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Friday, June 06, 2008

The Top 5 Songs of 2005

I was blogging about music as far back as 2003.  But they were on different blogs, sites, and pages that are now either completely forgotten about, or just plain dead.  On January 24, 2006, a few months before I started Audio Overflow, I posted The Top 20 Songs of 2005 to my myspace blog.  But I just listed the songs, without explanations.  I'm surprised how well this list held up too.  I pretty much agree with the Top 5 still, so that's why I've decided to post it here.  Of course, this time, there are explanations.  Not like it matters.  You won't read them.

#5:  Death Cab for Cutie - "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" - The shining star on Death Cab's 2005 album and major label debut, Plans, was undoubtedly this song.  About love that transcends the boundaries of this life, "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" is arguably the most beautiful Death Cab song of all time.  Simple, poetic, and gorgeous, you can't help but love every bit of this song.  Its place on this list is well-deserved. 

#4:  Sufjan Stevens - "The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us" - A song with such a silly name should never be this serious, but leave it to Sufjan Stevens to do the exact opposite of what we'd expect.  This timeless story of childhood friendships, loss, and regret is incredibly poignant, and one of the best songs on the Illinois album.  To many, it went unnoticed as "John Wayne Gacy Jr." and "Chicago" stole the show.  But for me, it remains one of his greatest achievements as a songwriter, and easily one of the best songs of 2005.

#3: Bright Eyes - "Land Locked Blues" - Conor Oberst released two albums in 2005, and this was the best song on either one of them.  I'd be willing to say that it's probably his best song, which for a guy with such an extensive catalog is saying quite a lot.  With stunning lyrics, somber guitars, and convincing vocal performances, there's nothing to not love about this one!  Take this line, for example:  "Greed is a bottomless pit/ and our freedom's a joke, we're just takin' a piss/ and the whole world much watch the sad comic display/ if you're still free start runnin' away/ cause we're coming for you!"  It's followed by a triumphant trumpet solo, which only heightens the impact of it all.  This is truly a perfect song.

#2: Stars - "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" - This story of two one-time lovers meeting again through chance and reliving old memories in a single night is quite the tale to tackle.  But Stars has never been one to let a difficult subject stop them from making beautiful music.  The lead-off track to Set Yourself on Fire, this is easily their strongest song to date.  Torquil and Amy harmonize beautifully as they sing, "Live through this and you won't look back," oh...and the rest of the song too.  If you've never heard it, shame on you.  I've provided a streaming version below to get you up to speed.

#1:  Sufjan Stevens - "John Wayne Gacy Jr." - In 2007, I made sure that each artist only had one song on the year-end list.  However, prior to all of that, it was never an issue.  That's why Sufjan has two songs on this list.  And can you blame me.  With an album as perfect as Illinois, you can't help but fill the list up with his songs.  Sufjan's song about serial killer, John Wayne Gacy, is a chilling tale, accentuated by the fact that Sufjan draws comparisons between himself and the killer ("In my best behavior/ I am really just like him/ look beneath the floorboards/ for the secrets I have hid").  His vocal performance is unfathomably strong.  They grab you and take you for a ride.  Will you be sympathizing with the killer by the song's end?  Will you be thinking Sufjan is a weirdo?  Either way, you simply can't deny the beauty of this song.  It is easily the best song of 2005, and by far the strongest on Illinois.
Top 5 Songs of 2005

1 comment:

JD said...

Why, oh why, can we not get full songs from Imeem. I know it is not Cale's fault. It is just frustrating. I have to go to youtube and watch some stupid highschoolers art projects scroll with the song I want to hear in the background. Makes me want to stab someone.