The 3 of the Week feature was unfortunately ignored in the latter months of 2010, but with a new year comes changes, and one change around here will be a more consistently updated recommendation series. To start 2011, I’d like to open with my top songs from last year, with some extended reason why you need to listen to them if you already haven’t. There’s a rap song, an acoustic song, and an appearance by one of the most powerful voices in the scene. The common bond is that these are just great songs, plain and simple.
1. “Power” – Kanye West [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M19oF5hmHo[/youtube] This song might be my favorite rap song ever. It has the same kind of energy that “Stronger” had, but is more intense, mature, and on a completely different level from a musical and production standpoint. The beat is one of the catchiest parts of the song, and the lyrics epitomize the level of introspection and cockiness that’s present on the rest of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The “beautiful death” portion that’s sung near the end takes the track to a whole other realm in terms of what can be done in a song from this genre, especially since it isn’t even a main hook. The song is progressive and pushes musical limits in a way that shock acts like Lady Gaga never could – he creates something that pushes boundaries without needing the crutch of strangeness. Kanye West is spontaneous, insane, and a douchebag, but he is running popular music right now, and this song is proof of that.
2. “Broken Vs. The Way We Were Born” – Emarosa [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jm81Hqet_E[/youtube] On an album that is cohesive and doesn’t falter in the slightest, this is the song that stuck out to me almost immediately. Jonny Craig kills it on this track, as every line is as memorable as the last. I find myself singing this song all the time, particularly the bridge, which is what makes the song the best on the album. With some of the most powerful lyrics Jonny’s ever penned, it ties together the themes of shallowness and infidelities in a very effective manner. As in every Emarosa track, the guitarists play their asses off, while the rhythm section is rock solid with some great drum parts. All in all, this was my favorite song of the genre for 2010.
3. “Waiting In The Moment” – Take Cover [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGa_3HPusu0[/youtube]
(This video is a live one, but still pretty good. To hear the studio version, check their MySpace.)
I downloaded the Waiting In The Moment EP when it came out last year because it was posted on a music blog and the art and band name struck me as interesting. What I found became my most-listened-to band of 2010. The EP has only two tracks that were new to the band’s repertoire, but one of those tracks, the title track, really stuck out to me. The song’s lyrics focus on the worries surrounding life as a musician, and the melodies are soulful and honest. The vocals remind me a bit of Patrick Stump, which on its own should be enough reason to make you check out this band. Interesting guitar parts and lyrics that resonate with me made this my third-favorite song of last year.