Monday, December 10, 2012

2012: The Top 100 Best Songs: Part IV (#21--#40)

or, as I call it, the Azealia Banks edition...

21. Gimme a Chance (Azealia Banks):

if Banks can pop off something this great as a side order for a main course then it’s frightening to consider what else she has in store.

22. Eight (Grimes):

straight electro-pop, replete with a robotic voice overlapping her own pared-down vocal work. Several lush shrieks are thrown in for good measure and I’m sure when M.I.A gets wind of this track she’ll curse her luck for not coming up with the idea first.

23. Breezeblocks (Alt-J):

a stunning, slowed-down hip/hop effort from the Brits…it’s not supposed to work but it’s so magnetic and creepy that one can stop listening to it.

24. Dour Percentage (Of Montreal):

a typically fey Barnes trots out the falsetto but instead of the usual train wreck, there is amazing restraint and dizzy pop perfection.

25. The Killing Type (Amanda Palmer):

pure pop majestically oozing from Palmer as she strums 1980s vibe unto social commentary that you’ll know eventually get someone killed.

26. Backseat Freestyle (Kendrick Lamar):

a thundering guitar riff provides the DNA for the track but the beat intertwined goes on to make it simply terrific and throbbing long after it has ceased.

27. Sixteen Saltines (Jack White):

Blunderbuss strays from his trademark rock but here, amid blues, comes the familiar howl and crunching guitars that we’ve come to love..

28. God (THEESatisfaction):

after being introduced last year on Shabazz Palaces’ superb debut, this duo now unleash their funky soul style upon us and it’s catchy and harmonious.

29. Jumaji (Azealia Banks):

not to be mixed up with the game or the Robin Williams film, this instead if Banks’ assault on our literal senses…as well as to further pile up the pressure on her contemporaries.

30. Today’s Supernatual (Animal Collective):

remains compelling throughout, a testament to Tare’s craft and his sounding positively strung out on acid: a chilling effect.

31. Go Supersonic (Pepe Deluxe):

the heady mix of retro and forward-thinking beats would stagger anyone else but here the Nordic duo unearth so much in just over four minutes that it still leaves you dizzy.

32. Disparate Youth (Santigold):

sums up the day to day skepticism and reality that teenagers grow up with. White’s voice never strays, but keeps unflinchingly on her target.

33. The Night (School of Seven Bells):

a real, subtle shift from old-school pop to a more moderate take with punk sensibilities, well executed and planned out for our listening pleasure.

34. Nightmusic (Grimes):

a song that feverishly runs its gamut so effortlessly, proof enough that within her personal arsenal, Grimes can throw enthralling mysteries out in the open of her seemingly monochromatic bag and lasso them back to her at will, leaving one as if spellbound.

35. Spiteful Interventions (Of Montreal):

Barnes’ usual quirkiness gets thrown in a tea-cup full with stormy recollections…a heady brew that remains potent the more you listen to it.

36. Fever (Maps & Atlases):

a sweeping math rock combination that takes a sweet turn to the sentimental and finds a lull that carries the listener right through.

37. Gentle Stream (The Amazing):

a slow-burning track that takes it time to build into something huge, formidable. This is learning the art of swelling a track to maximize its potential

38. Freaking Out the Neighbourhood (Mac DeMarco):

a throwback to some grainy, guilty pleasure that manages to brilliantly put up a teen punk stance across without force.

39. Ring My Alarm (The Lytics):

rap's new Canadian talent emerging.

40. Bad Girls (M.I.A):

after the very public battering she took last time out, Arulpragasam returns with an irresistible slice of snotty luxury. Ah, Maya welcome back!