Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Review: Top 50 Songs: Top 10!

After a 4 day journey through 40 songs, we've arrived at the top 10. Thanks for reading and listening and make sure you take a look back at the other songs in the top 50 if you missed them. Enjoy!

10. Wilco - One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley's Boyfriend) (The Whole Love)
An epic 12-minute folk song on the level of Iron & Wine's "The Trapeze Swinger" for sheer beauty. Tweedy pours his soul into this song as he laments a long standing quarrel with his now deceased father. This is what a man's heart looks like.

9. Destroyer - Savage Night at the Opera (Kaputt)
A song that is just airy and weightless it makes me feel like I'm floating through a seedy underground club on ecstasy. Then out of nowhere, you're brought back down by this distorted guitar solo before taking off once more into the night.

8. Cold Cave - The Great Pan Is Dead (Cherish the Light Years)
Wes Eisold, formerly of Boston hardcore band Give Up the Ghost has changed his tune considerably with his most recent project Cold Cave. But even with the new sound, the hardcore influence is so apparent with songs like "The Great Pan Is Dead". With an aggressive beat that never lets up and Eisold's earnest delivery this song is the perfect balance of emotion and dance.

7. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (Helplessness Blues)
"I was raised up believing, I was somehow unique, like a snowflake distinct amongst snowflakes, unique in each way you can see. And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be, a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me." In that line, Robin Pecknold has defined my existence up to this point.

6. Bon Iver - Perth (Bon Iver)
Justin Vernon's self titled follow up to his universally acclaimed debut For Emma, Forever Ago could not be any more different than the "man in a cabin with an acoustic guitar" ethos that surrounds Bon Iver. The new album's sound is massive and the arrangements create vast soundscapes with multiple instruments providing the backdrop for Vernon's falsetto. None are more beautiful than album-opener "Perth" as he blends militaristic percussion with triumphant horns and distorted guitars.

5. Charles Bradley - Why Is It So Hard? (No Time For Dreaming)
62 years of pain, heartbreak, hardship and struggle poured out into one record. Bradley bares his soul for all to see as he unveils his story of trying to "make it in America". The term "Soul" has never been more aptly applied then in the case of Charles Bradley.

4. Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers (Goblin)
Overall, the highly anticipated Goblin was an unfocused mess with flashes of pure and absolute genius. "Yonkers" is the strongest song by a country mile with biting and poignant lyrics that gets to the core of what Odd Future is all about: "Fuck the fame and all the hype G, I just want to know if my father would ever like me but I don't give a fuck so he's probably just like me, a mother fucking goblin."

3. The Antlers - Rolled Together (Burst Apart)
Not unlike Justin Vernon and Bon Iver, Peter Silberman and The Antlers followed up their acclaimed and soul-crushing Hospice with something completely different. "Rolled Together" is the atmospheric centerpiece of the new album and the ambient guitars are reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Where Hospice used more sparse instrumentation to tell its story, the music does most of the talking on Burst Apart and Silberman's voice is used almost like another instrument.

2. A.A. Bondy - Surfer King (Believers)
A.A. Bondy continued in the vein of When the Devil's Loose with his new album, ditching the acoustic guitar for an electric and a backing band. Its difficult to describe what's so great about A.A. Bondy and particularly "Surfer King" so instead I'll just let the song do the talking for me.

1. Fucked Up - Queen of Hearts (David Comes to Life)
The 78 minute rock opera about love, loss, guilt, betrayal and redemption starts with our protagonist, David (played by lead vocalist Damian Abraham), meeting the love of his life, Veronica (played by Madeline Follin of Cults). In the simplest of declarations, Abraham barks "Hello, my name is David, your name is Veronica, let's be together, let's fall in love, let's be together, until the stars go out." Epic does not begin to describe the magnitude of this song.


  1. Such a solid top 10. What a phenomenal year in music. I would argue it's the best since we've really started listening.

  2. Its funny, I agree with you on pretty much every artist, but I think they all have better songs. Good list though man. Looked forward to reading it everyday.