Thursday, December 31, 2009

My favorite songs of the 2000s

Applaud my sophisticated tastes! Marvel at my DJ skills! Create your own at home! Some assembly required!


Avantasia, Avantasia (2001). Bombastic, artsy and nerdy German power-prog. Dio writes Rush lyrics on an album entitled The Metal Opera. Description sufficient.

Prometheus, Covenant (2002). Anthemic, slow-burning Swedish synth-rock. Blurps and surges like hot MAG-MAH.

One With the Freaks, The Notwist (2002). Have you ever been understood?

Hey Ya, Outkast (2003). A bit embarrassing, considering how overplayed this was. But it's one of the best pop songs I've ever heard and I'm not ashamed to admit it. And this video never gets old:

Songbird, Oasis (2003). Simple, short, sweet.

The Buford Stick, Drive-By Truckers (2004). Sure it's fanfiction inspired by a 70s rednecksploitation movie. But the swaggering triple-guitar attack on this song just oozes cool. "Hit an embankment doin one-twenty on a straightaway, the Lord works in mysterious ways..."

Love Steals Us from Loneliness, Idlewild (2005). Sure their earlier albums were better as complete works, but this song is pure sonic melancholy bliss. With one of my all-time favorite and remarkably fitting videos. Like a short Antonioni movie...cold, distant beauty met with sarcasm and resolve.

It Generates, Iris (2006). Sounds a lot older than it really is...reminds me of classic Depeche Mode, especially lyrically. Deals with one of my favorite motifs -- fighting against incredible odds, knowing full well that in the end you're going to lose but giving it all you have anyway. Brings to mind Captain Ahab by way of Khan: " the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee..." I don't think of it in such a sinister tone -- I prefer the valiant Ragnarök of Norse mythology -- but you get my point.

Roscoe, Midlake (2006). Smooth, man, smooth. AM radio down by the lake, in the fall, with the late-day sun filtering through the trees. And weird obtuse lyrics.

We Share Our Mother's Health, The Knife (2006). Kicks in like a rusty carnival ride, ends by disintegrating into a puff of smoke. The part in between doesn't translate into English.

Indian Summer, Manic Street Preachers (2007). Sounds like the title. Pair this with "Roscoe" above for a double-feature of wistfulness.

The Escapist, The Streets (2008). Another example of a good song on multiple levels, including an excellent video. Evokes thoughts of two activities that are near and dear to my heart: cycling and traveling. Persistence, exploration, solitude, beauty, self-reliance, escape. "I'll not feel no fear, 'cause I'm not really here. I'm nowhere near."



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