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Best Songs of 2007

It would be great to list the best albums of 2007, but since album-making is virtually a dead art (sad, but true), I’d rather honor some of the coolest songs of the year.

I used to be really strict about release dates. (In other words, for me to list a song on my year-end best of list, it had to be released in that calendar year.) But in recent years, I’ve mellowed on that rule a bit. Partly because I run in different circles now, and don’t always have a promo copy four months in advance of an album’s release. (And anyway, people are releasing stuff right after they get it mixed nowadays, so there’s not as long of a wait for albums to come out as there used to be.)

The other reason is that, like movies, the best music has a way of getting released in the second half of the year. So, while something might have been released in the the fall of 2006, it may have made its greatest impact on listeners (i.e. me) in early 2007, and so on. (Case in point: Three of the albums I listened to most this year (John Legend’s Once Again , Razorlight’s eponymous sophomore effort, and The Kooks’ Inside In/ Inside Out) were actually released in 2006, but just kept keeping on, ya know?)

OK, so let’s get to it:

The Five BEST OVERALL Songs of 2007:

Kiss the Sky by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra feat. Nino Moschella

When Your Mind’s Made Up by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

Love Is All Around by Sloan

Australia by The Shins

Sunday Morning by K-OS

The Five COOLEST Songs of 2007:

Heretics by Andrew Bird

Objects of My Affection by Peter Bjorn and John

Wet and Rusting by Menomena

No One’s Gonna Love You by Band of Horses

Like I Needed by Rogue Wave

The Five BEST Songs from Other Shores:

This is How It Goes by Missy Higgins (Australia)

Das Gute Gefuhl by Juli (Germany)

New York by Eskimo Joe (Australia)

Water by Blue King Brown (Australia)

UFO by Sneaky Sound System (Australia)

The Five BEST Songs released in 2007 that could have sucked but turned out to be really good:

Ever Present Past by Paul McCartney

Running Man by Hanson

Don’t Stop Now by Crowded House

Sing by Annie Lennox

Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen

Best Singalong Girl Song of the Year:

Love Song by Sara Bareilles

Best Comeback Song:

Miracles by Arrested Development

Top Five FUN Songs of 2007

Tell Me ‘Bout It by Joss Stone

Take My Time by Junior Senior

Grace Kelly by Mika

Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5 (OK, give me hell, but this had a great melody.)

Ruby by Kaiser Chiefs

Best moody and/or chill and/or groovy songs of 2007:

The Trumpet Child by Over the Rhine

Joy by Ledisi

Rich Girls by The Virgins

Where Do We Go From Here by Alicia Keys

State of Clarity by Guru featuring Common & Bob James

Djin Djin (Featuring Alicia Keys & Branford Marsalis) by Angelique Kidjo

Best Remake:

Gone Daddy Gone by Gnarls Barkley

The Ten BEST Songs not released in 2007 that were still cool hanging around from 2006:

Crosses by Zero 7

America by Razorlight

Postcards From Italy by Beirut

Once More With Feeling by Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly

Goodbye by the Postmarks

Take it From Me by The Weepies

Satellite by Guster

Rusted Wheel by Silversun Pickups

Love is Something by MoZella

And I was A Boy From School by Hot Chip

Honorable Mention/ Best of the Rest:

Apartment Story by The National

Waiting Game by Lightspeed Champion

Delivery by Babyshambles

One Night Stand by the Pipettes

It’s All True (Radio Edit) by Tracey Thorn

No More Empty Words by The Thrills

Take Me to the Riot by Stars

Say It All by Sondre Lerche

Entertaining Thoughts by Over The Rhine

A Man In Love by Nick Lowe

Nothing Left to Lose by Mat Kearney

Right Moves by Josh Ritter

Tonight by Hard-FI

Told You So by The Guggenheim Grotto

Be Good or Be Gone by Fionn Regan

Never Be Lonely by The Feeling

Under Cloud by David Kilgour

I Still Remember by Bloc Party

When DId Your Heart Go Missing? by Rooney

The Only Evidence by John Ralston

Matter of Time by Tahiti 80

Kiss Me by Uncut

Nite Runner by Duran Duran

Save Yourself by The Colour

If You Fall by Azure Ray

History Song by The Good, The Bad And The Queen

Strange Lights by Deerhunter

We Made the Team by The Radio Dept.

Cardigan Weather by Meg & Dia

Don’t Wake Me Up by The Hush Sound

We Can Work It Out by Dislocation Dance

Passing the Hat by Cold War Kids

Golden by Brookville

White People for Peace by Ben Lee

Older songs I listened to a bunch this year for some crazy reason:

Thieves Like Us by New Order

On the Horizon by Melanie C

All Possibilities by Badly Drawn Boy

Hey Mockingbird by Dillon Fence

Remind Me by Royksopp

Alcohol, Pt. 1by Robert Jay

Galvanize by The Chemical Brothers

The BEST WTF!?! Song of the Year:

Patience by Take That (Brilliant chorus, that!)

Top Ten general comments on the year, good and bad:

1.I’m all for quirky girl singers, but, thanks to Grey’s Anatomy, video iPods, and other crazy influencers in this brave new digital world, there were WAY too many Cat Power wannabes this year. Chan is an original, please don’t imitate her!

2.This is the first year since 1992 that I wasn’t annoyed by someone trying to sing like Kurt Cobain (or actually like bad early fake grunge such as Creed). Vocals in general have really gone back to a smoother, more pop-influenced style, leaving post-grunge, aggro, and other annoying styles in the past (a trend I have been waiting for for fifteen years!)

3.Only parents will understand this: High School Musical could have been much worse. Let’s thank our lucky stars that Kenny Ortega has some decent friends in the music biz.

4. Bruce Springsteen made his best album since Born in the USA

5.Joss Stone is the real deal.

6.New Order and Joy Division finally got their due, thanks to Control, but we lost Tony Wilson. : (

7.Look out for Missy Higgins. I think she’ll be big in these here parts.

8.Australia still counts (see #8).

9.I am undecided about In Rainbows. I want to love it, because lord knows, I was one of the first three US journalists to interview them MONTHS before Pablo Honey was released back in 92, and that I went on to interview them several more times and see them live on many occasions …

10. Never underestimate the power of pop music. Rock ‘n’ Roll may be dying, but great melodies will live on forever!


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