Getting into some real gems here, with heavy hitters like Andrew Bird, Dragonette and The Pierces starting to surface. The lower ranks were pretty light of them, but that's mostly because they found themselves in a lot of higher spots. I considered limiting things to 1 per album, but then I realised this way was just plain more honest. Also, I've started including music videos where appropriate (athough I'm holding one back as I've already written a Music Video Showcase to post at a later date for it).
Anyhow, onto the list...
40. Andrew Bird - Imitosis (Sendspace link)
Album: Armchair Apocrypha
A song I only really discovered after falling for the remix, this is a wonderful song about the mysteries of science. Andrew Bird shows off his intelligent lyricism here, telling stories of cells, mitosis and bunsen burners, all words one might have found in a science clasroom instead of one's iPod. That said, the music is far from neglected here - in fact, the Marriott Hotel chain used just instrumental pieces from this song (and others from Bird's repertoire) for their commercials. You fall in love with the music, which I have trouble properly describing in words, and begin to pay attention to the lyrics. That's when he gets you.
39. Straylight Run - This is the End (Sendspace link)
Album: The Needles the Space
A quiet, lullaby-like song that opens with glittering sounds and soft vocals from female vocalist Michelle DaRosa, and continues in this quiet, calming tone with other voices joining in occasionally, for the chorus mostly. It's a quite simple song, but also quite beautiful. I've heard that the band only recently started giving DaRosa lead vocal spots, and I'm of the opinion that might be the band's best move. While male vocalist John Nolan isn't bad, DaRosa has a gorgeous voice, and his works best when supporting hers. Tracks like this highlight that fact magnificently.
38. Dragonette - Competition (Sendspace link)
One of the first Dragonette tracks that caught my attention, this song features lead vocalist Martina Sorbara taking on the guise of a mistress and, of course, loving it. Just like in songs like Take It Like a Man, she's the one with the confidence, playfully telling her beau to 'try not to blush'. She loves, not the man or being with him, but merely the danger and excitement the situation affords her. Sorbara's significant other here barely factors into the equation at all, and that's the way we like it.
37. The Pierces - Boring (Sendspace link)
Album: Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge
Where the previous song was about joy from a taboo, this is all about the ennui that comes from the excess of it. A song that perfectly ties into our age of celebrity and starlet fever, this needles the Paris Hiltons of the world. When you can have everything, there's nothing left to excite you. This really is the ultimate 'be careful what you wish for' song. Not only this, but the way its sung, with the utter apathy extending even to the climax where even their life dreams, once realised, have become 'boring'. And yet, the music and the style of the singing keep it from being boring itself.
36. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Me and My Imagination (Sendspace link)
Album: Trip the Light Fantastic
Sophie Ellis-Bextor knows how to make you dance, whether in a club or in your chair, and this, Trip the Light Fantastic's second single, is no different. A song about leaving an element of mystery in order to keep a relationship fun, it draws on the feeling of the 'thrill of the chase', something well translated in the music. This makes my feet tap like crazy every time I give it a listen.
35. Mika - Grace Kelly (Sendspace link)
Album: Life in Cartoon Motion
This song is apparently born out of Mika's frustrations with labels' attempts to pigeonhole him into this or that sound, ironic considering some of the criticisms levelled against him for being too 'cookie cutter pop'. However, I am not one of those critics, as I thoroughly enjoy a good listen to Mika, and this is the song that pulled me in (while waiting to watch Spiderman 3 in theatres - the power of advertising!). It's delightfully bouncy and loud in all the right places, and easily applied to the common relationship issue of changing one's partner to suit one's own needs as easily as Mika's original meaning. It's a great song for walking, and (if I don't have a headache) can usually make me grin.
34. Die Romantik - Narcissist's Waltz (Sendspace link)
Album: Narcissist's Waltz
One of my biggest 2007 regrets is not buying the total Die Romantik debut album (of which this is the titular song), as every song from it is excellent. This follows the waltz beat, with the usual great vocals and intriguing sound. It makes me think of waltzing in a pitch dark ballroom, every dancer so well practised that they never, ever touch. Chills down my spine every time.
33. The Pierces - Lights On (Sendspace link)
Album: Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge
When I describe The Pierces as 'wicked', this is one of the songs that I'm thinking about. Shameless, the protagonist is seductive and dangerous, capturing the hearts of men with a wink. My cousin Marelly compares their voices here to Gwen Stefani and sometimes it does sound like Gwen at her best. The song is so sexy, and yet oddly hilarious as well. Perfect partner to any Dragonette track.
32. Remi Nicole - Rock'n Roll (Sendspace link)
Album: My Conscience & I
I have a lot of tenderness in my heart for Remi Nicole, a young black singer who fought attempts to 'r'n'b'-ize her or pigeonhole her into hiphop. While many of her lyrics show potential for growth, this song is one of her delightful best, detailing her attempts to just be herself in a music scene that doesn't want her if she doesn't rap. She's just so damn cute, and I'll forgive a lot for the pure enjoyment I get outta this track. Even if, to me, she sounds a little more like pop than rock. Who cares as long as it's good?
31. Cloetta Paris - Broken Heart Tango (Sendspace link)
Album: Myspace release
I found this gem via the gallant Zeon's blog (on the sidebar). At first, I wasn't sure, but then I fell hard for this song. The ethereal 'ah aaaah' in the background early on, the downbeat disco beat, and Paris' beautiful vocals translating her beautiful sadness from word to song. The lyrics are also very nice, with the lead line, "Don't say you love me, for a start, or you will be a boy with a broken heart." Like the above Narcissist's Waltz, I can practically see this song in my head, and it breaks my heart every time.
All of these have been on my 'can't stop playing' list at one point or another, excepting Narcissist's Waltz, which had to wait until I fell in love with two other Die Romantik songs to get noticed. If you enjoy these songs, I urge you to check out their albums!
Wait and See
6 years ago