Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Best Song Of 2005??

New Pornographers 2005
Been trying to get an early start on my annual mix of the year's best songs -- I usually wait until January or February, allowing a few year-end purchases based on other critics' year-end best-of lists, but for better or worse I already bought more than enough new discs this year to fill an 80-minute cdr (with a few left on the cutting-room floor). I'll post the final list once I've culled it down (and I still do have a couple of those year-end purchases coming in). But it's already become evident that the stand-out track has to be...

...the New Pornographers' "The Bleeding Heart Show." Yes, I realize that just a few weeks ago I dissed the album (Twin Cinema) as just a bit too abrasive and busy for my taste; "Bleeding Heart" is no less busy, a mini-suite with three distinct sections, but unlike much of the album it gradually builds, climaxing in what is undeniably the finest 60-seconds of music all year, if not all decade. Sure, I'm a sucker for 3-chord power pop, layered harmony vocals, and choruses that go "hey la, hey la." But this one in particular just rips the heart out of my chest, stamps on it with spiked heels, and leaves it bleeding on the floor. If I wasn't already willing to sacrifice my soul to Neko Case, this one pretty much does the trick.

And, yes, it kinda reminds me of barely-remembered 80s hit "Life In A Northern Town" by Dream Academy... but damn if that wasn't one fine chorus as well. (You can deny it all you want, but you loved it, too.)

And no less easy a choice is the clear runner up as song of the year... My Morning Jacket's terrific "Off The Record" from their superb Z album. Like "The Bleeding Heart Show," this is also something of a 3-part mini-opus: starts off with a surf guitar ripped from "Hawaii Five-0," followed by a great 70's-styled classic rock radio boot-stomper, capped off with a brief jam that sounds like it was lifted from a Pink Floyd concert circa-1971 (i.e. think "Echoes"). Totally killer all around.

The rest of the mix won't quite be up to those high standards. Lots of decent pop tracks from otherwise so-so indie pop albums (Teenage Fanclub, the reconstituted Big Star, Oranger, Orange Peels, Ben Folds), a few quieter moments (Kingsbury Manx, Matt Pond PA), and assorted odds & ends (Son Volt, Of Montreal, etc.). More to come...


Post a Comment

<< Home