Board 8 > CasanovaZelos's Top 250 Songs Project

Topic List
Page List: 1, 2, 3, 4
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 7:38:38 PM
#1:


I've been itching to do this for a long time, but hosting the Rank the Tracks threads has inspired me to finally start. I'm not sure how quickly I will go through this; I don't want to force myself to do too much but also don't want to drag this out. I still feel inadequate when it comes to actually writing about music - but I can't get better without just jumping in and trying.

Here's the breakdown by decade; each year from the mid-60s on is about equally represented:
1930s: 1
1940s: 2
1950s: 7
1960s: 27
1970s: 43
1980s: 41
1990s: 45
2000s: 39
2010s: 42
2020s: 3

There is one artist with five songs, five artists with four, eleven artists with three, and 37 with two.

I was going to include a genre breakdown but that is a messy subject; this is fairly spread out, though I'm not exactly big on harder rock genres. I don't think any metal songs crack my top 250, so I am sorry to disappoint there. To set expectations, this is a list made by someone who really started to pay attention to popular music in the late 2000s. My gateways were the soundtracks from Grand Theft Auto IV and Rock Band 2. I'm obviously obsessed with lists (this actually goes to a top 3000, but I don't have the time to write about that many songs), and I've been slowly building this list over the last decade or so. I figured it was time to commit and actually think about why these specific songs have resonated with me.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Snake5555555555
05/10/21 7:40:59 PM
#2:


Nice I love your opinions on music, tag.

---
I've decided to put my fears behind me. I'm not going back.
https://imgur.com/a/du8zgsT - https://imgur.com/a/VTNzDEW
... Copied to Clipboard!
ChainLTTP
05/10/21 7:42:45 PM
#3:


tag

1930s eh? Strange Fruit maybe?
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 7:43:42 PM
#4:


ChainLTTP posted...
tag

1930s eh? Strange Fruit maybe?


Maybe

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Jesse_Custer
05/10/21 7:46:20 PM
#5:


Tag
... Copied to Clipboard!
Snake5555555555
05/10/21 7:48:24 PM
#6:


I could see a Robert Johnson track or Glenn Miller song too.

---
I've decided to put my fears behind me. I'm not going back.
https://imgur.com/a/du8zgsT - https://imgur.com/a/VTNzDEW
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 8:36:28 PM
#7:


#250. The The This is the Day (1983)
from the album Soul Mining

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZYgKCbFbWY

Key lyrics: And all your friends and family
Think that youre lucky
But the side of you theyll never see
Is when youre left alone with the memories
That hold your life together like glue

Few moments in music can put me in a positive mood like the glistening intro to This is the Day. Yet buried beneath the candy-coated surface is something darker, in a way only synth-pop can provide. Listen too closely to the lyrics and you can imagine some maudlin indie rocker wanting to do a moody cover version. But contrast is key, and this is a masterclass in mixed emotions. This is an anthem for finally trying to make something of yourself, which first requires admitting earlier failings. But theres no need to sonically fixate on those failings; that is all in the past, and this is the new you! I mean, as long as you can tell yourself that

Theres always something compelling about a band daring to experiment with instrumentation, and This is the Day stands out as a definitive accordion song in popular music. Mixing that together with the synthesizer creates an unexpected serenity, further accentuated by Matt Johnsons calming vocals. This results in a song perfect for either extreme, to bliss out while happy or find understanding and comfort while low. A cynic could say this is a song about denial; will this day really be any different? To me, the instrumentation suggests a stronger message at any time, you can make this the day.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
ChainLTTP
05/10/21 8:43:19 PM
#8:


Fucking love that song. I had it stuck in my head the entire morning of my wedding.
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
05/10/21 8:45:10 PM
#9:


I likely won't have much familiarity with too many of the songs on this list but I'll always follow a song ranking.

---
https://imgur.com/UYamul2
Spurs - Yankees - Eagles - Golden Knights - Longhorns
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 9:07:29 PM
#10:


#249. Goldfrapp Lovely Head (2000)
from the album Felt Mountain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITi6uat0BuQ

Key lyric: Why cant this be killing you?

Trip hop just might be the coolest genre on earth, and few showcase this better than Goldfrapps Lovely Head. After a Western-influenced whistling intro, James Bond-style verses are punctuated by an increasingly frantic synthesizer. Few songs feel so confrontational while maintaining such class. At the heart of this is a bitter sense of longing, with lyrics suggesting violent desire. All of this adds up to an atmosphere that can only be described as suffocating this is a track I turn on whenever I want to feel overwhelmed. I cant help but imagine some neo-noir cyberpunk spy film every time I listen any song which hits me with such visceral and specific imagery is something special.

This is another song that succeeds by daring to try something different. In this case, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory were messing around with an old synthesizer. They connected her vocals where a guitar was supposed to go, resulting in that eerie sound. To then combine that with two very 60s styles results in something like few others, bridging the past to the future. Goldfrapp would tone down the intensity on their later hits, but this sound is so singular that I cant blame them.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
ChainLTTP
05/10/21 9:34:41 PM
#11:


Goldfrapp is just lovely. I heard Cologne Cerrone Houdini drunk in Quebec City bar in the winter once and it was transcendent.
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 9:45:17 PM
#12:


248. Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
from the album Bridge Over Troubled Water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G-YQA_bsOU

Key lyrics: If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind

Sometimes, you just need gentle instrumentation so a vocalist can showcase the raw emotion of their voice. This is as tranquil and reassuring as music gets; the fact this was recorded by a duo in the process of falling apart is imperceptible. Without missing a step, the song transitions into an explosive finale, and Art Garfunkel reaches an intensity rarely seen in popular music. Theres no experimentation, no genres being pushed. This is one of those legendary songs that found something simple yet universal; a song millions would sing along with, even if they could never belt it out like Garfunkel.

This is another of those rare songs that can instantly lift my spirits. I never want to be sentimental, but that sort of power deserves to be celebrated. Music is the one medium I can consistently rely on for that feeling, to carry me out from the darkness. Bridge Over Troubled Water is funeral music the type of song you play to remind yourself things get better on the other side. This is not music as escapism but a form of honest coping acknowledging the difficulties in life. There is an endless sea of gentle piano music, but few reach these heights.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Menji
05/10/21 9:49:55 PM
#13:


... Copied to Clipboard!
Jesse_Custer
05/10/21 10:05:48 PM
#14:


Been listening to Goldfrapp a bit lately as Ive been very much in a trip hop state. Really enjoy most of their music.
... Copied to Clipboard!
mcflubbin
05/10/21 10:07:48 PM
#15:


Tag.

---
It's not so impossible!
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 10:22:07 PM
#16:


247. Cerrone Supernature (1977)
from the album Supernature (Cerrone III)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ5V3OZdIZM

Key lyrics: Maybe nature has a plan
To control the ways of man

As a culture, we collectively decided disco was uncool, and I dont know how that is possible when Supernature exists. In many ways, this feels like the prototype of what would become house music; ten minutes of somewhat intimidating synthesizer heaven. This is one of those tracks few know (at least today it was actually a hit at the time), though the influence is readily apparent; Goldfrapp named their third album after it, while Todd Terje and Lindstrom practically owe their space disco sound to its existence. This is disco with an unexpected edge; the cheesy lyrics are countered by some floor stopping breakdowns. If only the American popular consciousness latched onto this instead of the Bee Gees, we wouldnt have had to wait until the 2000s for disco to be rediscovered (under new names, of course).

Supernature is one of those legendary songs that carved its own niche in such a way that its impact could only be felt in retrospect. How did a disco song end up with such a dire sound? Cerrone creates something truly apocalyptic while keeping it ready for the dancefloor. Giorgio Moroder remarked that the synthesizer was the sound of the future, and Cerrones Supernature is a perfect example of an older song that sounds truly timeless.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 10:23:23 PM
#17:


I didn't want to distract from the song itself in my write-up, but I also want to point out that one of my favorite movie scenes from the past few years uses "Supernature" perfectly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwkacrln26o

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/10/21 11:38:51 PM
#18:


246. Jessie Ware Spotlight (2020)
from the album Whats Your Pleasure?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgy-eAzARNE

Key lyrics: And if a touch is just a touch, then a touch just aint enough
Tell me what it means, tell me youre in love

Jessie Ware spent much of the 2010s being the chillest pop singer around, and she kicked off 2020 with a disco throwback with a glacial energy and I mean that in the most loving way possible. Though calling this disco does not feel adequate; Pitchfork described it as a long-lost city pop classic, and I cant find a better term than that. This is a dance song to sit around and vibe to, something so subtle you might not notice what its doing until the tenth listen. A pop song that glimmers and flourishes, happy to take its sweet time when similar artists are increasingly high energy. Everything builds toward an emotive and explosive ending, as Jessie Ware begs a lover to say something loving. Theres desperation, theres lust, all being expertly subdued.

Theres something in Jessie Wares calm voice that suggests a sense of sophisticated confidence. This is a desperate love song, yes, but she never embarrasses herself. The way the vocals pile on top of each other the way the backing vocals blend into the strings during the climax! Every time I listen, theres a new detail that catches my attention. While keeping to an accessible pop sound, Jessie Ware has found a unique voice that I can only hope has far-reaching influence.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Snake5555555555
05/10/21 11:52:33 PM
#19:


Spotlight is awesome, so addicting.

---
I've decided to put my fears behind me. I'm not going back.
https://imgur.com/a/du8zgsT - https://imgur.com/a/VTNzDEW
... Copied to Clipboard!
mcflubbin
05/11/21 12:00:21 AM
#20:


I've enjoyed quite a bit of Jessie Ware's music over the past decade, but I did not expect her to pop off as hard as she did on 'What's Your Pleasure?' What a great album, though 'Ooh La La' is my favorite track, for sure.

---
It's not so impossible!
... Copied to Clipboard!
Seanchan
05/11/21 7:52:00 AM
#21:


CasanovaZelos posted...
247. Cerrone Supernature (1977)
from the album Supernature (Cerrone III)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ5V3OZdIZM

This is good stuff. The lyrics/singing date the song but that beat is great! I know my references are limited but it makes me wonder what Daft Punk could have done with that as a song for Random Access Memories.


---
"That was unnecessarily dramatic". - NY Mets motto (courtesy of InnerTubeHero)
Congratulations to azuarc, the guru of gurus and winner of GotD 2020!
... Copied to Clipboard!
Seanchan
05/11/21 8:00:20 AM
#22:


CasanovaZelos posted...
246. Jessie Ware Spotlight (2020)
from the album Whats Your Pleasure?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgy-eAzARNE

This is fucking great! Now I've got to listen to that whole album...

---
"That was unnecessarily dramatic". - NY Mets motto (courtesy of InnerTubeHero)
Congratulations to azuarc, the guru of gurus and winner of GotD 2020!
... Copied to Clipboard!
Seanchan
05/11/21 8:12:06 AM
#23:


Just listened to the first few tracks of What's Your Pleasure?. Definitely need to come back to that one! Probably a bad comparison but my mind went to Tuxedo.

---
"That was unnecessarily dramatic". - NY Mets motto (courtesy of InnerTubeHero)
Congratulations to azuarc, the guru of gurus and winner of GotD 2020!
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 9:18:44 AM
#24:


What's Your Pleasure is in my top 5 albums from last year, definitely worth a listen in full. Her first album, Devotion, is also really good.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 10:05:04 AM
#25:


245. SOPHIE BIPP (2013)
Single, later featured on compilation album Product

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVc3Z-bG6Eo

Key lyric: I can make you feel better, if you let me

In a way, SOPHIEs music feels designed to immediately repulse, only to somehow draw you back when her songs inevitably get stuck in your head. This is manufactured music; crisp production, perfect beats, a voice modified until it is distinctly inhuman. On the surface, annoying; in time, an undeniable pop classic. SOPHIE was an artist who was easy to question was she mocking modern pop music through exaggeration, or was this a legitimate attempt to push the genre to its breaking point? In all honesty, it feels like a little of both, which is what makes it so fun.

In the months since her untimely death, Ive realized how strangely comforting SOPHIEs music is even when she started dropping bangers that made Nine Inch Nails sound like easy listening. The overly clean production somehow feels more authentic than most contemporary pop music to be produced in this way suggests clear artistic intent. While almost too sugary to digest upon first release, the influence of BIPP has seeped its way across the industry the success of later artists like Charli XCX and 100 Gecs with this sound led to a new subgenre being coined, hyperpop. SOPHIE was clearly trying to capture the sound of the future with BIPP, she absolutely succeeded.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 1:19:43 PM
#26:


244. Gil Scott-Heron The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1971)
from the album Pieces of a Man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnJFhuOWgXg

Key lyrics:
The revolution will be no re-run, brothers
The revolution will be live

Gil Scott-Herons call for active revolution turns fifty years old this year, though its message feels just as relevant today unfortunately, thats more a condemnation of society than any intentional attempt at timelessness. In fact, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised ties itself explicitly to a certain era, calling upon advertising slogans and critiquing specific cultural monoliths at the time. That bombardment of disparate ideas highlights his point with so much of our lives being sugarcoated and forced down our throats, its easy to get complacent. To truly cause a revolution requires looking past the easy comforts and going out in the streets. Of course the revolution will be televised what hes saying is that it wont succeed if too many people are only watching.

Gil Scott-Heron delivers this spoken word piece with a frenetic yet articulate ferocity. His music is commonly considered a precursor to rap, and pieces like this laid the foundation for the more political side of the genre. The backing instrumentation has a jazzy funk quality that really helps sell his delivery, a perfect showcase for fusing poetry with music. This is simply one of those rare cases where the prototype hits just as hard; Gil Scott-Heron jumped in with perfect delivery. An anthem for the oppressed thats richly layered and rewards casual listening, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised brought protest music to a new level.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 5:21:09 PM
#27:


243. The Beatles Yesterday (1965)
from the album Help!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrgmdOz227I

Key lyric:
Oh, I believe in yesterday

The Beatles have two very distinct eras, and no song better defines their earlier, more traditional sound than Yesterday. Which is funny, considering Paul McCartney is the only member to perform on the track. Like Bridge Over Troubled Water, this is a simple song that picks up on a universal subject in a way that immediately resonates. Theres no specifics even the narrator seems lost, not certain why his lover left but knowing he must have done something wrong. Its a song begging to turn back time, to stop this unidentifiable slight from being said only the lucky or truly lonely have avoided this feeling.

The sparseness of the instrumentation adds to the longing. Though this is actually quite dense; its easy to get lost in the acoustic guitar and McCartneys voice, and the popularity of covering this specific song must come from this oversimplification; anyone can play that part. But its the stringed accompaniment that puts it on another level. The true magnificence of this group is the way they make even complex recordings sound simple. Its even reached the point that theres a movie named after this song that completely oversimplifies their work. But Yesterday is so packed with emotions, few can pull it off like McCartney.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 5:39:33 PM
#28:


Limiting this to only my top 250 means a lot of artists getting left out, including a bunch I would consider all-time favorites. Even two in my top 20 missed the cut! Tom Waits must look jarring here, but he also has two albums in my top 100 and another three in the top 500. The below artists either work better with full albums or simply have a ton of great songs to land so high up. I just don't want them to go unmentioned, so here are artists in my top 100 who won't be appearing along with their best song.

16. Kanye West: "Monster" (#309)
18. Tom Waits: "Time" (#790)
26. Leonard Cohen: "Suzanne" (#588)
36. Fiona Apple: "Heavy Balloon" (#275)
38. Metallica: "Master of Puppets" (#348)
39. PJ Harvey: "Rid of Me" (#472)
40. Led Zeppelin: "Kashmir" (#619)
47. St. Vincent: "Digital Witness" (#334)
49. U2: "One" (#434)
50. Pink Floyd: "Wish You Were Here" (#514)
53. The Police: "Roxanne" (#285)
55. Portishead: "Sour Times" (#254)
58. The Chemical Brothers: "Hey Boy Hey Girl" (#271)
60. The Kinks: "Waterloo Sunset" (#355)
62. Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Fortunate Son" (#333)
64. Can: "Mother Sky" (#398)
65. Mogwai: "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong" (#399)
67. John Coltrane: "A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement" (#661)
69. Bob Marley: "Redemption Song" (#506)
75. Madonna: "Like a Prayer" (#336)
82. Bon Iver: "Skinny Love" (#262)
85. Green Day: "Basket Case" (#371)
91. Elvis Presley: "Suspicious Minds" (#387)
93. Beyonce: "Countdown" (#615)

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Alanna82
05/11/21 6:03:15 PM
#29:


Your opinions are way different than mine (I love rock) but I agree Suspicious minds is the best Elvis song.

---
Don't mess with a Bunny!
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 7:04:07 PM
#30:


I think I love rock? I just don't care for metal or hard rock all that much, but this list is going to be dominated by other forms.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 10:46:10 PM
#31:


242. The Walkmen The Rat (2004)
from the album Bows + Arrows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWR1h-5EzUo

Key lyrics:
When I used to go out, I would know everyone that I saw
Now I go out alone, if I go out at all

Few songs capture the raw desperation of a breakup like The Rat. One minute, you want nothing to do with someone, the next youre begging for their attention. The early 2000s saw a brief explosion in post-punk influenced bands, and this was a key piece among the movement. The lyrics are simple and direct, the vocals like an injured animal lashing out at anyone who dares draw near. This is as energetic as rock music comes, every instrument a chaotic force. The drumming here is the standout. Im not usually one for harder styles, but this hits the right level of aggression in just the right way its angry yet achingly relatable.

Hamilton Leithauser has a vocal style like no one else, and everything about this song amplifies and reinforces his strengths. The bridge is the best part, the seething anger being pulled back, only for the full force of the song to slowly return. This is expertly-crafted chaos. Anger is a truly difficult emotion to capture in music, requiring one to balance a fine line between cheesiness and inauthenticity. In an era where a dozen nu metal bands came off as juvenile amateurs by merely associating anger and loudness, The Walkmen knew when to soften up at just the right time to highlight the surrounding intensity.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/11/21 11:33:04 PM
#32:


241. Hank Williams Im So Lonesome I Could Cry (1949)
non-album single

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WXYjm74WFI

Key lyrics:
Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves begin to die?
Like me, hes lost the will to live
Im so lonesome I could cry

Oh, country music, what did they do to thee? An entire genre has been co-opted by ultra-patriots, to the point I cant even recommend the classics without getting a certain look. Its rarely a genre I turn to by choice, but Hank Williams hits me on another level. This is almost certainly a breakup song, but the lyrics rely on poignant metaphors over direct information. Whatever caused this pain was so shattering, the birds and even the sky weep with him. This is the raw emotion for which classic country is sometimes mocked, but Hank Williams sells it like no other.

Though country music had been around for decades by this point, Hank Williams tragically brief career feels like a key turning point, not just for country but the burgeoning rock scene. In its sound, I hear the American West, but theres also something deeply personal. Hank Williams feels like the prototypical troubled rocker, which heightens the impact of his desperate crooning. The lack of specifics lend a universal element; this might just be the definitive country song for that reason. This is another classic that has been covered by dozens of artists, but no one can match Williams stellar delivery.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Snake5555555555
05/11/21 11:39:58 PM
#33:


Excellent pick! I personally love country music, and I think there are still great artists nowadays, like Miranda Lambert absolutely killing the country game right now. She just released The Marfa Tapes and it's incredibly raw much like this Williams track.

---
I've decided to put my fears behind me. I'm not going back.
https://imgur.com/a/du8zgsT - https://imgur.com/a/VTNzDEW
... Copied to Clipboard!
Seanchan
05/12/21 11:26:24 AM
#34:


CasanovaZelos posted...
243. The Beatles Yesterday (1965)
from the album Help!

Out of all my favorite Beatles songs...this is one of them.

CasanovaZelos posted...
242. The Walkmen The Rat (2004)
from the album Bows + Arrows

I liked this one. Seeing it's from 2004 makes sense because it's very evocative of the sound of that time.


---
"That was unnecessarily dramatic". - NY Mets motto (courtesy of InnerTubeHero)
Congratulations to azuarc, the guru of gurus and winner of GotD 2020!
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/12/21 11:46:25 AM
#35:


240. Wu-Tang Clan Protect Ya Neck (1993)
from the album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrQ0VMHK0Ec

Key lyrics:
The Wu is too slammin for these Cold Killin labels
Some aint had hits since I seen Aunt Mabel
Be doin artists in like Cain did Abel
Now they moneys getting stuck to the gum under the table

Every rap group needs the crew song, a piece that gives each member a chance to introduce themselves and show their skills. Few of these tracks are as iconic as Protect Ya Neck, a rapid fire tour de force shuffling between eight disparate voices. Any time a track like this drops, its easy to want to pick out who steals the show as if a couple members must be carrying the rest. Here, theres no such luck. Wu-Tang Clan is such a talented group, half the members had successful solo careers. As such, a musical introduction has never felt so legendary from start to finish. This is multiple of hip hops finest firing on all cylinders from the beginning.

However, RZA does deserve credit for bringing the song together, both by suggesting the idea and also working as producer on the track. The backing production gives enough space for the rapping to shine while adding a sinister atmosphere. If hardcore hip hop is about intimidation, this is a master track of aggression. The way the verses flows into one another truly paints the Wu-Tang Clan as a cohesive unit. Each verse is packed with a dozen ideas, and the fact it all comes together is a mesmerizing feat.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/12/21 2:23:32 PM
#36:


239. Sigur Rs Svefn-g-englar (1999)
from the album gtis byrjun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L64BcCRDAE

Key lyric:
Tju, tju, tju

Svefn-g-englar is a song that creates a sense of beautiful desolation. Whenever I hear it, I cant help but picture an abandoned society reclaimed by nature. Perhaps it is not so apocalyptic; the lyrics are about a child being born into the world. I cant imagine much difference between those two feelings. In either case, one is being overwhelmed by loss and beauty. The world is a big place with such conflicting emotions, and Svefn-g-englar seeks to capture that in its totality. And in that manner, I find deep comfort in this sound.

Sigur Rs are generally classified as post-rock, a lofty term that suggests a pretentious aspect which fails to capture what theyre really doing. To me, this is ambient music by way of rock instrumentation. This is a song that exists in dream space, crafting an atmosphere of sleepy warmth. Jnsis voice has an ethereal quality like few others. There are some songs I put on to put me in a good mood, but Svefn-g-englar does something harder to express. Its not necessarily joyous or happy, but it lends an air of serenity to even my most dire moods. Plenty of lyrics promise everything will be alright, but Svefn-g-englar with its colossal sound makes that suggestion sonically tangible.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/12/21 4:15:05 PM
#37:


238. The Clash London Calling (1979)
from the album London Calling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfK-WX2pa8c

Key lyrics:
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

On the individual level, punk as a genre is never meant to last. The idea that your music represents a movement where anyone can pick up and play starts to fade after a few years of active experience. Few artists transitioned as well between punk and post-punk as The Clash, with London Calling acting as a signifier of changing times. Gone was the crude aggression of earlier singles like White Riot, replaced by a world-weary dread. This is a sound that suggests the coy playfulness of their earlier works is no longer enough; these issues are real and need to be directly addressed.

The intro perfectly sets the scene, an aggressive drumbeat supporting a stellar bassline and a guitar repetition that slowly grows like a siren before the first verse. Joe Strummer is at his vocal best on this track, giving out animalistic howls between verses. Theres an instrumental interlude after the second chorus that finds The Clash at their most fiery and paranoid, with a brief, scene-stealing guitar solo. The key to their evolving sound is that this still carries the punk aesthetic. An anger directed toward society at large and aggressive calls for action remain; they are simply more articulate through experience.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/13/21 1:17:07 PM
#38:


It might be a couple days before I update - trying to write about music is tough, so I'll probably be taking breaks as I try to adapt

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Seanchan
05/13/21 2:07:35 PM
#39:


CasanovaZelos posted...
It might be a couple days before I update - trying to write about music is tough, so I'll probably be taking breaks as I try to adapt

I think you're doing a good job!

---
"That was unnecessarily dramatic". - NY Mets motto (courtesy of InnerTubeHero)
Congratulations to azuarc, the guru of gurus and winner of GotD 2020!
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/13/21 4:54:01 PM
#40:


This song was a bit harder to tackle, but inspiration suddenly struck.

237. Buffalo Springfield For What Its Worth (1966)
non-album single, featured on later pressings of Buffalo Springfield

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80_39eAx3z8

Key lyrics:
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life, it will creep
It starts when youre always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away

The late-60s was a time of protests and hippies, and few songs better represent Vietnam era angst like For What Its Worth. Alongside CCRs Fortunate Son, this is the go-to song for movies reflecting on that period, and for good reason. This is a song designed to be a crowd pleaser, with hand claps and harmonizing during the chorus to show that its okay to sing along. Stephen Stills lead vocals have a soothing quality; the song almost risks dullness until the other voices explode around him, turning this into a bona fide anthem.

Neil Youngs harmonic guitar notes define For What Its Worth, adding an introspective feel over the weary vocal style. That sense of introspection slowly fades, morphing into a sense of action; theres a subtle shift throughout the song with the harmonics fading during the choruses and the final verse, the backing vocals becoming a continuous presence. Neil Young goes wild during the finale, suggesting a grand solo that would define his own career before the song suddenly ends. A ton of ideas are packed into this brief song. Like Yesterday, this is a song that makes the complex look simple; its easy to focus on the vocals during the chorus and miss how that shift in guitar style redefines the mood.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/13/21 5:26:56 PM
#41:


236. Fever Ray If I Had a Heart (2008)
from the album Fever Ray

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBAzlNJonO8

Key lyrics:
If I had a heart I could love you
If I had a voice I would sing

Few songs are as haunting as Fever Rays debut single as a solo artist, If I Had a Heart. A creeping synth chugs along and is quickly joined by an organ. Then Dreijers signature pitch-shifted vocals come in, deep and inhuman enough to suggest an otherworldly shamanic figure. Its moody and haunting, like a piece of music pulled from a parallel reality. Its singularly striking quality was immediately apparent, being used in a dozen shows like Breaking Bad and even serving as the theme song for Vikings. Its rare for a song to so viscerally suggest something has gone horribly wrong.

Yet the best moment occurs once Fever Ray joins in with their more natural voice. It shatters through the darkness, further painting this as a song of deathly yet human longing. The back half morphs into a duet between Fever Ray and their inner demon; what was once haunting becomes strangely beautiful. While they had long experimented with their voice while working with The Knife, this songs thudding instrumentation centered the manipulation like never before. Such heavy vocal effects can sometimes create a sense of distance between an artist and their voice. Here, Fever Ray claims this other voice as their own, paving the way for a dozen other queer electronic artists to do the same over the following decade.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Snake5555555555
05/13/21 5:38:58 PM
#42:


I friggin' love Fever Ray, amazing pick!

---
I've decided to put my fears behind me. I'm not going back.
https://imgur.com/a/du8zgsT - https://imgur.com/a/VTNzDEW
... Copied to Clipboard!
ChainLTTP
05/13/21 5:53:38 PM
#43:


I low key like Fever Ray's solo album better than any Knife albums
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/14/21 5:24:17 PM
#44:


busy day, no time for updates

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/15/21 10:42:08 AM
#45:


I just realized I missed a couple artists in my top 100 (I'm going to update my top 100 artists every 25 songs as their highest song is reached, so I need this to be accurate)

16. Kanye West: "Monster" (#309)
18. Tom Waits: "Time" (#790)
26. Leonard Cohen: "Suzanne" (#588)
36. Fiona Apple: "Heavy Balloon" (#275)
38. Metallica: "Master of Puppets" (#348)
39. PJ Harvey: "Rid of Me" (#472)
40. Led Zeppelin: "Kashmir" (#619)
43. Animal Collective: "My Girls" (#307)
47. St. Vincent: "Digital Witness" (#334)
49. U2: "One" (#434)
50. Pink Floyd: "Wish You Were Here" (#514)
53. The Police: "Roxanne" (#285)
54. Beastie Boys: "Sabotage" (#261)
55. Portishead: "Sour Times" (#254)
58. The Chemical Brothers: "Hey Boy Hey Girl" (#271)
60. The Kinks: "Waterloo Sunset" (#355)
62. Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Fortunate Son" (#333)
64. Can: "Mother Sky" (#398)
65. Mogwai: "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong" (#399)
67. John Coltrane: "A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement" (#661)
69. Bob Marley: "Redemption Song" (#506)
75. Madonna: "Like a Prayer" (#336)
82. Bon Iver: "Skinny Love" (#262)
85. Green Day: "Basket Case" (#371)
91. Elvis Presley: "Suspicious Minds" (#387)
93. Beyonce: "Countdown" (#615)

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/15/21 11:33:42 AM
#46:


235. Bjrk Joga (1997)
from the album Homogenic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFV4QCq9SEU

Key lyrics:
This state of emergency
How beautiful to be

Bjrk is capable of creating incomparable sonic landscapes, and Joga is among her most unique. Hard, trip hop-styled beats are paired against classically-influenced strings. The song pulls more one way than the other at key moments, starting with the strings but at one point falling into an extended electronic breakdown. The result is something somber yet profound, an absolute flurry of emotions; the lyrics are just dense enough to not cast a clear light. Joga sounds like the backing track for an earth-shattering romance, the emotional climax that cannot be expressed through words alone.

Bjrk falls hard into the art pop category, which is a term largely used to categorize what can otherwise not be categorized. Like Kate Bush before her, Bjrk made the music industry bow to her singular vision. Few pop artists dare to make something as dense as Joga. At the same time, this is unquestionably pop music, simply pushed to an extreme few would risk following. Tying everything together is Bjrks powerful vocals, the shining hope that redirects the tense instrumentation into a positive direction. Im not certain what she means by the beauty of a state of emergency, but I have to believe every word with the conviction of this delivery.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/15/21 11:55:19 AM
#47:


234. Fleetwood Mac The Chain (1977)
from the album Rumours

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDG2m5hN1vo

Key lyrics:
And if you dont love me now
You will never love me again

Rumours is the definitive soft rock album, but that does not mean it goes easy. The Chain is the most confrontational song on the worlds most celebrated breakup album. The only song written by the band as a whole, The Chain finds all three vocalists harmonizing words clearly aimed at other members. This is a group with nothing left to lose; why not provoke each other and turn it into art?

The intro is perfect, a slowly-plucked country tune, set apart from the rest of the song by a brief pause which leads straight into the vocals. This is a Wild West showdown of broken hearts, each singer trying their best to sound the most aggrieved. Theres a percussive kick underlining much of the song, simple yet evocative. The song then ends on an extended outro that edges into hard rock territory, merging perfectly as the vocals come back into the mix. The Chain is pop rock distilled into raw emotion, flowing between several ideas with perfect execution. The power of the harmonies here cannot be understated. Harmony typically means unity, and few bands have subverted this idea so effortlessly. This is a group trying their best to work together, The Chain intentionally showing the seams.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/15/21 12:27:45 PM
#48:


233. Stereolab Cybeles Reverie (1996)
from the album Emperor Tomato Ketchup

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6dNTmfZp0U

How do I even begin to describe Cybeles Reverie? This is a track so ephemeral that it feels lighter than air, yet it simultaneously pulses along with a hypnotic rhythm. Sing-song vocals and rapid rock beats are paired with extended string notes. This is a track layered in contradictory elements. The whole piece works in a cycle, brief instrumental breaks giving a breather from the at times overwhelming harmonies. While difficult to describe how it works, the results are easier to express. This is a song that can be taken as ambient introspection or a rapid-fire rocker depending on the mood. This seems like an impossible pairing until you listen, and it clicks immediately.

A lot of this is the result of pinpoint production. The strings get heavier emphasis, allowing the slower section to overtake the energetic. Both sides are ever-present, yet the production tricks your ear into focusing on what would usually be a backing element. By flipping the script, Stereolab created a sound like few others. Rapid-fire easy listening sounds obnoxious if not impossible, yet Cybeles Reverie pulls it off like the ultimate summer jam. Above all, this is a song that can always put a smile on my face.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
CasanovaZelos
05/15/21 12:29:28 PM
#49:


Also, I can't help but listen to Stereolab and imagine them pairing well with the Katamari series

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
SpikeSetsFire
05/15/21 12:31:01 PM
#50:


... Copied to Clipboard!
Topic List
Page List: 1, 2, 3, 4