Monday, December 31, 2007

The Radio Cure's Top Tracks of 2007

Here's the shakedown:

10. Andrew Bird - Heretics
All the way back in February, we got Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha at the station and I couldn't have been more pleased. From first listen, this song grabbed me and didn't let go. It's reminiscent of older Bird track "Sovay", but with a more driving pulse. With Bird's terrific lyricism and the steady drumming of Martin Dosh, the soaring violin only helps to keep this song in your head for days.

9. Feist - 1234
Now I know this was Apple's biggest song of the year, but before that, it was the most catchy for me. Awesome music video aside, you can't help but tap your feet "1234." Feist showed her knack for catchy tunes with "Mushaboom," but I think this definitely outshines her other pop songs.

8. Band of Horses - Cigarettes Wedding Bands
This song is epic. There's really no other way to describe it. The song starts with a bang and doesn't let up. Even the verses sound restless, just waiting to blow. It also features one of my favorite lines of 2007: "If my body goes then to hell with my soul"

7. The National - Apartment Story
Though there were an awful lot of tracks to choose from on "Boxer," this one remained my favorite. Maybe it's the theme of locking yourself in your apartment on a cold winter's day or the driving drum line that keeps you bopping along, this song stayed on repeat for a better part of the year for me.

6. Wilco - Impossible Germany
I first heard this track at Lollapalooza 2006 and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Unlike the distorted, depressing songs of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or the rock jams of A Ghost is Born, "Impossible Germany" is a slow, beautiful, laid back track filled with interwoven guitar lines and a terrific solo by Nels Cline. Favorite Line: "This is what love is for, to be out of place"

5. Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
If "1234" was the catchiest song of 2007, this was a close second. I easily identify this as my summer anthem for this year. Regardless of the lyrics, the song just sounds like people having hot fun in the summertime. Even this winter, it warms me up a bit inside.

4. Okkervil River - A Girl in Port
Will Sheff is easily one of my favorite songwriters, and this song totally blew me away. Even four months after buying The Stage Names, I still hear this song like it was brand new. I'm a sucker for a good slide guitar line, but that's not even the best of it. The narrative weaves through this sad story, but bursts open in the end to reveal a beautiful horn section. It's a hard for me to put in to words this cathartic feeling, so listen to this track if you haven't already.

3. Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
I heard this song during the band's epic Bonnaroo set back in 2006, but the album version is absolutely stellar. Back in October, I wrote, "This is not only my favorite track on the album, but also the most layered. With dueling guitar lines over Phil Selway's steady drumming and under Yorke's echoing voice, this song builds to a crescendo of escapism before rolling to a halt. This song parallels some of the best total songwriting of the last 20 years, with each member of the band distinctly heard." I'd say all of that holds true many more listens later. Favorite Line: "Everybody leaves if they get the chance, and this is my chance"

2. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
Did Bruce Springsteen join the Arcade Fire? The answer is probably no, but the best band in Canada definitely channels the Boss on this amazingly good track. One day while walking to class, I had this song on the iPod and was literally slapping my leg to the beat. This song very easily will get into you head and stay there forever. So much energy is packed into the recorded version, you can't even think live there will be more, but let me assure you there is. I almost put this at #1, but I just couldn't put anything there but...

1. LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
I read a review from a guy at Rolling Stone who said that when he thought about 2007, he would think about this song. I also had our tech guy at the radio station tell me that they should play the song to prisoners at Guantanamo to drive them crazy. Either way, the pulsing beautiful song has entered the prestigious list of my favorite songs of all time. With the repetitive piano line and James Murphy's lyrics about getting old, "All My Friends" became the one song I played to people when they asked me what music I was into. Both times I saw the band live this year, it was the best song to dance to, despite other danceable tracks like "Daft Punk is Playing in My House" or "North American Scum." Also worth checking out are the John Cale and Franz Ferdinand covers. Favorite Line: "I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life."

There you have it. I'll hopefully have my favorite albums up by the end of the day...

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