Monday, December 21, 2009

Songs of the year

Everyone and their mother seems to be releasing rather pointless and tired year-end or decade's-end lists ranging from sports moments to fails. But this one is different. This one was created by me...

Without further ado, 2009's songs of the year - in video format because I hear that video is catching on.

Phoenix - 1901
I had never heard of Phoenix until they were the featured musical act on an SNL episode early in the year. I was happy I was watching SNL because they were the only bright spot in that wretched Seth Rogen episode.

Metric - Help, I'm Alive
I had heard so much of this band as 2009 came into being and I simply fell in love with this song. Metric, hailing from Canada, makes exquisite poppy tunes and I think that they have even more mass appeal being a female-fronted band. The vocals of Emily Haines are mind blowing in my opinion. Sadly, no ture official video exists outside of this short film produced for the song.

The band's latest song, "Sick Muse", is equally as satisfying both aurally and visually. It already stands an excellent chance of making my list for 2010.

Green Day - 21 Guns
Green Day, after their "American Idiot" album, found themselves all grown up. They wrote more melodic music and while they still appeal greatly to teens their music is more all-encompassing. "21st Century Breakdown" isn't chock full of hits in my book but it's hard to be fair when "American Idiot" had a hit in nearly every track. The music of "21st Century Breakdown" has far less of an obvious political message and stance but is far more powerful. "21 Guns" is the purest definition of power pop that I heard all year long.

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
It took me all year to warm up to Lady Gaga. Her first single, "Just Dance", was just annoying. The more I heard it the more I hated it. But then came "Poker Face". I was becoming a fan of Gaga. When "Paparazzi" hit the airwaves I was indifferent - until the MTV VMA performance. She is a true talent when it comes to her live performances - they aren't just music, they are art and that's what her persona as Lady Gaga is. The first time I saw the video for "Bad Romance", off her "Fame Monster" disc, I loved it. It was a turn in a new direction for me because rarely do I like a pop song on the first listen. I predicted on Twitter that by Thanksgiving week it would be played 80 times/week locally on KDWB - that prediction was off by about two or three weeks but this song is huge and amazing in so many ways - plus it sounds great at any volume.

Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind
No, it's not so much Jigga-man's rapping that sold me on this song being one of the year's best, it's his decision to team up with Alicia Keys who makes playing the piano cool. This song and its accompanying video almost make me want to live in NYC.

Carolina Liar - Show Me What I'm Looking For
This is another example of power pop - the only difference is that this song deserved so much more exposure than it received. Carolina Liar is a fairly straight-forward rock band that wrote a ballad of sorts that seemed custom-tailored for touching TV montages and commercials. I know that at one point SoapNet used it but these guys deserve so much more.

In the interest of keeping this as succinct as possible, I'm breaking this in to a two-parter. Check back tomorrow for the reast of my humble list and don't forget to spend a few more minutes of your time at MinnPics because who doesn't like photos?!?


Renaissance Woman said...

You should have a full time job at selecting top songs for the year. I agree with almost all of your choices. Thanks for sharing!

buffalodick said...

The world went Ga-Ga for Ga-Ga...