Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012: The Top 100 Best Songs: Part III (#41--#60)

Part III...

41. Ruin (Cat Power):

Chan Marshall returns with a more inebriated take on heartbreak and the slurred vocal work propels her art to an even higher purpose.

42. Jasmine (Jai Paul):

combining the best elements of The Weeknd and D’angelo, Jai Paul presents a delicious slice of urban R&B…music that gets heads and mid-sections moving.

43. Everything Is Embarrassing (Sky Ferreira):

a modern, lush take opn the groove-laden 1980s, suffused with modern techniques and chops. A real winning effort.

44. Hov Lane (Nicki Minaj):

though she hovers imperiously as a sideshow on other people’s albums, Minaj rarely is a huge force on her own work. Here though, the bad bitch label finally fits snugly. It’s shade on Lil Kim too.

45. Do My Thing (Estelle feat. Janelle Monae):

a disappointing album by the Brit but you know whenever Janelle Monae crashes a party she’s gonna rock the hell out of it and that’s the case with this track.

46. Floating Spit (Perfume Genius):

taking a page literally out of Bon Iver’s page, Hadreas goes all soft and 1980s with this tender ballad full of rich, reflective references.

47. Sweet Life (Frank Ocean):

the soulful Sweet Life (‘why see the world/ when you’ve got the beach…’) achieves a stunning, complex thing with its piano-drenched composition. What sells it so convincingly though is Ocean’s gorgeous vocal work as it expands to heights his Nostalgia, Ultra mixtape didn’t hint at last year.

48. Only in My Dreams (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti):

the pervasive guitars and the fairy dust spread to cover the flinty vocals, all copulate into a wonderful marriage convenience.

49. Chasin’ Papers (Curren$y feat. Pharrell):

sampling Cat Stevens’ Wild World, Curren$y grabs Pharrell for a predictable yet silky smooth ride…the type where groupies reign supreme.

50. Roman Holiday (Nicki Minaj):

as she continues to delve deeper into an alto ego, Minaj remains hit or miss but here on the title track she finds a seamless middle-ground.

51. Hit & Run (King Tuff):

those 1970s guitar riffs are delightful on the ears!

52. Atlas (Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny) :

a stunning, schizophrenic ballad that perfectly captures the rollicking fun Houghton has wrapped up inside.

53. Soul Killing (The Ting Tings):

veering dangerously close into Robyn territory, The Ting Tings dish out an infectious electro-pop number that works on the whimsical level.

54. Big Mistake (Anthony Green):

a track either about sleeping pills or some cool hallucinatory drug, Green is plush into that happy, hippy vibe derived by any such sedative and he sure sounds at peace.

55. How Many Drinks (Miguel):

a stuttering bluesy offering that lays it heavy on the charm and alcohol, Miguel smartly overdubs the vocals while piling on layers of heavy bass…all in a mighty effort to pick up a call girl.

56. Amanita (Animal Collective):

drops guitars and a wailing Tare…a combination that always wins. No electronic odes to their families or teenage lives here, just sonic explorations of a current state of mind.

57. Blue Jeans (Lana del Rey):

the way del Rey sweeps her lips over her words reminds one immediately of Fiona Apple and Blue Jeans is the best of her pouty insistence.

58. L8TR (Azealia Banks):

(‘if it ain’t about a dollar/ I’m a holla at cha later’) her love-for-money grab, replete with fantastic verses that cut harder than any other female rapper now.

59. & It Was U (How To Dress Well):

a stunning retro early 90s pop-funk fusion that shows the real potency of the band: merging different styles into one impressive groove.

60. Bitter Tears (Rufus Wainright):

a stunning textbook for all male pop vocalists to follow, to see how melody can be manipulated with sound to form one huge heart-felt crest.