31st December 2010

Fifteen of our Faves for 2010

Three members of Team LF sat down to bang out a list of the songs we’ll each be singing well into 2011.  Dan Collacott (DW), Imran Mirza (IM) and Krissi Weiss (KW) are your panel and the below alphabetical list of songs spans pretty much every genre of music our ears were privy to.  If this is the first time you’re hearing these songs, then you’re in for a treat…

The Bike Song – Mark Ronson & The Business International (‘Record Collection’)

Starting with a mumbled rap, this song evolves into a Beatles-esque verse with vocals panned left and right. The vocal melody is forever rising into the chorus that has even me wanting to jump on a bike. It’s a killer mix of electronica, rap and indie rock. (KW)

Burn it Down – AWOL Nation (‘Back to Earth’ EP)
I don't know what they are, but this track exudes so much verve and energy that I defy anyone not to listen to this whilst wearing spandex and punching their fist in the air vitriolically in time! (DC)

Clap Your Hands – Sia (‘We Are Born’)
I’ve heard it on radio one too many times too, but it’s a damn good song. The triplet rhythms combining with Sia’s vocal melody had it circling my head for months. Awesome pop. (KW)

Detroit Loveletter – Jose James (‘Blackmagic’)
We were blessed with two albums by Jose James this year, so anyone that felt the jazz standards had been left behind on ‘Blackmagic’ must surely have been jumping for joy at the release of ‘For All We Know’ (his collaborative album with Jef Neve) on Verve Records.  Picking a favourite number amongst this lot was never going to be easy, but ‘Detroit Loveletter’ may just be the song that nudged that little bit ahead of the rest reaffirming his natural chemistry with DJ and producer, Moodyman. (IM)

Don’t Take My Shadow – Kings Go Forth (‘The Outsiders Are Back’)
Readers of the My Funky (In)Disposition blog, and of the site, will know there really is very little more I can say about the song that pipped everything else to the post for my ‘song of the year’.  In truth, it had actually won from the point I first heard it in May this year giving everything that followed it very little chance of being in the running. (IM)

F##k You! – Cee-Lo Green (‘The Lady Killer’)
While purists may think the lyrics of this song are a tad crude, I find them hilarious. Added to that, a combination of Motown melodies and driving funk makes for a soulful yet intense three and a half minutes. (KW)

Future Soul Song – Prince (‘20ten’)
The hype surrounding this year’s ‘20ten’ release confirmed Prince as still the world’s hottest free agent.  New Prince music just seems to constantly be met with negativity but the brilliance of ‘Future Soul Song’ is undeniable on any level as far as I’m concerned. (IM)

Handbook for the Recently Deceased – The Damned Things (‘Ironiclast’)
No problem defining this band – old school rock, baby! Unsurprising really when you've got members of Anthrax, Every Time I Die and Fall Out Boy shoehorned in there. Nuff said! (DC)

Hold On – Angus & Julia Stone (‘Memories of An Old Friend’)
While it wasn’t as well known as Big Jet Plane, I feel this is a much stronger song. The piano is hypnotic and, as always, Angus and Julia Stone harmonise impeccably. Ethereal and dreamy. (KW)

Hopeless Romantic – Raheem DeVaughn (‘The Love and War MasterPeace’ [Deluxe version])
Irritatingly not available on the standard UK issue of DeVaughn’s third album so I had to hunt far and wide to get my hands on a copy of the bonus 2-disk deluxe version where the song’s home is found (well, Amazon US, so it wasn’t that bad!).  Trust me when I say this though friends, the song alone is worth the price of the extra search afield as it ranks certainly amongst, not just one of the year’s best, but one of Raheem’s as well. (IM)

Kiddie Hypnogogia – Mini Mansions (‘Mini Mansions’)
This isn't the sort of music you'd expect the bassist of Queens of the Stone Age to produce! Yet Michael Shuman's three-piece have crafted some of the most exquisitely melodic piano driven psychedelic pop music I have heard in years. Their sound and trippy lyrics are eerily reminiscent of The Beatles, which however unlikely can't be a bad thing. (DC)

Mama Hold My Hand – Aloe Blacc (‘Good Things’)
Taken from the Stones Throw Records release ‘Good Things’ - another album with a hefty few songs that should rightfully fill any ‘best of 2010’ lists (‘I Need A Dollar’ and ‘You Make Me Smile’ in particular) - the song that I described in my album review as “the gem that should go down as the contemporary classic that it is [‘Mama Hold My Hand’], steals the show…”.  Still a comment that holds true. (IM)

Not in Love [Remix featuring Robert Smith] – Crystal Castles
The original was a pretty good track but replace the computerised vocals with a certain Mr. Smith of Cure fame and you have an absolute tear jerking corker of a song on your hands. (DC)

Rock It – Little Red (‘Midnight Remember’)
As soon as those keys start, I’m hooked. The guitar is subtle whilst supporting the groove of the rhythm section and it all comes to crescendo in the raw harmonies of the chorus. (KW)

You'll See It – Washed Out (‘Life of Leisure’)
One of those bands that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy like you have a family of baby chicks living in your mind. This track is a-wash (ahem) with dreamy synths, laid back vocals, and up beat walls of sound you'll simply love to bounce off.  (DC)

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