2007 - My Euphonical* Romance - Fraser McAlpine
Oh God, these Top 5 lists are so hard to write! And it's not just the need to try and find a definitive shortlist (with the emphasis on SHORT) of songs from a year which has been chock-full of amazing treats - 'Tambourine' by Eve, 'Timebomb' by Beck, 'Gum' by Cornelius and 'My Manic and I' by Laura Marling all deserve to be in the list and they are not. There's also the problem of co-ordinating personal choices with those of the other ChartBlog writers, to avoid needless repetition.
First Hazel nicked one of my total faves of the year, ('Atlas' by Battles, if you're interested), then Nickie nicked another (anything by the Wild Beasts, we love those fellas), so before Steve gets his final list in - I'm reliably informed he's cramming more songs in than he is allowed, frisky little sprite that he is - I'm going to get this lot up VERY quickly!
Los Campesinos! - 'You! Me! Dancing!'
'You! Me! Dancing!' squeaks ahead of its nearest rival, 'Precious Time' by the Maccabees, even though both songs have clever animated videos and both bands have done a lot to drive a stake through the heart (to use proper over-dramatic NME-speak) of post-Libertines/post-Coldplay consensus indie. There are two reasons for this. The first is that 'You! Me! Dancing!' has one of the best introductions in modern popular song, and the second is the sheer giddy thrill you get from whacking the song up as loud as your headphones will go and bombing around town.
Los Campesinos! have an album out in the New Year, and it's going to be BRILLIANT.
My Chemical Romance - 'Teenagers'
Imagine if 'Cigarettes And Alcohol' by Oasis was camp. Imagine if it was part of a Britpop musical, put on in the West End, with a massive chorus-line doing high-kicks and jazz-hands and the old soft-shoe-shuffle and everything, only in gas masks and fishnets, in an echo of decadent Berlin from the 1930s. OK, now imagine the lyrics are no longer about getting wasted in order to avoid the disappointments of modern life, but were actually a call to arms across the generation gap, a way of saying that no-one is more confused or scared by teenagers than teenagers, apart from the parents of teenagers, or the people who run the local corner shop or off-license. Got that?
It would suck, wouldn't it?
This is great though. Rabble-rousing protest rock with a heart, a brain, a sense of humour and two shapely pins...all the better to do the high-kicks with, my dears.
Operator Please - 'Just A Song About Ping Pong'
Pop moves in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform. Here's a troupe of misfit Australian teens in day-glo capes, who happen to have a grasp of sparky pop dynamics which you just can't teach in schools. This is so stuffed with memorable moments, from the tongue-twisting opener (handclaps!) to the massive rifferama (played on a defiantly un-metal Rickenbacker guitar, doubled up with a not-even-ROCK violin) and a drummer who looks fresh out of nursery, that it's possible to overlook the genius zen of a lyric like "if I know you're running then I know you're hiding", because you're still reeling from the entire band yelling "CHEATER! LIAR!" in your ears.
Amy Winehouse - 'Love Is A Losing Game'
I was entirely torn whether to go for this, which is pure heartbreak in CD form, or something from the CRIMINALLY OVERLOOKED Siobhan Donaghy album. And it's not even as if you could call it between either artist as to who had the harder year. Amy's was far more high-profile, sure, but at least she gets to keep making records, if she wants to, and who's to say whether Siobhan will or not?
Having said that, and even though it feels like something of a betrayal, I'm going to have to go with the tabloids, the paparazzi, Jools Holland and everyone else who has been caught up in Hurricane Winehouse this year, and plump for the song which stopped me short the first time I played 'Back To Black', and every time since. A song which you can't actually listen to more than a couple of times in quick succession, in case the sun refuses to ever come up again or something. Have you noticed how many of the other choices on this list are happy and upbeat songs? Here's why.
McFly - 'Transylvania'
And finally...I have no good reason to be this nice to McFly in 2007. I mean they did do a brilliant interview for ChartBlog, back in April, but then there was the whole How To Destroy McFly debacle, which resulted in actual death-threats from McFly fans and the formation of the ChartBlog Street Team as a kind of defence.
Worst of all, they released this amazing, wayward song as a double A-side with a cover of 'Baby's Coming Back' by Jellyfish. Which sort of implies they bottled it, just at the point when their crazed vision should have been given full reign, even if it meant a blip in their sales chart or something. Nevertheless, a song this good and this mad can't be denied, so I'm just going to have to give in and admit the McFly Street Team were right all along (apart from all the mean things they said, obv).
PS: Nickie's full list is as follows...
Wild Beasts - 'Brave Bulging Bouyant Clairvoyants'
Girls Aloud - 'Call The Shots'
Timbaland - 'Give It To Me'
Roisin Murphy - 'Primitive'
Steve's will be up tomorrow. See you then!
* Euphonical - Pertaining to, or exhibiting, euphony; agreeable in sound; pleasing to the ear (Webster's Dictionary)