Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Top Songs 2006

Had enough '06 nostalgia yet? I know, it may be getting old, but I’ll try to
make this my last post remembering “the things that were”… until the end of
the year of course. Pretty soon we'll be remembering '07 as the greatest year ever for music. But until then, here are 10 tracks from records that didn't make it onto the Top 20 albums list. Some of the albums were just shy of breaking into the top 20, while others only had nothing going for them other than the single presented here.

In no particular order:

Fujiya & Miyagi

Dancepunk was always geared towards white kids with no rhythm. It just so happened that even the kids with rhythm wanted to throw their body into convulsions and lose their shit too. But for those that craved a real groove, "Collarbone" was the real deal. They even make ankle bones sound sexy.

Download >>Collarbone

Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
Camera Obscura
Aren’t songs supposed to help heartbreak? How did they get away with this? The sweetest organ intro ever, that’s how. It’s like that girl/guy that knows exactly what face to make to get you to do whatever they want. They set you up for defeat, and you obligingly accept.

Download >>Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken

Multiply [(In A Minor Key) remix by Gonzales]
Jamie Lidell

Never have I been so sure that a remix was better than the original. Don't get me wrong, Jamie Lidell’s got enough real soul for every pale skinned wannabe this side of the Mississippi on the original “Multiply”. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t come two-fold on the remix. Gonzales pretty much strips the original track and leaves nothing but solo piano and the gospel. It’s boogie-woogie blue eye’d soup for the soul; You’ll definitely beg for seconds.

Download >>Multiply (In A Minor Key)

Kick, Push
Lupe Fiasco
You have to give recognition to any rapper willing to rap about skateboarding. It’s probably even more daring than rapping about violence or guns, strike that, rapping about violence and guns is mundane; it’s about as unique as having a myspace. So when Lupe Fiasco gives us the 411 on grinds and girls, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the beat is flawless either.

Download >>Kick, Push

Star Witness

Neko Case

“Everything…except country” Famous words from the mouths of the indie elite (Guilty). But Neko Case isn’t your average country singer. The music isn’t explicitly country, but its roots are clear. “Star Witness” could sing you to sleep if it weren’t for the lyrics. They’re cryptic as all hell; the only clue
Neko has confessed to is it partially concerning a drive-by shooting (no
joke). Even country has street-cred these days.

Download >>Star Witness

Dream On (feat. Robyn & Ola Salo)
Christian Falk
No, no, it’s not an Aerosmith cover, although the song does show Robyn displaying sympathy for the outcast. Maybe washed-up rockers count too. Christian Falk applies the K.I.S.S. method to production and leaves the proper space for Ms. Robyn to do her thing. Check out how she repeats the same note for the entire “bridge.” She must have known how much we’d like it.

Download >>Dream On (feat Robyn & Ola Salo)

Young Folks

Peter, Bjorn, & John

On two occasions during the past couple of years did I appreciate whistling
as an art form; The first was listening to Andrew Bird, The second was the first single from Peter, Bjorn, & John’s Writer’s block. Even if every band tried to whistle a catchy melody on their song, I’m afraid it would never be as catchy as this one. Young Folks or old, no one can resist.

Download >>Young Folks

Grizzly Bear
It starts like the beginning of a classic film; the woodwinds float in and linger long enough to introduce an antique piano, the boys start whispering sweet nothings, and the deal is sealed. “Easier” is the sort of song that forces you to visualize. Exactly what it is you’re going to see is up to you. But they made it impossible for your imagination to just sit still.

Download >>Easier

And I Was A Boy From School

Hot Chip

Hot Chip finally stopped screwing around and starting making serious music. Well, ok not serious per se, but more serious than before. They basically tried to write actual songs instead of spoofs. And while they didn’t lose their sense of humor, they surely gained the gift of melody. Just give it two spins and dare yourself to not sing along.

Download >>And I Was A Boy From School

In this case, the comparisons are obvious. Add some of Broken Social Scene’s eclecticism, Animal Collective’s vocal voodoo, and Arcade Fire’s energy and you’ve got a dish called “Brother.” You gotta give the kid some credit. No, really. The lead singer is only nineteen. Even though his lyrics display wisdom far beyond his age, he still manages to capture the fiery outbursts of teenage youth within the music. Can’t wait to hear what quarter-life crisis sounds like.

Download >>Brother

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