Saturday, 21 February 2009

Of My Favourite Songs

Okay this is wholly random post that I've felt like doing for a very long time. Essentially it's my top 10 songs of all time. Surprisingly almost every song has come from the past decade of music. I'm not saying "all music from pre-2000 is shit". It's just, well, I haven't gotten round to listening to the vast majority of it. There could be some stuff that is flat out fantastic but these are the songs which I get consistently stuck in my head or just that random urge to sit down and listen to them. They're also songs which remind me of significant portions of my life. Now I've missed out a lot of songs which I really, really like ("Where is my Mind" and "M79" are probably my two biggest regrets) however I'm happy with the list. Knowing my tastes it's probably going to be different in a month but hell that's music for you, consistently changing.

So for the list I limited myself to one song per band so as to not make it completely full of Weezer and Death Cab for Cutie (I'm really that obsessive) so here we go my favourite songs this moment in time.

10. "New Slang" The Shins
New Slang is one of those songs which I've always really liked but it's always that after thought song. I can list long streams of songs for people to listen to and then I'll usually say "Oh and New Slang". Its a fantastic song and always puts me in a really good mood (probably because it makes me think of Garden State) but compared to so many of the other songs on this list it doesn't get nearly as much playtime.

9. "Letter from an Occupant" The New Pornographers
I have a Canadian music addiction at the moment. New Pornographers, Moneen and Arcade Fire are some of my favourite bands and they're all from that funny country north of the USA that is oh so much fun to take the piss of (Clerks: Animated Series and How I Met Your Mother do it the best). However there is no denying that these people are fucking talented. Letter from an Occupant is a down right addicting listen. It's so upbeat that you can't help but crack a smile when you listen to it. Yes it might not be for everyone but hell if don't love how different this song sounds to most music nowadays

8. "Alive with the Glory of Love" Say Anything
The song I only started listening to recently. Its featured on Scrubs but I didn't notice it then. However when I downloaded " a Real Boy" I became addicted to this song. It might be the lead single from the disc but its the song I always skip to when I listen to that fantastic album. There are so many great songs on that album but this is one that jumps out at me. It's addicting like "Letter from an Occupant" except it sounds a bit more commercial. Except for the fact that it's about the holocaust....

7. "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" Arcade Fire
What? More Canadian music? Yes indeed. Arcade Fire are probably the best band in Canada at the moment (although I do prefer Moneen). Arcade Fire are known for some extremely grandiose music. In fact both Arcade Fire and New Pornographer have a lot more members than most bands and play a massive array of instruments. Arcade Fire almost have a classical element to them with instruments like violins along with guitars and keyboards. Neighborhood #1 is the first song on their first album and sets up exactly what they're going to do. Whilst the rest of the album has some great songs but this is the one I love to listen to the most.

6. "The Day No One Needed to Know" Moneen
I deliberated for ages on what Moneen song to put on here. "The Passing of America" and "The Song I Swore to Never Sing" are two of my other favourites but I feel that this song just sums them up best to me. At six minutes its a reasonably long song but it goes through so emotional high and lows and only two other songs can pull of a climax like this one. From some elements of screaming (I don't listen to that music often, promise) and then to a spoken word element before kicking off the last part of the song, I love this song consistently even if others pass it off a bit too quickly.

5. "The Modern Leper" Frightened Rabbit
My favourite band of 2008 and my favourite song of 2008. I love this song more than I love a lot of things. The song that kicks off "Midnight Organ Fight" shows just how far the band came from "Sing the Greys". There's a lot more emotion in this song than anything on their debut and sets up the tremendous song that they go on to perfect on the rest of the album. Okay yes it's a song about a guy likening himself to a leper but hell if it isn't catchy. Also? Some of the best drums ever.

4. "Death is the Road to Awe/Together We Will Live Forever" Clint Mansell
I know I said one song per band. However this is a one, two punch I can't ignore. Clint Mansell's score to the Fountain is the best score ever for any film and these songs that perfect the score. If I'd reviewed The Fountain already I would have gushed already but I'm going to do so here. Death is the Road Awe simply put has the best climax of any song ever. The music dips out for a few seconds and then we get a massive sensic rush as all the sound rushes back in a just overpowers you. It's a fantastic moment and then it's followed up by the most haunting piece of piano music ever. Simply beautiful.

3. "Such Great Heights" The Postal Service/Iron & Wine
Okay I broke the rules again. Technically this is two songs but they go together perfectly. They're both the same song but in completely different styles. When is electronic and upbeat in tempo, the other is a literally a gorgeous lullaby. Both versions work with the lyrics. One is more a less a guy so happy to be in love that he can't help but proclaim it. The other is a quiet love note full to the brim with beauty and romance. Both work perfectly and I honestly couldn't decide which version is better because they're bother perfect.

2. "I Will Follow you into the Dark" Death Cab for Cutie
Speaking of beautiful songs, here is a gorgeous one. Benjamin Gibbard is one of the best song writers at the moment (he wrote number 3 as well). This song is a beautiful little acoustic song that has become the highlight to Death Cab's album "Plans". Originally supposed to be a full band piece I'm glad it became just Gibbard and a guitar. It pulls out the beauty so much and is just haunting. It's been used recently in Scrubs and I will say embarrassingly that the first time I heard it over the scene I got a tear in my eye.

1. "Only in Dreams" Weezer
If you read this blog often you'll know my gushing love of this song. If you don't know simply put its 8 minutes of song perfection. The first 3 minutes are sung in an almost dream like state before being followed by the most perfect 5 minutes in all music. The best climax of any song ever (even better than "Death is the Road to Awe")

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