Best Songs of 2009: 6-10

6.

“The Reeling” by Passion Pit

“The Reeling” is a song that inspires ebullience in the listener. One can’t help but be tempted to dance when listening to this song. With a perfect beat and viciously addictive synths, this song is a tour de force in indie synth pop. There is something fundamentally vital about this song that harkens to the essence of life itself as if Dionysus himself crafted it.

7.

“Sweet Dreams” by Beyonce

It would be easy to pass Beyonce off as just another pop diva… if she didn’t demand one’s attention with songs like “Sweet Dreams”. Slate made the argument that Beyonce was the closest thing to Michael Jackson in this day and age; a claim that was, understandably, met with incredulity, that is until “Sweet Dreams” came along. It is a song that is frenetic yet driven, airy yet powerful, and more than a little intimidating. If she keeps crafting gems like this one, Beyonce may very well end up as iconic as Michael Jackson.

8.

“Back to the Start” by Lily Allen

Lily Allen has been making some of the catchiest and wittiest songs for a while now. “Back to the Start” is just one of many in a series of excellent songs about relationships. The song is an apologetic request for renewal to a (harshly) rejected wooer. All of Allen’s trademark strengths are on display here as she crafts a delightfully witty gem of electro pop. She finds herself begging for clemency after she has ruthlessly berated a courter for what she had deemed (at the time) as an unforgiveable offense: he was less intelligent than she. “Back to the Start” is a song that makes the entire endeavor of music appreciation worthwhile.

9.

“Ride With Me (Nelly Cover)” by I Call Shotgun

The indie cover of the popular rap song is a tired trope. But, improbably, I Call Shotgun manages to breathe new life into Nelly’s excellent single “Ride With Me”. All of the charm of the original is maintained as I Call Shotgun demonstrates a new side to the song. Rather than an unapologetic postulation, this version of “Ride with Me” is almost mournful in its contemplation of the fast lifestyle espoused in the song. As revelatory as this version is, it is still just as fun as the original. “Ride With Me” is proof that an old dog can learn new tricks.

10.

“Kettering” by The Antlers

Sometimes a song is so poignant and affecting that one can’t help but feel awestruck. “Kettering” by The Antlers is one of those songs. Mixing a slow build with a voice that aches with sorrow, the song hits the nerve center of sentimentality. It’s a depressing song to be sure, but one that rewards the listener with an uncompromising portrayal of pain and heartbreak.

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~ by Verse on December 3, 2009.

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