Thursday, March 18, 2010

My 10 Favorite Songs of All-Time Part 1: 10-8

I haven't sat down and made an organized effort to list what my favorite songs are. However, when I did, I realized immediately that it's stupidly difficult. Too many songs you love for too many reasons that can't really be compared to any other song. It's like being asked to pick which one of your children is your favorite.

And you didn't win.

But, through a grueling set of eliminations (I SWEAR I STILL LOVE YOU WHITE STRIPES), I've narrowed it down to 10 songs. Here are songs 10 through 8.

10. Hysteria - Muse

The instant the song begins, you already know you've found yourself a great song. And the moment the chorus explodes into your ear, you realize the song's a classic.

And then the breakdown and outro comes along. And you've probably already broken a lamp from the spontaneous moshing you've done.

The song is an orgasmic thrill ride from beginning to end with one of the great bass riffs of all-time, a chorus from Bellamy that literally sounds like its soaring, and impeccable drumming by Dominic Howard. All of which culminates in a fantastic and energetic breakdown.

9. Teddy Picker - Arctic Monkeys

What makes this song particularly special is how everything seemingly fits in perfect cynical harmony. The guitar riff, a great one, feels as though it was created purposefully to harp on unintentional celebrities and their 15 minutes of shameless fame.

Oh wait, that is what this song's about. Thanks to Alex Turner's insanely clever writing, which is particularly catchy in its opening verse:

"Despair up to the point that they provoke
You to tell the fucking punchline
Before you have told the joke"

And that unforgettable chorus:

"Now it's the thousandth time and its even bolder
Don't be surprised when you get bent over
They told you
But you were dying for it"

And what is a solo so goddamn smooth it compels you to imagine Turner doing it for the sake of pleasing yourself. Possibly sexually. Teddy Picker is a seamless song who's riff and lyrics intertwine perfectly, demand your attention and repeated listening, and a solo that could be the musical manifestation of masturbation.

8. Hillmont Avenue - Be Your Own Pet (I made the youtube video!!! Alright, I'll settle down with my Windows Movie Maker-producing ass)

All the Jemina Peal fans from her blog have just let out a mini-yelp.

Anyway, Hillmont Avenue is a goddamn statement. Jemina Pearl was never a really clever song writer, but somehow her lyrics have an unabashedly crazed feel to them; they're openly insane, and naturally feel like they don't give a shit about it:

"I lost my mind, these little men stole it
You wouldn't believe in all the stuff this way
I met my evil half in the bathroom
Telling me secrets in the mirror"

And this line, which I feel like I'm constantly anticipating when this song starts playing:

"If I was crazy I would have fun allllll the time"

Of course, these lyrics would mean nothing were it not for Jemina Pearl's legendary delivery. She sings this song with the perfect amount of insanity and melody that keeps you in the song's energy and mood without breaking you out of it with what are admittedly some fucked up lyrics.

But let's not ignore the band behind her like they suck. The music in Hillmont Avenue, while simple, creates the perfect amount of apprehensive yet raucous energy from the beginning when that guitar shrieks in its "1,2" rhythm, to the chorus where its quarter notes coincide with Jemina perfectly. It actually agrees with the song's lyrics, and carries you along for the schizophrenic ride; something that simply doesn't happen often enough in music.

To summarize, this song is a bottle of charismatic insanity. And I love it.

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