Saturday, December 5, 2009
The Very Best Songs of 2009
Here's part two, the top 15.
15. I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas) -- Sometimes I think I live in a cave. First of all, I didn't know this was a Black Eyed Peas song until a couple weeks ago. But more astounding, I didn't know that both will.i.am and Fergie were in the Black Eyed Peas until I started writing this post. Nevertheless, this song is right up my alley because the first time I heard it I thought I'd heard it before. When I mentioned this song to someone last week (can't remember whom), he expressed shock that this wasn't an old song. I thought, no wonder I love it.
14. Just Dance (Lady GaGa) -- This song takes me back to 2001 at the Roxy hearing One More Time by Daft Punk. So much so that I had to listen to that song again to try to figure out why. The only thing I can come up with is that it is rare for a song to be ready made for the dance floor without being remixed. This is one of those, as was One More Time. I guess it also takes me back because of the dead-on accurate lyrics. Walk out to the middle of almost any dance floor (I can only attest to those in gay clubs) and listen. You will hear some version of "I love this record but I can't see straight anymore." And, "What's the name of this club?" "I can't remember but it's all right. Just dance." In fact, I think she stole that last line from me. That was my mantra for that whole era. It'll be fine. Ride it out. Just dance.
13. Long Shot (Kelly Clarkson) -- This was my second-favorite song off All I Ever Wanted the first time I listened to the whole album. It is also the second-most played song of 2009 on my iPod. I've cooled a little to it lately, probably because playing a repetitive song over and over becomes somewhat mind numbing after a while. Still, it features my new favorite singer/writer duo (Kelly Clarkson/Katy Perry). My only quibble is similar to the Jason Mraz issue. The lyric "my heartbeat beats me senselessly" seems wrong. She (Perry) could have meant that, but it's more likely she meant "my heartbeat beats me senseless." But then she couldn't have rhymed senselessly with "intense with me" (which was a pretty inspired rhyme in my opinion), so I'll cut her some slack.
12. Money Honey (Lady GaGa) -- I'm not going to elaborate too much because there's another blog post coming soon, but this song had me at "M-O-N-E-Y". Knowing that autotune exists makes it hard to feel confident about anyone's true vocal ability, but she sure does seem to have a pretty good voice. As with several other of my favorites, this was not released as a single but I think it showcases her talent as well as anything else on the album. Plus, it's one of those songs that makes me stop whatever I'm doing or thinking and rock out with it.
11. Live Like We're Dying (Kris Allen) -- This is another song that I wasn't sure of when I first heard it. I played it a couple of times and then forgot about it (briefly). Then I heard it somewhere -- a store, physical therapy, who knows -- and I found myself getting into it. So a couple weeks ago I returned it to the ***** list and have been groovin on it since. My favorite part of the song: right about the 2:30 mark, he starts thinking he's Bob Dylan. It only lasts about ten seconds, but it's just precious.
10. Songs Like This (Carrie Underwood) -- I love all of Carrie's "men done me wrong" songs, but up till now they always left me wanting a little more venom. For instance, at the end of Before He Cheats, she says the next time he cheats, it'll be with someone else. That's it? You're breaking up with him. That's the best you can do?! For God's sake, even Vicki Lawrence had a body count at the end of The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia. So imagine my delight when I heard Songs Like This for the first time. She wastes no time at all. First line: "I wanna find some boy, rip his heart right out." Now we're talking.
9. Waking Up in Vegas (Katy Perry) -- It's kind of funny that this song is number nine on my list, because that's where it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100. I first heard this song when she performed it on American Idol. I wanted to hate it (and her) because she was wearing a cape that said Adam Lambert on it. Not that I hated Adam, but I was not cool with any anti-Kris sentiment at all. Regardless, it would be virtually impossible for me to not love a song with the lyric "Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes." The only thing that could have made me love this song more than I do would have been Kelly Clarkson singing it. I honestly think it might have gone to number one if she had.
8. Eh, Eh (Lady GaGa) -- This song got destroyed by critics, with one saying it brought the entire album to a halt. Another said it would have been a good Spice Girls song (which reminds me of a compliment/insult a friend and I used to joke about using all the time: That's an interesting shirt. Did you .. make it?). Personally, it reminds me of my favorite song from the Eurhythmics album Savage (Do You Want to Break Up?). It's true that it's completely different from everything else on The Fame, but that's one of the reasons I love it. There are 243 songs on this album. There's no room for one of them to be frivolous and frilly?
7. Halo (Beyoncé) -- First off, I want to go on record as STILL not hearing the similarities between this and Already Gone. I have listened to both of them dozens of times over and still, nothing. I thought I liked the first two singles off I Am ... Sasha Fierce more than this one, but neither If I Were a Boy nor Single Ladies had the staying power on my iPod that Halo has. It isn't quite in the stratosphere that Irreplaceable and Listen (from B'Day) were for me, but I can hardly even think of a Kelly Clarkson song that I like significantly more than Irreplaceable. Even Beyoncé herself will have a hard time topping that.
6. Obsessed (Mariah Carey) -- I must be listening to a different song than the rest of the country because I think this song is incredible. I was not even remotely fond of the Mariah Carey of the last millennium, but since The Emancipation of Mimi it's been the exact opposite. I feel much more of her personality in her songs now that she doesn't have to do that three-octave dog and pony show every time out. I've never really bought that Mariah wrote her songs any more than I believe Madonna does, but if she does then I have to give her props for some cute and clever lyrics and rhymes.
5. I Want You (Kelly Clarkson) -- It's difficult to fathom that the same person (Kelly) that wrote Sober and Because of You also wrote this song. It's a side of her we don't often see (or hear). It's such a bouncy, infectious little ditty. And who can resist lyrics like "you're such a mess with an attitude"? I know it makes me smile every time I hear it.
4. Hot n Cold (Katy Perry) -- It took me longer than it should have to discover Katy Perry (because I was never as thrilled with I Kissed a Girl as the rest of America apparently was), but once I did she became one of the main ingredients of my ***** playlist. There are six songs from her album on the playlist, but this is far and away my favorite -- despite the fact that it probably describes me better than it does the guys I've dated.
3. Quitter (Carrie Underwood) -- As I stated in an earlier post, it's crazy how often I wake up with this song in my head -- especially considering I only heard it for the first time about five weeks ago. It may be the catchiest tune of all from a singer that specializes in catchy tunes. There was a song like this for me from each of her first two albums, but both times they were her crossover songs (Some Hearts and All-American Girl). This is as country as it gets, but I still can't get too much of it.
2. Boys Boys Boys (Lady GaGa) -- Considering how she caters to her gay fans, it's odd that this wasn't released as a single. It seems tailor made for a club full of shirtless guys. One of the ten best lyrics of the year: "You taste just like glitter mixed with rock n roll." It also has a uber-80's sound, reminiscent of Kim Wilde's Kids in America.
1. My Life Would Suck Without You (Kelly Clarkson) -- This song is ten months old and I'm still happy every time I hear it. As with Since U Been Gone, I just buy her singing these lyrics. Among my favorites: "I know that I've got issues, but you're pretty messed up too." It makes sense that it's got the highest play count of the year on my iPod because it was released in January, but it's the highest by a lot. And really, if I'm going to anoint a song "song of the year", why not the song I've been listening to virtually the entire year. Plus, I'm not even close to being done listening to it yet.
OK. That's my list. What else should I have been listening to? What should I make sure I don't miss as we head into 2010? Let's hear it.