Best Songs of 2007December 28, 2007
Here, in general order, are my Top 17 (18) songs of 2007:
1. Of Montreal – The Past Is a Grotesque Animal
Oh man, this song came out of nowhere for this band, and it was doozy.
Here’s a way-subdued acoustic version of the song:
2. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great/All My Friends
On my first listen of “Sound of Silver,” I had enjoyed the first three songs quite a bit when the pulsating hum that opens “Someone Great” grabbed my attention and held it intently through that song’s 6+ minutes and all through the end of the bittersweet, not-quite-ready-to-give-up laments of “All My Friends”. These two songs are the heart of one of the year’s best albums; never has “electronic” music been so empathetic and dripped pathos so convincingly. Not only was the production great (a given for James Murphy & Co.), but the songwriting was beautiful. The pounding, slightly-off piano of “All My Friends” felt nervous and twitchy, like the day after an all-nighter and the impressionistic lyrics were vague enough that any listener over the age of 27 could immediately insert their own experiences and feelings to make an instant connection.
(I can’t say I’m a big fan of the sped-up version of the song in the video, though)
All My Friends:
3. Modest Mouse – Spitting Venom
The centerpiece of We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is the best song Modest Mouse has written in seven years. It puts all of the pieces that the band does well into a perfect sprawling mess of a song.
4. Battles – Tonto
Most “Best Songs of 2007” lists that include a Battles song include “Atlas” but I prefer “Tonto” as it is a little more nuanced and subtle. This song is like a mash-up of Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song” and any Ennio Morricone song as performed by the computer in Superman 3.
5. Eagle Seagull – I’m Sorry But I’m Beginning to Hate Your Face
The catchiest send-off since Beulah’s “Landslide Baby”. This song just sounds like summer.
6. Okkervil River – Our Life is Not a Movie Or Maybe
Will Sheff is one of the best lyricists in music today, and this song (and album) steps up the production and musical muscle of the band to match his considerable writing skills.
7. Arcade Fire – Intervention
It’s easy for me to forget how moving this song was when it first leaked at the beginning of the year, but this song is still a great example of how to do bombast well.
8. The National – Fake Empire
Man, I wish I was Matt Berninger. Or that I could at least sound as cool as him (despite the fact that every time I listen to a song by The National, I can’t help but think of Crash Test Dummies). The National creates a mood and sense of place as good as any band currently out there.
Fake Empire (live):
9. Dinosaur Jr. – Crumble
The tone on the guitar alone sold me on this song.
10. Tunng – Bullets
Are they a more modern Iron & Wine or a more rustic Super Furry Animals? Only you can decide.
11. The Shins –
Phantom LimbTurn On Me (I cheated and changed this after I posted; it occurred to me that Turn On Me is a way better song as I listed to Wincing the Night Away tonight.)
A song that almost got lost due to being released early in a year embarrassingly full of good music. (But the comment still stands.)
12. Wilco – Impossible Germany
This is the song that kept me coming back to Sky Blue Sky, an album that I was initially luke-warm (at best) about. It’s a good thing, too, as the album grew on me a lot throughout the year.
Impossible Germany (live):
13. Spoon – The Underdog
I was a little nervous when the first song leaked from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was “The Ghost Of You Lingers”, but when the second song from the album that I heard was “The Underdog”, I knew the new Spoon album would be just fine, and other than “The Ghost of You Lingers” it was (great, even).
14. Sunset Rubdown – The Mending of the Gown
For the opening track of an album that I generally do not like at all, I sure did listen to this song a lot this year.
The Mending of the Gown (live):
15. Sea Wolf – I’m A Wolf
Light. Breezy. Autumnal. This song’s melody was stuck in my head for months.
You’re A Wolf:
16. Shout Out Louds – Tonight I Have To Leave It
Best Cure song in 20 years. The energy is infectious.
Tonight I Have To Leave It:
17. The Go! Team – Grip Like a Vice
There is enough energy, excitement, instruments and words in this song for an entire album. You gotta love Ninja’s great vocals on this track.
Grip Like A Vice (live):