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The office-block persecution affinity.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Lawrence's list has inspired me, but I am incapable of ranking and I have a poor memory for things. Additionally, 2004 was the year in which I finally accepted that I am the human equivalent of the Billboard Top 40 Singles Chart; considering how much music I own and love, there are very few albums I listen to in a sitting and I am, to be honest, a big hooks ho-bag with no sense of thematic continuity. For years I tried to be a real music nerd, quashing my song-from-here-and-a-song-from-there desires as best I could. But no more! 'Random Play All' is my favourite command on the fake iPod, and I am doing my best to be proud that I have the musical attention span of a gnat. Besides, if I end up actually listening to an album all the way through on a regular basis, it must be a totally killer piece of work. Right? Right?

Yeah, OK, I'll keep telling myself that. So given my particular issues with ranking, memory and attention span, here's a selection of the songs I loved last year. (Some of them are even from the same album, thereby undermining my entire previous point. Oh, whatever.)

Everything Kanye West touched gave me joy. This includes not only songs from The College Dropout ('Through the Wire', 'We Don't Dare', 'Get Em High', 'Slow Jamz', 'All Falls Down' - which contains the best - or perhaps only - psychohistorical deconstruction of bling ever in a kickass poppy hiphop song) but also Alicia Keyes' 'You Don't Know My Name' and Twista's 'Overnight Celebrity'. The sped-up soul sample thing just does not get old to me.

'I'll Be Around', Cee-Lo (Timbaland's verse kills me, for some reason. 'If you leave the door open mama'll cuss you out!') Please note that my very late discovery of the second Cee-Lo album will probably spawn some more song obsessions later in the year.

'Saint Simon', The Shins (yes, yes, it was released in 2003, I know. I don't care.)

'Little Red Shoes', Loretta Lynn

'Take Me Out', 'Matinee', and 'Jacqueline', Franz Ferdinand

'Country Darkness', 'There's a Story in Your Voice', 'Either Side of the Same Town', 'Heart-Shaped Bruise', 'Scarlet Tide', Elvis Costello and the Imposters. (I was perilously close to giving up on him but don't call it a comeback. He's been here for years. LL Cool J knows.)

'Dry Your Eyes', The Streets (I don't care if he stole it, it's still heartbreaking)

'Public Service Announcement/Long, Long, Long', Danger Mouse (from The Grey Album, obviously)

SJD's singles

'Move Over', Betchadupa

'Going Fishing', Phoenix Foundation (another 2003 release)

'We Gon' Ride', Dei Hamo. Most of the time I find NZ hip-hop terrific when it concentrates on our uniqueness rather than cloning the whole ghetto/hoochie American thing. (For one thing, our hoochies really aren't up to the challenge, they all look far too wholesome! And for another no matter how hard you try to thug up our urban back streets, they always look sort of fresh and appealing and not at all scary.) But the Dei Hamo video is the exception that proves the rule, somehow. Pimped rides and hot chicks and back streets and yet it worked! Astounding. And funny.

'Su'amalie / Ain't Mad At You', Tha Feelstyle (rap in Samoan! What is he saying? Who cares? He's 358 years old and he's kicking your ass!)

'Polyester Meets Acetate', The Brunettes

'What You Waiting For?', Gwen Stefani (I can't get over the 'you're still a super-hot female!' bits. Love 'em.)

'Northern Lights', Goldenhorse (yes, too old to be new, but they re-released it this year! So it sort of counts. Special award for 'best rip-off of the 'Silly Love Songs' bassline'!)

'Silverdale', Ed Cake (special award for 'meanest parody of Goldenhorse'!)

'Fools Love', Misfits of Science

'Gentle Hum', Finn Brothers (awwww)

'Heroes and Villains', Brian Wilson (awwww!)

'Pretty (Ugly Before)', Elliott Smith (sigh)

That Estelle song that Alex likes is badass too, I agree. '1980, year that god made me...' All right, that'll do, incomplete or not. I'm sleepy.


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