electro-convulsion trip (??), but this one has me doin' the Hustle in the mirror...all da time. Speaking of, I really need to make a video of me doing that.


Ya know what the best part of this song is? The intro. When that sax or guitar (or whatever it is) comes in with the bass, I just can't contain myself. I have restarted that first twenty seconds over and over, and on numerous ocassions. But, of course it doesn't stop there. The whole durn thing is superb. Britt Daniel's voice is raspy and soulful, and the groove is overwhelming. The best way to introduce this song to people is by saying: "Wanna hear the best horny song in the world?" Depending who I'm asking, they either immediately say yes, hesitate before responding, or don't respond at all. But in any case, they always seem to love it. Except Cass, she doesn't like his voice, of course. Still, these boys are proof, once again, that you don't have to be good lookin' to kick out the jams.


An even better example of not so good lookin' dudes that know how to bake a tune. This could be the most rockin' tune the band has ever concocted. When I first heard the tune from a live bootleg last year, I found it groovy. But the album version turns it up to 11. A welcome "return" to form for all the fans that were sick of hearing blips and bleeps. I personally love the blippin' bleepage, but hey, this is the kind of tune that pleases radio heads everywhere. A flawless and gritty guitar riff welcomes you in, and as the "chugga-chicka-chugga-chicka" continues, two other guitars attack you from both sides. That's the joy of the three-guitar attack method. At about the two minute mark, they all reconvene for a spacey interlude until Thom wails "I'm alive!" and they all go their seperate ways again for a jivin' finale. >Sigh<... I love this band.


"Time to put the ear goggles on" "NO!" This was the second song I heard off of Wincing the Night Away, right before it came out. And it was this stunner that convinced me to get it. I liked the previous album, Chutes Too Narrow, but not exactly enough to warrant a necessary purchase of anything with "The Shins" stamped on it. I consider myself converted. You can tell its gonna be good just from the opening seconds and the "La La La La's," but when James Mercer opens up with "Born to, born to multiply" it flies uphill and your feet start moving. The tune never once mentions Australia. Although, it does say the word "conundrum" more than once, with many more a witty lyric throughout. Its just so beachy and bouncy. That'll do pig, that'll do.


There are about 5 or 6 reasons I cannot get enough of this song. #1.- That opening guitar just kicks so much boot it makes my chair silver. That and the lovely slide guitar throughout. Its so 70's. #2.- Fabulously bluesy lyrics. Though the song sounds incredibly happy, the lyrics are actually quite melancholly, and that juxtaposition is stupendous. #3.- The honky tonk piano of Paul Mac. Nuff said I think. #4.- The line "If the object was clear/there wouldn't be a point/only Godless fear." #5.- I am a complete sucker for mounds of melody and heaps of harmony. As far as that goes, the Chair boys reach a new high point with this one. BRILLIANT harmonious chorus! I shall stop with those, (besides, #4 is basically an extension of #2). Simply put: one of the best. Silverchair. Songs. Ever.


(First of all, isn't this picture of the Of Montreal so great? Its like Samurai Star Wars or something.)

So, I bought this album knowing nothing about it, other than it was Of Montreal, whom I adore. Thus, I listened, and each song got better than the last. Suddenly, track 5 comes on with its groovy beat and slammin' bass. I was already impressed with the track, and then the chorus hit. I literally rewound it 5 or 6 times to make sure that JUST happened. "I guess it would be nice/to give my heart to a god/but which one?/Which one do I choo-hoo-hoo-hoose?/Oh, the church is filled with losers/psycho or confused/I just want to hold the divi-i-i-i-ine/in mi-i-i-i-nd/ and FORGE-T!" This song is so amazing, I don't even know what else to say about it other than someone should send the missionaries over to Kevin Barnes. Whether you like this band or not, you will be amazed. Even when we saw Nickel Creek, they declared amazement to the song (and sang the chorus). You have to hear it to believe it. Seriously, check out the link and listen to it. Stop reading.


And so, the greatest song of the year reveals itself. The epic Queen by way of Danny Elfman magnum opus of Silverchair's Young Modern: If You Keep Losing Sleep. This is also the BIGGEST song of the year. A masterpiece with an 80 somethin-piece orchestra, that moves from circus freak out, to whimsy fairy tale, to funky break down, and back again. All under 4 minutes. Somehow the live version was even bigger! (It helps when Daniel Johns talks through his guitar). The lyrics are completely nonsensical. But if YOU kept losing sleep, you wouldn't make much sense either. The insanity of the music adds to the theme. Its looney, funky, and completely over the top. Apparently, this song was considered "too experimental" to be released as a single here in the States. Ha! I think the "big men" underestimate us "little people." Still, while many a U.S. citizen might not have the capacity to appreciate, the rest of you should have nothing to fear. Behold, my song of 2007.




1 comment:

matt lohrke said...

very nice list! i've not heard about 1/2 the tracks, but i'll check 'em out when i get home [The Man has all streaming media blocked].

nice to see of montreal and lcd on the list. solid choices all around.

it seems 'australia' made everyone's fave list -- except mine. for some reason it didn't really grab me the same way other songs on the album did [phantom limb, sea legs, for example]. see, i told you i'm no hipster! :)