Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Best 100 Songs of 2000-2009: Part 3/10

You are a Runner and I am My Father’s Son (Wolf Parade): the immediate one chord drum, Krug’s emotionless vocals stretched taunt and the creepy lyrics…a stunning yet irresistible treat. ()

B.O.B (Outkast): A shape-shifting funk track that morphs endlessly, B.O.B toasts goodies a mile wide. In the process, Big Boi and Andre 3000 prove that they have no true equal because they no longer create hip/hop…they mutate the genre with whatever proto-funk ideas pop up in their collective genius. B.O.B features a stunning liner guitar base then mutates to a one-drop then morphs into its funky chorale ending. The entire thing swings as classy as it is innovative….surely the song of the decade. ()

Frontier Psychiatrist (The Avalanches): a mad mash-up of comical dialogue, spooky effects and, quite frankly, the most arcane production for anyone not named Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Avalanches melt all their electronic leanings into this one fantastic solid outfit. ()

Fight Test (The Flaming Lips): who would have thought a coming-of-age sonic ballad from The Flaming Lips?! ()

My Love (Justin Timberlake feat. T.I): who says lightning doesn’t strike twice spectacularly? Four years after the Timberlake/Timbaland combination rewrote the rules on contemporary break-ups, they returned to funk up the next step: the next hook up. Whereas Timberlake was just emerging in 2002 on a solo career that was still questionable, here his maturity is the most stunning thing. A smooth falsetto compliments Timbaland’s shimmering beats. T.I. steps in with a cameo that highlights the reality of relationships, hitting the stuff fabulously out of the ballpark. ()

Sunshowers (M.I.A): at the height of her emerging notoriety, Maya dropped this sweet-sour ballad that featured the provocative line (‘like PLO/ I don’t surrender’) but highlighted, more importantly, her ability to chew up anything Diplo would throw her way. The beat is a down/tempo dancehall skat and she never registers more than two decibel levels but her ultimate grasp on control is never allowed to be in question. ()

Stupid Girls (Pink): We all should believe in beauty with a purpose, right? That politically-correct mantra aside, Pink hit the music industry upside down with this sugary yet totally relevant ode to the female hyper-sexuality that dominates it. Dressing up her critique in pop was an ingenious idea because people will rock to music one a nifty beat is in it. More than just swiping at her contemporaries, Pink is lamenting a lack of positive female role models in the industry as well as the levels of immodesty women have to go through just to be visible or even viable. In one swoop, she has castigated all parties involved: us, them and even the victim themselves. But the track deals with an even bigger issue: female/feminist identity issue. The second line (maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back) runs parallel to this stark reality…one which not even Pink can successfully dissect in under four minutes. ()

Wait for the Summer (Yeasayer): hippie rock revivalists? Who knows the true aim of Yeasayer’s music but in this track—the best of 2008—the band achieve that type of cathartic sweet-spot that usually takes decades to perfect. Wait for the Summer swells with optimism and the little intricacies that make human relationships so icky yet necessarily sticky. ()

Waves of Rye (Department of Eagles): no one swells so much grandiose chorale production like Daniel Rossen and here was his non-Grizzle Bear experimentation working blissfully, rotating itself until just well-done. ()

Jigsaw Falling into Place (Radiohead): spare as a sigh and just as intricately fascinating, Thom Yorke yet again wowing us with such tenderness that we had forgotten still existed in rock. ()

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