Once again, this is a taste of my favorite music…this time for the year 2007. As with last year, I decided to give you 25 songs from different artists. I highly encourage you to explore their catalogues further, and purchase some of the great albums referenced.
MUCHO THANKS to my buddy Des for hosting this year’s songs. There is a link by each song to download the MP3, and a player at the top of the page so you can listen to all 27 tracks in your browser.
Remember, I am not saying these are the “best”, just my favs. And I’m going for honesty here. These are the songs and artists I dug and played the most. So, even if I think I’d look a lot cooler if Radiohead were higher up the list, and Jordin Sparks wasn’t – well, that just wouldn’t be honest.
So without further ado, here’s what I fed my ears in 2007.
Brett a.k.a. bMg
25 Fav Songs of 2007
Once (Music from the Motion Picture) (more info)
The scene in the movie Once where this song is sung in the Piano store is essential to truly fall in love with this song (I believe). My favorite scene, in my favorite movie of the year, with two people who inspired me artistically and emotionally in 2007. This is part one of the “quadfecta” – as Once was my favorite movie, the Soundtrack my favorite album, and their first 2007 performance in SF my favorite live show.
This is one those songs – like Transatlanticism (Death Cab for Cubie) or Breathe Me (Sia) – that when I listen to it an ocean of emotions begin to swirl inside me and life around me becomes a movie with a soundtrack. It stirs the pot in the most beautiful way.
A break-up song named after the first German-born NBA player to reach the NBA Finals. This song just pours through me, leaving behind the melody “when eyes can’t look at you any other way” to accompany me through my day. Not unlike teenage fanclub did with “what you do to me” or the aforementioned Death Cab with “I need you so much closer”.
Not much originality, and much of the credit goes to Daft Punk, but this track blarred out of my car for months when it was first released, and it still pumps me up. Just got me on the dancefloor at my buddy’s wedding last weekend.
Take your shots, and I’ll stay standing. One of the reasons I love American Idol is because all the commercialism aside, it is opportunity for people who love to perform to go for their dream. Watching Jordin Sparks sing this song after winning, and seeing and hearing the emotion of her living a dream she had pictured since being a little girl, was a beautiful sight. The song inspires me ever since, and reminds what is possible in any given moment – regardless of the last.
In an alternate universe this was the jam of the Summer of 2007. ‘You Got Yer Cherry Bomb’ is neck and neck with it as a fav.
Kevin Michael (feat. Akil Dasan) [download MP3]
Kevin Michael (more info)
This track gets my head bopping, and body moving. Great groove. A close second on the album is ‘Ain’t Got You’.
This song saved this record from execution. It was in my trash, and at the last moment this song came on shuffle on my iPod like a 12th hour call from the Govenor. How did I almost miss how gorgeous this is? This record proved the theory that my friend Des and I have that an album needs 7 listens before it can be truly judged.
This song goes so well with a ride through Koh Tao on a Honda Dream that I have to wonder if it was written while moving (that would explain the driving beat). My friend once said that you know a song is good when you feel cooler just listening to it. I feel cooler when I listen to this song. [And damn if they don’t leave behind another cool repeated melodic line with “We held our tongues throughout it / one day we’ll laugh about it”]
Freedom Writers (Music from the Motion Picture) (more info)
The unofficial theme song of City of Dreams, and my hip hop anthem of year. Real beats lined with hope.
Life in Cartoon Motion
The cover that isn’t a cover. Mika’s update to Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls manages to honor one of his major influences, while producing a sickly catchy anthem for curvy ladies.
Just a good ol’ jam out of the UK that got tons of playing time on my iPod throughout the summer.
Smaill Steps, Heavy Hooves
One of my favorite tracks on an album that quickly became one of my favorite little gems of 2007. Still waiting to see this band live.
I love a good pop song, ok. Pop music is like ice cream; it’s like a Hollywood blockbuster. Sometimes I just want something sweet and simple. This song brings out the 13-year-old girl in me, and I think it important for me to stay in touch with her. (Besides….Groove Armada think she’s cool, so step off.)
I got hooked on this track when I heard them perform it live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. I love the passion and performance of Glen Hansard’s voice. He is my musician of the year.
The first time I heard this song live, at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, it floated off the stage like a dense fog, swirled in with the crowd, and mixed in the moonlight. Ethereal.
I Created Disco
A dancefloor fav of mine. A sweet bass line and melody. Gave you the Kiss Sellout Remix here. Original is on Calvin’s album, I Created Disco.
There are covers that are a waste of time, and then there are covers that take the original out for a few drinks, get it sweaty on the dance floor, and wake up next it in a motel room the next morning. This is the latter. Gave you the Paul Nice Remix here. Original is on Mark Ronson’s album, Version.
Wizard of Ahhhs EP[download MP3]
Prediction: This band is going to hit it big very soon, and this song is going to make you love it. Get their EP free at www.blackkidsmusic.com
This song just casually creeps into your brain and after a few listens sets itself on repeat. And in the words of my friend Des, “If you only watch one video of a band performing their best song in a Brooklyn stairwell, it should be this one.” (CHECK IT OUT!) My live show regret of 2007, as I skipped their two-show stint in SF in the fall and heard the second show was epic.
The Life Pursuit
I like so much about this future ‘To Catch A Predator’ theme song…the juxtaposing of the musical style with the lyrical topic…Jenny Lewis’ Patsy Cline-esque vocals…the horns…and, of course, the Theremin.
This is a great little ride by Jack Allsop – through his inner Jamiroquoi, a late 80s guitar solo, a sax sprinkled breakdown, and some fantastic alliteration.
Out of the Woods
Tracy channels her inner Enya in this opening track from her stellar second solo album.
Love It When I Feel Like This
The chorus of this song feels like the late 80s in such a great way.
Prayer For The Weekend
Crank this on your way to work on Friday morning, and ride its wave through the day. A glam fab anthem with Glen Frey inspired saxophone.
TWO BONUS COVERS:
Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur
In my book this song was un-coverable. Untouchable. I give Jack huge props for a version that works because his heart comes through in it. A triumph, and a version that I respect as a modern alternative to the classic.
Through The Wilderness: A Tribute to Madonna
I’ve been covering this song for years, so I feel like my thunder has been stolen. Of course, I stole my version off my roommate in 1996, so I guess it’s all fair game.
TWO-FOUR (24) ALBUMS from 2007 that I Dig
1. Once Soundtrack by The Swell Season (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)
2. Into the Wild OST by Eddie Vedder
This album is an artistic accomplishment. A score with lyrics and melody. As if Eddie Vedder crawled into the soul of Chris McCandless and pulled the music right out of him. Haunting and Beautiful.
3. Version by Mark Ronson
Party background record of this year. This is album is so extremely listenable. Put it on and just let it play and play.
4. Out of the Woods by Tracey Thorn
5. Life in Cartoon Motion by Mika
6. Cease to Begin by Band of Horses
7. Small Steps, Heavy Hoofs by Dear and the Headlights
8. Fort Nightly by White Rabbits
9. In Rainbows by Radiohead
10. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon
The Rest Alphabetically…
Children Running Through by Patty Griffin
Graduation by Kanye West
I Created Disco by Calvin Harris
Imagine Our Love by Lavender Diamond
Kevin Michael by Kevin Michael
Lifeline by Ben Harper
Nighttiming by Coconut Records
Octopus by The Bees
Overtones by Just Jack
Prayer for the Weekend by The Ark
Puddle City Racing by Windmill
Sky Blue Sky by Wilco
The Cost by The Frames
Under the Blacklight by Rilo Kiley
10 Live Shows I Saw That Stood Out Amongst the Crowd
The Swell Season, Noe Valley Ministry
Intimate. Gorgeous. Authentic. Perfect.
Daft Punk, Greek Theatre
How often do you go to a live show, and say it was like NOTHING you’ve ever seen? This show is was a spectacle of awe that most closely resembled a combination of being in the blinding lights of a speeding locomotive coming right at you, with being at ground zero of an sonic attack by a superior race of killer DJs.
Ben Harper, Paramount
Ben reminds us all that we are angels.
Wilco, Greek Theatre
It is sick how tight this band is these days. Beautifully sick.
Justin Timberlake, Arco Arena
JT puts on a show! The real deal, and deserves all the praise he receives.
Damien Rice, Paramount
Points of this show turned me emotionally inside out.
Just always GREAT. Period. Slooooooooooooooooooan!
Tragically Hip, Warfield
I have seen hundreds of concerts in my lifetime, and this was one of the greatest ‘performances’ I have seen by a lead singer ever. Gordon Downie is the Jim Morrison of our generation…mature and better than ever.
The Frames, Great American Music Hall
Could give Wilco a run for their money in the “tight” category. A great band that has wore the road thin is finally starting to get some traction.
Cold War Kids, Great American Music Hall
A great rock band that gives you all they got.