- My year was an interesting one. I started low, depressed and dug into a hole that I eventually crawled out of. If you’ve been reading all along you may recall some of those days. But I fixed it, alone and without pharmaceutical help and that’s more a victory than anything else. There were amazingly brilliant times and there were sad times, just like any other year. But over all it was a crazy year, and that definitely checks that good category, despite heartbreak and loneliness. It was a year of travels and of learning and of starting things fresh. So many things make a year, and here are some of the sounds.
- (You can find an .rar file of all the songs here.)
- More Adventurous – Rilo Kiley
This CD is fairly old, it’s also fairly good. I don’t really know why I started listening to it again, except for the fact that I had it in my CD case and stuck it in while I was driving in Florida. Perhaps is also has something to do with seeing Jenny Lewis’ new gig Jenny & Johnny at the Beachland Ballroom this year. Whatever it is, I couldn’t get enough of this song. It reminds me that there is a wonderful mix between making things happen and sitting back and letting things happen. I think, throughout my life, I’ve allowed too much of the latter to take over.
- The Great Procrastinator – Ivan Campo
This song was in either the second or third episode of Skins this past year. They’re very good at music; a highlight in a somewhat lackluster series. I’m not one hundred percent sure what it was about this song that I liked so much. It feels simple and the sort of true that I always sort of love.
- Never Forget You – Noisettes
I remembered this song when K and I went to go see Leap Year. Remembering this song was the best thing that came out of that crap pie of a movie. This is, simply, a great song. A blend of pop and glam and… well everything that I like. But like most songs on this list it became one of my songs for the year because it made me feel something. There are always people throughout our lives that leave or become less involved, but you never forget them. And it’s always nice when you can meet up, no feelings hurt, and catch up briefly. Remembering the past while still moving forward.
- Make Me Wanna Die – The Pretty Reckless
I feel like this song should be in one of the Twilight movies. Instead they used it for the credits for Kick-Ass. I’m not sure if it really went with Kick-Ass or not, but whatever. I like this band. Yes, it’s Taylor Momsen’s band and yes, she’s on Gossip Girl. But I can still like the band. This song was released before the release of their album, so basically I listened to it on repeat. It reminds me of the sort of poppy rock songs I used to listen to in high school.
- Hollywood – Marina & the Diamonds
The first time I listened to this song was on the megabus on my way to Chicago. I had made a mix for the occasion, since I pretty much make a mix for every occasion, and this one was on it. I’d heard some Marina stuff before and liked it, but mostly the songs were slow and needed a few listens before I loved them completely. Hollywood is different because it’s fun off the bat. I’m not sure if you can classify Marina & the Diamonds as great music, but it sure puts me in a great mood, all while turning me introspective.
- Self Machine – I Blame Coco
I Blame Coco is Coco Sumner’s act. She’s Sting’s daughter. So it was pretty amusing when I had this playing in the car and my mom pointed out, without knowing anything about the artist, that it sounded like the Police. Sometimes there are artists that I admire and a song of theirs always has to make it on my Yearly Mix. This is the case with this one; it’s another one I listened to on repeat.
- Last Friday Night – Katy Perry
Ah, Katy Perry, how long I waited for your CD to come out and how much was I not disappointed. As you can probably tell from this list, I’m a fan of mindless pop music. It’s not what I would describe when talking about my favorite bands, but I love it just the same. Katy Perry is probably the queen of the ridiculous, a title I wish I could have, and this song was our unofficial anthem to our Key West trip. Why? Well it’s about having a fabulous time… that you mostly don’t remember because you wake up passed out on the lawn. So we didn’t have a night of complete and utter debauchery on the trip, this song is about letting loose and who doesn’t do that on vacation? Besides, J approves, if only because of Defense A.
- Ice – Lights
This song reminds me of a friend of mine. I also really like Lights. That’s the basic reason for this songs inclusion in my Yearly Mix. I listened to it quite a few times last winter, mostly because I was so pissed off. That’s good enough reason for me.
- Hang With Me – Robyn
The first time I listened to Robyn I wasn’t a huge fan. It was probably “Konichiwa Bitches” that I was hearing, I don’t remember. But I do remember that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I should have liked a song called “Konichiwa Bitches”. But when her trilogy of EPs, Body Talk, came out I decided to give her another go. Good thing I did, cause I found myself liking her far more now than I had before. This Swedish popstar has a lot of talent, and I like this song for several reasons; it’s fun, and I get what she’s talking about.
10. Your Love Is My Drug – Ke$ha
Ke$ha had to be included. I’m not sure that I have ever before enjoyed a drunkard, slutty, trashy hoe quite so much before. Ke$ha is what Ke$ha is. She’s exactly what it says on the tin and she doesn’t try to be anything more. And why should she? I feel like if I ever really went partying with Ke$ha I might actually die, but listening to her music gives you a vicarious party that’s just plain fun. And I get this song, I know what it’s like to be completely preoccupied with someone or something to the point of distraction and loss of interest in everything else. Silly? Yes. True? Sorta.
11. Stuttering – Fefe Dobson
I’ve been a fan of Fefe Dobson since her first CD came out back in… something like 2004. Back then she was your typical pop-rock in the vein of Avril Lavigne or something. She had good songs, but they didn’t mean much. She’s still sort of the same. But I like that sort of thing. She released her self titled debut and was then dropped from her label, leaving her sophomore album, Sunday Love, unreleased. But because the internet is the internet I got myself a copy. It was even better than the first. With her third album she’s matured into a fine songwriter while keeping true to her poppy roots. The first half of the album must have been written after a crappy break-up, and this is where this song lies. And who doesn’t get what she’s talking about?
12. Don’t Be Funny – Dragonette
Dragonette is a band that I’ve liked for a few years now, but for some reason I really sort of latched onto this song. It was one that I heard independently of the CD, which I already owned, because it was in the opening scene of an episode of Lost Girl. And for some reason I coincided to how I was feeling about some things at the time.
13. Major Tom – Shiny Toy Guns
This song didn’t mean anything to me the way a lot of the other songs have. I didn’t have any sort of connection or feel anything about it. I did, however, really like it at a time where I really needed to like fun, energetic, bubbly songs. It’s a cover of… I can’t remember who, which is probably a travesty in itself, and obviously inspired by David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. But some songs just remind me of certain places and events and weirdly, perhaps, it reminds me of driving to the gym. So, perhaps it reminds me of a time when I was being self disciplined.
14. Light Me Up – The Pretty Reckless
This is the second song by The Pretty Reckless that has made it into my yearly mix. I usually try to avoid this, but failed (twice) this year. It wasn’t even as if I was desperately into The Pretty Reckless. I like them, yes, and I enjoy their songs, but I didn’t spend hours with headphones clamped over my ears listening to The Pretty Reckless in the middle of the night thinking “this is the stuff!” I did, however, have two of their songs that had to be included. This one because it reminds me of being low and crawling out of it. That’s not an easy thing to do. And whether you do it alone or with help, it’s still an achievement.
15. Eclipse (All Yours) – Metric
This song is from Eclipse. Yes, Eclipse the third Twilight movie. And I suppose it’s a little embarrassing to include it in a list of songs from 2010, but I couldn’t leave it off. Why? Well, for one I really love Metric. Secondly, it’s a really good song. Say what you like about the cheesiness of the franchise, but Twilight has some good music. Okay, some of it blows, but the majority of it is pretty good. So when bands I like write songs for movies that I might not love (but secretly watch), I listen and I really don’t judge. It’s a love song, clearly, and this was not the year for love for me, but does that always matter? If it did eighty percent of songs would cease to matter.
16. Clubs in Europe Forever – The Ropes
I’ve listened to The Ropes before, mostly in fits and starts, and I’ve always liked them. Still, there music never did much for me. Yet there is sat, hanging out in my iTunes library, rejected and seldom listened to. Sometimes I go through and just start listening, and that’s what I did here. I like this song because it reminds me of traveling, and how things are different everywhere. That may sound silly, but it’s true. Also, how things change, but they always sort of stay the same.
17. Love the Way You Lie (Part II) – Rihanna
I am not a fan of rap songs. I just don’t prefer the genre. I don’t know why this is, but it doesn’t sound like music to me, it sounds like people talking, I don’t like it. However, there are songs every once in awhile that I do sort of like. They are usually the ones that have a female section and it’s usually the female section that I really like. So when that female singer releases the song in her own version? I’m pretty happy. There are two of these on this list and here’s the first. And, for some reason, I like the idea of the destructive relationship described in the song. Sometimes people forget that there are all sorts of relationships, and while this one’s not healthy, it still exists. I like those sorts of things being pointed out.
18. Secret – The Pierces
Well, this is the theme tune to Pretty Little Liars, which is clearly the reason why it’s included in this list. There have been a lot of shows that I have mentioned on this blog but none have I mentioned more than Pretty Little Liars. And this song is so perfect for the show that it’s amazing it wasn’t written for it. But, it wasn’t. It’s by The Pierces, who I had previously checked out but rejected as too whimsical for me. I changed my mind. And I love the haunting lilt of “Secret”.
19. Fever – Lady Gaga
This song makes it only this list because when I was driving home from Tommy’s pancake breakfast last year it was playing in my car and I thought; this song while be 2010. I like the song, yes, but that’s usually not enough to make it onto a yearly mix. Lady Gaga seems to have two styles; the electro-pop she usually releases and then songs like this. Softer rock songs that mean a little something. Whether or not this was 2010 is debatable, but there were times when it was.
20. Rill Rill – Sleigh Bells
I went to see Sleigh Bells live at the Grog Shop this year. I had heard of them, I had their album at the time, and I liked them. But I wasn’t a connoisseur. I’m still probably not. I can, however, recognize good music and this is it. Turn it up loud and have some fun with it. “Rill Rill” is probably their most accessible song. It has less yelling and it’s more melodic, but that’s not the reason why I choose it to represent Sleigh Bells in this list. I choose it because it’s nostalgic. It reminds me of high school and learning things new about yourself and those around you. High school isn’t a place I’d wish to return, but I don’t see anything wrong with wanting that feeling back, and great songs do that. They transport you.
21. Hell’s Bells – Cary Ann Hearst
This song was at the end of an episode of True Blood this year. I heard it and liked it, but left it for awhile. Then I seemed to find it stuck in my head, even though I didn’t know the majority of the words. Finally, I had to track it down. I don’t know any of Cary Ann Hearst’s other work, but this turned into a sort of summer anthem. Well, without it being an actual anthem at all.
22. Gypsy – Shakira
I have a love/hate relationship with Shakira. When her CDs come out I find that I like maybe four of the songs and the rest are just sort of filler. Like the way albums used to be released before people realized they could have an album that was just good. But I really loved this song. It’s slower that the majority of her music, quiet and plain, and it reminds me of living some sort of unfettered life that I don’t really think I could manage because I love my stuff too much. Still, the idea of constant movement appeals to me; borrowing and leaving behind and everything that comes with it.
23. Toxic – Glee
I felt as if I had to include a Glee song on my yearly soundtrack and I decided upon this version of “Toxic” for several reasons. I enjoyed the Madonna episode of last year, but it felt to me as if they were just having a bunch of Madonna songs with no futhering the plot. Well, that’s okay with a show that’s as gimicky as Glee is, I suppose, but it didn’t do anything for me. Yet, somehow I was still excited for the Britney Spears episode. Why? Well, for one, I love Britney Spears. For second, I think Brittany Pierce is one of the most hysterical characters to come around for quite some time and I had heard the episode would delve into her character a little deeper. Overall, I did enjoy that episode, but I felt as if none of the songs were much different from how they were originally recorded. Except “Toxic”. This recording somehow makes this tired song fresh. It’s energetic and I felt like they added and took away the right elements. It’s the perfect blend of two things I love; Glee and Britney.
24. Empire State of Mind (Part II Broken Down) – Alicia Keys
Here’s the second rap song that I enjoy the female part of. Alicia Keys’ melody cut into Jay-Z’s song are pretty much just perfect. I don’t care for the original version because I honestly can’t stand Jay-Z, so I was very pleased she had a version of her own. And, expanded, of course. She talks about growing up in New York and how everything is possible there. I got over New York City in high school, I don’t have any desire to live there, but it’s a great place to visit, and everything does feel possible. There are so many areas and twists. Neighborhoods and industry and anything else you can imagine. Who couldn’t love a place like that?
25. Commited – Jenny & Johnny
This is the second song on this list that Jenny Lewis was involved in, and it’s not the last, but Jenny & Johnny was probably the catalyst for me listening to her again in the first place. I saw them at the Beachland, as I mentioned before. It was a great show, they spoke to the audience, showed their appreciation, and played some great music. I really love this CD, and I might have worn it out completely. I chose this song because it is the perfect blend of all they do, it’s upbeat and sarcastic and guitar driven. Like a folk song turned on its ear, which is essentially what they do.
26. The Only Exception – Paramore
I knew of this song before, but it wasn’t until it was sung on Glee that I really took notice. Paramore is one of those bands that I only like half the time. They’re popular, but they aren’t that good. Yet every once in awhile they can surprise you. This song is good. Really. And it speaks of things that everyone deals with and everyone can relate to. Including me, so here it is.
27. I Am Not A Robot – Marina & the Diamonds
Here is the second Marina song on my list and probably the one that means the most. While “Hollywood” I included because it was a song that I really enjoyed while still talking about interesting things this one I included because it described what I was feeling about some things around March of last year. I feel like I often cut off emotions because I don’t feel as if I should have them. I wrote a whole blog post about this and all the rest of Marina’s songs, so it only makes sense that she would appear twice, but this song would have had to make it regardless. It feels true to me.
28. This Is My City – Timothy Victor
This song was in Skins, in series two when Cassie runs away to New York. She’s a little bit lost and a little bit adventurous, and that is what this song makes me feel like. I looked for this song for a long time and was unable to find it pretty much anywhere, except undownloadable on YouTube. I gave up for a long time before a friend mentioned it and I remembered how I had searched for it before. Eventually it was found, so all was well with the world. It’s the sort of song I’d like to listen to while lying on the floor staring at the ceiling. If that makes any sense.
29. Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis
This song reminds me of my old apartment in Columbus. I don’t know why, considering when I listen to it I don’t remember that apartment, I remember driving around, getting off the freeway so I could get to my apartment in Columbus. When this album came out I wasn’t a huge fan. It was very soft and slow and while I like that sort of music as well, sometimes it takes a few listens. I never did those few listens. But then when I went to see Jenny & Johnny I pulled out some of my old CDs and started listening again. I had forgotten what a great song this was. The chance I never gave it before was restored and thus is completes out my listening for 2010. We end on a down note, not because the year was a down year, it was the opposite in fact, but because this song takes about a lot of adversity. Not great mountains to move or wars or famine, but the small things that plague our every day lives. I can’t think of a better song to describe 2010.