The year was far from radical but we did get some great, middle-of-the-ground songs that indicate how great next year will be. Here goes the second part, #61-80:
61. Sabre-tooth Tiger (Cage the Elephant):
a start-stop-start sheer punk madness. There’s some heavy shadiness involved but note how that hasn’t stopped the boys from wrecking tasty bloodshed.
62. Baby Says (The Kills):
killing us softly with their misery and clear obsession, The Kills go for the jugular with this gorgeous, slow-burn ballad that perfectly captures the requisite sadness.
63. This is the Life (Curren$y):
another induced high, which means some spitting out blunts, bitches, bedroom scenes. He’s done it all before but there’s more melody here than ever before.
64. Trouble on my Mind (Pusha T feat. Tyler the Creator):
bad intent masquerading gloriously within rap. Tyler doesn’t mind confronting controversy and here he packages a very appealing self-defense mechanism.
65. Candil de la Calle (Apparat):
picking up where Sufjan Stevens left off last year, Apparat gives this year’s best emo track bleed seamlessly. That, at least, can’t get lost in his translation.
66. Rush Hour Traffic (The Cool Kids):
now they’re all grown up and showing serious swag. We get at least three different skill levels demonstrated here and passing grades all around.
67. Stay Away (Charli XCX):
a slinky club banger from the British teenager, one that draws heavy influence from T’Pau’s hit Heart and Soul, some twenty-five years ago.
68. Judas (Lady Gaga):
note the hysteria executed in the breath-taking chorus, the flawless construction spinning out of control and the dirty thrill of the Gaga-connect.
69. Fine Tune (Miranda Lambert):
not exactly the generic type of country music it appears to be, Fine Tune slows Lambert’s vocal delivery down heavily then drown it with delicious waves of distortion.
70. Te Amo (Atlas Sound):
strikes an astonishing resonance to Thom Yorke-esque delivery over a baroque arrangement. The painful delivery spreads far and wide.
71. Schibe (Lady Gaga):
worded mostly in German, echoes early 90s techno with an excellent Madonna-aping bridge (‘when I’m on a mission/ I rebuke my condition/ if you’re a strong woman/ you don’t need permission’).
72. 24h Party People (Pollyester):
global math-pop at its finest, Euro style. This is the same type of formula used by Los Campesinos but this duo manages to outdo Gareth at every turn here.
73. How Come You Never Go There (Feist):
simplistic, endearing tune, just the way Leslie Fiest planned it but amid the ramblings, there’s a heart-breaking personal tumult unfolding.
74. Chorea (Esben and The Witch):
a smart, wizardry effort juxtaposed to Rachel Davies’ insistent vocals, almost daring one to lose oneself into the trance-like waves of sonic distortion.
75. Days Are Forgotten (Kasabian):
never mind LL Cool J’s obsession with it, just sway to the blissful dub-soul concept that the boys have hit upon. These grooves rival the same studio tricks Gorillaz have mastered.
76. Swim Club (The Cave Singers):
reminds us of the very best of Fleetwood Mac with its groovy folksiness. Lead singer, Peter Quirk allows the beat to simmer in perfect symmetry to his voice.
77. Lady Luck (Jamie Woon):
smooth blues ballad that helps (finally!) to distinguish Woon from James Blake…he’s the crooner. The smooth falsetto weaves itself seamlessly along without a doubt.
78. Wilhelm’s Scream (James Blake);
the best soul any man has done since D’angelo, Blake places his persona a sea with glorious uncertainties and watches as the effort stays afloat.
79. 1988 (Summer Camp):
‘one year at a time’, sings Elizabeth Sankey repeatedly as the recollection of youth washes over this highlight on the band’s sophomore.
80. Green Aisles (Real Estate):
lovely ode to recollection, unspooled by the band so thoughtfully, dreamily. The line, ‘our careless lifestyles’, hints at so much psycho-damage too.