December 26, 2007

2007: XO's Favorite Songs of the Year

Finally, the list of my favorite songs of the year....The 19 songs below fit on an 80 min CDR. This was very hard to whittle down, so there are some extras below. I could (and did) do all sorts of lists, but this is The List... thanks to everyone who listened to me prattle on about how brilliant these songs were as I discovered them. That is one of the great things about music, the shared experience.

Note - the first 2 songs are truly the Top 2, but the others appear in the order they do on my iTunes playlist.

1 Let Me Know Roisin Murphy UK SONG OF THE YEAR!
I've been intrigued by some guy's interpretation - can't remember where I read it - that this song is about the gay dating/sex scene. From my own CD review: "Everything is right here: the step step step hook on the chorus, the soulful intro and a vocal that is far more beautiful than most pop songs deserve (especially at 2:08: I don't belong to you, like you don't belong to me / So don't hold on too tightly...)."

2 Casey Darren Hayes USA
Everybody has a real Casey and I had several. Those girls - and one guy -know who they are. What I said in my CD review: "Darren has the time to allow the 6 minute+ track to slowly blossom with longer instrumental passages. The bass beat doesn't really come in until minute 3. The song is divided into sections and when you think it's about to end at 4:43, alongs comes a beautiful synth coda that adds to the grandeur." That part with the beat (2:52) still gives me chills, literally.

and the other greats of the year...

3. Redeem Me Marc Almond UK
My God! Can you think of a better comeback song than this? Every single OTT element is perfect. This is a collaboration with the incredible Marius Devries.

4. 1234 Feist CAN
Apple almost overexposed this in their commercials. I most love the section with the horns toward the end - it makes me so happy.

5. If I Called You On The Telephone The Revelations UK
Poor girls never got a proper CD release or even an album cover or photos. Whatever, they had several great tracks on their CD, but this girl-groupish boomer hits the sweetest spot.

6. Up Country Mancini UK
Although Mancini never released a second single, there is evidence they are not done. Jo Whiley likes them! This is the driving song of the year.

7. Umbrella (Jody den Broeder Lush Radio Edit) Rihanna USA
I could never listen to the original after hearing this mix. I love the chorus lyrics, especially the bit about "Took an oath, I'ma stick out to the end."

8. It's All True Tracey Thorn UK
Tracey surprised everyone with this song being so "pop." Most expected icy club drama and they got the sweetest love song evah, circa Madonna 1983.

9. Wow Kylie Minogue UK
Take Kylie's best musical elements and whip them into a frothy 3 minutes. Explosive would be a good word for this song. 2008 hit coming soon.

10. Disco Friends Just Jack UK
I still don't know the lyrics on the robotic chrous of this took-too-many-club-drugs downer gem.

11. Medevac Siobhan Donaghy UK
I imagine this could be done hard live. Like, massively loud and metallic. I fucking love those diving synths that come in at 2:30 ish. Help me out here, coz I'm strung out.

12. Big Sky Annie Lennox UK
All you need to know: Darkness and light, that's what's inside. Darkness and liiiiight, that's what's insiiiiiide.

13. Between My Legs Rufus Wainwright USA/CAN
How often does one get to chat with the songwriter about one of his favorite songs of the year? I did! From my review: "If fans are going to have a Big Gay Moment on this record, when they finally lose their shit and start running around screaming, the last 90 seconds of this song - complete with Phantom Of The Opera crescendos - are sooo it."

14. Augustine Patrick Wolf UK
Elegant, eerie, wise and passionate. Still love that bit at 2:54 where he asks, "Well, is it?"

15. Stop Ghosts UK
Title should've had an exclamation point on it. This Britpop song unexpectedly took me to a Culture Club-circa-1983 moment. Glorious and uplifting. Thanks to Torr for this one.

16. Extraordinary Mandy Moore USA
I am a Geek. I feel for her empowerment schtick wholeheartedly, but hey, I think I was a better version of myself in '07. Did I just say that?

17. Better Tom Baxter
Why isn't this love song at #1 yet? It may still get there. This CD will be around all of 2008.

18. Gravity Sara Barielles USA
Sara is just now taking off, but I was obsessed with this perfect ballad in June when I got my car. I would wail at stop lights, scaring other drivers.

19. Come To Me (Peace) Mary J. Blige USA
Mary excels at lifting us right off the grey city sidewalks as we trudge to work with our iPods. Like, levitating off the ground. "I'm here to make peace. peace. peace."

What almost made it. I practically cried when cutting these. It was XO's Choice! Mark Ronson w/Daniel Merriweather: Stop Me If You Think…, Mika: Relax (Take It Easy), Siobhan Donaghy: So You Say, Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Can’t Have It All, Sarah Nixey: Endless Circles and Suzanne Vega: Ludlow Street.

I played the hell out of Antigone's uberballad Life Without You (among others), but it's out next year. Also, Robyn's With Every Heartbeat was on my 2006 list, so I won't repeat that one.


Phil said...

Great list, dude. I wholeheartedly agree with your top 2 and a lot of your other choices as well! Have you heard Sia's new album Some People Have Real Problems? It's out in a week or so and I am lovin' it. Anyhoo, hope you had a great Christmas!

D'luv said...

Happy day post-Xmas! "Casey" would have landed in my Top 10, but chart rules dicated that only singles could be included, so Darren's epic was disqualified. Sorry, Darren :(

I'm totally with you on the love for "Stop," too. I hope you give Ghosts' full album a good's great!

I'm always torn between "The One" and "Wow" as far as my faves off X, but I also think "Like A Drug" and "In My Arms" are hot class, too...

Anyway, rad list! said...

I'm glad to see Sara on there; she is the best! I personally prefer Don't Give it Up by Siobhan, but the album is so full of goodness, it really is hard to pick just one, right?

stephen said...

No Walk You Home? Pasenger is the one band I'm very happy you turned me onto. Thanks, XO!

countpopula said...

Great list! Just finished mine, and we have the same #1! (closely followed by the mentioned Kylie and Siobhan songs).

I would also like to give some love to a couple un-mentioned that I loved: Garbage "Tell me Where it Hurts" (I know you like this song XO...methinks it is pure class), and a Siouxsie's "If it Doesn't Kill You" (along with "Into a Swan", these songs are personal manifestos for her continuing growth as a songwriter).

I chose a couple alternates ("Raise the Roof" for Tracey Thorn and "Who Would Have Thought" for Darren Hayes), but almost any track could have been chosen from those (as with Roisin and Siobhan). A bad year for the music business, but a great year for music. What gives?

Anonymous said...

Patrick Wolf - The Stars
Kylie Minogue - The One
Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted
Bill Callahan - Night
Super Furry Animals - Baby Ate My Eightball
PJ Harvey - Broken Harp
The National - Fake Empire
Rufus Wainwright - Going To A Town
Blonde Redhead - The Dress
Suzanne Vega - Ludlow Street
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
M.I.A. - Boyz

trill42 said...

I like your annotated list. Not just based on this line, but I do like it:

"I think I was a better version of myself in '07. Did I just say that?"

Awwwww.... Yes, you did.

Happy New Year's, you sap. ;)

Phil said...

Love the list and it's very eclectic. As it should be. And Roisin number one? As she should be.

It'll be interesting to see who's around by the end of the year: Mancini's tragic fate may now be sealed after coming fifth in the indie X Factor comp they were ploughing through.

Are there any from your 2006 list who bit the dust? Not that I'm being maudlin or anything!

xolondon said...

"Two Phils for every boy"!

Anyway, yes, Alexis Strum and The Upper Room bit the dust and Lorraine sort of did, but may have a new CD out soon.

Trill42, Mandy wants to bring out the inner sap, child, etc. It is a sinister goal.

Tacim, the Lucky Soul track is another masterpiece that could have been on this list.

Stephen, Passenger is on one of my lists at least. Not sure if I'll post that though. Love them.

wongie said...

you know what i'd love for a belated xmas gift? all these songs in a zip/rar file ;)

as usual, the list is exquisite!

hope to see you in 08!

Anonymous said...

very glad to see that mary track on there. it inspired a mix I'm posting later today. It really ended the year (and her CD) so RIGHT for me. happy new year XO, thanks for all the great posts and being a music blogleader to us all! xx,