My Favourite Songs of 2010 #20-11
I love lists. I’ll make them for almost anything: shopping, plans, ideas, books, films, and of course music. It seems to be a universal truth acknowledged by Nick Hornby that music fans are one of the greatest fans of lists. I will make playlists of favourite tracks for each season, each mood, and each genre. And of course the end of the year list. For me an end of the year list is a perfect way of remembering what has been released in the past year.
20. Example – Kickstarts One of my friends once told me that every review I write begins with “I used to hate this song but…” This, I suppose, could have been the beginning for this song. Since Watch The Sun Come Up was released, I feel Example has been struggling to measure up to that standard. The album this year, while good, still centred around a handful of brilliant singles. Kickstarts in the end turned out to be one of those such singles. Catchy, melodic, and a far cry from Eyeballs Painted Black and Vile. As with all Example, the extended mix is far superior. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHuBAaVF-fQ] 19. Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand The partnership of A-Trak and Armand Van Helden is one of the most enjoyable pairings in electronic music. Together they’ve already created songs which I think outrank anything either did solo. Barbra Streisand‘s simplicity provides its own satiability. Disco House for the masses, Duck Sauce hit the nail on the head here. Luckily for this YouTube posting, I actually prefer the edit of the music video. The different people repeating the title lyric should have made it to the single cut. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu_zwdmz0hE] 18. KiD CuDi – REVOFEV CuDi has gotten around a lot in the past couple of years, dropping a verse or vocal for anyone who’s anyone and Kanye West thinks he’s the best thing since, well, Kanye West. ‘Man on the Moon II’ was released this year and with it came a more laid back assortment of tracks from our “Big Brother.” Compared to the bleak and angst-filled tracks from his debut, on REVOFEV, CuDI sings “Let go/Life does get tough/No need to stress/Holds you back too much/Let’s go/I heard they found a solution/Where will you be for the revolution?” [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYR74zUohSA] 17. Phaeleh ft. Soundmouse – Afterglow When Whistla coined the term ‘future garage’, he (rather conceitedly) called it more of a “movement” than a genre. Producers are, primarily, taking their favourite bits from garage, 2-step, dubstep, house, tribal and afro. Yet the movement also allows for the ambient-influenced such as Phaeleh to be included under the moniker. Afterglow is Offshore for a generation of electronic fans brought up on dubstep. Beautiful, euphoric and relaxing. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0Qy_kwIqBY] 16. Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People Five years after ‘Illinois’ was released, Sufjan admits that the 50 states idea was just a gimmick. Which is a shame, because I was quite enjoying it all so far. This year he releases the brilliant Age of Adz, but his standout track remains this gem on the self-titled EP. An eleven and a half minute epic dealing with his painful self-doubt concerning his religious beliefs, All Delighted People draws out existential thought like no-one else can. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3bQr8laLLU] 15. Hooray for the Earth Vs. Twin Shadow – Place We Like Twin Shadow never quite grabbed me on their own. I found their practically free self-released debut mediocre throughout. Yet when the Rough Trade bonus disc was leaked, it contained this remix with Hooray for Earth. Place We Like fills a space that seems to have been left since Of Montreal released ‘Hissing Fauna…’ [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUEk9jvxIUg] 14. Kanye West ft. Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, and KiD CuDi – The Joy I can see why this was left from the final cut of MBDTF but part of me wishes it had made it. Kanye raps on Pete Rock’s perfect sampling of Curtis Mayfield’s The Makings of You, like he hasn’t since ‘College Dropout’ and Jay-Z’s flow on this could be ripped straight from Reasonable Doubt. What more could you want? [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTe_J1tdLok] 13. Matt Tolfrey & Christopher Sylvester ft. Kevin Knapp – Real Talk There’s not many people who could carry the line “So I rolled into this spot the other day/Peeps were just chillin’, you feel me?” Yet on Real Talk the vocal sample sounds like the coolest thing you’ve heard. It features one of the best drops on a tech-house track all year, when the half-a-bar of reverse-sampling peaks, briefly confusing anyone slightly inebriated. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSxQry2_X04] 12. Cults – Go Outside Including Jim Jones’ famous soundbite “But to me death is not… death is not a fearful thing, it’s living that’s treacherous,” might not seem to be the best way to start a song with melodic lo-fi xylophone and beautiful harmonies, but it works incredibly well. Go Outside sounds like it came from nowhere, washed up on a beach in a bottle, on a hot summer’s day. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHhEBqRTXdk] 11. Massive Attack – Paradise Circus (Gui Boratto Remix) From the blissful and the euphoric, to the dark and haunting. Gui Boratto’s remix of, the already chilling, Paradise Circus is hypnotic. Massive Attack are the undisputed kings of trip-hop, yet Gui Boratto’s minimal reworking of this track, take Hope Sandoval’s vocal and that bassline to another level. “It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm/We can roll ourselves over when we’re uncomfortable/Oh well, the devil makes us sin/But we like it when we’re spinning in his grip.” [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFTCr9CIZ0o] 10-1