Top 25 Songs of 2009: 21-25

25) “Two Weeks,” Grizzly Bear. Working since 2004 as something like indie rock choirboys, Grizzly Bear have with them now a song to make even Brian Wilson smile. Despite Veckatimest’s shortcomings (a tendency to bore), “Two Weeks” is tight, compact, and the best that GB has to offer. The stoned, peaceful cadence for the verse is in perfect counterbalance to the lofty, head-in-the-sky falsetto on the chorus. Throw in some staccato keyboards — a little distorted, not too clean (read: a pinch of lo-fi; even indie deities are not quite timeless) — and four-minutes later Grizzly Bear high-step their way from choirboys to altar-men, triumphantly carrying the song’s melodies to the front of the cathedral, already dripping with nostalgia, ready to be sacrificed to our fragmented memory of the 60s. Amen. [YouTube]

24) “Percussion Gun,” White Rabbits. Take the In Rainbows opener “15 Step,” and distill it from Thom Yorke’s New Years Resolution to stay focused (“How come I end up where I went wrong? / Won’t take my eyes off the ball again”), down to a plan for dealing with ex-lovers. Take the form too and extract the essence again. Make Greenwood’s delicate picking into aggressive guitar strokes, add some pounding, lower-end piano, replace too r.head’s helter-skelter beat with some toms that your drummer beats the shit out of. It might not be pretty, per se, but it’s still better than being Coldplay. [YouTube]

23) “All That We Can See,” Sholi. Davis, Calif. has never sounded so good. Or so dreamy. Keep chanting one-syllable words, Sholi, and we’ll keep listening. Dance for hours? We just might do that too. [YouTube]

22) “Crack a Bottle (feat. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent),” Eminem. Despite the most atrocious rap ever recorded by a platinum artist (ahem, we’ll just say he is two quarters short of a dollar), Eminem and Dr. Dre drop a rap song whose beat swings to and fro so hard listeners will literally smash their Olde E’s. The broken glass, you can’t blame them; it’s not intentional. It’s more like an earthquake shaking people back and forth. Result: fans smashing beers on the wall as they stumble down Dre’s hospital hall. Did I just rhyme? My bad, 50 Cent. I didn’t mean to show you up like that. [YouTube]

21) “Ecstasy,” jj. Okay, jj. We get it: Pulling the infectious sample from Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” was a brilliant maneuver. How you took Wayne’s radio ready hit and transformed it into a languid little ode to clubbing/drugs/raves. Yes, yes, we’re both ecstatic about it. I know, right? His song uses a children’s candy to talk about sex — oh you think he’s implying something about teenage girls, perhaps? Interesting. Interesting too that raves might be the last place where 28 year-old Target managers can find 16 year-old girls in lingerie to make-out with. What’s that you said? Ecstasy is the enabler, the new lollipop? Brilliant, just brilliant. Have I told you how much I love you? No, seriously. I love you so much, jj. So much. You’re the absolute best person I have ever met in my entire life. Don’t ever leave me. This isn’t the drugs talking. This is fucking real. Now hug me. Guess what drug I’m on? [YouTube]

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