Mixtapes for Hookers

My Top 100 Songs of 2009 (Part 1)
December 28, 2009, 3:34 pm
Filed under: lists, music | Tags: ,

I almost didn’t post a favorite songs of the year list this year. For one thing, I already basically did one on The Pop Chart a few weeks ago. Also, I think everyone’s a little listed out at this point. And on top of that I have 492758471 other things I should be doing with my time.

But on the other hand, I wouldn’t be able to ever finish wrapup of my favorite songs of the decade if I didn’t make a 2009 list. For another thing The Pop Chart list was generated automatically, without any reflection. (Plus that list only included singles.) And for another thing there’s just a bunch of really good songs I wanted to tell you about but never got around to.

So, I made a list.  A top 100.  I’m breaking it into 4 installments, with the ‘publish’ button hopefully being pressed on the Top 25 some time on New Year’s Eve.

So, without further adieu:

100. Giana Factory, Trippin’

Loui Foo, sister of the Raveonettes’ Sharin Foo, released the first single with her band Giana Factory this fall. It’s minimal, moody, mid-tempo party music, a little like what the Breeders would maybe sound like if they tried to be dancy.

99. Simian Mobile Disco, Audacity of Huge

Oh, materialism. And double oh, hipsters. This is like the art-school version of every money-obsessed hip-hop hit, only where Damien Hirst’s name is substituted for Louis Vuitton’s. It’s already aging kind of poorly, though I liked it quite a bit this summer.

98. Foma, Hannah, It’s Finished!

San Francisco sextet Foma released the lovely Inverness album early this year, and I’ve been totally negligent by forgetting to tell you how good it is. My favorite track, Hannah, I’m Finished!, is folky dream-pop with pianos and pretty harmonies.

97. Dorrough, Ice Cream Paint Job

I still say “cream on the inside, clean on the outside” sounds like an m4m ad, but actually this song by Dallas rapper Dorrough is about getting your car painted. Miraculously, this song saved the most awkward wedding I’ve ever had to DJ.

96. Rivals, 2nd Best To None

“As we checked in I noticed that the bar in this hotel just seemed so right, the perfect place for candid talk and all discretion. Time at last for my confessions!” Yes, it’s an ad for a hotel, but it’s an ad for a hotel owned by Benny Andersson! Performed by actual hotel staff, the three-minute jingle is miles better than Andersson’s follow-up, Story Of A Heart.

95. Chrisette Michele, Epiphany

Maybe my favorite slow jam of the year, Epiphany was the title track off Chrisette Michele’s Epiphany album, which earned the dubious honor of having the worst-selling #1 debut ever.

94. LoveLikeFire, Stand In Your Shoes

Nothing against Metric or the Gossip or Paramore, but I really wish that the few token female voices on modern rock radio could actually rock; Ann Yu’s LoveLikeFire have self-released three albums now, and this single should have had hit written all over it.

93. Suzy Thunder, BIG

“Don’t be afraid to let your bigness show,” says Suzy. Sounding a little like a sluttier Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the size queen made one of my favorite club tracks of the year with her unsubtle ode to giant wangs.

92. Parallel Dance Ensemble, Turtle Pizza Cadillacs

No, I don’t know what New Zealand singer Coco Solid is talk-rapping about, but she and Danish collaborator Robin Hannibal made such a delightfully awkward dance track that it doesn’t matter. Also, she says “disco chili dogs.” (Thanks to Mondo Salvo for this one.)

91. Kent, Töntarna

Kent, who by nature of opening for the Cardigans on their First Band On The Moon tour were the first band I ever saw live, have been Swedish hitmakers (if not critical successes) for well over a decade now. They only occasionally excite me, but this Muse-y Swedish-language single is quite delightful.

90. Knaan (feat. Chubb Rock), ABCs

Somali-Canadian musician Knaan recruited forgotten-ish old school rapper Chubb Rock for this perky kids-incorporating number. It’s a little preachy and oddly chipper considering the subject mater, but the chorus is quite catchy.

89. Melody Gardot, Baby I’m A Fool

I think I was more embarrassed about liking this than any other song this year, because as soon as it comes on I’m magically transported to a more romantic place where the cocktails are classy and everyone is impeccably dressed. Or maybe just Restoration Hardware?

88. Gin Wigmore, Oh My

2008 was probably the peak of the white British lady soul revival, but this late entrant into the Dusty fray actually comes from New Zealand. Rockier than Adele and more vocally skilled than Duffy, I hope her career lasts even after the inevitable backlash.

87. Mohamed Ali, Rocket

The debut single by teenaged Danish Idol runner-up Mohamed Ali is the greatest Kylie Minogue song that Kylie Minogue never recorded. The chorus is irresistible and quite catchy, though Ali’s emotively squeaky voice makes singing along a challenge.

86. Fanfarlo, Luna

Though this track appeared on a mix I downloaded way back in July, I somehow missed this British sextet’s swoony romanticism (and trippy keyboards) until very recently; now I must learn more. (h/t Brad Barrish)

85. Justin Bieber, One Time

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. No, really, this song is awesome, regardless of the ridiculousness of the name Bieber, his Usher connections, or the fact that he’s so clearly going through an awkward stage that I can’t actually watch him.

84. Little Dragon, Feather

Because I am stubbornly trapped in the past, where music was represented by tangible objects, I haven’t heard Little Dragon’s Fortune Dreams album yet because I’ve yet to see it in a store where I could actually purchase a copy. Hopefully soon, though.

83. Tara Jane O’Neil, In Tall Grass

Tara Jane O’Neil’s quietly lovely A Ways Away album came out early this year, and I really haven’t listened to it very much although I liked it a lot when I got it and like it even more now.

82. Neko Case, People Got A Lotta Nerve

People sure do like Neko Case. At 39, she’s one of the only female singer-songwriters still considered young-ish who’s managed to receive critical and popular adoration for more than just a couple of albums.

81. Mini Viva, Left My Heart In Tokyo

The first time I heard this UK duo’s Xenomania-produced confection by UK I loved it. But then, embarrassingly, I had to search the internet to make sure that Tokyo actually had a river. It does. I didn’t know.

80. O.Children, Dead Disco Dancer
The faux-goth appeal of Britain’s O.Children has yet to lead to commercial success, though for a minute there I thought they were going to be hyped as the next Bloc Party. Still, this song is kind of hilariously gloomy.

79. The Slits, Ask Ma
Speaking of hilarious…

78. Natalie Imbruglia, Want
Twelve years after her lone American hit, Natalie Imbruglia made some bloogy waves this year among pop enthusiasts with this Chris Martin co-written single off her album Come To Life.

77. Querent, Jizelle
Rhode Island’s Querent released the disarmingly noodly bedroom EP V earlier this year, and it’s by far my favorite local CD of the year. I posted this track this summer, and I’d re-upload it since it doesn’t really exist on the internet, except that Fileden’s being an ass again today.

76. Sahara Hotnights, In Private
Sahara Hotnights put out a covers album this year that ranged from silly (Foo Fighters’ Big Me) to really silly (Aneka’s Japanese Boy) to ho-hum (Love Will Never Do Without You). But their cover of Dusty’s 1989 comeback single is surprisingly quite nice.

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