December 19, 2010

Top Ten Musical Moments of 2010:
My Whole World In Light

Top Ten (Plus One) Musical Moments of The Year:

10 The sublime lyrical hook on the chorus of Goldfrapp's Head First: "My whole world in light." I fear this song passed by most people, but it's a piece of euphoric beauty that needs to be revisited. Do it!
Hear it now.

9 The beautiful vocal by Theo Hutchcraft on Hurt's album closer, The Water. The album's quietest moment, The Water's verses remind me a lot of The Blue Nile. Interestingly, the boys produced this song themselves with no outside help. Hear it now.

The glitter cannon moment at 3:10 in Kylie Minogue's Can't Beat The Feeling when Stuart Price and Kylie send the track into the stratosphere. A rolling synth line comes in to lay chills all over me. Hear it now. Second fave Aphrodite moment: the middle eight of Too Much (2:00) - "Can't say, can't say what it is..." LOVE Kylie.

7 The pounding finale of Take That's epic track, Kidz. Hear it now.

6 In Bim's shimmering Head Over Heels, I constantly replay 2:53 to 3:25, during which the song swirls to a climax. Chill inducing. Hear it now.

5 The acoustic section of Kelis's Brave, at 2:24. What I love most is how Brave is a personal manifesto - a declaration that acknowledges strength comes from weakness and even bad choices. Hear it now.

4 The euphoric middle eight (at 2:19) of the finest love song this year, Cee Lo Green's I Want You. Here is my favorite part of the lyric: "Oh, I'll even quit my job. Lovin' you, I'll make it my job. Thank you Lord, thank you lord! This is it, my god!" Hear it now.

3 Judie Tzuke's daughters Bailey and Tallula singing the middle eight on If (When You Go). It's a perfect, almost haunted counterpoint to their mother's warmer, melancholy tone and the most spine-tingling moment of a perfect song. Hear it now.

2 The closing 40 seconds of Elli Goulding's This Love (Will Be Your Downfall), my most played song of the year according to LastFM. This is hard to explain in words, but there is something that goes very deep in the way that song ascends into the heavens and then gently comes down to earth with a guitar strum in the final moment. The best music often ends up associated with something tangible in life, and this has become very personal (and, honestly, sad) for me. Hear it now.

1 The final 90 seconds of Goldfrapp's glorious Giorgio Moroder/Tangerine Dream-esque masterpiece, Dreaming. The zippery synth vamp still gives me chills. The song and the Head First album are the most underrated of 2010. Hear it now.

and the Plus One goes to...

The extended instrumental section from 2:00 to 2:52 in The Pipettes's Need A Little Time. This was worthy of the highs on their debut album, which is sayin' something.

photo by Slimane


John said...

Love the list, and I even recognize several of them. It's interesting where personal perspective takes you, because one of mine would be the drums at the beginning of "Aphrodite" with Kylie asking "Can you hear me in stereo?" Must listen to the remaining moments.

Jason said...

I'll definitely be going back to listen to these moments. It's amazing how little aspects of song you've to many times pass you by. "Brave" is one of favorite songs 2010 and I hadn't thought about the power of the acoustic section. I'm personally obsessed with the last section of "Rolling In The Deep" (2:31 to 3:06). I can't get enough!

countpopula said...

Great observations! I will have to relisten to some of these. I have been taken by:

The part of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" when the beat stops, she sings the middle eight rather hushed, and she sings the line "watching you kiss her" when the drums kick in.

The plink plink at the beginning of Kanye's "Runaway".

The crashing drums & guitars at the beginning of the Sleigh Bells album.

The part halfway through Peter Gabriel's cover of "My Body is a Cage" where all the music stops, and the strings kick back in with strength.

The "oh-woahs" at the end of Take That's "The Flood".

Seriously, there were so many good moments. Way to spot them!

xolondon said...

I have a lot of moments to go back and listen to know, guys!

@count I almost put on this list the moment at 2:22 in Hang With Me when the "me" holds and gets all processed. LOVE THAT.

@John Why wasn't Aphrodite a single? FAIL!

@Jason We agree on Rolling In The Deep. Amazing.

countpopula said...

As long as we're speaking of magical Robyn moments, the spot at 2:25 in "Call Your Girlfriend" does a similar thing, yet goes completely stratospheric with the vocal samples. Blissful. Lots of great moments for her this year, and yet she doesn't get nearly the amount of radio and sales attention you can bet will be afforded Britney Spears in the coming months.

Mclean said...

totally feel you on a bunch of these. here are some of mine from this past year:

-robyn "stars 4-ever"- the buildup to the last chorus, starting at 3:02

-sophie ellis-bextor "not giving up on love (extended mix)- 4:09 on , the pulsing piano, the beat coming back in, sophie's vocals...

-rose elinor dougall "find me out"- the whole song really, but specifically the beginning with the whistle. and the violin 2:44 to the end

-lissie "little lovin'"- the beginning to 2:36 is so simple and amazing

-goldfrapp "voicething"- perfection, but specifically when the vocals roll back in at 2:57

xolondon said...

Yes Mclean! I LOVE that part of Not Giving Up and almost put it this list. I like her voice against the sort of oceanic synths at like 4:20. I also love the extended intro to that song - it would be a good show opener.

The Rose song is, for me, sort of light years ahead of anything else on the album. It has the feel of a standard.

Parker said...

The moment when Dancing On My Own rockets to the sky with the I've just came to say goodbye part.

David said...

2:31-2:47 on Robyn's Indestructable is full of awesome. It's like something Goblin would do, if they'd made the move to pure pop. Divine!

Andie said...

You've mentioned some great moments, some I'd forgotten about entirely and will now have to revisit. Personally, I'd include a couple of songs from The Brandon Flowers album Flamingo. The chorus of Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, The "Lay Your Body Down" from Crossfire, his vocals on Only The Young, and the intro to Jilted Lovers. One other song I must mention is Tiny Tempah's Pass Out. Not from the usual genre of music I listen to but probably my song of the year. And of course Dizzee Rascal and Florence's You've got the Dirtee Love from the Brit awards, my favourite collaboration this year.

V said...

I so agree about Goldfrapp's "Dreaming" It's hypnotic and trancelike well towards the end. The best track on that album - although "Hunt" comes in a close 2nd.

A-Dolla said...

Argh! I read this list at work today and couldn't leave a reply using my stupid phone.

Incredible moments, I will be doing some re-listening as of right now.

I think someone above (how many readers do you get!?) already mentioned it, but probably my favourite little mini-moment of 2010 happens at exactly 3.15 in "Stars 4ever" by Robyn, but has to include the build up before for full effect. I haven't felt that way while listening to a song since I saw M perform "Get Together" on the Confessions Tour in the breakdown where she spins on the spot and it's pure euphoria.


D'luv said...

Head First was my album of the year.

And like A-Dolla above, I also love Robyn's "Stars 4-ever"...a subtle masterpiece on Body Talk!

Paul said...

Love the idea of this post. the great MOMENTS of music rather than just focusing on the best songs etc (which is valid and worthy too!) And this is why I loved visiting the Middle 8 (and meeting up!) in 2010 :)

russlan said...

Thank you very much for the catches, it is so beautiful and cool to hear a moment in a song that you know, captured from another perspective!