Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Top 13 Songs of 2006 (ranked!) (5-1)

Here are the rest of them.

5. The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health (Radioslave's Secret Base Remix), (Trentemoller Remix)
So hard to choose a version here, so I didn't. Consider the original included in this too. This is also my way of putting some Radioslave and Trentemoller into the top 10, because they both deserve it this year. The remixes take The Knife's heaviest hitter this year in two totally different, and equally stellar directions. Both are also basically just using the same formula they input for all of their remixes, but it just happens to work even better here than usual. These two songs also contain two of the best peaks of the year to be released by anyone. Then when you get some time (listening to both mixes will set you back a good 17+ minutes) be sure check out the original, which does a great job all on it's own.

4. The Rapture - Whoo! Alright, Yeah...Uh-Huh
Some people don't see many shortcomings on the new Rapture album, but I do. However, all anyone has to do is listen to WAYUH, and basically justify the purchase of the full album. There are other fun songs on "Pieces..." but I see none better than the original leaked track. It took me awhile to warm up to this song too. It wasn't really part of the "Echoes 2" that I expected and maybe wanted. Of course releasing an Echoes 2 wouldn't have served the band well at all. A lot has happened in the world of music in the 5 years they've been gone, and even though I only like songs here and there on the new album, those good ones, boy are they good. This song contains the best breakdown of the year, no contest.

3. Escort - Starlight
In a year when "neu" disco took most of the spotlight in the world of dance music, Escort's "Starlight" and follow-up single "Love In Indigo/Karawane" were refreshing doses of disco that actually sound like disco. "Starlight" has all of the trademarks of classic disco sound, and contains such excellent songcraft and arrangement, you could almost swear it was the 70s. This is not to say that the band is hung-up on nostalgia though. It's hard to put your finger on, maybe it's the sleek production, but Escort still sounds fresh and new. I'm really excited to see where this band goes in 2007, because they, along with Justice, are one of the most promising new artists to emerge this year (a claim I made about Hot Chip last year, and look where they've ended up!).

2. Kelis - Bossy (Alan Braxe and Fred Falke Earth Out Remix)
JT may be making THE songs to remix, but Kelis' "Bossy" turned out the largest quantity of exceptional remixes this year. Alan Braxe & Fred Falke gave us two amazing cuts, both of which might as well occupy this spot, along with mixes from SebastiAn and Switch. I don't even like the original song all that much, but man what a blueprint it left. Nothing makes a remix look better than when it easily soars above its source material. Now I may have a bias towards AB&FF, but the question really seems to be, "Why don't you?" They consistently retain their title as French house super-producers because they keep churning out tracks that sound like they were made by French house super-producers. Their "Earth Out" remix of "Bossy" was stuck in my head for so much of the year after its release. I had to listen to it like it was an addiction, and an infectious one at that.

1. Justice vs. Simian - We Are Your Friends
I was so proud of myself for finding this song all on my own. I read no reviews, heard nothing from friends, and never saw it namedropped anywhere. I simply went onto Soulseek looking for more Justice remixes and happened to stumble onto the biggest, catchiest, most intense, and ultimately uplifting song of the year...also the best. I thought it would be a cheesy mash-up, but then I realized people were remixing the remix! This was gonna be huge. No other track, except for maybe Justice's own "Waters of Nazareth," is so closely intertwined with being the sound of 2006. Seeing Justice live in Chicago was the icing on the cake. To anyone reading this, take Justice and Simian's counseling to heart: "Because we are your friends! You'll never be alone again! Now come on!" (Note: you should be yelling these lines as loud as possible and throwing your fist in the air on every syllable.)

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