A Struggle For A Year End’s List: My 2011’s Most Played (Lazy Man’s Method) (Part 1)

Simple steps to obtaining one’s year-end’s list:
Step 1: Open iTunes application.
Step 2: Go to music library/playlist that frequents.
Step 3: Rank by Plays.
Step 4: Scan through list for most plays topmost and features necessary.

Once again, in no particular order. And not all songs are released in the year.

.1

“A Man With No Ankles”
Owen Pallett

To contrast Heartland‘s convoluted record process, and also to cut myself a break, I recorded this EP in New York City over a week, using not much more than my violin, my Moog, a bass and a drum kit. It’s closer in sound to my first album Has A Good Home than anything else. It’s called A Swedish Love Story in tribute to one of my favorite films En Karlekshistoria and as a love letter to the Swedish pop stars who inspired it. This is probably the most posi record I’ll ever make, enjoy the mood while it lasts.

Despite the negative, sadistic sounding title, this song is actually very positive and poppy sounding, with the clever intervention of violins at all the right, lush times – the lyrics/vocals stop in time for the melodies to take over, and seems to be able to zone in and out of its atmospheric environment, before going back to Owen’s opera-style vocal capabilities. It could be providing a glimpse of hope for any man caught up in the same situation, as of the suggestion of the title. A pity I didn’t get a chance to witness this talent when he swung by town earlier in the year.

.2

“Call Your Girlfriend”
Robyn

Robyn probably makes the most intelligent dance-pop singles out there at the mo. And what a great piece of storytelling this song leads to – I sure didn’t figure out she was singing this song from a third party’s stand point of view, advising on her boyfriend to talk to his ex and to clear matters up. It’s clever putting of one’s shoes in other people’s position, and to top it all off, she has got a crazy dance routine going along with it, as seen below on SNL:

Still to pen the second stalking letter to her touring management.

.3

“A Case Of You”
(Joni Mitchell cover)
James Blake

For obvious reasons. James sounds sorrowfully desperate, beautifully drunk and emotionally vulnerable in this cover, and away from his indie electro beats, synth style of music, with just an accompanying piano, he also sounds sincere, genuine and romantic at the same time. I wish he is pocket-sized, so that I can take him out for a walk in the park by nature and a candlelit dinner date thereafter, at a somewhat cheap and fancy restaurant where the violin player will play after paying a small tip, and he will suddenly stand and sing along, and I will have a free concert to watch. Win-win!

Joni Mitchell, as always (1979, The Rolling Stones):

The Blue album, there’s hardly a dishonest note in the vocals. At that period of my life, I had no personal defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world, and I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there either.

.4

“Someone Like You”
Adele

If I don’t put this song in at all, I would need to be shot at gunpoint. I would need to be run by the train while lying down on the tracks. I would need to be run down by a bypassing bus with a drunkard driver. I would need to put a lit-up cigarette up my ass to feel the pain. It’s that serious; it’s like the song of the 2000s. And the song has reached the point and status that it is undeniable – there’s no point in arguing with a real hit and true talent stripped to its bones.

.5

“Anna”
(CFCF remix)
Taken By Trees

As much as everyone’s life is surrounded by modern advances and technologies, it’s always good to strip back down to nature and goes back to what and where it all begins. After all, in CJ’s book of life teaching (to be released very soon, yeah, yeah right), we all have to go back to it when we die, in one form or another – through the holes dug out for the graves and the coffins or through ashes dispersed by the wind (and probably, hopefully not in one’s face). Taken By Trees is Victoria Bergsman, also known as the girl vocalist on that whistling song of Peter Bjorn & John titled “Young Folks” (a lot of ah’s inserted now by dummies). Trust me, she’s more capable than what the mainstream had acknowledged her for.

Have a spin, and an illegal download:

.6

“At Home”
Crystal Fighters

This next couple of songs really make me feel at home, when I don’t really want to go out and see people and face the world. Just tuck me away from this society and this world, and I will be as pleased as a candyfloss. Or something. I really like the lines that follow:

I never thought I’d see you again,
I never thought I’d get to be with my best friend,
Never thought I had to tell you again,
Never thought I had to tell you how I lost my mind again.

Cause seriously, I have a tendency to lose my mind at times, sometimes, most of the times. I may appear normal most of the times, but there’s a trainwreck going on in my head all the time, admittedly, honestly and seriously. I like how fast-paced the singing goes at moments, and makes me feel relaxed all at the same mo, as though doing it in a chilled and relaxing way of manner.

(to be continued…)

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