Top Tracks of 2007

Can we still do this? Mad late, but hey, it’s been busy with this and that.

OK, 2007 wasn’t a vintage year at all. But here are my Top Ten tracks. I try to keep to those released in 2007, but occasionally ya gotta make allowances for genius that just didn’t reach my ears til this year. Largely I’ve got fantastic standalone tracks that either I listened to a lot, demanded attention or are just classics in their fields.

I’ve dropped tracks by Rufus Wainwright, Prefab Sprout and others, who made fantastic albums (and that’s for another day).

In reverse then….

10. To Build A Home * Cinematic Orchestra feat. Patrick Watson

Lovely, brooding track that at first I thought featured cutie Tom Baxter. Cinematic Orchestra always struck me as one of those wanky beardo post-chill out acts that cool-people-that-don’t-really-like-music liked. But then I heard this and I realised that it was the first track of theirs I had ever heard. I’m a judgemental bastard really. Sorry.

09. Freewheel * Duke Special

Northern Irish accent, orange dreadlocks… it really shouldn’t work, but alarmingly it does. Beautiful video and a bona fide thrilling pop song. The lightly remixed single version is the one to seek out as it enhances the album version exponentially (see also Eve, The Apple of my Eye by Bell X1).

08. Standing in the Way of Control * The Gossip

Because it makes you feel like you’re 22 again. And it gives you a legitimate reason to mosh. Works equally well in the club (as I discovered). I do hope they won’t be one hit wonders, but then again, I didn’t exactly race for their album. Oh well, they could have a much worse legacy.

07. People Help the People * Cherry Ghost

They’re British? How odd that some Sasanachs could produce this delicious slice of Americana. Quite the anthem. Another wonderful video, and in about 7 years time, some annoying Dutch DJ will sample the opening bars and get some birds to lose their clothes in the video. And it will be number 1 for three weeks.

06. Let Me Lead You to Heaven (Finest Dream) * And If feat. Alison Limerick

Yes, dance music is vacuous and only really makes sense if you’re off your head, but every now and then a track transcends. This was an instrumental originally; an insistent house track with gorgeously sad violins that made you question if this would work on the dancefloor at all. Then they got Alison Limerick in to warble some bobbins about multiplication or suchlike and everyone rushed to download it and sent it to number 4. Except they didn’t. I’m quietly confident that it’ll crack the Top 50 on reissue in 2010. You heard it here first, pop kids.

PS: The youtube version is crap. Seek out the proper version for full bliss effect.

05. Hustler * Simian Mobile Disco

SMD were one of 2007’s darlings (although the album is a tad yawnsome). This track just belts you in the gob, wafts poppers under your nose, steals your wallet and leaves you wanting more. Dancefloor mayhem. Funky as fuck.

Video is good/disturbing too.

04. Real Life * Joan as Police Woman

Occasionally an act makes a fantastic album and then chooses the wrong tracks to release as singles. Joan Wasser’s bunch of trendies is one such act. Imagine writing, scoring and performing an utterly flawless and tear-inducing song like this and then releasing Flushed fucking Chest? Then again her chums Rufus and Antony do this all the time.

This is the type of stunning song that if your boyfriend put it on a compilation for you, you’d know it was forever.

Wow.

03. Calm Down Dearest * Jamie T

Chavvy geezer as Next Big Thing back in Dec 2006. Again, I didn’t expect to like this, but it’s a tale of impoverished urban life in London delivered in a proper accent (there was a lot of that in ’07 Lily Allen & Kate Nash at the posher end), and it’s all rather saddening. And then he puts these strings behind it and the goosebumps appear on the back of your neck as you’re walking to work and holding back a blub.

02. The Funeral * Band of Horses

With which Enda reveals yet again his soft spot for HUGE Americana. It’s an anthem, it’s American, it’s from a boring album, it’s a.m.a.z.i.n.g. I know nothing about Band of Horses except Pitchfork or Stylus (RIP) probably shot their wad about them at some point and I downloaded this piece of art that makes one think that Americans quite often do it better actually.

01. With Every Heartbeat * Robyn with Kleerup

Ah, an “I-told-you-so” moment. Check back to my Top 40 of 2006 and see what I predicted would be in my 2007 chart. I didn’t realise that it would actually be at number 1!

And it also managed to reach the top of the UK charts, had a sympathetic remix by Pete Tong, and generally rehabilitate Robyn and make people look once again at Scandinavia as the place where the best melancholic pop is made (Sally Shapiro, Susanna & the Magical Orchestra, Jens Lekman etc etc). I also visited Sweden for the first time and was hugely impressed with the individualistic civility of the place. Swedes rock.

There is nothing wrong with this track. It’s got hooks, passion, nice synth sounds and enough HappySadness to keep an Abba reunion afloat for a month. Plus, it’s the only CD single I bought in 2007. Now that’s success….

And the also rans….

  • Jimmy * M.I.A.
  • Fool That I Am * Kula Shaker (yes, really)
  • Say It Right * Nelly Furtado
  • The Way I Are * Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson & DOE
  • Don’t Stop Believing * Journey (a HUGE hit in Ireland after The Sopranos finale)
  • US Placers * Lupe Fiasco feat. Kanye West & Pharell (samples Thom Yorke. No, really)
  • Blowing Snow * Marco Raaphorst
  • Spirit (Wanna Stay Here Forever) (Original Mix) * Fonzerelli
  • O Superman (Tribute to Sunsetpeople)* MANDY vs Booka Shade feat. Laurie Anderson
  • Relax, Take It Easy * MIKA
  • Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors * Editors
  • Don’t Give It Up * Siobhan Donaghy
  • Valerie * Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse
  • Stop Me * Mark Ronson feat. Daniel Merriweather
  • Soul Heaven (Fonzerelli Mix) * Henrik B feat. Terri B.
  • Overpowered * Roísín Murphy
  • Gothenburg * Mira Hirasawa
  • Lyra * Kate Bush
  • Uninvited * Freemasons feat. Bailey Tzuke
  • All Freemasons remixes of Beyoncé
  • Walking with a Ghost * Tegan & Sara
  • Don’t Go * Frooty Collective feat. Cloella
  • Rule the World * Take That
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9 comments

  1. orn

    maybe im tad stupid, but isn’t the top 5 missing, and why haven’t I heard any of these songs, one is obviously not hip and cool and with it anymore 😦

  2. alan

    excellent developments. It’s NEVER too late for an end of year best of compilation. I predicted you’d have Robyn there somewhere.

    What are your thoughts on Rufus does Judy? I think I remember you went to see that live right? I’m half avoiding the album… I can’t help think it’ll be SO self-indulgent of Rufus… Am I wrong? Will I love it?

  3. eguinan

    Orn: sorted now, and rather liked your own best of 2007. We share a soft spot for the Swedes and the Timbalands, I see…

    Alan: I know exactly what you’re talking about. This whole thing could very easily have become “I’m an amazing *artiste* and I’m lovingly reinterpreting these amazing songs as a tribute to another amazing *artiste*; watch as I emote…”. Instead, Rufus does Judy is hugely enjoyable. He takes the piss, forgets the words here and there, Martha does a star turn, Lorna Luft hams it up more than a crate of Spam, and the whole thing just fizzes by! I think he is aware that it’s all just silly fun!

  4. doctor kitteh

    americana?
    sounds more like grungey brit to me.

    if you want quintessential americana then look no further than the gin blossoms or counting crows.
    all american rejects and the like as well.

    my 2 cents mr guinan.

  5. eguinan

    Dr Kitteh: I understand ‘Americana’ to be slightly country-tinged or generally mature non-photogenic guys with beards being sad. Counting Crows et al to me are commercial rock or AOR – just a little too glossy/generic for my tastes! (Although I know you LOVE them, don’t you, don’t you?????)

    Orn; ‘Tis true. He made three great solo singles, two fab Nelly F ones, a Bjork and even Trousersnake wasn’t bad.

  6. robin

    Cherry Ghost’s ‘Thirst For Romance’ album was probably my most treasured of ’07. However there remain plenty of items on your list for me to discover and explore, which is just the way it should be. Cheers Enda.

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