Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Phil's Top 25 Songs of 2009

I was considering using images for this post. Then I realized formatting on Blogger is like trying make a dog wear a sweater. As cute as it'll look, it's a pain in the ass and never looks exactly the way it should.

So 2009 was a great year for music! We had Lady Gaga bleeding from the hips, Kanye finally learns he needed to put down the bottle, and the rise of the dreamwave and refined electropop sound. Understand that my taste in music should not affect your taste in music, nor should you let any tight-jean-wearing hipsters who use decimal points to rate albums dictate your taste either. Consider me your playlist man. Of 2009. Listen to the songs (minus my #2 song) in the Lala player below. Sit back and relax, folks.

1. Animal Collective - "My Girls": A frolicking psychedelic ride about every man's simple wants and needs. Ok, that was pretentious. He just wants four adobe slabs and his girls.

2. Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks": Timeless, clever, and fresh. Good for those bus rides when you stare out your window and contemplate your life like it's directed by Zach Braff.

3. Dirty Projectors - "Stillness is the Move": IMO, Dave Longstreth's band's Bitte Orca isn't a great album. But when he writes songs as self-deprecating and groovy as this, I gotta give him props.

4. Phoenix - "Fences": Valium and electronica.

5. Bat for Lashes - "Daniel": Natasha Khan made it cool to have a teenage heartthrob again. Be still my heart.

6. Girls - "Hellhole Ratrace": Plays out like some drunken late-night tirade, but turns out to be a concert hall sing-along.

7. Washed Out - "New Theory": Hums like elevator music, sounds like an escalator descending into a giant jacuzzi.

8. Metric - "Gimme Sympathy": Rarely are pop songs put together this well, and still not given any radio play. Except in Canada and college.

9. Camera Obscura - "French Navy": This is what romantic comedies should be using to back up key scenes, but end up buying the rights to some shitty Natasha Bedingfield tune.

10. Franz Ferdinand - "What She Came For": Cigarettes, guitar licks, and slick hair.

11. Passion Pit - "Moth's Wings": Wake up to eggs and bacon with this song playing, and I promise you there'll be no red lights on your drive to work (Editor's Note: I take it back.)

12. Kid Cudi ft. MGMT and Ratatat - "Pursuit of Happiness": By no means is Kid Cudi in the pantheon of great hip-hop of the last ten years, but he crosses genres like Lady Gaga crosses genders - and like her, apparently gets away with it.

13. Tegan & Sara - "On Directing": Their album Sainthood proves to be their strongest sound yet, and the Quins' little ditty stands out like a sore loser in love. Good call, twins.

14. Hockey - "Song Away": "I want to write a truthful song over an 80's groove." They got the last part right.

15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Zero": Not quite "Maps", but Karen O and Co. keep 'em coming.

16. La Roux - "Bulletproof": Elly Jackson's voice comes at you like a tidal wave, and so does her hair.

17. Matt & Kim - "Lessons Learned": It's not that "Daylight" didn't do it for me, but the four-on-the-floor drums did me in here.

18. Yo La Tengo - "Here to Fall": From their latest potpourri album Popular Songs, this tune fits into the "pained lover" category. I think.

19. The Sounds - "No One Sleeps While I'm Awake": Maja Ivarsson channels Grace Slick's contralto in this glam rock wonder.

20. The xx - "Stars": Remember how I mentioned dreamwave above? Yeah, this is what I'm talking about.

21. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Ramona": For a B-side, this sticks out stronger than some of the released singles from their self-titled album. But check out their other work as well.

22. Noah and the Whale - "Blue Skies": A very literal song about heartbreak, but the orchestral tweaks are what won me over. The entire album deserves a spin.

23. The Antlers - "Sylvia": Depressing, yet redeeming. It'll rattle you like an insulin shot.

24. Dragonette - "Easy": A pop song, but a love song. It might not make you dance, but it'll make you smile. (Editor's Note: That sounded cheesy.)

25. Uninhabitable Mansions - "Maps Not Accurate": A supergroup that includes Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Au Revoir Simone, it's hard to say where they landed on the sound - but it's fresh.

Here's to 2009. Auld Lang Syne. -- PC

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