Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sunless Shortlist: Songs 2007

Wow, that was a pretty mean-spirited way to end my first post of 2008. Let's make up for that.

I have now officially listened to In Rainbows 1.5 times now. And it is freaking great. But damn Radiohead is putting a cramp on my favorite album list. Now I have to find a way to squeeze this album in, but after I listen to it enough. Damn you Radiohead for being so damn good!

Let's kill the time with the addition of another shortlist. This one is not in any order but alphabetical:

Top 15 Songs of 2007

Animal Collective - "For Reverend Green"
Holy cow, what a perfect song. Avey is the full embodiment of chaos in this song. He sings so sweetly and breaks down into a stunning primal scream at seemingly random moments. After a hundred listens, this song still stuns me.

Apples in Stereo - "7 Stars"
Most Apples in Stereo songs are happy songs. This song sounds awfully happy, but there is some kind of weird mood here that grabs your attention. It’s beautiful. It’s not necessarily sad, but it’s unexpectedly moody. I love that.

Arcade Fire - "Intervention"
Up to “Intervention,” it sounds like Arcade Fire is holding back on Neon Bible. This song kicks the door down. That church organ sounds so badass coming out of my car. This is a song to scare the neighbors.

Andrew Bird - "Heretics"
I’m making this list choosing only one song per artist. Otherwise there would be a couple more Andrew Bird songs here. “Heretics” is one step above the other songs on his latest album. It’s remarkable. The moment the strings kick in still gives me chills after hearing this song a million times.

Feist - "I Feel It All"
Same as Andrew Bird, it was difficult to pick one song by Feist. I could’ve picked the most intense song, or the most beautiful song. I picked the most fun song on her latest album. This song is a freaking hit, man. The live version I saw in DC this summer was even better. This is one of those instantly-in-a-good-mood songs.

Fiery Furnaces - "Duplexes of the Dead"
The crescendo is predictable, but it’s still shocking. Really, can any Fiery Furnaces song be truly predictable? This may be the fiercest sound this band has ever recorded and it surrounds you and takes over your brain.

The Good, the Bad, & the Queen - "History Song"
Listen to this song on a stereo with the bass cranked. Paul Simonon plays with a nonchalant, but gut-busting force. It’s like getting punched in the stomach over and over again, but you asked for it so it feels great.

Jens Lekman - "Shirin"
The whole album is sweet like sugar, but this song stands out. The songs all sound like a confused sensitive boy lost in Motown, but this is the moment he finds himself. Even though he sounds like he’s still confused. Just beautiful.

Most Serene Republic - "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
The Most Serene Republic sometimes is a little much. There are always like a hundred people playing at once, but this method works perfectly on this song. Oh God, the drums just kill me on this song. It’s wonderful and it works getting you worked up.

National - "Fake Empire"
This song should win some sort of award for the being the perfect opening track. You are out of breath by the time the song ends. And just listening to the piano opening the song, you wouldn’t predict that in the slightest. The lyrics are simple, but you just get them. This song has everything anybody would want out of a song.

Of Montreal - "The Past is a Grotesque Animal"
Heavy, heavy duty stuff here. Twelve minutes of intensity. The music and fearsome lyrics never stop flying at you. “Let’s tear our fucking bodies apart!” I have chills thinking about this song.

Shins - "Australia"
This song is begging to be attached to a memory. It’s weird. It sounds like it reminds me of a key point in my life, but I don’t know what. Man, it’s a fun song though. You have to sing along. It forces you. Oh and I love James Mercer’s Robert Smith impression.

Spoon - "The Underdog"
The centerpiece of a great album. This is the quintessential Spoon song. Everything is just right on this song.

John Vanderslice - "Kookaburra"
There are three songs working at once here, and they blend beautifully. It’s sad, and it rocks. A flawless experiment in rhythm and melody. JV’s voice and the music are never on the same page, but they blend together perfectly. Not a cute song, but the kookaburra is a cute bird.

Wilco - "On and On and On"
What a stunning way to close an album. There are so many cheery moments leading up to this song, which tears them all apart. This is something to sing as your plane is crashing. Ooh, that’s morbid! Maybe the most emotion ever heard out of Jeff Tweedy.