The Year in Music 2006: Top 20 Tracks

RSS
Condividi

Gen 9 2007, 16:50

In 2006, I was kinda sorta amazed by the number of awesome songs that made their way into the mainstream rotation. For a while this year it seemed like guitar bands, rappers, and pop tarts were actually (whisper it)... trying.

Don't get me wrong, there was a shed-load of crap flung at our ear lobes all year long (K-Feddy, you're right, we weren't ready) but for the first time in a long, long time, pop music wasn’t half bad. I’ve always had this theory that the indie high art music snobs that consider listening to a bleeding laptop an enjoyable experience are really just jaded, disaffected youth who miss the days when they were allowed to be excited about a decent piece of bubblegum gobbily-gook.

So below are the top 20 tracks that were unleashed on us this year. Links have been provided so you can listen and judge them as you see fit. Be kind to them, they are defenseless.

20. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
This track has made the list because I can’t but feel some form of obligation to musical history. In 2006, this song was every-freaking-where. It was overplayed to bits and after the dust settled, it kind of seemed like the true spirit of the song had been co-opted by the Mannnnn, man. Still, the blend of meloncoly strings with pure R&B dimentia from a washed-up 90's soul singer was a suprisingly easy pill to swallow.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/225064

19. Snow Patrol - You're All I Have
Snow Patrol have never been one for subtle gestures or complex experimentation that may offend the 16 year olds who want “Chasing Cars” to be their wedding song cause, like, it’s about forever and stuff. The lead off track to Eyes Open wastes no time in stating its intentions with your daughter: driving guitars, hooky “Oooo-Oooo”’s, and a rhyme scheme that makes Dr. Seus sound like the 9/11 Commission. Submit to it though and it’s the sound of summer. Quite simply, power pop at its finest.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/215030

18. Jay-Z Ft. Lost One Ft. Chrisette Michelle
I’m getting really tired of the male rapper ego. Masturbation should be kept for bedrooms or American Pie sequels, not BET. But what we’re starting to see more of now is the infallible hero; the male rapper who is apologetically aware of that ego. The whole “Dammmnnnn I’m awesome but shit son, look at all my hardships” schtick seems to fool many (here’s looking at you Mr. West) and on this track, Jay-Z employs it to full force. I’m not sure if they want us to feel sorry for them, but they make a strong case for whatever it is they want when the songs are of actual quality. This song is pure chill out easy listening and that damn piano line makes you feel like a classy individual no matter what you’re doing at the time (i.e. humping an apple pie).

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/218248

17. Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II
The far more accessible and, let’s face it, likeable offspring of Wolf Parade is Sunset Rubdown (the other being Swan Lake and anyone who likes them is in need of some form of Lobotomy). I can imagine it being kick ass performed live. Those guitars! Head-nodding goodness.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/226071

16. Muse - Supermassive Black Hole
This song makes it onto the list for sheer balls which is surprising seeing as Matt Belamy sings like he hasn’t got any. The guitar is so dead simplebut so cock-sure that it almost feels like “Supermassive” had always existed. The bastard love child of Prince, Guns N Roses, and Stanley Kubrick. Weirdest. Orgy. Ever.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/216880

15. Justin Timberlake Ft. T.I. - My Love
Damnit, Justin. Damnit! Damnit! DAMNIT!! Such a good song.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/226883

14. Incubus - Anna Molly
I gotta admit it, I had almost lost all faith in Incubus. Patchy at the best of times, the band often loses the plot to bigger ideas that make them sound like Green Day on shrooms. Here though, the guitar line is catchy as hell and the breakdown 2/3 of the way through the song is one of the most exciting, driving moments in rock this year. Kick ass video too.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/187936

13. Regina Spektor – Samson
There are two versions of this song, one slower, and one faster. The slower version provided here I think compliments the spirit of the track. Perhaps the only song on this list that could have made it based on sheer lyrical content alone, “Samson” is delightfully quirky and historically tragic.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/219213

12. Damien Rice - 9 Crimes
Appreciation for 9 Crimes reached its pinnacle when I saw Damien perform this track live on David Letterman with two backing Cellos and a piano. No studio magic, no invisible strings to hold him up, the performance was flawless and highlited everything good about this song: brooding jealousy mixed with passionate hatred and undying love. Melodramatic? Yep. That’s the idea.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/217582

11. The Shins - Phantom Limb
Instantly recognizable as The Shins, but at the same time, something entirely different. Their most famous track, “New Slang”, permanently cemented in the indie scenester walk of fame by Natalie Portman, is a hushed acoustic lament on maturation and growth. This track starts off with 3 or 4 electronic grunge pulses. Not to worry though, eventually they take the I-95 to New Jersey and end up with a soaring “Ooo-Oooo-Oooo” outro. It’ll totally change your life.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/228171

10. Brand New - Jesus Christ
I don’t know whether this was a released single or not, but none-the-less it’s the most talked about track from Brand New’s third album The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me. The track is a slow burner if there ever was one and while it never really arrives at a grand destination, the journey there is a somber, reflective one that makes you forget what you were looking for in the first place.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/203446

9. Nelly Furtado Ft. Timbaland - Say It Right
While “Promiscuous” and “Maneater” are the crowd favorites from the horribly titled Loose album, “Say It Right” has a certain air of gravity about it that suggests longevity beyond the dance floor. Timbaland’s vocal touches are addictive and the chorus is, well, amazing. The words “You don’t mean nothing at all to me” are so cathartic that somewhere deep in Ireland, Damien Rice is banging his head against the piano yelling “Why didn't IIIIII?!?!?!!!”

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/228291

8. K-Os - Elektrik Heat (the seekwiLL)
I didn’t care for this track the first few times I listened to it. It seemed cookie-cuter hip-hop with a conscience. It didn’t seem to posses anything that I could hold onto. It was devoid of any real hook and following Joyful Rebellion, this as the lead-off single for Atlantis painted a disappointing picture. And then it came on while I was riding my bike around campus and suddenly I got it.

Watch Here: http://www.ifilm.com/video/2783011

7. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Our Hell
The tragedy that is “Our Hell” is utterly, completely beautiful. I loved it the very first time I listened to it and I know others who feel the same. The piano is as harrowing as Haines’ voice is fragile. Coming from such a vulnerable place, the words “Our hell is a good life” have never resounded more truthfully.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/221194

6. Muse - Knights of Cydonia
Lasers, galloping horses, spaghetti Westerns, and 20 part harmonies: “Knights” is the kind of track that, when you finish listening to it for the first time, you can’t understand how it’s possible for it to exist. Surely it’ll eventually implode on itself and we’ll all go back to listening to Kelly Clarkson. But it doesn’t and we’re left with a neck of raised hairs. A rush of blood to the head indeed.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/215822

5. Guillemots - Trains to Brazil
What makes this track so freaking fun is that it's actually so relentlessly sad. “Trains”, like Doves’ “There Goes the Fear” before it, is a celebration of the unknown, of the mundane, of the heart ache. It’s like someone booked them for a funeral and they showed up in vaudeville pin-stripes. The rest of the album is forgettable, but not this track. It’s one to love.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/228027

4. Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment
Short, intelligent, a little sassy but still with that New-Band-Smell to them, this song from TPC has that youthful energy to it that only a few tracks each year manage to capture. The guitar line at the ending surge turns heads like whoa.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/228215

3. TV On the Radio - Wolf Like Me
What a kick ass track. Seriously, a well crafted tune here. It's everything the title would suggest: primal, animalistic, chest-beating alt rock. If I understand the songs message correctly, I'm to cover myself in mud and run around in downtown traffic.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/228678

2. Editors - Munich
Warning: listening to this song may cause feelings of destructiveness and unreasonable rage. Not recommended listening for china shops, old folks homes, or Joy Division Purist Conventions.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/222222

1. The Killers - When You Were Young
God I hate this Band. God I hate Brandon Flowers. God I hate myself for loving this song. This was track of the year the moment Dirty Sanchez here sang "talks like a gentleman" for the first time. Fuckers.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/226948


Then there's the tracks that ALMOST made it. These are the sloppy seconds of 2006.

Alexisonfire - This Could Be Anywhere in the World
I think Alexis gets less credit than they deserve in the critical world. This might be because the sensitive one from the band is nailing Leah Miller which in essence makes Dallas Green a hammer because Leah has the charm of a 2 by 4. Killer chorus to this one though. Again, it belongs to the “Will make you want to destroy beautiful things” category.

Listen Here: http://www.myspace.com/alexisonfire

Peter, Bjorn, and John - Young Folks
I think somewhere along the line, Gwen Stefani misinterpreted the underground indie scenes that she shamelessly rips off and believed that yodeling, not whistling, was actually cool. Oh well, MTV can have here. Meanwhile we’ve got this shiny happy gem to hold hands with.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/228255

The Strokes - You Only Live Once
This track is more a lament than a guitar track. No, it’s not slow. No, it’s not about death. If anything, it’s about life. It’s a sad track to listen to because something about it feels like it’ll be the last decent and exciting Strokes song we’ll see for a while, if not forever.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/225629

Richard Ashcroft - Music is Power
Baby making music. Baby. Making. Music.

Watch Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40B_n1FV5TY

Regina Spektor – Fidelity
The kind of song that makes you smile and feel content with the world around you. It was a toss up between “Samson” and this track for the main list.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/227919

Kasabian - Shoot the Runner
Did he just say “She’s my Queen Bitch”? Play that back again… fuck… yeah he did. Wow. That was kind of blatant. I mean, he’s just sort of said it. Didn’t even bother hiding that eh? Wow… kinda set women back a few years. Jeez… well… rocking song anyway.

Listen Here: http://hype.non-standard.net/track/215028

And finally, my guilty pleasure (and I mean life-sentence bread n' water diet mobile-phone recorded hanging guilty pleasure) is...

Blue October - Into the Ocean
I’m not even going to explain why I like this song. It’s hopeless because you’re laughing too hard. Go on. Laugh it up. At least its not “Hate Me”. I must get points for that. Right?

Listen Here: http://www.myspace.com/blueoctober

When You Were YoungMunichNature Of The ExperimentWolf Like MeTrains to BrazilKnights of CydoniaOur HellElectrik HeatSay It RightJesus ChristPhantom Limb9 CrimesSamsonAnna MollyMy LoveSupermassive Black HoleStadiums And Shrines IILost OneYou're All I HaveCrazyThis Could Be Anywhere In The WorldYoung FolksYou Only Live OnceMusic Is PowerFidelityShoot the RunnerInto the Ocean

Commenti

Aggiungi un commento. Accedi a Last.fm o registrati (è gratuito).