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Saturday, September 15, 2007

More Pointless Musical Ranting

Crap. It just occurred to me that I never finished my top 40 of the 90s, and Lawrence just asked the same crew to compile a 'top 20 of 2000-2004' - which, I must say, I found immensely more simple. I'm not sure why, as I'm a big, big fan of the Oughties so far, so you'd think I would have the same kind of crushing emotional burden. Perhaps it's the smaller scale, or my more mainstream/poptimist tastes this decade, or that there are some songs so huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge that they were impossible to ignore, or... I don't know. Anyway, I even managed to rank them! Which is unheard-of (and possibly inaccurate). Rules: it had to be released as a single; the ranking is subjective, as in 'my favourites', not objective, as in 'most important'; and I limited myself to one track per artist because otherwise there would be some unfair advantages to Jay-Z, Kanye, The White Stripes and the Super Furry Animals. Track list, 20-1:

Since I Left You - The Avalanches (The only flute sample on the list! Ethereal and joyous.)

No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age (My favourite air-drumming song. Proof that I only like loud, hard stuff if if you can sing along and dance to it.)

Hate To Say I Told You So - The Hives (Ridiculously badass. How can this song rule so much when the riff is just one giant recycling project? I don't understand it.)

Trick Me - Kelis (Milkshake is more, uh, 'important', but I like this one better. 'Freedom to you has always been whoever landed on your dick...' That economical little guitar part makes me happy.)

What You Waiting For - Gwen Stefani (I am the only person I know who loves this song. The only person. I don't get it: that awesome metronome beat! Those Missing Persons vocal tics! The weird-ass synth-guitar attack at 1 minute 40 seconds! 'You're still a super-hot fe-male!' It's a fucking ridiculous, over-the-top, amazing, stoopid piece of work. Still not sick of it. And it's a hit song whose subject is being anxious about... having a hit song. Heh.)

I'll Be Around - Cee-Lo (Timbaland's verse is hilarious, and I could listen to Cee-Lo read the phone book. Plus how infectious is this production? Nice work, Tim.)

Envy - Ash (It would be any old Ash song, except for those girlie 'ooooh-ooooh-oooohs'. And it kicks ass!)

Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) - Garbage (The only great song they've done since about 1995? Well, maybe that's harsh, but that squelchy backing track, and the handclaps, and listen to the *bells*! The bells in the middle eight! Oh my god that's great.)

H to the Izzo - Jay-Z ('He who does not feel me is not real to me, therefore he doesn't exist. So poof! Vamoose, son of a bitch.' The best thing Michael Jackson's been involved with since 1983: that Kanye West is a clever man. This fought 'Girls, Girls, Girls' and '99 Problems' for the top spot - but hey, it's the anthem. Get your damn hands up.)

(Drawing) Rings Around the World - Super Furry Animals (It's droney *and* poppy! Eat your  heart out, Dandy Warhols! If you listen veeerrrrrry carefully towards the end, you can hear the New Zealand telephone-recording-lady saying 'please hold on while I try that extension'. It really is rings around the world!)

Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake (Poor old Michael Jackson. Why can't he do this any more? Not being able to afford a Justin ticket this year is an everlasting regret...)

Listening for the Weather - Bic Runga (She seems to write perfect songs - melodies and lyrics - absolutely effortlessly. 'Busy with their starring roles in their own tragedies.' Every time she hits that high note in the chorus, I turn into mush.)

Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) - Spiller feat. Sophie Ellis-Bextor (I could listen to this on repeat for six straight hours. I bet someone has: one of the last gasps of ecstasy. I almost put Kylie's 'Love at First Sight' on this list, too, but thought it covered too much of the same ground.)

Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand (I don't know what I could say about this that someone else hasn't said. It's like some dance-rock mini-epic. With puns.)

Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes (Isn't it kind of ridiculous that this mighty, mighty brick shithouse of a song and 'Hey Ya!' came out in the same year? What was in the water?)

All Falls Down - Kanye West feat. Syleena (This wins the 'which Kanye song?' battle because, well, fuck me if the catchy bugger doesn't say something sort of profound in three minutes forty-five seconds. 'They made us hate ourself and love they wealth.')

Something to Talk About - Badly Drawn Boy (Ahhhhhhh. This is so mindblowingly pretty. How does he *do* this?)

Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips (Yes. Yes, I am a dirty stinking hippy. Yes, I cried during The Flaming Lips' set at the Big Day Out. Inexplicably comforting, transcendent and beautiful.)

Work It - Missy Elliott (She and Timbaland together are just awe-inspiring. It's... a Blondie sample, and a chorus you actually can't sing along with because it's backwards, and the sound of an elephant, and some bleeps and bloops, and some jokes, and... all these things somehow combine to make something utterly wonderful and bizarre and danceable and silly.)

Hey Ya! - OutKast (If there's a bigger song this decade, I don't know what it could be. The crazy thing is that it's fucking *great* too. Every single part of it is a hook, somehow: there are handclaps and grunts and synth parts and backing vocals all creating this giant Catchy Monster of a track, and then the lead vocal is... so idiosyncratic and compelling. And that's before you even get to the 'breakdown', which will utterly destroy the dancefloor at any decent party. 'Lend me some sugar. I am your neighbour!' One of those songs which fades out and you're like 'where did it go? Can it be that short?')

Bubbling under, apart from those already mentioned:  'Gone Fishing', The Phoenix Foundation; 'Hot in Herre', Nelly; 'Clint Eastwood', Gorillaz; 'Don't Tell Me', Madonna; 'Imitation of Life'', REM; 'Crazy in Love', Beyonce; 'A Little Less Conversation', Elvis vs JXL;  'I See You Baby', Groove Armada; 'Pretty (Ugly Before), Elliott Smith; 'Toxic', Britney Spears (amazingly); 'Get the Party Started', Pink; 'Hurt', Johnny Cash; 'Northern Lights', Goldenhorse.


At 5:16 pm, Blogger The Chair said...

It looks like a playlist for a BBQ at Jo's house.

Oh man. I miss it.

It's your birthday soon. I need to tell you that you're great on every site possible.

You're great. Happy birthday.

Oh, this is my work project blog thing. Ignore.


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