2005: A Retrospective in Music
I love lists; I make lists for my lists. So, the following post will include, but may not be litited to:
1. My favorite singles of the year.
2. Albums I especially enjoyed.
3. Guilty Pleasures and Musical Moments I Embrace.
My favorite singles of the year really could be listed in any order with a few exceptions (#'s 1 and 2). They are the gems from an underwhelming year. Each one made me smile, think or sometimes, but not often, both. The arbitrary number of songs I have chosen is 16. Without further ado:
16. "The Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice- A beautiful song that's not nearly as porny as the title might indicate. Sadly. I would highly recommend listening to it while watching Natalie Portman get run down by a bus. Something about that makes the cello more poignant.
15. "I Turn My Camera On" by Spoon- There's really not much to the song, just drums and some tinkly instrument in the background. It's a monotonous crawl that never quite comes to a climax. But that's the draw. It's haunting.
14. "Golddigger" by Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx- Words of wisdom set to thumping beats. I am a sucker for dancing to practical advice and a Ray Charles sample. And here's the thing, he loves her anyway. Now, get that pre-nup.
13. "Brighter Than Sunshine" by Aqualung- Cute little love song by a cute little British guy who sit behind a piano that is no doubt cute. If I weren't so cynical I might be overwhelmed by cuteness.
12. "Speed of Sound" by Coldplay- I know, they're so OVER or whatever, but I think I woke up every day this summer to this song on MTV or VH1. I don't know what Chris Martin is saying half the time, but this song makes him sound like he's soaring.
11. "16 x 32 Military Wives" by the Decembrists- America can't say no. This song features a horn section and fun lyrics involving math and cheating wives. What is more fun than that?
10. "This is the First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes- Yes, he's so incredibly earnest that it hurts, but if anyone sang this to me, I might melt. Bonus points for a great video showing couple of all ages, races and gender combinations enjoying life together.
9. "Mr. Brightside" by the Killers- Before the millionth time you heard it, you loved it, too. And if you love Mormons with eye liner, your heart probably skipped a beat when you watched the video and Brandon Flowers looked at you and repeated, "It was only a kiss." Or maybe that was just me.
8. "Signs" by Snoop Dogg feat. Justin Timberlake and Charlie Wilson- Disco funk, Snoop references Ibiza and some old guy raps while Justin and Snoop fight over women. Oh, and JT says the F word!
7. "Helicopter" by Bloc Party- This is the song I would like playing if I were being chased by hired killers in a movie. It sounds so desperate, especially when the singer, British accent in tow, gasps repeatedly, "Are you hoping for a miracle?"
6. "Galang" by M.I.A- I think this song and video almost gave Yos a seizure when I made him listen to it, but damn if it didn't stick in his head. Again, I am not so sure what she's saying, but I want to shake it like I am from Sri Lanka when I hear it.
5. "Hung Up" by Madonna- When Madonna meets ABBA, I flame out. Even the ghost of Liberace appeared (wearing sequins and a feather) and had to say, "Damn, that's really gay."
4. "Girl" by Beck- It's the only song this year that makes it seem like summer year-round. For best results, play while drinking a margarita and pretending he's not a Scientologist.
3. "One Thing" by Amerie- Something that somebody does to this chick makes her moan and groan and sing like a doorbell. Na-na-na-na-na-OH. Ding dong ding dong sing. She never says what it is, but aren't you curious?
2. "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz- I love really depressing songs disguised as dance music. Take away the iPod endorsements and the cackling in the background, and this is a melanholy statement about some corporation that’s going to take the entire world’s pain away.
1. "Since You Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson- Here's the thing...Have you ever met anyone that doesn't like this song just a little bit? Me neither, and don't leave comments if you have. It's pop perfection and vindication for all those Wednesday nights in law school I skipped a trip to the library to sit and vote for Kelly.
I really enjoyed albums by a lot of people this year, but who buys albums anymore? Here's who caught my ear with their lasest magnum opera: Annie, Madonna, Spoon, Coldplay, Bloc Party, Kanye West, The Decembrists. I especially enjoyed Beck's latest. And I especially enjoyed Fiona Apple's latest.
They caused inner conflict. They made me feel good about myself and bad about myself at the same damn time. They are Guilty Pleasures for the Year.:
7. "These Words" by Natasha Bedingfield- I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. This song was so meta-, I wanted to write a song about her writing a song about writing this song.
6. "Sugar We're Going Down" by Fall Out Boy- I often had the line "I'll be your number one with a bullet" running through my head. And I was willing to cock and pull the loaded God complex.
5. "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani- Is it weird if a song simultaneously reminds you of your days in marching band, your grandmother's funeral and a night out dancing? I thought so. Regardless, that shit was bananas.
4. "Helena" by My Chemical Romance- OMG, I'm like so goth right now! I just really respond to black-clad dancers with umbrella props at funerals.
3. "Trapped in the Closet"- by R. Kelly- It's a rock opera, song cycle, social statement and trainwreck all in one. Not to mention perfect fodder for a South Park episode. No 14 year olds were peed on in the making of this video.
2. "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas- Yes, I know you actually get stoopider listening to this song. Yes, I know we should be asking Fergie (courtesy JD) what she's gonna do with all that face. But I love it. And I don't care how you judge me for it.
1. "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey- I know Mariah is crazy. The best way i can describe my feelings about this song to you is through a story. I was walking down a Street in South Philly late one cold night and I heard a girl singing this song, word for word, from her bedroom window. She couldn't have been more than 12 or 13, but, man, she just really felt it. That's how I feel when I hear Mariah say, "Wait a minute, this is too deep..." That it is, Mariah, that it is.