I listen to a lot of music and I listen to music a lot. The only two people I know (and I mean “know” as in my friends) who are driven to music exploration more than me are Gilmore and Brandon. I’m passionate about popular music (meaning not classical, country, jazz, or world – though I do like and listen to plenty from those realms). All that don’t mean shit…but I thought you’d like to know going into this that I spend most of my waking hours drowned in sound and attribute great value to songs and the artists that compose them. I’ve mentioned it many a time here that my memories are glued together by music in both chronology and emotional content. I digress. Let’s get to the goods:
jasonpreu.com’s Favorite Songs of 2007[128MB](yes, download available for a limited time. if you can’t download and would like me to mail you a copy, i’m happy to, though you can ask pom, i may get busy and never get to it – sorry, pom.) [UPDATE 12/5/07: Had to remove the download sooner than expected due to bandwidth limits. Nevertheless, I’ll still take snail mail requests for a limited time. -jpp]
Track listing and commentary follows:
Artist, Album, Song Title
Parts and Labor, Mapmaker, Fractured Skies
This song just rocks. Right out of the gate with the guitar fade-in and the wicked fast drum…peaking with the horns…holy moses…crank this shit up. I found out about Parts and Labor this year and I’ve listened to the hell out of this album. At it’s core the song is simple punk and could be on the radio (in better days), but the additional layers of sound and instrumentation serve to raise this song above anything you’re bound to hear over the air.
Liars, Liars, Houseclouds
Liars, again for ’07, come with an album that is inventive, engaging, and a solid listen. Houseclouds struck me most due to it’s pop-oriented structure coupled with somewhat morbid lyrics. Liars aren’t to everyone’s tastes and that’s OK. They consistently push the envelope and make the type of music that interests them. That, in turn, interests me. Liars, the album, is chock full of interesting tracks. Liars, the band is, without a doubt, making some of the most worthwhile rock music today.
The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible, Keep the Car Running
Dear god, I pray unto thee, don’t let The Arcade Fire ever stop making music. Neon Bible is such a cohesive piece of work that stripping just one song from it is a tragedy to the ear. But, since I had to, I picked Keep the Car Running because it reminds me of On the Dark Side by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. And I love that. I’m dead serious.
St. Vincent, Marry Me, Now, Now
I heard this track one afternoon on Sirius Left of Center while we were rushing out of the door and it stopped me in my tracks, halfway out our bedroom door, to hang tight, listen for a few more seconds, remember the name of the artist…and have the melody haunt me for days later. Good song. St. Vincent gets a lot of press and she’s a very talented girl that Annie, but the entire album is kind of hit and miss for me. None of the other tracks seem as strong as Now, Now, but never you mind that. Enjoy this song.
Dirty Projectors, Rise Above, Six Pack
OK, so you’re gonna do a cover record. A cover of a Black Flag classic. And you’re pretty much just gonna re-imagine the entire album? Cojones like watermelons. Yet the experiment works beautifully.
Battles, Mirrored, Leyendecker
This is another album where just sharing a single song is a real disservice to the artistry of the work as a whole. I think albums are something that need to be celebrated and promoted in this single-serving frame of living we move through today. Again, however, I had to pick one song so I picked Leyendecker because it’s creepy cool and I hope it entices anyone who hasn’t listened to the entire album to do so immediately.
Public Enemy, How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul???, Harder Than You Think
PE, goddamn. To me, PE taught that knowledge of self and cultural history are power. They taught that you don’t take shit lying down. And they taught all that through songs. Think about that for a minute because that’s truly a dying art form – to teach through song. Just think about that for a minute. I’m sooooooo goddamned glad to hear Chuck railing against some ol’ bullshit in 2007. This track (from an album of gems) has grand lyrics and funky music and is pretty much everything about Public Enemy that I fell in love with back in ’88 (plus it’s gotta bit of self-referential sampling from ’87).
Black Kids, Wizard of Ahhhs, I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
You will be singing this song to yourself tomorrow, I promise. “I’m not gonna teach him how to dance, dance, dance!”
Just wait and see.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder, Satan Said Dance
This album as a whole wasn’t that impressive to me. Satan Said Dance, however, comes about 5 songs in and before you realize you’re really enjoying what you’re listening to you’re like, “Wow, same album?” Then you back the track to the beginning and get into it and really listen…and it’s good, durn good.
A Place to Bury Strangers, A Place to Bury Strangers, She Dies
If I could recommend one band for you to check out right now, it’d be A Place to Bury Strangers. This song haunts me. All the other songs on this album haunt me. I play this song when it’s foggy, when it’s rainy, when it’s chilly, when I’m sleepless, when I’m hopeless, when I’m confused, when I’m questioning. Damn it’s good.
The National, Boxer, Apartment Story
Jesus, what is up this year with all the single songs I have to separate from really, really solid albums? C-Reg turned me on to this band and I thank him every time I listen to this album. The National make life soundtrack music. I picked this song because I like to sing it to Roman as a lullaby.
Bright Eyes, Cassadaga, Four Winds
I’m really taken with Bright Eyes. That’s all I have to say about the inclusion of Four Winds.
Cloud Cult, The Meaning of 8, 2x2x2
Chronic told me to pick up this album. I did. I thank him. Cloud Cult makes good music and, while this song (and the others on the album) truly depend on the album structure and order for the full effect, I think 2x2x2 is a fine sampling from a talented band.
Simian Mobile Disco, Attack Decay Sustain Release, Wooden
Rockin’ dance track. The whole album: pretty inconsistent. Wooden, however, is one rockin’ dance track.
Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, Gronlandic Edit
From the single album I listened to most this year, the song Gronlandic Edit. One of many bands that came to KC (twice) and I failed to see. For shame. I picked this song because when I first listened to this album, this track made me realize I was getting into something amazing.
The Aliens, Astronomy for Dogs, Only Waiting
Yay! The Beta Band broke up some time ago. Why Yay? I loved The Beta Band. Yay, because out of The Beta Band’s ashes come The Aliens – which is a sweeet band. This song seems quite epic to me and makes me feel delusions of grandeur. So get deluded yerself.
Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dandelion Gum, Drippy Eye
I got to see this band open for The Flaming Lips this year and was pretty freakin’ impressed. I’m a sucker for psychedelic music. If you like this track, the entire album is just as tripped out. If you don’t like this track, the entire album is just as tripped out so you’re SOL.
M.I.A., Kala, Paper Planes
Smoooooth track. I heart M.I.A. so that’s that. But this is a smoooooth song so I didn’t just include it because it’s M.I.A.
LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver, Someone Great
Someone Great is my favorite song of the year. I think it’s deceptively simple, beautiful, meaningful and a near-perfect piece of emotion captured by a recording medium. It makes me want to cry for being entwined in this mortal coil yet rejoice for the very same reason. LCD Soundsystem will make much incredible music in the years to come and you’ll start to hear their songs crop up all over (mark my words). And though I hate to think of how this song will be molested by future advertising majors, it really won’t do much to dispel the amount of feeling created as this song works it way through you.
Here’re a few more musical opinions you probably don’t care about:
Bands I listened to most this year (which probably makes their albums my favorites):
Bands which almost had a song on my Favorites of 2007:
Explosions in the Sky
Bands from last year that I heard this year and would have had songs on last year’s Favorites had I heard of them then:
Most awesomest “comeback” bands:
Bands whose albums I wanted to be a WHOLE lot better than they were:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Saturday Looks Good to Me
MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Availability is limited: one week from the day of posting. Through this I’m trying to share my passion for good music, and promote that good music to others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know.