Friday, December 7, 2012

2012: The Top 100 Best Songs: Part I (#81--#100)

It's been an interesting year for singles but even more so for non-singles. This list is for all album tracks because as we all know, sometimes the best songs aren't the singles--thank you Frank Ocean.

Here the countdown begins with the first 20 songs:

81. Hot Knife (Fiona Apple):

‘he excites me’ yells Apple over a piano-laced riff and you get excited because it, especially when her sister Maude joins her on the sublime vocal workout that is the chorus.

82. Survival Tactics (Joey Badass feat. Capt. Steez):

the kid is only 17 but yet cutting teeth hard on mean riffs and the project life. Imagine the next ten years.

83. Authentic Pyrrhic Remission (Of Montreal):

through his constant questioning of identity though, Barnes never fails to connect to this weird, cool space.

84. The Full Retard (El-P):

the stand-out on his new album swerves unpredictable from a gorgeous groove into some astute lyricism and a weird spoken word section and a sample from late friend Camu Tao.

85. Bang (Rye Rye feat. M.I.A):

her style grates but Rye Rye hits the mark here even with the curious phrase “come catch up”. M.I.A wisely puts in a subtle supporting role.

86. Do The Trick (Dr. Dog):

breaching Vampire Weekend territory, the band pummels out this romper so easily that it makes one wonder how come they hadn’t strayed down this path before.

87. King of the World (First Aid Kit):

a vivid, lush folk masterpiece replete with flute and stunning lines that highlight loss and wanton emptiness that afflicts so many singers.


Rosie Oh (Animal Collective): our favourite indie band returns with a trippy, water-logged dash of brilliance that reminds of their fantastic previous project.

89. Smear the Queen (Xiu Xiu):

Jaime Stewart sings about ‘the horror, the horror’, in a tale of gay bashing yet, keeping in mind his twisted sense of pain, he also retells the discovery of finding his hands in someone else’s stretch-pants. It’s kinky but that’s what he does best

90. Petition (Tennis):

the bounciness of the tune shows much variety from Tennis and the celebrated style continues right up to the end with flourish. Good stuff.

91. Do Ya Thing (Gorillaz feat. James Murphy & Andre 3000):

that this trio actually recording a track was the stuff of dreams already but here the reality is even better than any fan could have hoped for.

92. You Know You Like It (AlunaGeorge):

while The Weeknd has been busy reinventing 90s R&B, George becomes his female counterpart with this heavy Mary J. Blige-ish effort that grooves for days.

93. The Hours (Beach House):

with the band ones know what to expect as well as what you’ll get and The Hours is no different: a lovely, psychedelic reel of greatness.

94. Towers (Bon Iver):

continuing his pastoral glee, Vernon turns his fiddling passion into a smooth flow juxtaposed to that trademark falsetto and peppers crashing horns everywhere.

95. I’m Not Talking (A.C. Wonder):

the heavy sentiment wrapped into pop perfection and infectious beats remains his trademark and yet again we have a winner.

96. U & Me & Everyone We Know (Jean Grae):

an unusual turn for the rapper but she pulls it off with the weariness and sheer poetry of her lyrics. From the school of hard-knocks yet she rises.

97. Born To Lose (Sleigh Bells):

the distorted, loud guitar riffs are back and this time Sleigh Bells have taken a delicious turn with Born to Lose, incorporating a host of motor sounds to the mix. Alexis Krauss seamlessly works her vocals into the frame instead of dividing attention.

98. I Am What I Am (Spiritualzed):

a swirling mess of thunderous guitars and lyrical bravado that’s lacking for the rest of the album all turn up here for one big, grand statement.

99. Ave Maria (Imani Coppola):

laid back but the crunchy guitars absolutely sell the song, no matter the simplicity involved of this black chick wondering if her lover is gay or European.

100. Time (Nomad Carlos):

one of the new local hip/hop artists emerging into the mainstream, Carlos goes retro and still finds at interesting combination of grooves and lyrical content.