Thursday, December 27, 2007

Best Songs of 2007

We've done our favorite full-lengths and our favorite shows. Truth be told, we consume a lot more mp3s these days (Rockist sacrilege, I know) than complete albums. But songs have a life themselves and they're the most basic form of music consumption possible. I've always held the belief that one brilliant song can be as much of an achievement as anything else, and, frankly, that the Kingsmen should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame purely on the strength of "Louie Louie" alone. Maybe that's just me.

G.H.:

10. "Pearls on a String" - Ryan Adams. He might miss as often as he hits with little ditties like this, but he hits here with a damn purty one.

9. "Sleeping Lessons" - The Shins. An underwhelming third album that was still pretty good kicked off with this rousing opener.

8. "When You Were a Millionaire" - The Eames Era. The place in my heart for tight, girl-boy vocal, sugary indie pop is larger than I care to admit.

7. "Down in the Valley" - The Broken West. They could never quite muster the studio perfection of this choice little nugget onstage, but that shouldn't detract too much from the power pop gem of the year.

6. "Beautiful Machine, Parts 1-4" - The Apples in Stereo. Yes, it comprises two tracks and four parts, and neither track seems really related. But ol' Bob Schneider gave them the same name, and under that name he penned and recorded one of the best lysergically-infused song suites of his impressive career.

5. "Right or Wrong" - Sloan. Off an album of like fifty songs, there were a handful of real quality standouts. Of these standouts, there was only one contender for this list.

4. "Rotten Hell" - Menomena. Catchy little tune about "strangeholds" turns into a charging, uplifting coda, the best of the year.

3. "Dress Blues" - Jason Isbell. Easily the most poignant, heartbreaking song of the year in my book, and easily the best song written about the fallout of the war in Iraq. I've said it before, but if Tim McGraw records this, it goes platinum.

2. "(Antichrist Television Blues)" - The Arcade Fire. As far as subject matter goes, father-daughter songs about trying to honor Jesus by turning your little girl into a teen idol are few and far between. That's probably best, though Win Butler and his Canadian circus do wonders with the weirdest Springsteen song ever.

1. "The General Specific" - Band of Horses. Sometimes you just have to give it to the best tune. I personally find the almost-lazy, clanking percussion addictive (kinda like this tune), and twang-filled, pot-scented late afternoon groove just reeks of the band's move back down South.

Rob:

When I think of the best songs of 2007, unlike G.H., I think of songs off of albums that were released in 2007, not 2006 (see his number 5). Not realizing that we would be doing this list, most of these songs are found on the Top 10 Albums post. My apologies for the redundancy.

10. "Ada" - The National. Even though it's not one of the more upbeat songs on the album, which I actually complained about, the piano and acoustic guitar tug at my heartstrings. Kind of like pandas.

9. "So It Goes" - The Broken West. When I got this album, I listened to this song at least 4 times in a row. As G.H. pointed out, TBW live don't completely live up to the album... except on this song.

8. "Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe" - Okkervil River. The dragging end of The Stage Names is a complete 180° from this song. At least they have one good one on there. Sorry guys...

7. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" - Radiohead. While listening to this I anticipated a 2 measure break out, as in Kid A's "Morning Bell," but it never happened. And it's better for it.

6. "Champion" - Kanye West. The broken record style of the Steely Dan sample is so catchy, it's almost annoying. But not quite.

5. "Intervention" - The Arcade Fire. I can't believe I would love a song that reminds me of Catholics so much... just kidding Catholic friends.

4. "Closer At Hand" - Field Music. Have I talked about these guys before? Seriously, though. This is my favorite band discovered this year.

3. "Ode To LRC" - Band of Horses. The world IS a wonderful place.

2. "I'm Taking The Train Home" - The Twilight Sad. The power and emotion exuded in this song makes it impossible to keep off the list. My ears have never rang harder after hearing this song live.

1. "Islands On The Coast" - Band of Horses. What? 2 BoH songs? And 2 different BoH songs as number one? Holy crap. We must be getting paid by BoH. How many times can I say BoH in one post? The descending triplets that start off this song still give me shivers.

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