Tuesday, December 20, 2005

list season: the top 11 musical surprise moments of 2005.

sometimes, when you're listening to a song, there is a moment that knocks you on your ass. those moments are what music snobs like us live for. we like bands that throw curveballs, to sit in front of our computers, or on the bus with our i-pods, and say "wtf?" for that reason, that's why most of us think jack johnson is irrepressibly boring. so, here are my favorite surprise moments of the year:

11. "one nigga, two nigga, three nigga, four. one of these niggas is 'bout to get FUCKED UP!"
-'ol dirty bastard, from "lift ya skirt" [rhymefest's a star is born, volume 1]:

first of all, the couplet doesn't rhyme. secondly, dirty yells "FUCKED UP" seemingly out of nowhere. at first, it's kinda jarring, but it's just dirty being dirty, and [even if you're white], you find yourself rapping along to it.

10. the end of "library" by final fantasy:
the entire song is a backwards bass kick and a violin melody. once the actual song is finished, a brass instrument and a plucked violin carries the track outward with a darker feel. it changes the mood suddenly, and makes you think about the song in an entirely different light.

9. meatwad quoting "beef rapp":
mf doom gives the mic to meatwad [from the hillarious animated comedy aqua teen hunger force], who raps almost the entire first verse of the mf classic. and then caps carl in the process. gangsta. pure gangsta.

8. the middle eight bars in the verses of okkervil river's "for real":
it starts out so quiet, and then, the guitars burst, and will sheriff is screaming "I REALLY MISS WHAT REALLY DIDN'T EXIST..." the soft-quiet dynamic is what makes this song so fucking special.

7. clap your hands say yeah, "clap your hands":
you'd never expect a band who can't go a whole record review without the words "talking" and "heads" to make an intro that sounds like harry carey fronting a circus. some people think this is the worst track, and a blemish on an otherwise perfect album, but i think it makes sense to start off an album with someone noone was really expecting. plus, i think it's a really good song.

6. r. kelly's "trapped in the closet", where rufus reveals that he's gay:
the first in a series of bizzare twists, this is the exact moment in my life when i realized that robert kelly is a genius.

5. the beginning of xiu xiu's cover of "gigantic":
you know how the doors on dollar stores have little bells on them? well, one is slammed like right at the beginning of this song, and you're like, "what the fuck was that?" and then, it actually becomes pretty cool.

4. about two minutes into death cab for cutie's "different names for the same thing":
in the spirit of transatlanticism, the song starts out like a piano ballad. then, it goes into this postal service-esque series of blips and basslines [which is probably one of the best basslines i've heard this year], and goes into full-on rock mode. it sounds like it would be fun to play, and more importantly, it doesn't sounds like something you'd expect at all on the first listen.

3. towards the end of clap your hands say yeah's "is this love":
the time signature change is pure genius, and catchy as all hell.

2. "dear sons and daughters of hungry ghosts" by wolf parade:
not the entire song, but one of the most surprising [and best] lyrics of the year: "god doesn't always have the best goddamn plans".

1. the tempo change in fiona apple's "not about love":
the very first time i heard it [the jon brion version was leaked on my local radio station. yes, the one that got national headlines for leaking fiona's entire album on the radio. the one that made andrew harms, arguably seattle's best dj, a national footnote], the tempo in the entire second verse was sped-up to no end, and almost sounded unrecognizable. it made fiona sound like she was crazy. and it made me want to listen to that song every day for the rest of my natural life.


Blogger willfabro said...

the tempo change in "not about love" is fantastic. that whole song [jon brion version] was a "wtf" moment for me, starting with the cello, the braking piano on the chorus, her scat-rapping over strings on the tempo change.

great list.

9:37 AM  
Blogger douglas.. said...

dude, even on the mike elizondo version.. everytime i hear that..

" 'what is this posture i have to stare at?'/that's what he said when i was sitting up straight.."

..it's basically my favorite singalong moment of 2005.

thanks for the comment.

5:50 PM  
Blogger willfabro said...

well that record is good no matter who produced it, so yeah

3:46 AM  

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