Happy Christmas Eve Eve Eve e'rybody! As my gift to the world at large I've decided to stuff your proverbial stockings with music! Not just any old music either, nay the best music of the year that was Two Thousand and Seven. With our further delay my bitches, here are the top 10 songs of 2007.
10) Straight Lines-Silverchair. Back after a 6 year recording hiatus the boys from Newcastle NSW didn't lose a step. Straight Lines is an amazingly catchy song that retains some of what made the group popular back in the mid 90's. Of course they were all just past puberty then and now as mid to late-twenty-somethings they are bound to have a fresher, more grown up sound... and they do.
9) The Picture-Son Volt. Did someone say 1995? Just like Silverchair above, I rocked to Son Volt back in my college days. I'm happy that most of the songs off their 2007 release "The Search" harken back to the sound they had in the mid 90's. Each track off the record is fantastically written and performed but this one was the stand out in my mind.
8) Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night-The Fratellis. This record hit with the force of a thousand feet on a barroom floor. The Fratellis are an undeniably talented group of lads who put out a record filled with songs that make you want to grab your mates and head to the pub. While "Flathead" grabbed most of the attention due to it's turn as the iPod spokes song, I couldn't stop listening to this track.
7) 15-Rilo Kiley. I'm Chris Hanson, what are you doing here Jenny Lewis? This song probably scared off a whole lot of people, and who could blame them? Any song about a 15 year old girl trolling for older dudes is bound to ruffle some feathers. I, however, couldn't get the idea that this was the modern answer to "Son of a Preacher Man" out of my head. Never mind the fact that it is a great fucking song, it's not like it condones statutory rape or anything.
6) Love Song-Sara Bareilles. Thanks to a good friend of mine, I've been into Sara for the last 3 years. In fact she had a place on my top 100 in '05 with "Gravity" at #46 and "Little Voice" at #45 in '06. Sara is an amazing talent, and I almost wish she didn't end up getting co-opted by the music machine, but kept going as an Indie. I'm comforted by the fact that there is little more they can do to her other than overexpose her, and she has far too much substance and far too little flash to become a hit in a world devoid of widespread taste. I am excited to see what Sara will write for her next disc, which should be more new tunes rather than re-recordings of indie tracks.
5) Sons of Cain-Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. I had never been a big fan of Leo, but this record just kept popping up in my head after I reluctantly bought it in the spring. I spent the summer pumping the whole disc, but this song in particular grabbed me and didn't let go. From the second it's drum beets start you're hooked and by the time Leo starts to growl his prolonged hey's it's all over except the crying.
4) Young Folks-Peter, Bjorn and John. This is one hell of a catchy tune, and not just because once I hear it I end up whistling it for hours. It's another song that grabs you with a cold open on the drums, joined by maracas and the infectious whistle. Peter Moren and Victoria Bergsman (# 64 on this year's list) play so well off of one another that they make this song an all around gem. While I first noticed it because of Bergsman, when I bought her Taken By Trees disc, I loved the whole record too, but none more than this song.
3) I Feel It All-Feist. Here's another example of an act that was catapulted to mass success by a combination of TV placement and a shot on an iTunes ad. While I think 1234 is a great song (written by Sally Seltmann who hit the list at #69) "I Feel it All" is just so much better. The song is remarkably ear catching to me, and I have delighted to it all year. If I could dance, or was ok with the idea of dancing like a white boy with no rythem, this is the type of song I would dance to.
2) One Crowded Hour-Augie March. There are so few songs I have ever heard that are as well written as this '06 Aussie release. I didn't get my copy until it was released in the US in '07 but I had heard it on Internet radio and knew how good it was. The lyrics are like something out of a 60's song, with amazing imagery and turns of phrase. I've heard that when Augie March wrote this song, they thought it was just a throw away, which goes to show you that you can't set out to write an all time great song, it just has to happen for you.
1) Going North-Missy Higgins. I don't think I know of a better singer/songwriter out there. Missy topped my chart back in '05 with her US release of "The Sound of White" which delivered my favorite song of '05: The Special Two. Going North is a song that anyone who ever wanted to break out of their normal life patterns and try something new can identify with. I love the line: "So goodbye for a while, I'm out to learn more about who I really was before. Yeah I'm going north." When I first heard this song it resonated with me right away, and can't stop listening. Each time I listen I get another idea of how to break the chains of my everyday life and head go out into the world. Maybe one day I'll do it, but if I can never make that grandiose move of picking up and changing everything, then I hope to do it on a smaller scale. This song is the ultimate 'stop and smell the roses reminder' and I try and think about that every time I hear it.