The year is almost over. Yes, in terms of music journalism, the year seems to end somewhere around October, with writers chomping at the bit for year-end lists. I was tempted to compile one right around September, to be honest. I didn’t think I could hear anything better than what I had already heard. The National and Okkervil River were high on my list at that point, but as those who regularly read my column would know, late entries like Radiohead, Jay-Z and Saturday Looks Good to Me all ended up high on my list. It’s important to not jump the gun; for instance, if it came out a little earlier, Lupe Fiasco’s new disc would have likely ended up on mine and others’ best of ’07 lists.
But now the very end is very much upon us. Time is ticking and the new year is fast approaching. 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics and the election that will remove George “best world leader evah” Bush from office, is less than two weeks away. With that in mind, I feel compelled and allowed to make a top song list. Of course, this is much more subjective than the already subjective year end album list, but I thought it’d be helpful; if anything, for making a pretty eclectic year end mix CD. Here they are, the ten best songs of 2007, as Brian sees them:
10) “D.A.N.C.E.” by Justice: Old news by now, but when this track first was picked up on the RADAR, people were losing control of their bowels. This was probably the most played/ most requested jam at Urbana parties this semester.
9) “Bodysnatchers” by Radiohead: Radiohead can still bring it like no one else. More rocking than anything on OK Computer, rivals “Idioteque” for most danceable of the Radiohead catalogue.
8) “When I Lose My Eyes” by Saturday Looks Good to Me: brilliant, depressing, uplifting; everything this band has ever done in one song.
7) “Say Hello” by Jay-Z: The man at his best without resorting to “Big Pimping” trite-pop.
6) “(Anti-Television Blues)” by Arcade Fire: it’s about my two favorite things… Jessica Simpson and 9/11. Springsteenian but not overbearing; I wish every song on this album sounded this good.
5) “Flashing Lights” by Kanye West: K. West is too good for his own good.
4) “Start a War” by The National: Any song from “Boxer” is brilliant, so it’s hard to pick just one. This might be the best from what is one of the best American albums to come out in a very long time.
3) “North American Scum” by LCD Soundsystem: this dance group writes beautiful songs, but the tongue-in-cheek indie-rock jams always seem to be the ones that make a lasting impression. “North American Scum” is the next chapter in the “Daft Punk is Playing in My House” saga.
2) “Unless It’s Kicks” by Okkervil River: No explanation needed.
1) “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.: This seriously might be the number one party song ever. I’ve never seen people (those who were already fans and those who had never heard) respond to a song like this. I call it “magic.”