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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Zach's fav songs of 2k8 pt 2: John Lennon was assassinated on porpoise

Part One

Hi! This installment seems a lot more respectable until you get to the end and lose your respect for me all over again.

50. The Killers - Spaceman
The Killers - Spaceman

So I don't think I've ever actively disliked a Killers single. "All These Things That I've Done," "Smile Like You Mean It," "When You Were Young," "Read My Mind" were all fantastic, if a bit stupid at times. Spaceman follows suit. follows spacesuit.

This is a song about being abducted by aliens I think. The lyrics sound okay until you actually listen to them, or read them:

Well now I'm back at home
And I’m looking forward to this life I live;
You know it's gonna haunt me,
So hesitation to this life I give.
You think you might cross over,
You're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea;
You better look it over,
Before you make that leap


Honestly, I've been listening to this song on repeat for an hour and it's not very noticeable. It's reliable. The chorus is nice. The Killers haven't changed much, and I really hope their idea of "growing as a band" isn't simply "writing songs about aliens." This isn't very enthusiastic. I guess I just wanted to use that picture. Still counts.

49. Q-Tip – Gettin’ Up
Q-Tip – Gettin’ Up

Three parts to this beat:
1. piano
2. drums
3. bass
Fantastically intertwined. This beat is gorgeous. Just a piano loop, a drum loop, a bass loop. No sample. And then there's Kamaal himself, who has one of my favorite voices in hip-hop, if not my favorite. Everything about the sound in this song is great. The lyrics aren't anything special, just a typical "settle down with me/have a lot of post-settling-down sex with me" jam, but there are some good lines in here:

I like to watch everybody gravitate towards you
Your magnetic presences make them come through
The same way you got them, you got me too.

48. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal

This is a song that would be a lot higher (as it is on everyone else's lists) if not for the fact that the lyrics put me off so much. I hate how I seem to be splitting every song into little sections and weighing them against each other, but that's really it. It's just a bit too cute! We're living in the post-cute era.

I was reading a blog or something, that called the harmonies of Fleet Foxes one of the musical highlights of 2008, and I completely agree. I barely even notice anything else about them. The a capella break at the end is so great.

Also, the video for this is incredible and I guess I'll talk about it in my videos list if I make one.

47. Panics at the Disco – Nine in the Afternoon
Panic at the Discos – Nine in the Afternoon


thank you, steve.

But not THAT talented.

46. Friendly Fires - Paris
Friendly Fires - Paris

Friendly Fires – Paris [Aeroplane Remix]

Every once in a while, Carles from HRO actually posts an mp3 and talks about it and he says it better than I can:
Yall. I remember I posted the rmx of this song, and I found it to be extra meaningful + applicable 2 my life. One day, I just want to live in Paris with some 1 who I authentically appreciate. We will live together, and achieve all of our dreams.

I think the original version is relatively conceptually satisfying in a ‘mainstreamish’ post-Rapture Cowbell Percussion kinda way. I feel like if I wuz still an entrylevelalt circa 2k4, I would have listened to this song a lot. (not sure if that’s good or bad).

I hated this at first. Just given the lyrics and the bored vocals (listened to the remix first) make it sound so unpleasant from all angles. It's about being one of those people who wants to move to Paris! And then it's also about people being too poor to fulfill their alt dreams. But it's all done with so much detachment that you don't really get the desire to relate to it: it becomes a portrait of someone else's hopelessness. It's also catchy as balls. The remix is great, but can you really call it a remix when it barely shares any of the elements of the original? It sounds like a straight cover.

45. The Hold Steady – Slapped Actress
The Hold Steady – Slapped Actress

This was another late edition, and the only song (so far) that I liked so much that it actually unseated and replaced the previous #45 ( It's For Real by MURS and 9th Wonder).

The Hold Steady is a band I've largely avoided, after being told by the entirety of the internet that they sound exactly like early Springsteen, listening to a few tracks from Boys and Girls in America, and deciding that that's entirely wrong and I hate you. (i'm the authority on this cause i named my blog after a springsteen lyric and you didn't, internet)

I still think they sound nothing like him except for the occasional inclusion of a couple similar instruments and "songs about young people" which is actually every rock song ever written. But I guess Slapped Actress might be the song that actually gets me to listen to them. Craig Finn is a really good writer, and how many of those are there right now? And that choir at the end. That's really most of the reason this song is on here.

Also, is that a harpsichord? I can't tell.

44. Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes
Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes

Another late addition, because I avoided Santogold completely up until a week or so ago. Whenever she popped up on hypey I just assumed she sounded like the Ting Tings or an electro remix group or something. I also don't watch The Hills?
Pleasant surprise! It's a great chorus, largely due to that ethereal gong-like… sound. And she's got a great voice.

There is still probably a 50/50 chance I never listen to another Santogold song in my life.

43. Vampire Weekend – M79
Vampire Weekend – M79

So they were the most hyped band of the year, and I think partially because of that, everyone listened to their debut once and jizzered in their pants, decided they're s0000 psymon/g-funkel cause of that one song, and then listened to it a few more times and got really bored. I did. So here's the obligatory VW pick! Listen to those strings! Look at that "we’re like The Strokes if they chose 'rich' as their gimmick instead! Everyone will love us because they miss having money!" attitude! This is an official LYM "BAND2WATCH" in 2k8.

42. The-Dream – I Luv Your Girl
The-Dream – I Luv Your Girl

Tricky Stewart is just such a great producer: he broke out last year with Umbrella, and has had four genuine REALLY GOOD (not that good) hits this year, with I Luv Your Girl, Leavin', Single Ladies, and Touch My Body. Tricky Stewart is also a very rich person (not that rich).

And The-Dream ended up writing a bunch of those. And this is actually a well-written song. I was told a long time ago that if I ever find myself defending a pop/R+B song, just cite the producer: "no man, it's cool, it's Timbaland!" (this was told to me in 2006). In this case I'd also cite The-Dream's writing. This song, plus the fact that he also co-wrote Leavin', suggests that the guy is really in love with someone else's girlfriend, and it probably tears him up inside (not that much tearing) and causes him to spend his nights eating ice cream (not that much ice cream) and not doing more co-production with Tricky Stewart (he also co-produced Single Ladies!)

Yes, I really like this song because of that one line towards the end.

Also it looks like he's doing a jig on the single cover.

41. Katy Perry – Hot N Cold
Katy Perry – Hot N Cold

Katy Perry – Hot N Cold [Yelle Remix]

Sry, due to my inability to look at the Japanese-made robo-sexdoll doppelganger manbeast that is Katy Perry and her stupid face, I've included a picture of Zooey Deschanel doing some of the many things Katy is unable to do (emoting, being able to sing, being likable). Also, for some reason, the cover of the single for Hot N Cold is a photo of her talking into a watermelon.

Things that don't suck about Katy Perry songs: her producers.

Things that suck about Katy Perry songs: everything Katy Perry is involved with, including the writing of lyrics, the vocal representation of those lyrics (can you hear her giggling inside when she says "like a bitch"? THE CASHIER AT SPENCERS LOOKED AT US LIKE WTF), and that MTV live performance where she walked around and awkwardly pushed the faces of all of the girls in the front row.

Also, the Yelle remix is INCREDIBLE. Mostly because once it gets to the chorus, Yelle just RIPS it from Katy and just starts singing a completely different song in French. <3uYelle

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