Sunday, 27 December 2009
Songs of the Decade
This list is not intended by any means to be objective or definitive...I've just put down some of the songs that have been significant for me personally in these past ten years. It's supposed to be a mix of the songs I (used to) love to listen to on the radio through to some obscure tracks, the only criterion being the song's release between 2000 and 2009.
It's quite obvious many of my favourite artists (let alone songs) have been ommited from this blog entry due to time and space restrictions... ;o))
In NO order whatsoever:
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers : Long, long before I bacame anything approaching a Victim (= a fan of The Killers) I'd full-on loved this song. This was the kind of stadium rock I could listen to because it had vulnerability, melacholy and euphory and a bit of pretentiousness - all at the same time. Oh, and the lyrics are pretty great too. I got soul but I'm not a soldier is the perfect anti-war chant of the new millenium, regardless of if it was meant to be one or not.
Viva la Vida - Coldplay : Once a Coldplay fan I drifted away with the thrid album but I was curious what would my beloved Brian Eno do with these hopeless soppy suckers and well, he worked miracles. The album was comercial as well as an artistic succes, this song's the best example: catchy, full of joy w/ pretty good lyrics; and even after almost two years I personally haven't grown tired of it yet.
American Idiot - Green Day : The frustration of the politics of G.W. Bush put into a song; this song gave the name to a whole, brilliant album, rich on great songs which ended up being huge hits. Tho I'm not as left-thinking as these three Californians and don't think Bush is as evil as it's been popular to say in the past dacade, I do love the raw emotions pooring from this song.
Wake Up - Arcade Fire : Probably the best and most original band that came out in the noughties. I could spend ages thinking about which of their songs touched me the most, which I think is the most beautiful. This song was the first that sprung to my mind, so decided to keep my initial choice here.
We could call Wake Up the spiritual anthem of the 00's.
Hometown Glory - Adele : Tho Adele sings about her hometown (London), I think I can easily apply what she sings to my hometown of Prague as well... So beautiful it hurts. Personally if I had to choose one song from the past decade, this one would be it.
Summertime - Robbie Williams : There probably are a more predictable choices off Robbie's 00's catalogue, yet I chose the closing track on Robbie's slightly more experimental album "Rudebox", a melancholic look back at the 90's - but for some reason I think this ode to carefreedom is pretty much timeless.
Stan - Eminem : The song that gave us Dido. The song that made even us music fans who don't care about hip-hop take notice. This is not just a great song of its genre, it's one of the best popular music songs ever.
-check out the live Grammy version with Elton John-
Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue : I still remember the first time I heard this song...wasn't a love on first listen but hearing it leaft me longing for more. One of the coolest female pop songs ever?
-3 Ivor Novello Awards-
Music - Madonna : Madonna's released many pop hits in the noughties and many of them richer in message that this particular one but somehow this clever ode to...yeah ya guessed it...music still stands out.
The Way It Is - Nicole Atkins : Grown man were moved to tears listening to Nicole singing this song on David Letterman's late night talk show. And many more men and women were subsequently moved to tears when the video of the said performance appeared on YouTube. The power of music. The passion of love. That can move some.
Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers : RHCP managed being both epic and very entertaining with this song. - And I'm not even talking about the video. ;o)
Bring Me The Disco King - David Bowie : For all the brilliance that is Bowie's album "Heathen" I decided to choose the closing track of his (so far) last album "Reality" released in 2003. As the song was written back in the early 90's it puts this thought in your head: did Bowie save it for his last ever song? Coincidence or not...this song couldn't be a better soundtrack to his 'retirement'.
Don't let me know when you're opening the door
Stab me in the dark, let me disappear
King of the Mountain - Kate Bush : A song for Elvis was the song that Kate Bush decided to return with after more than a decade of being a stay-at-home mum. My favourite female singer and songwriter couldn't be ommited from this list.
Elvis, are you out there somewhere looking like a happy man?
In a snow with Rosebud and king of the mountain?
Citizen Kane, Elvis, Michael Jackson...timeless song, it seems.
-UK No. 3-
Home and Dry - Pet Shop Boys : Together with I Get Along the two songs that started my love for this British duo. Probably one of the most beautiful and the most tender love songs these two have ever written. Gone is the irony, here comes the sadness.
Juicebox - The Strokes : Yes, the first song I ever heard this band play was Last Nite and tho that song is pretty hot and all, it doesn't get me going as much as Juicebox. I just love Julian's singing here. I don't really listen to what he's singing about...as far as I am concerned, this song is pure sex.
Fistful of Love - Antony and the Johnsons : Before I ever bought Antony's second album, this song was the first of his I'd ever heard. The irony, of course, is that the song kicks off with Lou Reed's spoken words (I vaguely remember Lou might have been the reason I decided to give Antony a try in the first place).
I Want Love - Elton John : I became a fan of Sir Elton in the noughties (after having a crush on David Furnish for many years, mind you) and I love his recent albums very much. Wasn't easy to choose one song: it basically was a tie between this one (the Robert Downey Jr. song), not very known American Triangle (featuring Rufus Wainwright) and This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore (a minor hit).
Poses - Rufus Wainwright : eventually became a fan of Ruffie in the last few years (he does have quite a few celebrity fans, doesn't he) after many years of trying to love his voice and failing. Of all of his songs that I feel passionate love for I have to choose Poses which is a song I liked even in those dark times and because of the lyrics I did go from wanting to be someone, now I'm drunk and wearing flip - flops on Fifth Avenue. Genius, much?
Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole - Martha Wainwright : Rufus's 'Little Sister' proved to be no softie with this single. She might sing it to her dad but I choose to somehow interpret it as someone's lament to oneself and/or to God.
Take Your Mama - Scissor Sisters : I first noticed Scissor Sisters performing this song at Live 8. I'd heard about them before but never quite got around to listen to them. Hilariously enough it wasn't the yummy loonie Jake Shears that stuck in my memory from that performance but it was the fabulous Ana Matronic...
The Sisters do have better songs than this one but this was my very first, you know. ;o)
(P.S. Ana, I love you.)
Ulysses - Franz Ferdinand : Became a fan of Franz Ferdinand (fan club card and all) thanks to David Bowie's recommendation and this band hasn't let me down yet. Tho I'm a huge fan of their acoustic songs as well as their dancy hits, I had to eventually choose this weirdness from their recent album because it's just brilliant. :o)
Rain - Mika : I knew and loved this song as a piano ballad (see Mika's second DVD), and I love it as a 90's disco type track it ended up being on "The Boy Who Knew Too Much", not a hit in the UK but it best shows Mika's talents for blendig euphoric, sad and dancy into one beautiful song.
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes : Tho this is the obvious choice, I don't think this song is in any way overrated and it just is one of the best rock songs ever. I did consider putting my personal fave Icky Thump here but then I thought, what the hell, I love this one just as much and, well, it was the song that made the general public pay attention, after all.
Carolina Drama - The Racounteurs : Listen I'm not like an obssesive fan of Jack White or anything (only have a fetish for his voice and hair) but this guy IS in three succesful bands and he IS a great musician, so including two of his songs here is quite inevitable.
I suppose this is my crime stories & dark humour loving side that puts this song in the all-time-fave rank.
Family Portrait - P!nk : I fully understood the greatness of this song only this year when I finally saw P!nk live and the piano version of it literally moved me to tears. "M!ssundaztood" was quite an important album for me at that time but only now getting to the age P!nk was when she recorded it I can see all the layers.
Muse - Ruled by Secrecy : After many years of trying to ignore these smug looking losers I finally warmed up to them through this particular song that's been one of figure skaters' favourites. No kidding, I became a fan of Muse (who are actually very funny guys) thanks to figure skating. :o))
The Jeep Song - The Dresden Dolls : Might be an odd choice. Probably the most conventional of all their songs (or Amanda's for that matter) but I do have a soft spot for it. I wouldn't go as far and say it's my DD favourite but it is a break-up poppy song with some brilliant lyrics, so what the heck.
Lover All Alone - Clay Aiken : Released in 2008 on the singer's 4th studio album it's so far the only song he wrote the lyrics to. But what lyrics. Let's just write I couldn't say it better myself...(and I totally couldn't SING it better ;o) ).
What I also like about this song is that it mostly relies on the piano and even tho some strings creep in later (the cello's beautiful, tho), this song is still among the least MOR songs Clay's recorded and one of the most organic, raw sounding and most beautiful.
Redeem Me (Beauty Will Redeem the World) - Marc Almond : Written after recovering from his serious accient in 2004 and released three years later this song looks back at Marc's life of wild depravity that the singer doesn't miss; but ultimately this song is a reconsiliation with oneself and an ode to life - and to the beauty of it.
And for me personally I need some beauty in my life could be THE lyric best describing my personality...
The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash : The 00's was the decade in which we lost many great musicians: George Harrison, Michael Jackson or Ray Charles among them but none of these guys have been around for as long and left as great an impact on popular culture as a whole as Johnny Cash did. Taking to account this was one of the last songs he's ever written, one can easily see the genius of The Man In Black.