Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The summer's top 20 (and a half)

It's that time of the year again - time to look back on the summer's songs. I feel comfortable putting this list to bed mid-August as anything else that comes out is more likely to be a fall song than a summer song. This is, as usual, in no particular order.


1) Two Times Blue - Debbie Harry
While these are in no particular order, it's no surprise to me or any readers of this blog that Debbie is at the top of the list. "Two Times Blue" is, quite simply, the song of the summer for me and one of the very best pop songs I have heard in a very long time. It's on the fast track for song of the year, folks.

2) Fall For You - Kylie Minogue
While the veracity of the Kylie X leaks is still in question, I think the question mostly lies in when were they recorded and for what album. And regardless of which album this track was nixed from, I'm so glad that it saw the light of day. I recall hearing this shortly after hearing Madonna's "Hey You" and this song washed that awful taste out of my mouth right away.

3) 4 in the Morning - Gwen Stefani
This is really the first song from The Sweet Escape that I have liked. I admit - I was put off by the awful "Wind It Up" which played like a really bad novelty tune. But this song has actual structure and melody and is quite pleasant. The hook in the chorus is subtle but no less addicting for that subtlety. It'll be interesting to see how she does when she records with No Doubt again.

4) Freedom - Erasure
The first of two songs that are not actually FROM this summer, but nonetheless, due to repeated plays, came to be part of this summer's soundtrack. A lesser known track from Erasure, but one of my new favorites.

5) Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
I'm not sure that there was anyone that didn't like this song back when it was first released. What a surprise from Maroon 5 - throwing a bit of disco into the mix and churning out one of the most unforgettable earworms of the summer.

6) My Interpretation - Mika
My non-love for Mika is well known, but this song was sent to me by a friend at just the right time when I was dealing with a situation I would have rather not dealt with and it just fit perfectly. You can keep your "Grace Kelly", just give me "My Interpretation."

7) I Wanna Fall In Love (Remix) - Dolly Parton

In the 70s, everyone had to try their hand at disco. Dolly Parton was no exception. Thank heavens for that.

8) I'm A Lover - The Revelations
XO turned me on to The Revelations' "If I Called You On The Telephone" which was just pure magic. "I'm A Lover" is one of the better tracks from their full length release.

9) Tears Dry On Their Own - Amy Winehouse
I admit, I was resisting Amy Winehouse big and bad. I did NOT want to like her. Then Heidi went and gifted me the album for my birthday. I gave in. I listened. And I liked what I heard. Yes, "Rehab" is over played, and I'm not sure if she'll have much beyond this album but sonically the album is unique and ubiquitousness of Amy Winehouse this summer merits her a place in the Top 20.5.

10) Green Light (Freemasons Remix Edit) - Beyonce
Another XO contribution to the summer soundtrack (can you tell who's heavily influencing me these days?) Let me make this clear - I really don't listen to Beyonce, and the album version of this is, in the words of XO and Yuri, shiteous. But this remix completely remakes the song into something completely and utterly appealing. You're holding up traffic - green means GO!

11) Umbrella (The Lindbergh Palace Radio Edit)
"Umbrella" was everyone else's song of the summer. I liked it enough, but it couldn't top "Two Times Blue." This is perhaps my favorite remix of the track.

12) Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song) - Enrique Iglesias
Certainly not the best Enrique Iglesias song ever, but the only one to feature a ping pong ball.

13) She Called Up - Crowded House
Time On Earth is a somber record, there's no doubt about that. But this song breaks that mold nicely.

14) Duel - Sophie Ellis-Bextor

My general rule of thumb on remakes is you have to make them your own. Hence my disapproval of the completely unnecessary Fergie remake of "Barracuda." Well, I'm eating my words here. Sophie does pretty much a by-the-numbers remake of this Propaganda track and she blows it out of the water. Of course, those big synthy strings in the chorus help so much it's not even funny. This was a very late addition to the soundtrack, but it has earned its place.

15) Inconsolable - Backstreet Boys

Go ahead and laugh. I kinda like this song. Sometimes I really miss the melodrama of the boy band days. It's not going to win any songwriting awards or anything, but you can't beat the melodrama.

16) Sunday Girl (Radio Mix) - Erasure
Erasure opened their set at the True Colors Tour with this song, which opened their latest album A Light At The End of the World. And even though I would daresay that most of the people in the audience were there to hear the hits, it's amazing how well it blended in with those hits. And no, it's not a Blondie cover, although that would be so fantastic, I couldn't even begin to articulate it.

17) Frank & Ava - Suzanne Vega

For most people, Suzanne Vega began and ended with "Luka." Well, there's more to her than meets the eye. She really seems to be channeling Sheryl Crow on this song which was taken from her latest album Beauty & Crime.

18) Listen All You People - Darren Hayes
This Delicate Thing We've Made is quite possibly the album of the year. And if not, Darren Hayes gets serious bonus points for moxie and for keeping a double album from coming out completely overcooked. This is one of the most joyous songs on the album, which is really an ode to understanding and unity - something everyone desperately needs now.

19) Chelsea Rodgers - Prince

It has been AGES since I've heard a Prince song this good. Seriously, it's so good it could have been on the Girl 6 soundtrack.

20) The Key - Casey Stratton
While The Crossing did not live up to my expectations, the songs left off the record continue to astound me. "The Key" makes me feel like a teenager all over again, with the requisite drama--"I gave you the key/To understand me/A combination of my strength and my fragility." I think Casey must have been reading my high school journals and I mean that as a compliment (even though the angst in my high school journal seriously should have been measured in angstroms.)

and finally....

20.5) What The Fuck Was That? - Evil Dead: The Musical
At 1 minute, 45 seconds, it does not really count as a full song. But what a riotous minute 45 it is! A duet between the two male leads as they figure out that everyone around them has been turning into zombies. It is practically operatic, and the fact that they work in "pre-ripped Abercrombie", "Necronomicon" and "I've got some Shelly on my shoe!" all into the same song is just...well, fabulous.


genkiboy said...

yay for 20.5! :)

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly despised Wind It Up, but despite my better judgement, I've really enjoyed Escape (it's quirky and fun without crossing the line) and 4 in the Morning.

Paul said...

what a decent selection of songs! Woo hoo! Although Umb-ur-ella and Gwen aren't really my cup of white caffe mocha with whip. But yay to maroon 5 being in there and i'm always happy to see a bit of musical-ness infiltrate! When is the beard free pic coming?!