Dec 3, 2007

Best Songs of 2007

Spencer: Here's looking at you kid.
Panda Bear: Cheers mate, you're quite a talent.
S: Thanks, just one thing. How did you get 2 songs in Wayne's top ten?
PB: Oh, he has some silly rule about one song per album. I wouldn't worry about him. He can be funny like that.
S: Ah, yeah. I probably could have ruled this list then, hey?
PB: No doubt, bro. Anyway you got number one, so congrats.
S: Thanks, man. Love the old school Orioles cap, btw.

2007. Where to begin? Where to start? Well how about my favourite songs of 2007. Trying to narrow the selection down to 10 is an almost impossible task, but here goes anyway. In this process I think I am sure to forget songs I love. I also figured it is probably singularly impossible to listen to everything released in 2007. Although I have tried my best in that regard. What do I look for in a great song? Well I believe a great song should have the ability to affect three parts of your body. The heart, the mind and the hips. That is, hopefully it will be sufficiently emotional, rigourously intelligent and undeniably catchy enough to get your body moving. I need it to have a great melody, if it's just bringing rhythm then it just won't get the job done. I need it to feel fresh and original, yet still drawing on its past influences. I do hope the lyrics are daring and fierce in their emotions. Preferably the instrumentation will be original and organic, it needs to bleed through the speakers. A great song for me will always reach that "goose bump time", that moment when inspiration meets execution. When the chills up your spine are not because you forgot to close the window. Now you might have grasped by now that I have a certain affection for "Random Spirit Lover", in fact its greatness could have simply filled this list with ease. Songs like "The Mending of The Gown" and "Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days" are quite stunning in every possible way. But I decided to limit Sunset Rubdown to just one appearance in this list. Their song wins the number one position, the others are listed in no particular order. Just know this, they are all special to me. I hope you enjoy.

The Taming of the Hands That Came Back To Life-Sunset Rubdown
The opening drums are like a kick to the head. Wake up, you are in Spencer's world. The keyboards that follow are like a clarion call to the creative genius of this man. What ensues is six minutes of magic. I still don't really know what this song is truly about, but the relentless rhythm, the glorious vocals, the head rush of excitement is just overwhelming. Overflowing with ideas, brimming with beauty. This song is crushing, like a buzz saw to the brain enveloped in a soft bed of down. Delirious and transcendental. Breathe it in. Extraterrestrial.
"Will you live in the physical world?
With the sun setting low and the shadows unfurled
Can you live with the way they make you look unreal?"

A With Living-Do Make Say Think
Can guitars weep? Can guitars leap from the speaker, down your throat and into your heart. In the hands of this Canadian collective, they can. This song doesn't shout greatness, it whispers it. Using vocals on a rare occasion, they are employed with stunning effect. When the song bursts into life after warm and fuzzy guitars lap at your ears, your heart will soar. This song has so many layers, exquisite guitar, sublime drumming and glorious harmonies. Halfway through it slows to a mellifluous halt as guitars trill and tremble. After that, it is like a glorious comedown as the guitars slink and sway, crashing off cliffs and careening into the abyss. Glorious.

While You Were Sleeping-Elvis Perkins
As real and as starkly heartfelt a song you will ever hear. Simple strum of guitar adorns the gentle and soothing voice of Elvis. A simple melody, yet amazingly unforgettable. This song defines momentum, a story of heartbreak unfolds, building and building before derobing the bare emotion on display. Understated beauty never sounded so good. A sad story was never more sweetly told. I would contend that if this song of truth doesn't move you then maybe you put a hand on your heart and see if it is still ticking.
"I walked on tiptoe, sent darkness swirling over
all the kitchen in the early morning
I'll never catch up to you
who sleeps so sound
my arms are useless
my heart beats too loud to go to sleep
my mind's too proud to bow out"

Bushels-Frog Eyes
And then we felt the musical world turned upside down. The wild and mercurial world of Frog Eyes, a world where nearly all other music appears vain and mundane. This song crushes and devours. It chews you up and spits you out. Complex and detailed to the extreme, Mercer pleads and howls over frenetic guitar. His heart seems likely to burst forth from the song. Draining yet remedial, the song reaches into another stratosphere when the vocals go from being a cry for help into a demolition of a soul of a man. Spectacular.
"When am I going to feel the sting of your sun?
I was a singer, I sang on your heart
I was a singer and I sang on your home..."

Chores-Animal Collective
Jump, jump, jump. Feel the pulse quicken and nearly explode. Panda Bear's sublime melodies crash headlong into this band's unique and original tribal rhythms. Drums crash and burn, sound effects abound. Then at 1.40 the song slows and blossoms into this paean of slow burning majesty. A testament to the pure and resplendent genius that is Animal Collective. Truly, they are not of this planet. They just visit us sometimes.

Bros-Panda Bear
Extraordinary, revelatory. An exposition of the very possible limits of sound. Can a rhythm and melody have ever been fused so tightly together with such great affect. My mind sometimes freezes when I listen to this. I say this. It doesn't imitate Brian Wilson. Brian Wilson wishes he could have written something as life affirming and as majestic as this. To say this song has momentum would be an understatement. Try to concentrate on every single note on display, then tell me this is not a work of divine inspiration.

The Underdog-Spoon
Trying to choose a favourite song off "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" is like trying to pick your favourite child. It is such a complete and supreme work I did have difficulty. So I just went for the catchiest. That didn't help, really. Well, I settled for "The Underdog". Why, play this 100 times in a row and tell me if you grow tired of it. I didn't think so. Britt Daniel just knows how to write intelligent, soulful songs that wrap themselves around you. And that husky voice gets me every time. Just one question, why wasn't this a number one song? Go figure.

Apartment Story-The National
One wisp of Matt Berninger's voice is enough. Enough to make you tremble and shake. From a album that is truly great, this was my favourite. Great, elastic drumming, throbbing guitar and a glorious melody. Then that voice, crooning like no other. This song is dark and delicious, inviting and delectable. Also I have strong personal reasons for loving this song. Let's just that when I play this I always think of someone special.
"We’ll stay inside til somebody finds us
do whatever the TV tells us
stay inside our rosy-minded fuzz for days."

Muscle'n Flo-Menomena
That organ. That friggin', blessed organ. If it weren't for the now well proven theory that is gravity, I would float on air every time I heard this song. Thankfully this sublime song is more than that. Gorgeous harmonies, a groovalicious rhythm, lyrics that are plaintive but also hopeful.
This is experimental music with enormous heart. But oh, that organ. 2.20. Stunning.
"Well here I stand
a broken man
If I could I would raise my hands
I come before you humbly
If I could I'd be on my knees."

What We Had-Handsome Furs
Is there a more expressive singer in the world then Dan Boeckner. On a album that is purely magnificent from start to finish, this was still my favourite. Oh, so simple but eternally glorious. A simple drum beat meshed with the rumble of a lonely guitar. All held together by that brooding, towering voice. Dark and deliberate, this song exudes sorrow.
"They're all our eyes are saucered to see
as if hands might float right down from above
and change this place
nobody here, don't mean a thing."

I couldn't help myself, here are ten more moments of musical magic-

Becoming All Things-Zookeeper
Intervention-Arcade Fire
Country Caravan-Blitzen Trapper
Unless It's Kicks-Okkervil River
Kookaburra-John Vanderslice
Behold the River-The Snake The Cross The Crown
Cocaine Lights-Phosphorescent
Cindy-Ola Podrida
For Emma-Bon Iver (song removed by request)


  • At December 04, 2007 , Anonymous Karen said...

    This is a great post. I always get so scared of end of year lists, but I’m trying to be tough with myself this year – I’m not sure how the album one will go, but I’m giving the song one I red hot go and I’ll definitely do top gigs of 2007.

    I agree completely about While You Were Sleeping. This song is beautiful in so many ways, and the way the layers build and build is really something else. That Handsome Furs album is one of my favourite of the year – my personal favourite is ‘Handsome Furs Hate This City’, but it’s all good. Apartment Story is definitely on my list.

    Your description of a ‘great song’ is spot on also :) I can’t wait to read the rest of your lists this year.

  • At December 04, 2007 , Anonymous Adam said...

    I'll drink to this.

  • At December 05, 2007 , Blogger James said...

    Your list is good Wayne - some solid choices as well as things I'll have to check out (Do Make Say Think....still haven't heard them). It's surprised me that you picked Chores from the AC album, I like it but several others much better. Apartment Story is kickass, and Slow Show, Apartment, Start A War may be the best 3-song mid album run of the year (is there a list for that?).

    Looking forward to your favorite albums, although I bet I know what #1 is!

  • At December 05, 2007 , Anonymous jase said...

    unreal! had a good listen through them. taming of the hands is such a great track

  • At December 06, 2007 , Blogger Greg said...

    Very fine choices! I find it easier to list albums rather than songs....not sure why?
    Anyway, check out thses albums if you haven't already (in no particular order):

    *Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
    *Jonquil - Lions
    *Fog - Ditherer
    *Aleks and the Ramps – Pisces v Aquarius
    *World’s end girlfriend – Hurtbreak Wonderland
    *Menomena – Friend and Foe
    *The Twilight Sad – Fourteen autumns & Fifteen winters
    *Do make say think - You, you're a history in rust
    *Touch Typist - You cannot kiss a laughing mouth
    *Damiak - Micalavera


  • At December 09, 2007 , Blogger The Constant Skeptic said...

    wow, sunset rubdown is so freakin amazing it makes my ears cry wax drops of joy... thank you for a great list

  • At December 09, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nice. Bon Iver is also in my "Best of '07" .

  • At December 21, 2007 , Anonymous ali said...

    The best album of the year in my opinion is " La Radiolina" by Manu Chao, truely unique!!

    Times top ten list:,9171,1694452,00.html

  • At December 22, 2007 , Blogger Khristian B. said...

    Totally agree with the Panda Bear, "Bros" song....but what ever happened to Manu Chao.!The guy hasn't put out an album in nearly 5 years and "La Radiolina" was one of the top albums for Time Magazne:,9171,1694452,00.html
    I will admit it though, i'm pretty optimistic of what the future of music holds...

  • At January 01, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    best songs city...

  • At January 30, 2008 , Anonymous Ink said...

    I have to agree with most of your choices since I posted them on my blog. Music Refinery
    But your list glaringly omits all of In Rainbows. It contains some of the years greatest musicianship and talent.

  • At March 12, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Koxp, Koxp indir, Koxp, Koxp



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