Friday, December 30, 2005

list season: the top 100 songs of 2005.

we're in the i-pod generation. where we can find a song, upload it to i-tunes, and it can join the 1500 more that we already have. music snobs like us listen to so many songs in the span of one year, that only picking 100 is excruciating. but, here goes nothing:

100. fall out boy: "sugar, we're going down"-
don't be surprised that this made the list. even my sister, who listens almost exclusively to r&b, sings it in the car with me. if i could flood the entire world, and could only pick one emo band to bring on the ark with me, fall out boy is totally it.

99. arctic monkeys: "sun goes down (scummy)"-
the intro/outro are the real treats here. "and what a scummy man.." i love singing along and pantomiming the guitar parts.

98. sufjan stevens: "the lord god bird"-
a heartbreaking song written exclusively for npr about [i forget which state's] state bird. the harmonies give me goosebumps.

97. rhymefest: "dynomite"-
already my favorite breakout rapper of 2006, rhymefest drops so much wit over a top-notch just blaze track that it's really unfunny. oh, and whoever has the foresight to rhyme over a beat that samples j.j. from good times in the intro/outro is a good-ass man in my book.

96. giant drag: "this isn't it"-
it wouldn't sound out of place on 90's alternative radio. the simple chorus is ultimately catchy enough to have you accidentally singing it to your girlfriend as you're getting ready for work.

95. jaymay: "color confused"-
a shorter-than-two-minute song, it's a beautiful sentiment: "what if i stayed here/and played every song i know/would you stay/would you go.. away?" i'm not a sucker for love songs, but this is going on a mixtape for my next girlfriend.

94. phil: "hey ya (outkast cover)"-
this is a slower, more heartbreaking version of the original. it conveys an entirely different feeling from the original. i heard this song the day after i had the idea to slow down the original for a "hey ya" cover. oh well. fresh cherries from yakima will have to do something different.

93. iron & wine: "the trapeze swinger"-
it's a nine minute song. it's perfect to put on repeat while cuddling on the couch under a blanket. you'll be asleep in each other's arms before the song ends, and that's not a bad thing at all.

92. kanye west (starring common): "my way home"-
a common solo track on kanye's album gives that only built 4 cuban linx feel, when ghostface got at least one track to himself on another man's solo album. rhyming over just the sample was an ingenious idea, and common paints yet another vivid picture of inner-city life.

91. ryan adams: "elizabeth, you were born to play that part"-
the piano and vocal melodies rival ryan's best work.

90. m.o.p.: "punks jump up"-
a lil' fame solo track, fizzy womack spits some of the wittiest gangsta rap lyrics i've heard all year: "you couldn't bust a motherfuckin' grape in welch's backyard". indeed.

89. the white stripes: "i'm lonely (but i ain't that lonely yet)"-
just jack white's voice and a piano, this song has more soul than joss stone will ever have in her entire career.

88. idiot pilot: "open register"-
the verses are beautiful, but the real meat of this song is right before the chorus..

87. jose gonzales: "save your day"-
beautiful song. if i say anything more, it will ruin its gorgeousness.

86. the walkmen: "there goes my baby (drifters cover)"-
that old-ass piano is my favorite sound in the world. i love the walkmen for that reason.

85. youth group: "piece of wood"-
the fingerpicking, the melody, the added layers, shows the promise of a band still trying to fight their footing.

84. broken social scene: "major label debut"-
one of the quieter moments on their self-titled lp, it works for them. and i love singing the chorus.. "i'm all, fucked up..."

83. luke temple: "to all of my good friends, goodbye"-
this is the musical equivalent of drowning. and i don't mean that in a bad way at all. tell my old lady, i'll be seeing her soon.

84. laura veirs: "untitled"-
lo-fi to the highest degree. i can't even understand what she's saying, but i bet it's profound.

83. little brother: "beautiful morning"-
i'm not a fan of big pooh, but 9th wonder finds a nice little boom-bap beat and a sample, and phonte carries the track. when's the phonte solo album coming?

82. wolf parade: "modern world"-
modern world, i'm not pleased to meet you. modest mouse meets the arcade fire? at first i thought so, but after obessive listening to this song, if there's any likenesses at all, wolf parade takes the best from both bands.

81. voxtrot: "long haul"-
twee as fuck. and you love it.

80. dangerdoom: "sofa king"-
you say funny things. so does doom. all the time. that's why he's my favorite rapper.

79. death cab for cutie: "crooked teeth"-
kids strung out on homemade speed. the "iron lung"-esque guitar solo. the chorus is cliche, but the rest of the song makes up for it.

78. john vanderslice: "farewell transmission"-
everyone knows that i'm a sucker for melancholy piano tracks. hold on. hold on.

77. chad vangaalen: "after the afterlife"-
this is what jack johnson would sound like if he wasn't boring. so tell me 'bout your mom.

76. bloc party: "so here we are"-
it's all about the atmosphere. this song is so beautiful. if i weren't so macho [joke], i probably would cry every time i heard it.

75. clap your hands say yeah: "is this love?"-
great instrumentation, and the freakout totally fucking rules.

74. re-up gang: "stay from around me"-
coke rap was at an all-time high this year. and like i've said more than once, the clipse were at the forefront. over the right beat, they create classics. see: lord willin'.

73. the decemberists: "the mariner's revenge"-
a nine-minute epic [with an accordion] about being trapped the belly of a whale with your asshole stepdad. this is why colin meloy is america's greatest songwriter.

72. franz ferdinand: "evil and a heathen"-
the stooges, guys? it's unexpected, but extremely welcome. this is the best garage rock song by a neo-new-wave band this year.

71. doveman: "fade into you (mazzy star cover)"-
an even drowsier version than the original, the beauty is still there.

70. cat power: "the greatest"-
some people don't like the druggy, memphis alt-country direction that chan marshall is going towards. i, for one, am not one of those people. and in all honesty, this is the very first cat power song i've listened to all the way through.

69. art brut: "modern art"-
secretly, it makes you want to rock out, too.

68. common: "chi city"-
common hasn't spit this hard since.. god knows when. and this is one of the hardest beats that kanye has ever made. and of course, the obligatory chappelle's show reference: "i slap a nigga like you, and tell him, 'rick james, bitch!' "

67. my morning jacket: "off the record"-
the very first time i heard this song, i was like, "who the fuck is this?" it's like a hybrid of ska, southern rock, and damn fine pop music.

66. ghostface and raekwon: "kilos"-
they took a children's song about weight conversion, and totally made a classic coke-rap song.

65. the mars volta: "the widow"-
the closest thing they'll ever come to a real song. and what a classic one it is.

64. bright eyes: "lua"-
a love-letter to new york, kinda, conor observes his hipster companion going to the bathroom to do bad things, and paints a perfect picture of urban life.

63. amerie: "1 thing"-
the very first time this song came on, i LITERALLY got up and started dancing. i totally missed the boat on go-go. good thing rich harrison is bringing it to the masses. it's a lot better than the boring r&b that's out right now.

62. oasis: "love like a bomb"-
sure, it's a rip-off of john lennon, but what oasis song isn't? the melody is tops.

61. the white stripes: "take, take, take"-
a fictional tale about meeting rita hayworth. a chorus in 11/4 time, in which the fact that meg can even keep up says a lot about her improvement on drums. the weirder jack white gets, the more i love him.

60. hot hot heat: "goodnight, goodnight"-
more proof that the best pop songs usually clock in at less than 2 1/2 minutes.

59. sufjan stevens: "john wayne gacy jr."-
sufjan creates a sincere record about a serial killer. the part where he harmonizes "oh my god" gives me goosebumps. he's going to go down as our generation's greatest songwriter. and this is going to be the reference point.

58. kings of leon: "taper jean girl"-
this is where the "southern strokes" comparisons come in. and that's probably why this is my favorite song off of their sophomore album.

57. the game: "no more fun and games"-
dude saves his best rhymes for the hardest beat on this record. is he in a class all by himself like a brown eminem? not quite. but, he says what he feels. LOL @ him calling alicia keys a dyke.

56. final fantasy: "adventure.exe"-
a wonderfully idiosyncratic song title, and two minutes of the most awesome acoustic whimsy you'll hear this year. hey yo, yo, yo, yo, yo.. he needs an empire to overthrow. give him yours. i'm serious, bloggers: make him king of the world next year.

55. fiona apple: "o sailor"-
noone does heartbreak like fiona. and "sailor" is the most awesome pet name for a guy ever.

54. jay-z: "dear summer"-
the only reason anyone would willfully buy memphis bleek's abysmal third solo album. i'm a fan of extended metaphor. just as good: when he spit this song on new york's hot 97 fm over the classic beat to black rob's "can i live".

53. the bravery: "an honest mistake"-
love them or leave them, the bravery scored a well-deserved hit with this song. the falsettos towards the end of each chorus may cause people singing it to grab some tea afterwards.

52. re-up gang featuring skateboard p: "play your part"-
jacking the beat from 50 cent and tony yayo's "we run new york" was only half the fun. and pharrell attacks neptunes biters with arguably his best verse yet.

51. ying yang twins: "wait (the whisper song)"-
was it the most misogynistic song [of any genre] released this year? sure. was it damn fun to whisper the chorus? i can't lie: absolutely.

50. coldplay: "what if"-
the chorus takes us all the way back to parachutes, where coldplay were the frontrunners for the "next radiohead" crown. anthemic in all the right ways.

49. devendra banhart: "chinese children"-
sing it at work and freak people out. it's really fun.

48. the subways: "i want to hear what you have to say"-
an acoustic intro. followed by the rock. boy and girl singing lead on different verses. simple, yet effective.

47. clap your hands say yeah: "let the cool goddess rust away"-
a near-perfect weirdo-pop song. the voice cracks are endearing.

46. voxtrot: "raised by wolves"-
the breakout band of 2006's best song yet. go ahead and love me. i'm a hungry man.

45. the game: "120 bars"-
supposedly the last in game's series of 50 cent disses. undoubtedly the best.

44. those transatlantics: "boys and children, sing for summer"-
simply put: it's a wonderful song. the tempo change adds a nice little twist, too.

43. kanye west: "gold digger (diplo remix)"-
diplo takes ray charles' "i got a friend", and flips it with an 808 beat. wonderfully danceable.

42. bright eyes: "when the president talks to god"-
subtlety is not quite conor's thing. but it's one of the most poignant diss songs of our generation. as scathing as tupac's "hit 'em up".

41. queens of the stone age: "little sister"-
i've got a fever. and you know what the perscription is. that boy josh homme can write a catchy tune.

40. final fantasy: "the cn tower belongs to the dead"-
had a good run anyway. owen pallett is a genius. i keep on trying to tell you.

39. death cab for cutie: "different names for the same thing"-
as if the piano intro wasn't a good enough song as it was, the boys had to add a postal service-esque jam. one of the best songs on their album, and i don't even like the postal service.

38. arctic monkeys: "riot van"-
so, baby stop calling. over and over, yeah. and give me some funny cigarettes. a nice, laid back track.

37. wolf parade: "you are a runner and i am my father's son"-
you all know how much i like this song. i covered it.

36. franz ferdinand: "eleanor, put your boots back on"-
a piano ballad about alex kapranos' girlfriend. usually, that's a formula for disaster. however, it's the biggest departure from every franz ferdinand song you've ever heard. and it's of high quality. just like all the others.

35. akron/family: "italy"-
a wonderfully-relaxed eight minute song, with a melody that's been stuck in my head for the past three weeks.

34. kanye west (featuring cam'ron and consequence): "gone"-
one of the most minimalist tracks of kanye's career, this song shows these three rappers at their wittiest. damn, 'ye; it'd be stupid to diss you. even your superficial tracks is super-official.

33. the strokes: "ask me anything"-
everyone's favorite new york hipsters go all magnetic fields on us, using just a mellotron and cello for accompaniment to julian's best voice in rock musicâ„¢. he has nothing to say. which is fine. just hum us a tune.

32. rza and mf doom: "biochemical equation"-
over a soul sample that would make kanye turn in his card, rza gets all philosophical on us, fighting the devil in the first verse, and telling us how his friend used to do cartwheels during his sobriety test on the third. during the second verse, doom delivers yet another high-quality verse.

31. wolf parade: "same ghost every night"-
the closest thing this band will ever have to a ballad, and they had to ruin it by talking about ghosts. that was a joke. i love ghosts, and so do you.

30. laura veirs: "through the glow"-
i imagine driving down the freeway on an excessively lit stretch of city while this song is playing. slightly dark, wholly beautiful.

29. chad vangaalen: "1000 pound eyelids"-
there's no better song concept than falling asleep at the wheel and "fucking the car up real good". but, underneath all the trumpets and bubbling is one of the most endearing love statements of the year: "i'm super sorry, but my eyes got really heavy/and the last thing i remembered is your smile."

28. death cab for cutie: "i will follow you into the dark"-
arguably the best song that ben gibbard has ever written. it's a love song, but still has the underlying hints of indie rock cynicism: "love of mine/someday you will die".

27. del the funkee homosapien: "fragments"-
del sings the kinda-hook, calling out a woman that he's not scared of "beating down to the ground". key lyric: "you don't wanna play no games/it only works when you young and beautiful". another highlight is when he's describing the wicked witch's mirror "shattering and shit".

26. the clipse: "studin y'all"-
a track from the clipse's still-on-the-shelf sophomore album, this proves that even though this song was recorded nearly three years ago, the boys from that 'ol virginny never lost their swagger.

25. final fantasy: "(reverse)"-
the opening lyrics say it all: i love you but sometimes, i need a day off. don't get that facelift.

24. bloc party: "helicopter"-
as if to say. as if to say. as if to say, he doesn't like chocolate. that's british for "george bush doesn't care about black people". a sonic youth-esque guitar riff carries this song as kele asks, "are you hoping for a miracle?" with songs this good, sometimes i forget that a rock band can't bring it to us.

23. maximo park: "grafitti"-
the most overlooked post-punk-pop band's best song thus far. i'll do grafitti if you sing to me in french. i don't know what it means, but i have this feeling if i use it in a bar, i'd be getting some action that night.

22. rhymefest: "these days"-
because, sometimes, your baby mama just don't understand: i ain't rich, bitch; it's just an advance.

21. the white stripes: "white moon"-
she led me and led me. and i ate what was fed me, 'till i purged every word in this song. whoever led jack into writing this needs to give me her address, so i can send her flowers.

20. the decemberists: "eli the barrowboy"-
a ghost who pushes around a wheelbarrow, who is too broke to buy his girl some nice clothes. in many ways, it's different from "gold digger," but in many ways, it's exactly the same.

19. david & the citizens: "now she sleeps in a box..."-
what a narrative. what top-notch instrumentation. music (for robots) greatest contribution to society this year.

18. neutral milk hotel: "circle of friends"-
a couple months ago, an old jeff mangum demo was unearthed. this minor-key ballad, akin to "oh comely", is the best song from it.

17. cold war kids: "heavy boots"-
the best modest mouse song that issac brock didn't write.

16. broken social scene: "shoreline (7/4)"-
a rock song in 7/4 time. i'm sure we should expect that from broken social scene, but if it were any other band, it would be revolutionary.

15. kanye west (featuring nas and really doe): "we major"-
kanye drops jewels, really doe drops the best rap chorus i've heard in a while, and nas goes on auto-pilot over the greatest rap beat of the year.

14. spoon: "i turn my camera on"-
britt daniel never tried to make us dance before. which makes this track even more special.

13. arctic monkeys: "i bet that you look good on the dancefloor"-
this is the song that started all the hype. number one without a record deal. and for a good damn reason. a throwback to when punk actually meant something.

12. fiona apple: "parting gift"-
the best song ever about being bored with your beau. out of all the hype among the two versions of this album, sometimes the best fiona apple records are the ones that aren't produced at all.

11. the comas: "sadness is an imaginary gun"-
an amazingly melancholy guitar line and pistol imagery are used in this wonderful demo taken from the comas' website. no wonder vagrant records signed them.

10. raekwon: "state of grace"-
the best rap song of the year starts out with a sample from every rapper's favorite movie, scarface. i can't say anything i haven't already said about this song, so i digress.

9. arcade fire: "cold wind"-
a dark and haunting acoustic guitar line starts out the song, and you start to envision yourself in a graveyard, watching the people walk by. there's a cold wind blowing, obviously.

8. franz ferdinand: "walk away"-
it's like morrissey singing over a spaghetti western. i love the sound of you walking away. genius.

7. wolf parade: "sons and daughters of hungry ghosts"-
a rollicking drum beat. an uber-catchy chorus. lyric of the year: "god doesn't always have the best goddamn plans". so catchy, i'm sure even sufjan has sung along at least once.

6. art brut: "formed a band"-
this is how punk should sound like. rambunctious. witty. with a singer that doesn't sing.

5. okkervil river: "a glow"-
lots of reverb. climb into my arms. with blood on your clothes. you've got a glow. you've got a glow.

4. kanye west: "gold digger"-
this is why i'm not as hard on kanye as most other bloggers who like their stars humble. kanye is a fucking genius. even hov said it. he took a great sample, jon brion, and a saxaphone, and turned it into not only a great rap song, but a CLASSIC party song. she was supposed to buy your shorty tyco with your money. but she didn't. this song is too catchy and too smart to ever get old.

3. clap your hands say yeah: "in this home on ice"-
atmospheric and danceable. this is the song that got me into them. classic.

2. bloc party: "banquet"-
as a hit single, this song is, allow me to be cliche: so, so, so underrated. from start to finish, i listen all the way through. every time.

1. the long winters: "the commander thinks aloud"-
from start to finish, lyrically and instrumentally, this is a perfect song. john roderick is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite songwriters. and this is his best song yet.


Blogger bethanne said...

good call on "in this home on ice" because if not, i'd disown you.

good list, twin!

7:17 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

Hi people of the world! Check out this cool site I have visited. If you need some lyrics of your fave songs, is the right place to be.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

i found this list because i googled the lyrics for m.o.p.'s "punks jump up" and I've decided that if you like m.o.p. enuff to put them on, then I'll check out some of these other songs you're into. I'm discovering some great stuff. Thanks for the effort.

11:39 PM  

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