Mixtapes for Hookers

My Top 100 Songs Of 2009 (Part 2)
December 29, 2009, 1:17 pm
Filed under: design of a decade, lists, music | Tags: ,

And the list continues…

75. Kissy Sell Out, This Kiss
Critically reviled despite being boatloads of fun, Kissy’s had a place in my heart ever since his 2 Unlimited-sampling Lost In The K Hole and his kooky remix of Gwen Stefani’s Wind It Up. This marks his first venture into being a hipster rock band.

74. Marilyn Manson, Arma-Goddamn-Motherfucking-Geddon
Every couple of years Marilyn Manson releases a single so unapologetically goofy that I fall in love with the man all over again. I won’t say he’s still culturally relevant, exactly, but this song is almost as good as mOBSCENE and I Don’t Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me).

73. Mos Def, Casa Bey
I feel kinda self-conscious including Mos Def’s critically adored and Grammy-nominated comeback single on a list that has like three rap songs on it total. However, I don’t listen to hip-hop nearly as much as I used to and this is still a good song. So.

72. The Big Pink, Dominos
I think I discovered the Big Pink after Lily Allen twittered about liking their albumthem; they’re the kind of big-sound rock band that British music magazines always love, though unlike, say, the Arctic Monkeys, this time I can see what all the fuss is about.

71. Pet Shop Boys, Love Etc.
My favorite concert moment of the year was watching a hunky bear get all teary-eyed at the Pet Shop Boys show when Kings Cross came on. Which is unrelated to this song, really, though this single played a najor factor in my year-long PSB kick.

70. PJ Harvey and John Parish, Black-Hearted Love
My rather abrupt transformation from “CD-purchasing person with a stereo and a CD player in the car” to “stereo-less person who doesn’t have a car and mainly listens to iTunes genius playlists” definitely affected the number of times I listened to the wonderful this song comes from. But this single, complete with bouncy-castle video, was a hit on the pop chart and so I listened to it quite a bit this year.

69. Urban Symphony, Randajad
My favorite Eurovision entry of the year, at least in its recorded form. Randajad’s about nomads finding one another in the desert, or something. I’m totally performing to this if I ever do Eastern European drag (which, you never know, right?)

68. My Tiger My Timing, I Am The Sound
UK group My Tiger My Timing demonstrates how ramshackle electro is really the new C86, I think; songs made because it’s fun to make songsl My Tiger My Timing could become the new-millennium equivalent of the Shop Assistants if they stay this charming.

67. Peter Bjorn & John, It Don’t Move Me
After stateside success with their hit Young Folks, Peter Bjorn & John didn’t garner much attention for their Living Thing album. It’s too bad, because the album’s second single is just as good as the whistly song they’re known for.

66. Jay-Z feat. Kanye West & Rihanna, Run This Town
For all my complaining about assy Kanye and his shoes without shoestrings, even his dopey verse doesn’t have the force to drag down Jay-Z and (especially) the inhuman sounds of Rihanna. Plus his rap here isn’t nearly as clunky as it is on, say, Keri Hilson’s otherwise decent Knock You Down.

65. Marmaduke Duke, Kid Gloves
The first single from the second album by Biffy Clyro side project Marmaduke Duke was disarmingly quiet, half-sung with a narcotic Scottish accent and accompanied by plinky strings.

64. Girls Can’t Catch, Keep Your Head Up
In a sad year for UK girl groups–what with Girls Aloud going on hiatus and that whole Sugababes thing–I was very excited about this trio of croquet-playing ladies. Hopefully someone else is, too, because I’d hate to see these ladies go away anytime soon.

63. Kenny Mellman, Knock You Down/Kiss You Thru The Phone
Our Hit Parade, the song-a-day covers blog put out by Kenny Mellman kinda fizzled by the end of the year, but for most of the year I had it set as my home page because of medleys like this. (Actually, his repeated covers of Kiss U Thru The Phone were so delightful that I nearly put the original on this list, too. But let’s keep that a secret, shall we?)

62. Kingsbury Manx, Walk On Water
The Kingsbury Manx’s Ascenseur Ouvert is another album I probably should have enthused about more than I actually did; the country-tinged restraint of Walk On Water is a great introduction to their languid indie-pop.

61. John & Jehn, Oh My Love
Initially I thought French duo were just a Kills knockoff; not a bad thing, really, but not worth getting worked up over, either.  It was only months later that I realized how awesome Jehn’s vampiric moan was, especially in the context of hauntingly repetitive keyboards and a gurgly bassline.

60. Jean-Philippe Verdin, Little Sister
The other French artist on this year-end list, electronic artist Jean-Philippe Verdin scored a hit in his native country with the Damon Albarn-ish ballad Little Sister.  It’s songs like this that make me really happy when I remember to check the French pop chart, because there’s no way I would have other known about it otherwise.

59. Jenny Wilson, The Wooden Chair
Though this was quite the year for wacky English songstresses, one shouldn’t forget the equally nutty Wilson. Best-known for being the second voice on the Knife’s You Take My Breath Away, the Swedish singer makes me long for the opulent days of pop when Annie Lennox was routinely on television in a bear costume.

58. Matteah Baim, Monkey Chant
Matteah Baim’s quiet, psych-folk album Laughing Boy didn’t completely wow me, though this song in particular merited quite a few listens after I put it on one of the few mixtapes I actually got around to making this year.

57. Kings of Convenience, Boat Behind
When I got KofC’s album Declaration of Dependence, I wondered whether it was okay or not to call them cute. Because the Norwegian duo seems too bookishly shy to be cute, but they’re also so charmingly over-the-top with their nerdiness that I can’t think of a single other way to describe them.

56. Bleech, Give Me A Witch
British teen trio Bleech haven’t yet put out a full-length album, but the two singles they’ve released so far show a whole lot of promise.  Lyrically quirky, the group’s most appealing song so far is this b-side, in which singer Jennifer O’Neill commands someone to give her a witch so she can turn them to stone.

55. Lady GaGa, Paparazzi
Lady GaGa’s fourth American hit packed the same pop punch as Cool and 4 In The Morning, the mid-tempo later singles off Gwen Stefani’s first two albums; in fact I assumed that the phrase “leather and jeans/garage glamorous/not sure what it means” was actually some sort of homage to the weirdly fabric-oriented No Doubt singer.  Even if I’m wrong, though, Paparazzi is still a great song.  (Jonas Akerlund is still a douchebag, though.)

54. Fenech-Soler, White Hearts
Britain’s Fenech-Soler are still young; though the Guardian buzzed about them over a year ago, they’re just now getting around to putting out singles. Nevertheless, this song (found on another Mondo Salvo mix) is quite fetching.  And speaking of fetching, singer Ben Duffy is wildly hot, in a jailbait-y cool kid sort of way.

53. Jordin Sparks, SOS (Let The Music Play)
You know, this year I finally decided to admit that I prefer songs that incorporate elements of songs I already like. Like Beverley Knight and her Orange Juice sample, say, or Dizzee Rascal and his not to The Adventures of Stevie V. Or this, the first Jordin Sparks single I can say I actually liked.

52. The Gossip, Heavy Cross
I freely admit to pulling a 180 on this song. It drove me nuts at first, as did most everything on the previous Gossip album, Standing In The Way Of Control; when they switched from garage to dance, I thought maybe they should stick to being a cover band, because I liked their Wham and Aaliyah covers but kind of hated everything else. But after repeated listens–and hey, they’re actually on the radio now!–I’ve decided I like this song’s mix of Edge of Seventeen-ish guitars and diva-like wailing.

51. Pixie Lott, Mama Do (Uh Oh Uh Oh)
I was actually rather torn about whether to include this, Pixie’s debut single, or the more recent ballad Cry Me Out, which is also excellent. In the end, I selected this because the video for Mama Do is funny and has cute boys, whereas the Cry Me Out video just has a lot of awkward attempts to hide her lack of dancing skill.


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