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The Music of 2011: Quarter 4

And we officially have five years of music documented on this LJ! 532 tracks, give or take a handful of “list extras” featuring other covers and a few I've probably tired of since they were posted (especially in 2007, before we apparently had any clear rules about how much I had to love a song before I wrote it down). Whew! What did I do before I kept track of it all?

December attempted to make up for October, but I still fell in love with less music this year than ever before. That's...probably a good thing, and also due largely to the lack of any full CDs catching my ear. Besides Glee. Obviously. You can just count on Glee dominating this list until the show ends, because its music is one of the greatest joys on earth. That said, I do have some newcomers plus a few favorites we haven't seen in a while today. Enjoy!

[edit: why is the music half of this post a torment EVERY TIME? I finally perfected a legal system that makes it easy – embedded YouTube playlist – and suddenly the site's gone crazy and declares that EVERYTHING SHALL HAVE PLAYLIST RESTRICTIONS ON IT; CONVENIENCE IS BANNED. Oh my God, there is no day of the year I feel more murderous than the day before I post one of these entries. You see, I have to start the day before, because it takes so freaking long to round all the stupid music up and I usually need multiple cool-down periods. Fine, back to individual YouTube linking it is.]

QUARTER FOUR
53. Paul Gross – Due South Theme
High winds in the northern sky will carry you away
You know you have to leave here
You wish that you could stay


I instantly shunned it the first time I heard the wonderful music being ruined by this voice. Several months later, Dad checked out Due South again, I gave the song another shot, and realized it has perfect lyrics. Now embracing it as a folksy tune. The harmonica is a particularly nice touch.

54. Tori Amos – Seaside
Shells fired out
Flowers mowed down
Innocence targeted
Whose god is this?
Wished that she had one more day


For 5 years, I have been meaning to listen to the extra tracks not on the regular Scarlet's Walk CD, since it is my favorite album in the world. I finally decided to dive in. This shot to the top of my list, so haunting in every way.

55. Lisa Hannigan – Lille (super quiet)
He went to sea for the day
He wanted to know what to say
When he's asked what he's done
In the past to someone
That he loved endlessly
Now she's gone, and so is he


A little nursery-rhyme-like song. Lots of charming bell and xylophone work.

November
56. Nellie McKay - The Dog Song
If you need a companion
Well, just go right to the pound
And find yourself a hound

How adorable is this love letter to woman's best friend? It's got a distinctly bluesy edge to it I would normally dislike, but once you have seen Abby Sciuto wave a German Shepherd's paws around to it, it eventually becomes imperative to your life.

57. Joshua Radin – Winter
And I remember the sound
Of your November downtown

Watch the same Scrubs episode over and over, eventually the end is going to earworm its way into your brain, and since you already let him on the list once... Soft & sad.

58. Glee Cast – America
Everything free in America
For a small fee in America

Everyone, please welcome Glee's belated but triumphant return to the Music List. Try not to laugh too hard at the ridiculously affected accents. They're what made me pick this out of all the other West Side Story songs, and it's cleaner and smoother overall than the movie version.

59. Glee Cast (Warblers) – Uptown Girl
She's getting tired of her high class toys
And all her presents from her uptown boys

I cannot stress to you enough how happy and joyous this is. It's like an instant cure for depression.

60. Glee Cast (Matthew Morrison/Idina Menzel) – You and I/You and I
And I know in time, we'll build the dreams we treasure

Unrecognizable Lady Gaga, with all the bad lines stripped out and replaced with parts from an appealing, laid-back country song
that is the musical backbone of this mash up. Did I mention it's with two of the prettiest voices on the show in an extremely rare and limited-time combination?

61. Shakira – Why Wait
If there are no witnesses, there is no crime

62. Shakira – Good Stuff
The grass is much greener with us on it

Two more off the album that didn't make the cut in time for September, now I'm much more into them. Both more for music than lyrics, without being able to specify exactly what about the music I like on either one.

[LIST EXTRA (#20b.): Glee Cast (Chris Colfer/Darren Criss) – Perfect
The boys just have so much fun with it that I can no longer remember liking Pink's version at all. This song makes me impossibly happy. It is already the third-most-played track in my library.]

December
I am going to start out hitting you with a bunch of Christian music, because “No Greater Love” was a hilariously bad script with worse acting, but its main soundtrack artist was pitch-perfect.

63. Michelle Tumes - Caelum Infinitum
Under the leaves of clementine
Bathed by the moon at eventide

Quite a bit like Enya, actually, just with more overt references to God. But there's also lovely scenic description and beautiful vocals that turned this into Instant Song Love. Go ahead, see if the video set to Chronicles of Narnia doesn't convince you what kind of song it is.

64. Michelle Tumes – Lovely Day
Let the sunlight face you when your life is gray
This, on the other hand, is a fast-paced and happy bit of celebration, like a Disney starlet or possibly kiddie music. But I'm also pretty sure it's not possible to listen to it without smiling.

65. Michelle Tumes – Yearning
Flashing through my memory
You're the good throughout my history

Weak link in this batch of four, but not quite enough for me to drop it – I like the decisive strings that open it and the contrast between the fast pace and the bridge to the chorus. And maybe the horse video decided it. Whatever.

66. Michelle Tumes – Heaven's Heart (extra quiet track)
Heaven's hope was written in the stars before the mark of time
Your heart and mine were destined to entwine

And dial it down to a somewhat calmer beat, the closest thing to a ballad in the group.

67. Tori Amos – Operation Peter Pan
Pedro says I will forget him in days
In my new life, no room for a lost boy
Boys can be so dumb sometimes


And back to more extra-hidden treasures from Scarlet's Walk. Disappointingly short, but a lovely, wistful little melody accompanied by little more than acoustic guitar. As a bonus, looking up the title taught me a bit of interesting history.

68. Tori Amos – Ruby Through The Looking Glass
When I said I wanted it all
Doesn't every woman want it all?

It's one of those titles that says “love me,” and fortunately backs up this claim with lots of rippling piano to create a moody ambiance.

69. Glee Cast – We Are Young
The angels never arrived
But I can hear the choir

Oh, you know. Just another entry in the “Glee music makes me so impossibly happy” contest, “full group numbers about the whole club loving each other's company” division.

70. Morrowind/Skyrim Theme Medley
As alerted to me by makeyourmoment, a YouTube piano/violin duet sensation with some added haunting vocals. It is an indescribably gorgeous instrumental. And also one of the few times it's actually interesting to watch the video. Look, they've even provided a handy song download link.

71. Glee Cast (ft. Darren Criss/Lea Michele) - Extraordinary Merry Christmas
Won’t you meet me by the tree
Slip away so secretly

I'm determined to salvage something from this episode, musically speaking. This one showcases both the basic pop music requirement* and my favorite male/female student vocal pairing of all time. (*seriously, I keep thinking this is either a Disney starlet cover, or something that has been played on a K-Mart commercial instead of an original song)

72. Sarah McLachlan – River
It don't snow here, it stays pretty green

Glee covered it perfectly well, but it reminded me that I heard this on the radio once and never got around to looking it up. Turns out this is one of those rare times I flat-out prefer something over Lea Michele's work – I think Sarah gives it more depth, and I also prefer the slower tempo.

73. Glee Cast (Darren Criss/Chris Colfer) – Let It Snow
Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful

Fine. FINE. You can be more than just a performance. That is how little willpower I have against these two now, they perfected a song I normally dislike anyway and which should just be ridiculous for two guys to sing (Baby It's Cold Outside, I'm looking at you!). I love how it's jazzy and super fast and really does sound like a show tune instead of a proper duet. When was the last time you heard me say I loved something because it was jazzy? Scat singing is normally the bane of my existence – here, favorite part. SO MUCH DELIGHTFULNESS.

74. Glee Cast (Heather Morris) – Christmas Wrapping
Had his number but never the time
Most of '81 passed along those lines

One by one they come trickling in at the end...I suspect the original of this is just fine, but it was a pain to find a clear-sounding copy online so I went the easy route. Perfect factory-produced pop sound, with a cute story hidden inside. I particularly love the trumpet section.

75. Oasis – Wonderwall
And all the roads we have to walk are winding

I finally heard this for the first time yesterday, and I'm pretty sure it's nothing but subtle peer pressure that is making me think I like it, because wasn't it pretty much ubiquitous at one point? (except in my corner of the world) I know there was a reason I avoided looking it up prior to now, but I can't figure out why. It feels more radio-friendly and less...hipster indie popular-with-college-students-sounding, but is that right? Tell me how to feel, people who know my heart! Note: I reserve the right to cut this off the list in the future, since it's conveniently the last one of the year. [edit: okay, it stays. I'm weak willed and highly suggestible!]
----------
Bonus: as I conclude my year-in-review traditions, here are the
Posting Tallies
January: 25
February: 22
March: 23
April: 23
May: 29
June: 24
July: 25
August: 19 (lowest)
September: 25
October: 23
November: 22
December: 32 (highest. though, in fairness, 3 of those were reading/movie lists and 1 was a feelings explosion, all on the last day.)

By Day
Sunday: 50 (this makes sense -- it's the only day I never have any work either assigned or due, except once a month)
Monday: 36
Tuesday: 47
Wednesday: 42
Thursday: 39
Friday: 40
Saturday: 38

Total: 292, or posting, on average, approximately 80% of the days in a year. Good work, Self.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
muzzy_olorea
Jan. 2nd, 2012 10:15 am (UTC)
Nellie McKay - The Dog Song

I have loved this song ever since I first heard it on Season 2 of 'Grey's Anatomy. Since I am dog-less, I sent it to my friend who has may dogs and he still listens to it when he's out walking his dogs.


Sarah McLachlan – River

LOVE her version, even more than the original. One of my favourite Christmas songs!


Oasis – Wonderwall

I feel sorry for you that you have just discovered this song. LOL. It is probably one of the big defining songs of my generation in the UK - the one song that everyone knows the words to. It's used a lot in fandom generally. I would never recommend Oasis to you as a band as I know what music you like but this song is a keeper.

Most people would consider all of Oasis to be radio-friendly and definitely not indie. Mainstream British rock band, I think is closer to the mark. They actually pioneered the "Britpop" genre but since I still don't know what that means, go with mainstream rock.
rainbowstevie
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Awesome, I am even more blind about Wonderwall than I thought! Thanks for the context, that's both interesting and helpful.

I admit, The Dog Song does pop into my head a lot unbidden when I'm out with Kym...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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