I suppose it’s time to look back on the year then….Today I’ll do songs of the year. Followed by albums tommorrow, then we’ll look at the decade over the next couple.
5. Pokerface – Lady GaGa
No matter how much you want to, there was no way in hell you could escape the grasp of GaGa and for good reason. This stomps with the electro pop of the ’80’s with more explicit sex appeal that would make Madonna blush. Lady GaGa, with this song, has managed to emulate and usurp the queen of pop.
4. Crying Lightning – Arctic Monkeys
After finished their Favourite Worst Nightmare tour and Alex Turner touring with Miles Kane, no one expected Arctic Monekys to come back with this. As heavy as Queens Of The Stone Age, as horny as a schoolgirl, this song gets sends you flying at 200 mph with it’s aphrodisiac lyrics, crashing drums (which really signal Matt Helders as being the best drummer since Dave Grohl) and thumping bass. It may have divided the fanbase, but what good change hasn’t?
3. Islands – The XX
The XX were one of the most surprising bands of the year for me. Looking like a gothic miserable bunch of boys and girls, I expected slow, dark, heavy metal and I wanted to hate them. But I didn’t. Not one bit. Islands is a chilling, minimalist, almost R&B beauty with haunting guitars, complimenting boy/girl vocals and some euphoric lyrics. I’m glad I was wrong…
2. Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I always liked Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I’d heard a few songs and loved them. until I heard this. This blew my face off with it’s brilliance. The watery synth line leads into, possibly Karen O’s most headboppingly brilliant vocals yet. As the song climbs (climbs, climbs, oh oh) it becomes this swirling pot of experimentation, but still feels like YYY. Then Nick Zinner’s guitar comes in and it just suddenly feels like everything they’ve done before headbanging to something new, exciting and most importantly, incredible. I bought their whole back catalouge after this, I bought a Micro-korg Synth after this. What could top that…
1. Sea Within A Sea – The Horrors
I’ve praised this so many times, it couldn’t be anything else. Faris and Co came back and surprised everyone with this spacious, 8 minute magnificene. It lifts you up with it’s vocals and basslines, then sends you to some other dimension when the keyboard arpeggio kicks in. Truely, the greatest thing to come out of my speakers this year.