Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Listasaurus: The Top 20 Songs of 2010: 08 - 06

We are now one post away from the top five. That's simple mathematics right there. If you can't work that out then you probably can't read anyway so this blog is completely lost on you. No, I don't do screen readers, braille or large font translations.

08. Arcade Fire - 'Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

"I need the darkness someone please cut the lights..."

When it comes to indie releases in 2010, they didn't get much bigger than 'The Suburbs'. When it comes to disappointments in 2010, yeah, you can use the second half of that first sentence again. Again, my problems with 'The Suburbs' were much publicised on this blog and on my twitter but if there's one thing I couldn't be accused of, it's not trying enough. I gave that record listen after listen, hour after hour and it just never happened. Amazing if you consider that after hearing 'Funeral' and 'Neon Bible' I couldn't conceive of living my life without those records. They were just that big to me. Epic statements of heart, inspiration and perseverance they are albums that are now four and six years old respectively. They are albums I still listen to on a weekly basis. That says it all, I think.

My problems with 'The Suburbs' may have been plentiful but in 'Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)' I found a saving grace that knocked me off my feet and carried me away. It's a song that you swear you've heard before. It could be Kate Bush. It could be Blondie produced by The Knife. Whatever. It's the kind of song that makes mountains beyond mountains seem entirely surmountable.

07. Young Jeezy Ft. Plies - 'Lose My Mind'

"My house stupid dumb big, my rooms got rooms..."

My God this is a banger. There's no other way to put it. In many ways you can hold it up as the archetypal Young Jeezy song. By that I mean it's big, it's dumb and it smashes you in the face like a sledgehammer. As the lead single from the eagerly awaited 'Thug Motivation 103' 'Lose My Mind' did exactly what it was meant to. It banged and made you think "Man, that new Jeezy album is going to be some ridiculous shit." The only issue, OF COURSE, is that there is no sign of that album at the moment and the release date seems to change with the wind direction.

This is all to take nothing away from the song though. Clocking in at just under four minutes, Jeezy bosses his two verses just as we've come to take for granted whilst Plies spits his out like he's been chewing on concrete and barbed wire for the past coupla weeks. Plies is Plies, I'll give you absolutely nothing if you guess the content of his lines, let's put it that way. Again, God, this is a banger.

06. Robyn - 'Call Your Girlfriend'

"And then you let her down easy..."

Much like Drake, 2010 has been truly a year to remember for Robyn. In a year that saw her release two EPs and a full length, she is now reaping the rewards and also finds herself at the business end of just about everybody's end of year lists.

The biggest compliment I can pay to Robyn is that this song could've been one of about five. If I was intending to include more than one song per artist in this list then she would've had multiple entries. 'Indestructible', 'Hang With Me', 'Dancing On Your Own' and 'Cry When You Get Older' could all be substituted in place of this song I've chosen here quite easily. 'Call Your Girlfriend' is different though. It's simply the most mature, most accurate and incisively written pop song I've heard this year. In her first verse Robyn sings "Tell her not to get upset, second-guessing everything you said and done..." and man, that's a hell of a line. We've all been there haven't we? One thing goes wrong and there you are left wondering if the whole thing was a sham from day one. This is something Robyn does better than anyone. She can take minute details of life, of love, and she can retell them in these amazing songs so they sound anything but small. Oh, and all this to tunes you can dance to. The best way to put this is to say that, at the moment, there is no one making music who can soundtrack tears on a dance floor better than Robyn.

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