12.1.10

Favourite song of 2009: honourable mention

Continuing from the previous post, because there's loads of other things I've listened to this year, and they deserve a nod on the Hot-Doll pages. It will be splurgy, but I'll try and make a Spotify playlist for easy reference.

Let's begin with the releases by the Grizzly Animal Projectors, which were not very album albums for me, but were dominated by a few magical singles. On Veckatimest, 'Two Weeks' is truly sublime, but I found myself preferring the angrier, rockier 'While You Wait For The Others', which always reminds me of Built To Spill for some reason. Bitte Orca is somewhat marred by the exasperating 'Useful Chamber', but 'Stillness Is The Move' is epic, and I do like the way 'Temecula Sunrise' is always falling apart only to gather itself back together again just in time for the singalong chorus. And the delirious groove of 'Summertime Clothes' is my other highlight of Merriweather Post Pavilion.

In other news. The xx remix (or is it a cover?) of Florence's 'You've Got The Love' is a slinky, sexy masterpiece. The best thing either artist has put their name to. On the Big Pink's 'Dominoes'. To echo Kieron Gillen, misogyny is OK if you have a big enough hook. Also, this is what Kasabian dream of doing. Camera Obscura's 'French Navy' goes in because the horns flutter, and that is what falling in love sounds like. 'I Am Leaving' by Blue Roses goes in because I love the way she pronounces her vowels. Will have to add Johnny Foreigner's 'Criminals' and Los Campesinos!'s 'There Are Listed Buildings' here, as I became besotted with both bands this year. In general I prefer the stuff released in 2008, but this may change. Also, Johnny Foreigner have put out a free EP of remixes, some of which are pretty awesome. Get it here.

In pop news. Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies' is kinda like 'Jumpin Jumpin' part two, except with a bridge that makes the experience slightly less horrible. On Lily Allen's 'The Fear'. Hey, is that a reference to Kanye's 'Diamonds from Sier... THAT BEAT! The vocal on La Roux's 'In For The Kill' was too much for me, but the feisty yapping on 'Bulletproof' is undeniably great. Also, it was good to see Elly Jackson acknowledging the debt to Deep Cuts in Q's Albums of the Decade issue. More synth pop was provided by Chew Lips's 'Solo'. Bleepy music with a stupid hook. Perfect for the dancefloor. The obligatory Lady Gaga single will have to be 'Paparazzi'. No "GA GA! OOH LA LA!" Plus the most world-conquering / heartbreaking chorus since Beyoncé's 'Irreplaceable'.

In glo-fi news. 'Plain Material' by Memory Tapes brings the rave to your smoked out bedroom. On 'Deadbeat Summer' by Neon Indian. Does anyone else find this guy's voice incredibly sexy? Or is that just me... 'In Steps' by Letting Up Despite Great Faults makes up for there being no M83 this year. And Delorean's 'Seasun' is my 'Surf Solar'. You'll never be the same again, either.

In hip-hop news. The death of the genre may be on its way, but there have been a couple of tunes that are keeping the flame burning. DOOM's 'Cellz' is like McCarthy's The Road, only it goes like: "missin wheel, you don't listen, you a feel head / sittin in the kitchen, pissin, twitchin, kissin steel lead". Mos Def's 'Auditorium' can't be anything but perfection -- Madliberata, Defoperata and a genius guest verse by Slick Rick. Big Boi's solo album has yet to be released, but a couple of tracks are floating around on the internet. 'Royal Flush' will get the nod here, because with all the Lil Wayne oversaturation, it's good to hear from Andre 3000 again. You know what? He's the best rapper alive.

Will have to end on 'Empire State Of Mind'. Even Jay-Z's lame, patronizing social consciousness on the third verse cannot tarnish the magnificence of Alicia Keys's chorus. One of my proudest achievements was putting it on at a New Year's party shortly after the countdown to 2010, which brought the house down. That's the thing, the song isn't really about New York (a city I don't particularly like). It's about triumph, conquest, celebration. It was exactly the right tune at exactly the right moment. I've never been able to nail that before, being a terrible DJ who doesn't believe in the first rule of DJing -- give the punters what they want. This time I did, and it was glorious.

As promised, spotifyers can listen to most of the above here.

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