I thought I'd start easy, since the best albums list is careening out of control like Howard Hughes, and ballooning in size like Mike Tyson.
So, dun-det-da-dunnnnn, here's the best songs from this year... ever.
I've posted an Imeem playlist at the bottom that, as of this writing, holds each of the songs on the list. For now they are mostly 30-second previews; register on Imeem and you should be able to hear the entirety of each song.
Frightened Rabbit - "Head Rolls Off"
Blitzen Trapper - "Furr"
Raphael Saadiq - "100 Yard Dash"
Tokyo Police Club - "In A Cave"
M83 - "Kim & Jessie"
Tapes 'n Tapes - "Hang Them All"
Cut Copy - "Hearts On Fire"
Kanye West - "Love Lockdown"
Girl Talk - "Play Your Part (Pt. 1)"
Okkervil River - "Lost Coastlines"
The Roots - "Criminal"
Snow Patrol - "If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It"
Hot Chip - "Ready For The Floor"
10. The Magnetic Fields - "California Girls"
Caustic and beautiful, like pretty much anything else Stephin Merritt has ever recorded.
9. Gnarls Barkley - "Surprise"
A haunting Mamas & Papas tribute that stands as one of Cee-Lo's most introspective pieces.
8. Wolf Parade - "Language City"
The most fun song on At Mount Zoomer.
7. TV On The Radio - "DLZ"
One of the few from Dear Science that recalls the band's previous, moodier work. Not that the awesome party-fusion stuff they're doing now is a problem, but it's not nearly as totally awesome.
6. The Dirtbombs - "Ever Lovin' Man"
Holy shit, does this rock. A prime example of how ridiculous it is that certain bands aren't bigger.
5. Death Cab For Cutie - "Cath..."
Not frequently does a band in its second decade of existence release a song that so perfectly summarizes that band's body of work. "Cath..." does it.
4. The Hold Steady - "Stay Positive"
Great song from a great band. Manages to be awesome despite a corny, awww-inducing shout-out to their fans and supporters. But easily the catchiest track on Stay Positive.
3. Vampire Weekend - "Oxford Comma"
I'm not at all surprised by the wide array of songs from VW's debut that folks have chosen to single out for lists like this. "Oxford Comma" is the song that really sold me on the band; simple and pretty, rising above the preciousness that elsewhere makes them so easy to dismiss to create a truly great song.
2. Hercules And Love Affair - "Blind"
I wasn't a huge fan of this album in its entirety, but probably only because "Blind" is so completely and totally incredible. Turns any boring-ass room into a dance floor. Between this and Cut Copy, and the recent successes of LCD and The Rapture, it would seem that everything that the DFA touches turns to gold. (Or silver.)
1. Elbow - "One Day Like This"
The clear winner. In my initial mini-review of The Seldom Seen Kid, I said, "this song makes me want to get my fucking life together." So expressive, so profoundly joyful, so effective at banging its uplifting message home and moving the listener. Bravo.
There you have it. Best albums coming soon. Until then, abbondanza: