Part two of our three part series brings us to the top ten songs the boys and I thought got us moving. Won't you join us? Feel free to leave your favorite songs in the comments below!
Dagan's De Jour:
10. Camera Obscura - French Navy (from the album My Maudlin Career) So kitschy you can't help but love it.
9. A Place to Bury Strangers - Keep Slipping Away (from the album Exploding Head) Hey, it's the Cure as a shoegaze band!
8. Thom Yorke - Hearing Damage (from The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack) "Hehe my fans are such scenesters.. let's see what they make of THIS."
7. Incubus - Black Heart Inertia (from the album Monuments and Melodies) Just a reminder of what we're missing out on while they continue their hiatus...
6. Depeche Mode - Wrong (from the album Sounds of the Universe) Easily their best single since 97's It's No Good.
5. Dinosaur Jr. - Over It (from the album Farm) Also one of the most entertaining videos I've seen all year.
4. Röyksopp - The Girl and the Robot (from the album Junior) Great blend of downtempo and dance, with great vocals.
3. Moderat - Rusty Nails (from the album Moderat) Again, a great blend - this time upbeat dance with dark melancholy.
2. Basement Jaxx - Raindrops (from the album Scars) Hands down the most addicting, near-perfect dance song of the year.
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero (from the album It's Blitz!) Such an unbelievably fun song. lyk zomg.
Cheese Sandwich's Collection:
An incredible song from one of my top 5 albums of the year. Easily my personal favorite from Beggars, with a subdued passion, steady rhythm and incredible melody. Dustin Kensrue’s lyrics are amazing, as well, as I frequently find this song creep into my head every few days, whether I’ve listened to it or not.
Although this track wasn’t included on the retail version of 311’s latest album Uplifter, it was available as an Amazon download. It would have been the best track on Uplifter had it been on the record; Tim Mahoney’s guitar work is crunchy and the vocal melodies by Nick Hexum and SA Martinez are very strong; as a 311 fan boy, it is already one of my favorite songs they’ve ever done, and fittingly it made my list for songs of the year. It wasn’t the cookie-cutter type of pop song (with throwaway lyrics) that 311 has been churning out now and then for the past few years. It’s much more creative and stylized, and it is refreshing to hear that the band can still do that at this stage in their career.
ATAL clearly made quite an impression on me this year, with both one of my top albums and top songs. Circles is one of the most memorable songs from You Can’t Take it With You. Dan Nigro’s voice is warbled with some cool echo effects, matching up well with the song’s erratic and rhythmic percussion. As the opener to the album it is a great precursor of the brilliance that shines throughout the disc.
Okay. Yes, this song is just plain ridiculous. Everyone’s favorite big scary German guys singing in German and English about, well, screwing. Till Lindemann channels the poets of old when he asks, simply, “You have a pussehh…I have a dick-ahhh….so what’s the problem? Let’s do it quickkkkk” with your standard thunderous Rammstein industrial-metal slamfest going on in the background. I included it on this list simply because it’s obvious Rammstein doesn’t give two shits about what you consider ‘appropriate’, and I fully support that way of thinking. Plus, the video for this song is only hosted on porn sites due to its graphic nature. Damn the man.
I tend to shy away from music with crazy yelling vocalists, but I can tolerate Keith Buckley because his lyrics are ridiculous and the music going with it is so aggressive and catchy. Wanderlust is the single from ETID’s album New Junk Aesthetic, and it has a delicious melody interwoven over the four-plus minute track. Buckley does his thing over some Southern-sounding riffs and the song has a luscious rhythm that gives it a relentless fury. Easily one of my favorite hard rock tunes of the past year.
This 8-minute jam on TCV’s debut record finds Homme, JPJ and Dave Grohl at their best: it’s a sprawling grimy bastard of a song, and morphs into a groovy foot-stomp halfway through that is simply mesmerizing. To be a fly on the wall when they jammed this song out would have been my life’s highlight. This and Mind Eraser, No Chaser were my favorite tunes from TCV’s record, a refreshing course in Rock 101 that proved that there might still be hope for rock music in the future.
While the rest of Raditude is silly dance/pop, this one is easily the best song Weezer’s done in years. Sure Pork and Beans was a catchy romp as well, but this one is light years ahead. It’s a shame that Rivers got so preoccupied with making empty dance pop numbers with Lil’ Wayne (yuck) and recording songs written by the All American Rejects (double yuck), because this song rocks. I’ve heard it about three trillion times since it came out, and I’m still not bored with it. My roommate even proposed to his now-fiance onstage during a Weezer cover band show, so it’s also taken on a personal meaning for me as well. This song proves that Rivers still has the talent to craft a near-perfect tune every now and again.
White Rabbits are a very underrated band, and this song is infectious. It’s also very appropriately titled, with a barrage of percussion matching up with the two singers’ vocals nicely. Piano plucking accompanies the dual vocals and percussion noises along with a staccato guitar riff, and the end result is a great little indie rock song that I don’t think enough people have discovered.
I couldn’t pick either one of these over the other, so they’re both here. Mientras is a spazzed-out jam in English and Spanish, with Matt Embree singing about the future and dreams and other such topics of interest, while the rest of the band rocks out like a less-frantic (and in my opinion more melodic) Mars Volta. White Lies is a more hushed, percussion-centered piece with gorgeous vocal harmonies about frustration and looking for answers. Simply put, the song is breathtaking. The two songs act together to demonstrate the varied tempos of RXB, from a crazy awesome jam session to a slower, more introspective and experimental number.
Black Gives Way to Blue was a great comeback album by Alice in Chains, as new vocalist William DuVall filled in for Layne Staley perfectly. This song is a mostly acoustic number with DuVall and Jerry Cantrell sharing vocal duties; the song changes things up a bit after Check My Brain and Last of My Kind start off the record with such loudness and aggression. To me, this is the most Alice in Chains-sounding song on the album; it wouldn’t have felt out of place in the mid 1990’s or on the Unplugged record. The guitar solo in the middle is simple yet artistic, and interweaves the main melody around Cantrell’s dark lyrics and gentle delivery. Simply put, it’s awesome.
I don't know how, but since the inception of their hit single F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X., The Fall of Troy has had me hooked with at least one song on every album they have put out. This one has some of the most impressive note for note exchanges with the guitar and drums, with a droning bassist (who looks like my brother with dreads) looming in the background. I'm a Mathcore band. Sue me.
Brand New is one of those bands that evoke an immense amount of emotion when it comes to the fruition of tracks like this. This song has a elements of the bands new directions, mixed with the tried-but-true sing along power that brings us all screaming the chorus together.
These guys are true hip hop first of all. The beat steady with the gloomy organ playing along, set the mood for the somber but undeniably impressive flow of Tonedeff. I can't help but nod to strange journey that this album is named after. Storytelling hip hop has always been the easiest for me to enjoy and relate to. A well produced and well rounded track. I just wish I knew who sang the chorus.
Mos Def, one of the tightest tongue twisters around, brings an organic piece that made to the list for not only the organic nature of the beat, but also for the closer glimpse of this half of Blackstar.
I was worried that the RX Bandits would never be the same, but after hearing the insane work of one of my favorite drummers, RX Bandits remain on my top ten must hear live acts. If the boys can get me dancing this much on the cd, I might just have to learn salsa for the live show.
5. Sa-Ra- White Cloud (Which apparently can't be found...comment below if you do!)
Neo Soul wizards, slept on superstars, American heroes. Sa Ra is one of those groups that say what we were all thinking. I try to find songs to live by, and this is one of em, with lyrics meant to uplift among those stormy masses. You're just a dark cloud, baby I'm a star.
Even after spending some time with these guys at several music events this year, I still find the boys from PTM an entrancing enigma. Old school sci fi meets funk and soul. The line "If another lover takes their love away from you//Be careful with your mind, and what you're bound to do" looms in my head even when the song isn't playing. Something to think about.
There is so much to say about the stunning Ali Sudol aka A Fine Frenzy. Being a bass guitar fiend, the first thing I loved was the off timing of the bass,which the rest of the band follows suit to. The uplifting lyrics sung by the lovely and lithe Alison (again, my only celebrity crush), made this a no brainer for my songs of the year. Plus, the album was released on my birthday...cmon now.
2. Incubus- Look Alive (This is the live version from the DVD which is a must have for lovers of music and travel)
Meeting sixty percent of the band, coupled with this sleeping release on their greatest hits album got the endorphins rising whilst watching the live video of this song on their dvd Look Alive. Meeting your inspiration, and constantly going about the world with lyrics to live by is one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had. This will definately be the next song I master on bass (one of the most badass bass lines in history), and when people tell me "I like the old Incubus", I think they will come find that this is a happy medium for fans new and old. A perfect song.
Like I've said before, and as my close friends know about me, the music goes towards a mood. But with this song, it encompassed more than that. The smooth yet unpredictable elements of jazz, with a neo soul twist, that made this my favorite song of the year. The ups and downs of life, and realization that we are so small, and so alike, that we should make it count as tiny little creatures. That's the message of the song, and I felt like it's a message that I wanted to tell, but didn't quite know how to tell it. Before this year, I knew nothing about Robert Glasper, but by chance was sent his album for review, and can honestly say it changed the way I think about music. Some people might say its just a song, but a song can create a legacy, and I'm sure you're no stranger to that. Everyone has a song that give them that feel, and this was it for me.
With that, I close on the singles in 2009 that we loved, with the final chapter, albums of the year to come shortly. I hope you've enjoyed your read, and again, feel free to leave your favorites down below!
Until next time my friends,
The Lonely Island- I'm On a Boat (I'm sad the unedited version is gone but cmon, you got a good laugh at least once watching the video!)