Saturday, January 06, 2007

the 29 best songs of 2006 (a couple of them i only heard once)!

***Sorry this took so long to put up! My computer euthanized itself again. I'll probably have to write about it.***

29. "The Adventure" by Angels and Airwaves
I got this cd free from Graywhale for registering up for a membership. I gave it to Rhett because he used to be a big Blink fan. He immediately gave it back because it sucks. I think Angels songs are pretty cool by themselves, but you don't want to listen to more than one of them at a time. I'll also forever remember this song on the graduation episode of The O.C. which is sadly cancelled now. I should probably be blogging about the trauma that's caused me.

28. "When You Were Young" by The Killers
This sort of grew on me after a while, but then got sort of stale. Brandon Flowers talked big all year, but when it came down to delivering the goods all anybody could think was that this is no "Mr. Brightside." Still, it's very fun to sing along to.

27. "Into the Ocean by Blue October
"Hate Me" was one of my very least favorite songs of the year, so this one came as a surprise to me when I discovered I liked it. Absolute stunning melody. One thing I'll always remember about this band is that Zayra's best performance on Rockstar: Supernova was a Blue October song. It was also the song that eliminated her.

26. "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" by Arctic Monkeys
I wonder if The Arctic Monkeys are The U.K.'s answer to The Monkees. I didn't hear this song this year as much as I think I should have. Too bad the band wasn't able to exceed the ridiculous expectations set out for them. Stupid British press. Well, they really were fun while they lasted.

25. "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado
I think one of the most amusing things to witness in the music scene is when sweet, folksy chicks suddenly skank the shiz out of themselves. Usually they laugh it off and say something like, "It's totally cool that I do it; because, really, It's totally not me. I'm not really a skank, so it's funny." Probably the best definition of a skank is a girl who goes around needing to tell people that she's not a skank. Skank actually might be too harsh a word for Nelly, but it's kind of in that direction. Just a little more promiscuous. The song itself gets stuck in the head too.

24. "You Have Killed Me" by Morrissey
I probably would have given this one a better ranking if not for two reasons. First, I didn't hear it enough. Also, I prefer the darkly humorous Morrissey to the over-the-top Morrissey. Of course if I heard it more, I probably would have gleaned a bunch of funny from it.

23. "American Witch" by Rob Zombie
Here's another one I totally could have used more of. Like Morrissey, Zombie's thematics are near-perfect for me. As a result, he can release something not nearly as infectious as his earlier stuff, but I'd still dig it enough to put it on my list.

22. "Psychological" by Pet Shop Boys
I really only heard this song once and it was during the Pet Shop Boys concert. The concert was beautifully silly and most of the new stuff (especially this song) had a darker, uniquer sound to it.

21. "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al Yankovic
I'm amazed that this (apparently) is his only top ten hit. You'd think I would have heard it more if it was his most popular song ever. Oh well. I've always respected the guy. He doesn't just rip people off, he takes it very very seriously.

20. "I Thought It Was You" by Andy Bell
This is pretty much a plug for his whole solo cd which came out this year. This particular tune is guested by Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters (whose song "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" nearly nearly made this list). Anyway, Bell does a tremendous job here (even more so than in Erasure) of injecting a sort of exuberance into electronic music where there's usually sterility.

19. "Nausea" by Beck
Beck did a couple things that will make me always love him: 1) He made a prominent appearance on a hilarious episode of Futurama and 2) He and his band put in some awesome television performances this past year with this song. Did anyone see the puppets with this song on Saturday Night Live?

18. "Whoo! Alright Yeah.. Uh Huh" by the Rapture
C'mon, you know the title alone ensures it breaking the top 20, right? Great band. Great grooves. More cowbell.

17. "Out of Control" by She Wants Revenge
I can't imagine this band will have much of a lasting effect on the music scene considering that they're pretty much electronic spoken word. This song, however, is fabulous at setting a beat and then setting a mood. Pretty dark-dancey.

16. "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" by Jet
Even though most rock critics make fun of this band's lack of depth, but I think their straight-forward sense of rock is simply great. At least I think that when they decide to rock rather than chill out. This song, for example, took me by surprise. It's fun to scream to just like "Cold Hard Bitch" was a couple of years ago, but I had no idea it was them when i first heard it. I actually thought it was a chick singing (a wicked hard-as-nails chick).

15. "Love Like Winter" by A.F.I.
This is a really strange entry. I never much cared for this band, especially the singer's voice. A.F.I. released a few hugely successful songs here in Utah and they must have worn me down for this one. Maybe its timing was good, coming out in the middle of winter and all. I also love the emphasized guitar reverb echo near the beginning of the chorus. I'll always air guitar that part.

14. "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White Ts
Speaking of popular here in Utah... when I first heard this song I was driving alone and I actually said out loud, "IS THIS A JOKE? THIS HAS GOT TO BE A JOKE." 300 listens later and I sing along to every word of this ridiculous gooey sapfest. My favorite set of lines: "Two more years and you'll be done with school and I'll be making history like I do/You'll know it's all because of you,/ we can do whatever we want to/Hey there Delilah, here's to you,/this one's for you." There's nothing like rhyming five lines -- three of which use the same word.

13. "Trouble Sleeping" by Corinne Bailey Rae
Light jazz can be a difficult habit to get into. Personally I think it tends to sound a bit too lazy most of the time. Of course what do I know? I'm still trying to get into it. Corinne Bailey Rae sang part of this song on Studio 60. For some reason I've seen nearly every episode of that show, but I'm not shy about expressing that I'm pretty underwhelmed by it. If nothing else, maybe I was guided to watch just to discover this gem. It's light jazz, but it has a really groovy sly bite to it that I don't even hear in her other songs.

12. "Lali Est Paresseux" by Nellie McKay
Nellie, of course, is my personal high-ranking lady of pop-jazz. I didn't write about it too much, but seeing her perform live in New York was the highlight of that whole trip. Tragically, her cd I've been waiting for a year to come out didn't impress me as much as I felt it should. This song, sung in French, was the big winner. It has Nellie's sense of child-like fun just seeping from it. Definitely a fun one to sing-along to even though I don't understand it. It actually turns out that, translated, it's pretty much gibberish.

11. "Ain't No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera
I've always favored Britney more than Xtina. Everyone knows that Aguilera has way more talent, but I've never really been able to actually enjoy her actual songs as much. She was very very wise to go all retro and pull out the sweet sweet big band horns. Such a joyous throwback actually scored her a spot better than the exquisite Nellie McKay (not an easy feat)! Speaking of throwbacks, did anybody see Idlewild? I really wanted to see it. I'm sure if I did, there'd be an OutKast song somewhere on this list.

10. "Knights of Cydonia" by Muse
At first I thought that Muse evolved into camp from their Absolution days. After actually witnessing them perform this geeked out D&D ode (or whatever the hell it's about, I have no idea) in the flesh standing in front of a sweet stage fan blowing their hair majestically, I humbly stand corrected by their wailing awesomeness.
***Hmm. Wow. I just looked up what some people say this song is about and someone said that Cydonia is the area on Mars where that famous face is at that some people say proves that life existed on Mars. So I guess that means this song is sort of about the last stand of ancient Martians. Whoa! I'm getting so much geek energy right now!***

9. "Le Disko" by Shiny Toy Guns
Sort of an underdog song that lots of people latched onto. Every year I cheer for an underdog that sounds like it was an underdog back in '85. I love the beat of silence.

8. "My Love" by Justin Timberlake
It's a good thing I adore this song because toward the end of the year I would hear it three times a day. It's enjoyable pop subtlety at its finest.

7. "S.O.S." by Rhianna
The very instant I heard it with its Soft Cell sample, I shuddered just a little before realizing that Soft Cell did their own rip-off of "Tainted Love." It's not that I hate covers or samples. I totally don't, I just sometimes worry that people don't acknowledge the source material. This one of course is unique. Rhianna sampled from a song that is a cover of another song. I bet it gave the record company lawyers quite a headache. Anyway, I very much approve the use of this particular sample. It ultimately created a real fun ride.

6. "Lazy Eye" by Silver Sun Pickups
This one sounds like the meloncholorful groove of Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins. It has a very very pretty build-up that totally calms me down. Easy and dreamy. I hope the song itself isn't about something stressful, because it has the opposite effect with me.

5. "Steady As She Goes" by Raconteurs
Jack White is a hero of mine, so it's wonderful to see him with an actual band. Of course they did write a song that sounds just like "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" by Joe Jackson, but that's a favorite of mine as well.

4. "Martyr" by Depeche Mode
This one went more under the radar than I think it should have. I got into it a lot more than most of the stuff off of Playing the Angel. I'm not totally certain that everyone agrees with me since I don't associate with my fellow Mode-ites nearly as much as I used to. Am I wrong? Is this not actually a really good song? It appears on their new best of compilation and, like "A Pain That I'm Used To" from last year, it really thematically sums up Depeche Mode's music. If you get a chance, check out the promo video the label compiled together for this song. I really think it's cool.

3. "Here It Goes Again" by OK Go
Of course the video for this is probably in my top ten of all-time favorite videos, but unfortunately it was a long time before I realized how catchy the song itself is. Hopefully in the long run the song isn't eclipsed by its video.

2. "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley
You may notice that my entries are getting pretty small. One would consider that I'd talk a lot more about the top picks. Well, I'm tired. Sorry. And anyway, you all know this song. Hopefully Gnarls sticks around. They bring some long-needed new blood for both rock and hip-hop.

1. "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" by Deathcab for Cutie
I listened to hundreds of songs this year, but only one made me cry (well "Crying" by Roy Orbison made me cry, but that one didn't come out this year). Make sure you pick up a Halloween 2006 cd. J.R. did a really fabulous augmented version of this song that will make you cry then scream.

Well, that's it. I do want to throw out a couple of honorable mentions:

"This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" by Fallout Boy: I don't really like the band or their over-exposure, but all the beginning of this year, this one has been stuck in my head.

"Mother" by Wolfmother: I just bought Guitar Hero II and I got to wail out with this song. It mother-rocks.

The whole Teddybears cd: In my haste, I neglected to pick a song off of here before compiling my list together. The record is actually awesome. It's the guy from Caesars, one of my favorite bands of the last five years. The music, however, is a lot more electronic and dance-driven. Some of the songs are in commercials right now.


Blogger Maria said...

Reading this list makes me want to go on a long roadtrip so I can listen to all of the songs in a row. That is saying a lot because I'm not in love with roadtrips.

Nice job on the list - we should rent Idlewild. Why have we not discussed this? No one would go with me to see the movie when it came out.

January 12, 2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

first of all i'm kind of surprised you listed death cab as your favorite song of the year....i didn't peg you as a death cab kind of person...

i have more comments and i will list them based on their numerical order:

26. "I bet you look good on the dance floor"--i remember when i first heard this (and i think i heard it with you on snl first) i thought they made a mention to mormons, but they actually said "montegues and capulettes"

26. "promiscuous"--well, it's just obvious why this is on the list. i'm just curious why "maneater" isn't.

21. "white and nerdy" made me laugh pretty freakin hard when i first heard it. then it just got kind of annoying.

14. "hey there delilah"--i've had a problem with this song since april of '05, but the problem continued when they played in on the radio ALL the freakin time. and let's be honest, lyrics have never been the plain white t's strong suit.

11. "ain't no other man"--i'm a little saddened that this only made #11. and quite shocked you prefer brittney over christina. i thought it was so awesome she made a jazz-esque type cd, but i do miss the dirrty christina (but don't worry, she has a song on her new cd call "still dirrty").

8. "my love"--it's good. but it's no bringing sexy back.

7. "S.O.S."--if we're going to talk about female pop stars i prefer "ring the alarm" by beyonce to SOS. but if you prefer rihanna to beyonce, i would go with "break it off", her catchy duet with sean paul (featured on the step up soundtrack).

i think that just about covers it.

January 23, 2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger joN. said...

if only idlewild had more music... hey we should do a roadtrip a year from now. that way it will be nostalgic rather than a "now!" cd

excellent points erica. you're right, i'm not really a death cab person, but you just can't deny that particular song. i'm sure i would agree with you on your other points if i heard some of those other songs.

seriously though, i made a big error. "woman" is the name of the wolfmother song, not "mother." they're like right next to each other on the guitar hero menu so i always get them mixed up.

January 24, 2007 4:00 PM  

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