Dec 31 Published in music, Best of 2009 by Peggy
It's almost impossible to get any list down to just 5 items. That's what's so fun about this exercise every year. It's a crazy thing to pursue. But, inspired by the character in High Fidelity, it's become a ritual for me.
So here, on the last day of the year, are my top 5 songs of 2009, not in any special order:
-- Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling
I can't believe I'm putting a Black Eyed Peas song in this list. I generally don't like the Black Eyed Peas. "My Hump" was for me the nadir of civilization as we know it. But now that I've discredited my own judgment, I will declare I Gotta Feeling to be one of the best songs of 2009, because it is just so darn catchy.
(My son says this song is "the worst song [he has] ever heard." To him I say, Jake, go ahead and make your own list, and do not put this song on it. But years from now, you'll regret it.)
Anyway, in the dance song category I Gotta Feeling beat out some strong contenders, namely Bad Romance by Lady Gaga and, of course, Day Dreaming by Drama with Akon and Snoop Dogg. All great dance songs.
-- Eminem, Beautiful
Eminem is so beautiful. He's got such a grasp on irony, musically and lyrically. And then he lets the irony go. This song is outstanding.
-- Third Eye Blind, Sharp Knife
Third Eye Blind: again, not my favorite band, and they've been around a while. I can't stop listening to this song. The lead singer has developed a nicely grounded voice, almost like the Kings of Leon vocalist, and the guitar is outstanding.
Pictures of this band are extremely boring.
-- Cage the Elephant's Ain't No Rest for the Wicked has an edgy sound, great guitar, kind of a Jack White-esque thing happening.
Hmm, not boring. On the other hand, this doesn't look good for Cage the Elephant.
-- Sabali, by Amadou and Mariam.
Weirdly compelling, while eerie. These guys are some of my favorites from the last decade and this is one of their best. Sort a Tegan-and-Sarah flavor to the vocals and synthesizer this time.
It's all so good with Amadou and Mariam.
Runners up! Who else was on the short list this time?
Well, we have Muse with Uprising. Love the clapping.
There's Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes with Empire State of Mind — since I'm a New Yorker, the whole "New York" upswell totally grabs me. New York will inspire you! On the other hand, "City never sleeps, better slip you an Ambien." It's kind of a mixed bag.
Tokyo, by Telekinesis.
Zero, by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they are a great group. It came thisclose to getting into the top 5, maybe I should redo the list and put it in.
This one came very close as well: Lizstomania by Phoenix, also by a new band, also very cool.
Sufjan Stevens, You Are the Blood: It's a cover, or it might have made it to the top 5. (The original is by the Castanets, I have yet to listen to it.) The song is quite long, but on the other hand it's very good, so it's like 4 excellent songs, or at least 2 excellent ones and 2 that are pretty good, and all of them different. Even the parts that are mostly taped noises (a la Revolution #9) are worth a listen.