Wednesday, December 22, 2010

(Other) Best of 2010, Part 2: Instrumental

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Today I’m bringing you Part 2 of Loose Lips’ 2010 Wrap-Up/’Other’ Best, but these songs are of a bit different nature than those I posted yesterday.
After recent repeated journeys through my music library, I realized I hadn’t posted nearly enough of the instrumental music I loved this year. In fact, according to Loose Lips’ archives I hardly posted any. Consequently, I decided that these next 10 songs (11 actually, but I’ll get to that in a second) should serve to fill in all the posting gaps I had this year. Unlike those electronic songs posted yesterday, these 11 instrumental songs (‘instrumental’ meaning music made by a traditional band/solo artist setup, or ‘music that would still sound ok without electricity’) do represent my top 10 ‘best’ or most favorite of the year. Unlike yesterday, where I simply posted the songs in alphabetical order, today’s list is ordered by preference, with the exception of song 11. Song 11 (Kanye) actually might be my number one, but doesn’t quite fit into the ‘instrumental’ criteria, so I chose to tack it on as an afterthought. These songs span a multitude of genres, from pop rock to blues to psychedelic to soul, and everything in between. Despite the discrepancy, they’re all fantastic, and deserved more attention that a quick write-up in a year-end list. In retrospect I wish I had gotten around to it. Thank goodness there’s always next year.

***Update: December 27th, 2010:
I've received a notice of Copyright Violation on this post from the DMCA. I don't know what song the claim is for, so until I figure that out I'm taking off all of the possible violators until I can discern the culprit. They're still available for streaming, so listen away.

1. Tightrope (ft. Big Boi)—Janelle Monáe [from The ArchAndroid]

This is the song of 2010. Ms. Monáe crafted the most creative, genre-encompassing, fresh, and inspiring work of the year, and Tightrope serves as its crown jewel.
If you need any further proof of Monáe's genius, watch the music video:

2. Undercover Martyn—Two Door Cinema Club [from Tourist History]

Two Door Cinema Club exploded onto the scene this year with their unique yet familiar brand of youthful, exuberant power-pop.

3. Tighten Up—The Black Keys [from Brothers]

The Black Keys had been on my radar for years, but it wasn’t until 2010’s release of Brothers that they got my full attention. After polishing and er, tightening up, Brothers saw the band doing what they had always done...but better.

4. Lucidity—Tame Impala [from InnerSpeaker]

I always tell people that Tame Impala sound exactly like post-acid Beatles. However, I don’t think they should be faulted for that, because sounding like the Beatles (in any of their incarnations) could never be less than ‘a good thing.’

5. Come and Get It—Eli Paperboy Reed [from Come And Get It]

2010 saw an emergence in neo-soul music, and may I say, it’s about time. Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed is a white boy who sings like a black angel, and Come and Get It serves to erase any doubts you might have regarding race as a factor in making excellent soul music.

6. Revival—Deerhunter [from Halcyon Digest]

Deerhunter is another band that I had known about for years but never paid much attention until 2010. This is probably the only rock song about Jesus that I’ll ever love, or even tolerate for that matter.

7. Freak Out—Tapes ‘n Tapes

Minnesota’s Tapes ‘n Tapes are set to release a full length in early 2011, but gave away Freak Out this fall as part of a promotional campaign for the album. Thank goodness they did, as there was no better song of 2010 to help me put my shit in perspective.

8. Go Outside—Cults [from Cults 7”]

Released by Forest Family Records, I loved this song even before I started interning for the label. Cults—who just signed to Sony—are going places, and in summer’s perfect big-sky-fresh-air anthem, urge you to do the same.

9. Boyfriend—Best Coast [from Crazy For You]

Indie rocks reigning princess and marijuana don, Benthany Consentino (lead singer/guitarist for Best Coast) proved that stoners can a) have feelings and b) make great music, too.

10. I Walked—Sufjan Stevens [from The Age of Adz]

2010 marked a change in pace for everyone’s favorite folk hero, Sufjan Stevens. He ditched the banjo in favor of synthesizers, which in turn served as a kind of microcosm for the state of independent music today. Despite the lack of Americana on the album, Sufjan’s poignant and moving lyricism is no less profound.

11. Bonus: Lost In the World—Kanye West ft. Bon Iver [from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy]

What’s left to say about Kanye that hasn’t already been said by the man himself? My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was everything he promised it would be, and perhaps a little more. Though it's a hard call to make, Lost In The World is probably my favorite track on what is an absolute masterpiece of an album.

Check back tomorrow for Part 3: (Other) Best Remixes

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