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My favorite songs of 2010

I am careful to call these "my favorite" songs of 2010 rather than "the best" songs of 2010. By no means have I listened to all of the music that was created this year, and I'm definitely not enough of a music expert to be able to definitively say that one song is superior to all others. And in this list, I know that a lot of the songs I have here are ones that have some sort of personal meaning to me, and I don't expect everyone else to feel the same way necessarily. I mean honestly, music is such a broad and encompassing thing with so many different genres that you can never really say which music is "the best".

That being said, this list is all about the "I really liked this and I think you would too". And especially if you've never heard of any of the artists I'm about to mention, you should definitely check them out, if only to get a sense of the kinds of stuff I like. But also because they're really good songs :)

Another quick note...I would post direct youtube video links to these songs, but livejournal is very fail at this sort of thing. So just click on the link if you're curious instead, if there is one. Not everything I picked here has links, unfortunately, but oh well.

So here we go!

10) "We Got the System to Fight the System" by Maserati
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjmSLQeD2mc

If there is a better song to run to this year, I'd love to know what it is. Maserati is a band I got to know a little better this year, and what I know about them is that they put a ton of energy into their music through fast tempos and complicated guitar riffs. This song is no exception, and I want to listen to it every time I go for a jog.

9) "The Cave" by Mumford and Sons
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KkUeRPjc-Y

In the "youtube views" department, we just went from about two thousand to about three million. And if you ever passed by The Current when you were dialing through your radio, you likely heard this song...honestly, the reason this song appeals to me so much is because of my realization that adulthood is by no means easy. We work our whole lives to get here, and for some reason it ends up being a much bigger trial than everything else up to this point. And this song is a welcome reminder that it is our own personal strength and perseverance that allows us to not only cope with that difficulty, but also to really live happy lives as a result of it.

8) "How Can I Make You Remember Me" by Hammock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX7kdbWehcU

Enough of words and analysis and all that junk. The most popular song from Hammock's new album is "Breathturn", and while that is certainly a good song, none of the songs on this album capture transcendence like this song does. I don't even feel like I'm on planet earth when I listen to this. With all of the imagery that this song brings into my mind, I feel like it says a lot more than most music with several chunks of lyrics.

7) "Suffocation" by Crystal Castles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugw3ARV4X9g

I heart crystal castles, and this is definitely a standout from their newest album in my opinion. I know that the vocalist of Crystal Castles loves to scream all the time and basically be a total psycho, so it's nice to hear her actual voice for a change. This is one of a few songs on my list that it should be illegal to not dance to.

6) "Sprawl II (Mountains beyond Mountains)" by Arcade Fire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH_7_XRfTMs

Arcade Fire doesn't sound like their first album as much these days, but I have grown to really enjoy what they have turned into. For one thing I just really enjoy the music in this song, but I love what it is about too...a girl is simply living out and expressing herself as she pleases, and the advancement of modern society is trying to snuff that out to her displeasure. It's an especially good reminder for an engineer like myself that technology is not really the answer to EVERYTHING...there doesn't need to be an "app" for every single need we have. If we aren't allowed to express what we want to express in this world, then what are we doing? Anyway, enough philosophy...just listen to the darn song if you haven't already.

5) "Round and Round" by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhwKup1AKd4

I think what I like most about Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (in addition to their really crazy band name) is that if I didn't know this song came from 2010, I honestly couldn't tell you what year, or even what decade, it came from. This band pulls a lot of various components of music genres together, and they do it masterfully in this song. Very chill and very addictive...it also wins the "best chorus of the year" award by FAR.

4) "Love Cry" by Four Tet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No98yKnjDaw

Oh yeah, time for a 9 minute song, baby. And part of the reason why this is here is because I never really realized that it WAS 9 minutes long. It is such an addicting listen that I lose track of a number of things when I'm listening to it. Four Tet is an incredibly creative group (or maybe just one person? I don't really know for sure), and Four Tet's ability to pull in so many different sounds into an amazing song is why it's up here on the list.

3) "Fixed" by Stars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTgjVgzpohE

I still remember the first time I heard this song. I was painting the wall in my living room listening to the radio, and the woman on the radio was all "hey, here's the new song from Stars!" and I was all "whoa I wonder who Stars is cuz I ain't like ever listened to them befo' " and then this song came on and I was like "whoooaaa omg this song ruulezz!" This is all 100% true and there is documented evidence of it.* But this song packs a serious punch and a lot of energy, and I wonder why songs like these don't become as popular as a lot of the other junk on the radio. Stars definitely grabbed my attention this year, all because of this amazing song.

*I may be lying. Maybe.

2) "Mandy" by Ratatat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecHfCKvPbBs
Yes. YES. YESSSSSSSS! I can't tell you how much I love listening to this song. I don't even really know what to write about it, other than the fact that I just think this song is super awesome and you have to listen to it RIGHT NOW. The only reason it isn't my #1 song is because I can't exactly put a finger on some deep or influential meaning. But I will say that Ratatat was hands-down my favorite concert that I saw this year, partly because of their awesome music but also because I got to see a lot of friends I don't get to see as often these days. But that show definitely cemented my love for Ratatat, and for this song, which they did play at the concert, and YES IT WAS AWESOME AND I DANCED MY BUTT OFF. I've actually been trying to make this song my phone ringtone for a while now and haven't found an app that can do it yet. BUT I WILL GOSH DARN IT.

In fact, I love this song so much that I actually skipped ahead to write about it because I was so excited to write about it. And then I didn't even have anything all that important to say about it, lol. Whatevs.

And seriously, coming from a guy who barely does any dancing at all, I want to pass a law in MN state legislature that makes it illegal for any Minnesotan to stay still when this song is playing.

1) "Home" by LCD Soundsystem
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5gQidrzojU

I didn't watch this video, but I see that there's a robot in it, and that just assures me that this is absolutely my favorite song of the year. I already have a tremendous amount of respect for LCD Soundsystem because their last album, Sound of Silver, is, in my opinion, one of the best albums of the last decade. Their new album is very good also, very danceable, somewhat off-the-wall crazy, and at times more thoughtful. This is probably the most thoughtful song on the album, and it is my favorite for personal reasons. Don't worry, I'm not saying "hey man, it's personal" as if to say that it's none of your business why I like that song. That would just be silly!

So let me explain why I like this song so much. First of all, the music is just really fantastic, and I cannot help but sing along with the "aaah AAAAAHHH"s in the middle and the end of the song. Second, the final lyrics of this song always get to me, which are as follows:

"If you're afraid of what you need
If you're afraid of what you need
Look around you, you're surrounded
It won't get any better
Until the night"

So what does this mean, exactly? I think that at some level, whether we realize it or not, we all have things in our life that we should accomplish but simply do not have the skill or experience to accomplish them. So we let them sit, and linger, and linger...and this line is a reminder that not only does this strategy get you nowhere, but you're also surrounded by people experiencing the same thing. So what does the "until the night" part mean? I have always enjoyed the night and always think of it as a time of new opportunity...the day itself may have been wasted out of apathy or laziness or whatever, but the night is like that "second chance" of the day, the next chance to make this day memorable somehow. And if you look at the rest of the lyrics of this song, you'll see that a lot of it is about forgetting all the dumb crap we have put up with in the past and just moving on in an effort to truly enjoy life. It's a wonderful message that I feel every time I listen to this song, and because of that, I am calling it my favorite song of 2010.

So there you have it. Let me know what you think of my list, whether you've actually heard any of these songs, whether you hadn't heard any and decided to listen to a few and what you thought of them, or whether you're just bored and want to leave ol' Dan Waller a note about anything or nothing in particular

Comments

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(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2011 12:00 pm (UTC)
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