Sunday, March 11, 2012

2011 Music: Top 10 Songs

I have a wickedly smart coworker (several actually), but this specific dude is fluent in multiple languages and understands dialects and semaphores and shit. I studied math as a way of avoiding a foreign language requirement and use "dude" as a default noun to an extent that I might be concerned were I not so otherwise awesome. Recently he characterized something as having a "poetic dual meaning." In that case it applied to a common term that applies to something very utilitarian and something else very emotional.
I need someone to put this weight on. "Marvins Room"
Poetic dual meaning isn't my phrase, but Drake has a lyric in "Marvins Room" (no apostrophe) that has stayed in my head for months, and that's the best way to explain part of the song's appeal. Drake recorded Take Care in the same studio that Marvin Gaye used for his emotionally candid album Here, My Dear, and the song seems inspired, or possibly haunted by, Gaye's album. (Pitchfork explains it well here.)

It's entirely possible I wouldn't love the song so much had I not also loved JoJo's response "Can't Do Better" (#21), but what's more remarkable is that I felt this urge to write about a song that wasn't even my #1 song for the year. Or even #2.

With "This is Why We Fight" I predicted a Top 10 ranking back in January. And "Brendan's Death Song" defies a clear explanation -- I found the song notable when I listen to the album, and all the more remarkable when I read about its origin. If you never need proof that I'm cynically optimistic (as opposed to cheerfully pessimistic), consider that I couldn't let a year as shitty as 2011 end with a drunk dialing lament, even one so fine.


10 'Time Spent in Los Angeles' Dawes
9 'First Light' My Morning Jacket
8 'It's Real' Real Estate
7 'Never Pay for the Farm' Gang of Four
6 'Helena Beat' Foster the People
5 'I Really Need Love' The Bees
4 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala' Arctic Monkeys
3 'Marvins Room' Drake
2 'This is Why We Fight' The Decemberists
1 'Brendan's Death Song' Red Hot Chili Peppers

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