December 28, 2011

Best 2011: Top Ten Musical Moments

Top Ten (Plus One) Musical Moments of The Year

10 Lady Gaga's finest musical moment ever comes in the clanging final minute of Marry The Night.
From 3:35 onward, it blazes. Ironically, it sounds like she is singing Madonna at about 3:50, right? And that bassy bed of synths at 4:05? Chills.

9 The swooning, melancholy orchestral bridge of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' Everybody's On The Run, his finest song since 1995. Listen for it from 3:55 to 4:30. Mad beauty.

The 90-second "showgirl" piano intro to Kylie's live Les Folies version of Everything Is Beautiful. Indeed, it is.

7 The moment in the gorgeous middle eight of Friendly Fires' True Love when it goes from funk to swirling synth. From 2:25 to 2:41 - I play this segment over and over and over. The whole album is filled with this kind of detail.

6 The string coda (3:01) on the album version of Darren Hayes' slayer of a summer single, Talk Talk Talk. It's emblematic of the album's incredible string arrangements. In this case, they emphasize the sadder subtext of a dancey pop song.

Stream it here (embed disabled)

5 2:58 to 4:00 of Jessica 6's See The Light. This tracks kills me DEAD. J6 are totally in the NOW and deserve a big budget for 2012. We need Nomi Ruiz as a pop icon - she makes the listener feel as fierce as she is.

4 The slow horn-laden section (2:25 to 2:42) of the sweetest love song this year, Patrick Wolf's Bermondsey Street. "Regardless of religion. Braver than any faith..." Again, chills.

3 The closing 40 seconds of Jamie Woon's heartbreaker, Shoulda. "
A sign for what's been. Sign for what'll never be." This one makes me really sad; enough said.

2 The bridge (2:30) to Sky Ferreira's 99 Tears. The impressive vocals/lyrics have an emotional heft that extends beyond the song's "I want to make that bitch boy cry" message. "Do you wanna know how it feels to be me? / When your heart's on the floor and your dream's all gone." Preach, child!

1 The unusually long intro (about 75 seconds) to Florrie's I Took A Little Something, my favorite pop song of 2012. That amazing aural hook sounds like my cell phone text alert. I love the way it builds and opens up at :46. Hear it. The edited clip below doesn't have the long intro, but does have the moment where the track kicks in (:35).

and the inevitable Plus One goes to...

The final 50 seconds of Florrie's indie masterpiece, Experimenting With Drugs. Hear it. Jesus God, that song is brilliant. It moves from layers of shimmer to a lonesome New Order guitar. This girl is the real deal.

What are your favorite moments in songs this year?

photo by Slimane


xolondon said...

A few more, heh heh. The disco bridge of Will Young's Good Times, the last 30 seconds of Florrie's Begging Me (Florrie overkill? soz), FTP's Call It What You Want (at 2:5o specifically) and the instrumental bridge to The Feeling's Leave Me Out Of It. And, oh yeah, Rihanna's chant of Where have you been all my li-i-i-fe?!

AltoSprock said...

Best moment (1 of 3): Young Galaxy's Cover Your Tracks, 3:00 to 3:47, when the galoping beats fades away.

Best moment (2 of 3): Oh Land - Wolf & I 3:36. When the ''ooh-ooohs'' get insidious to the almost a capella finale.

Best moment (3 of 3): The Rapture - How Deep Is Your Love, 4:11. The moment we hear Luke Jenner's first ''Ooo'' amidst crazy horns