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The Music of 2011: Quarter Three

Good morning! Happy October! Read fast, because I plan to hit you with yet another post later, ideally by mid-afternoon to see if I can post 4 times in a 24-hour span.

Hey, we finally broke 50! Also, in the ever-changing method that is the way I share this music, this time I have forgone individual links and instead fit them all together in a YouTube playlist. Embedded, but also, here is a direct link so you can pick and choose. Is this better, or should I stick to the individual link method?



July
36. Tracy Chapman – Talkin' Bout a Revolution
While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation

Tracy Chapman is sort of magical in the way that, not unlike Taylor Swift (although they could not be more different), whenever I hear one of her songs I adore it. Her lyrics amaze me.

37. Glee Cast (Corey Monteith/Lea Michele) – Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Nobody told us
'Cause nobody showed us

Aside from a brief footnote about its ear-pleasing potential, I ignored this when the episode premiered, but as soon as I watched the performance again I was smitten with their admittedly complementary voices. See, even when the show is not on the air, its music gets to me.

38. Glee Cast (Lea Michele) – Firework
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

As I was saying...over the summer I scrutinized the radio lyrics, determined they were in fact surprisingly non-horrible, and then let Rachel bring it into my life as an empowering love-song-to-yourself. Still probably one of the lesser entries on this list, though, right above 40.

39. James Newton Howard - Theme from ER
Didn't know it was a whole song, did you? It's fairly...jazzy, in a way I would probably not enjoy if it did not have the proper connotations, but it does so there's something fantastically Chicago and 90s about it. When the saxophone kicks in, I am gone. I love how muzzy_olorea manages to recommend me things without even trying. (saw it in her 'current music' on the post that tipped me off to Scott and Bailey)

40. Lady Gaga – Edge of Glory
I'm on the edge of something final we call life tonight
*holds up hands* Before I go judging myself, I'm going to admit that I heard this blind on the radio, immediately respected its basic pop-star sound (the kind of song you write for someone meant to be a performing sensation; I even wondered if it might be new Kelly Clarkson*), and voluntarily deemed it free of problems. I later discovered quite accidentally that it was by her, but upon looking it up to confirm the title matched this song, merely went, “That was actually pretty catchy. I should listen to it 18 more times.” This was the weekend for swinging jazz sax solos, apparently.
* I think everything is new Kelly Clarkson. And yet, new Kelly Clarkson stuff always disappoints.

August
41. Toto – Africa
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies

I've been dancing around it for months, trying to convince myself to either pretend I already knew it, given its age, or that it wasn't List-worthy, but the truth is I've liked it ever since muzzy-olorea talked about it in one of her music posts in...2010? Possibly 2009. It just took Scrubs to push it over the edge. “Nothing like cranking up the Toto...”

[List Extra: Somewhere out there is an all-female version from Scars on 45 of “Change My Needs.” One day it will be released in proper studio format. And then IT WILL BE MINE.]

42. Deana Carter - Once Upon a December
Things my heart used to know
Things it yearns to remember

Again, it's like cheating since I've known it forever, but...well, I allow cover versions as new, so never mind. Updated instrumentation and a much more supported voice in a lower register, which beats the movie version by a mile.

INTERLUDE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 soundtrack
Normally instrumental soundtracks would be looped in one number. But because I still can't bring myself to care about the whole soundtrack (there is only room for the very first HP CD in my heart; the rest blends together and/or drives me bonkers with insane dynamic changes) and my list is short this year, I picked out a few perfect pieces and shed the rest. And by picked out, I mean I paid attention to the ones muzzy_olorea</lj> highlighted.

43. Lily's Theme
The chillingly high and eerie vocals in this that opened the film get me every time. Although honestly, I was guaranteed to love it on title alone.

44. The Resurrection Stone
A bit lower in register and a generally fuller sound (plus twice the length), but the same kind of mournful, haunting vibe. That's my theme for what interests me off the soundtrack, apparently. I especially like the delicate music-box style notes at the beginning, as well as when the piano picks up at the end.

45. Statues/Courtyard Apocalypse
They're basically the same theme, the latter is just a little slower and more tension-filled, and since I couldn't choose and they're 4:33 combined, I got rid of everything else and made sure these two always play next to each other in my library. Heavy (no pun intended), dramatic stuff with lots of impressive lower register, which is apparently my other thing for this soundtrack.

/interlude. Also, turn your volume back down at this point in the playlist.

46. Digital Daggers - Where the Lonely Ones Roam
Just remember what I said, 'cause it isn't over yet
Girl bands are the best. It's really not a creepy song, but there's just enough of an edge that it can be used to strong effect over a dark, trepidation-filled scene in Pretty Little Liars. Very alternative pop. That's the genre I've come up with. Or maybe electronica would be more appropriate.

September
47. Josh Groban – Remember Me
I'm with you whenever you tell my story
For I am all I've done

I'm pretty sure I fell in love with this in 2004, which should render it ineligible, but I so completely forgot about it that I am counting it as new. My list has no rules left! Apparently! I'm not sure how I forgot about it, unless it got lost in the shuffle of discovering him in general, because: BREATHTAKING. Went right to the top of my all-time Groban favorites list. By the way, you should really be watching this video. Most of what I linked to is basic lyric stuff, but this one's worth watching.

48. Snow - Informer
You might remember its use on How I Met Your Mother, with Teenage Marshall rocking out to “a licky boom boom down.” (which, according to Urban Dictionary, is not actually the lyric) When I caught that line in a Sporcle clip quiz, I had to fly to the internet to find out what it was actually called. And what I found was the most gloriously awful white guy reggae video I have ever seen, featuring lyrics that are basically impossible to discern, yet strangely addictive music. I have quite literally spent hours with this playing on loop while I work. And speaking of HIMYM...

49. “How I Met Your Mother” – Classic Schmosby Remix
a/k/a, at least to me, “Mosbius Designs Has Failed (Don't Judge Me)”
Just trust me, it's the best 90 seconds of your remix life. I'd have included Criminal Minds' “Wheels Up” too, but I concluded that one only works with the video.

50. Shakira - Gypsy
People fear what they don't know
I found the loveliest fanvid for the girl in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” set to this, and so as far as I'm concerned, the song is about her. I do like the fun little trills on the chorus. [edit: disclosure -- I went straight for the MP3 so as to preserve this perception, and thus have not watched the video I put in the playlist. If it's horrible, I apologize but bear no responsibility.]

51. Shakira – She Wolf
The moon's my teacher and I'm her student
Kind of wish I'd realized there was a Spanish version before I got hooked on this ridiculous title. I resisted hearing it for months just because of that, but damned it it wasn't every bit as infectious as they said it was. Have I really not had her on the list since '07? Just do yourself a favor and avoid the official video, because it's like fifty types of disturbing. They also failed to add how ridiculous all the lyrics are, so I'm alerting you to that as well. "Hips Don't Lie" suddenly seems like quality songwriting.

52. Glee Cast (Warblers) – Somewhere Only We Know
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go somewhere only we know?

Remember how I was always bemoaning their inability to put Darren Criss' voice to appropriate use in season 2? And yet somehow no one told me about this rich, gorgeous, piano-and-string-filled piece? Forget Raise Your Glass. Right here, favorite Warbler arrangement by a mile. Also the best Glee song on this installment of the list.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
muzzy_olorea
Oct. 8th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
Not only is the ER theme a whole song but there's a whole soundtrack score! More TV shows needs to release a score because sometimes TV music is very pretty.

Toto - Africa is one of my all time favourite songs! I'm impressed that a classic rock song actually made one of your lists! Although I always liked it, I have 'Chuck' and Jeffster to thank for getting me really obsessed with it!

Those tracks you named from HP7,2 soundtrack are the ones I like too!
rainbowstevie
Oct. 9th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
...oh, man, clearly I should have researched the ER music a little more. I am always wishing TV shows would release instrumental scores! I'll have to look for that; thanks for letting me know.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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