Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Best 100 Songs of 2000-2009: Part 4/10

The Bachelor (Patrick Wolf): by even his lofty standards, The Bachelor represents a triumph of passage that not even Wolf could’ve expected given the tumult that surrounded the album of the same name. Fed-up with his own securities and an expressive sexual tone that was proving worrisome to market, Wolf unfurls a ballad, somber in its own admission of that highest ideal of heterosexual bliss: marriage. Or more precisely his exclusion from it given the global prop 8 stance that hinders gays to get hitched. This is a personal lament too however, one where the true Wolf, finally sheds his accustomed excess to strip himself bare and vulnerable. ()

A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger (Of Montreal): if this is the results from the musical therapy Kevin Barnes must go through then let’s hope he never returns to normalcy. ()

Violent Stars Happy Hunting (Janelle Monae): Cindy Mayweather on the run after committing the cardinal rule of alien life: falling in love with a human. ()

Roscoe (Midlake): old Americana blues from a band that knows how to evoke weary soul. Lead singer Tim Smith buttresses it all with a wall of ebullient sound and escapism into emotional reality. ()

We Share our Mother’s Health (The Knife): a Scandinavion swipe at Bjork…who knows the song’s real meaning but it’s clear that The Knife has unearthed new methods to present European dance music. ()

The Bleeding Heart Show (The New Pornographers): a throw-back to the heyday of indie ballads, especially Fleetwood Mac. The track swells with each member adding a significant touch. However, the song picks up steam once Neko Case and A.C Wonder trade vocal barbs towards the end (‘we have arrived/ too late to play the bleeding heart show…’). ()

Pagan Poetry (Bjork): while the fact that Bjork is Matthew Barney’s lover has somewhat stymied her creative output for the rest of us, it is apparently a rich ground for her personally and spiritually. Never mind the mind-blowing music video that accompanied it, Bjork’s most vivid imagination has always been interpretation and interpolation of her lyrics upon music. Pagan Poetry gives an intricate and detailed account of the age-old maxim of “love at first sight” (he offers a handshake/crooked/five fingers/they form a pattern yet to be matched’). If her poetry wasn’t that enchanting enough then witness the human ending, the repeated plea which she seems set to live or die by (‘I love him, I love him/ She loves him, she loves him…’). In one word: perfect. ()

Hey Ya! (Outkast): only Andre 300 could dare mimic The Beatles and get away with it quite frankly. The reasons are many but Outkast have always been best at merging the various electro-funk shifts in hip/hop and coming up with tremendous results. ()

Cosmia (Joanna Newsom): for sheer artistry, this is perhaps Newsom’s finest. The opening lines paint the cryptic incision of her observances ( ‘When you ate, I saw your eyelashes/ Saw them shake like wind on rushes/ In the corn field when she called me/ Moths surround me/ thought they'd drown me’). Cosmia is to a point obsessive over its object of affection but fussy details points to the care Newsome has taken to sculpt such a masterpiece. ()

Let My Shoes Lead Me Forward (Jenny Wilson): a smart toe-tapper. ()

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