2007 - My Euphonical* Romance - Hazel Robinson
FRASER'S BIT: Now that the last days of 2007 are drawing near, it seems a good time to look back over ChartBlog's first full year of existence, and maybe have a think about some of the songs which have defined that year for the people whose thoughts and ideas about pop matters have so enthralled/annoyed people over the past 12 months. Starting with our resident deep-thinker, and self-styled controversy-magnet, Hazel Robinson.
Hazel, what are your favourite songs of 2007, please?
Diddy ft. Keyshia Cole - 'Last Night'
Mr Diddy's last album is work of dark genius, especially the triumph of this and the three songs that precede it ('After Love' with Keri Hilson, 'Through The Pain' with Mario Winans being non-annoying for thirty seconds and 'Thought You Said' with Brandy) which blow almost everything else I've heard this year out of the water, cataloguing that bit of a relationship where it's all gone horribly wrong and you don't even know what to do anymore.
Even on its own, this is a stunning song, creepy harpsichord and harsh drum beat jag along in the background, whilst Diddy and Keyshia deconstruct a row. It's hard to say who's in the wrong, exactly, as both of them accuse the other of not picking up the phone until the usually hard-man Diddy confesses, in the chorus:
"Last night, I couldn't even get an answer
Tried to call but my pride wouldn't let me dial
And I'm sitting here with this blank expression
And the way I feel I wanna curl up like a child"
God. That's good. That's really good, from the first accusation of her not answering him to the split-second leap to admitting he couldn't even call. That is exactly what happens, y'know. You don't even know who's wrong anymore, you think it might be you but you don't want to admit it if it is, you just want it all to go away and be alright again, dammit. Harsh words have been said, maybe you were both drunk, maybe you were both being absolute idiots, maybe you can't even remember what the hell started all this but can it just end, now, please because you want them back and you're alone and it's cold and the last thing you want to deal with right now is this because you just want a hug from them to get you through it but since it's them the problem's with... well, you're not going to get that, are you? And so the cycle continues.
Marilyn Manson - 'Heart Shaped Glasses'
(here's the Live Lounge version...)
It's been a year of perversion fatigue - does anyone care that Rihanna's wearing bondage gear on stage? Of course not, everyone wears bondage gear these days. Oh look, another Hollywood starlet forgot to wear knickers, what an utterly shocking and thrilling sight, she has genitals, blah blah blah sooner or later it's going to be sexier to keep yer cardigan on (in fact, isn't that what this whole burlesque-pin up revival is a bit about?) and y'know, sometimes you can't help but wonder if by next year popstars will have just given up releasing songs entirely and gone directly for the, ahem, moneyshot. Then again, music is still sexy. This song is still sexy - maybe there's hope for the whole thing yet.
I know it's not everyone's bag but for me, there's nothing better than a bit of Mazza on top form and there's no doubt that's what this is and precisely at the hour at which I had completely given up on him releasing anything good ever again. Like 'Sweet Child Of Mine' or other excursions into rock ridiculousness, it's a really quite soppy, naked love song to his lady, covered with a bit of 'oh no look, I am still well hard, see' snarling and some silly outfits. And hey, I'd totally sing a soppy love song to Evan, she's a lovely looking woman. Maybe unexpectedly, it's music to make love to and everyone needs a bit of that, it's the fantasy angle that makes everything sexy, anyway.
Battles - Atlas
Dudes, dudes, it sounds like he says sandwich in the chorus! I love sandwiches! He doesn't say 'sandwich' at all, of course, he says "people won't be people when they hear this sound" but songs are eighty percent more fun with the word 'sandwich' in. Not that actually this song really needs to be more fun, seeing as it is just a joyful seven minutes of utter noodly madness.
See, indie bands, this is indie music which is exciting and interesting and you can actually dance to it. No mockney accents, no farting about with three rubbish chords, just people doing interesting things with normal instruments (all of Battles' music is played with pretty much the standard band set up, give or take a lot of effects pedals -there's no drum machines or owt here) and it's catchy and it's got a tune that hasn't been nicked off the Jam or the Clash or whoever's in fashion for a bit of plagiary this week. And anything that can hold my attention for seven minutes has to be pretty genius, to be honest.
Ulrich Schnauss - 'Medusa'
Now, this has technically never been mentioned on Chartblog but before you skip ahead to the the bits where I provoke a street team or admit to fancying Marilyn Manson's girlfriend, give this one a quick four minutes or so of your time. I spent a lot of this year writing for the sadly now defunct Stylus Singles Jukebox, as well as Chartblog and it was over there that I ran across this. I
t's a mogolithic, fuzzy, slightly sinister and achingly sad piece of depth-plumbing (in the sonar sense, not the "this single by The View really plumbs the depths of the post-Libertines world" sense) electronica, roaring and hissing through a sea of radar bleeps. Although the rest of his current album ('Goodbye') doesn't quite live up to this, it's very, very beautiful and exciting and frankly, it's a damn shame that it didn't really seem to trouble any charts anywhere.
Booty Luv - 'Some Kinda Rush'
I don't drink Bacardi Breezers, they're disgusting. They taste like boiled sweets and you're more likely to go into diabetic shock than get drunk off them. I have on many occasions, however, drunk my share of dessert wine. It's like the acceptable face of alcopops; sugary, stupid and with enough alcohol content to have me thinking "yes, perhaps not the 16.5% one next time" the next morning.
Let's say then that Bacardi Breezers and their ilk represent the majority of filter house; it's appalling and unapalatable - I don't want to hear some bint flinging a load of platitudes/come ons about over a generic beat whilst I'm trying to drink my pint. Call me a great big goth if you want but there it is. This, however, could be classed as the dessert wine of filter house; yes, it's a pair of bints throwing a load of platitudes/come-ons about over a relatively generic beat but by gum, it works. Ravey synths strobe all over the place, the beat pulses and it's a little bit sexy and the chorus just EXPLODES at you, in a way that ensures that, after enough cider and black you'll find my black-clad form lairing about on a dancefloor somewhere to it, confusing people.
The marvellous thing about Booyty Luv, of course, is that over the course of 2007 they've been highly successful with this whole strategem (releasing this on Christmas Eve aside) against all the apparent "what the public want is real actual proper manufactured indie" railing that the media's spent the last five odd (sometimes very odd, etc.) years banging on about. Hurrah for that.
There will be more exciteable raving about fave songs of 2007 tomorrow, only this time it's my turn. Please add your own personal selections!- Fraser
* Euphonical - Pertaining to, or exhibiting, euphony; agreeable in sound; pleasing to the ear (Webster's Dictionary)