This list is not a collection of obvious singles or hits, but simply the best individual songs (in my opinion) that have come out in 2007. They include flashy pop dance songs, eccentric indie rock, and one or two songs from Sweden. They were the most-played songs on my iPod in 2007, and they are all available to buy ala carte on iTunes (well worth the 99 cents). This is the ultimate 07 playlist!
20) Animal Collective, “Peacebone” – Like nothing you’ve heard all year, trust me. Sample lyric: It was a jugular vein in a juggler’s girl / It was supposedly leaking most interesting colors.
19) LCD Soundsystem “Someone Great” – This mesmerizing 80s-sounding track is a standout on the fantastic Sound of Silver. Sample lyric: I wish that we could talk about it / But there, that’s the problem.
18) Amy Winehouse, “Love is a Losing Game” – Much more chill and old-school than “Rehab,” with a great David Lynch/1950s prom dance sound. Sample lyric: Self-professed, profound, ’til the tips were down / Know you’re a gambling man, love is a losing hand.
17) Band of Horses, “Ode to LRC” – An ebullient little gem from the sweetest-sounding album of the year. Sample lyric: The world is such a wonderful place /La di da, La di da, La di da, La di da.
16) Britney Spears, “Break the Ice” – Britney’s new album was packed full of deliciously produced dance tracks, and this one is perhaps the best. Sample lyric: Won’t you warm up to me / Baby I can make you feel hot hot hot hot.
15) Of Montreal, “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger” – A wonderfully out-there song with some very danceable beats and memorable lyrics. Sample lyric: I spent the winter with my nose buried in a book / While trying to restructure my character
14) Jens Lekman, “The Opposite of Hallellujah” – A breezy summer tune from a Motown-happy Swede. Sample lyric: I took my sister down to the ocean, but the ocean made me feel stupid.
13) Justice, “Genesis” – When this song lifts off around the 0:40 mark, just try not to dance. Sample lyric: There are no lyrics. Just amazing beats.
12) Kanye West, “Stronger” – The Daft Punk sample makes for the hottest Kanye track in a long time. Sample lyric: You know how long I’ve been on ya? Since prince was on Appolonia / Since OJ had Isotoners.
11) Explosions in the Sky, “The Birth and Death of the Day” – The majestic, heart-soaring instrumental song of the year from Austin’s premier post-rock outfit. Sample lyric: none (instrumental).
10) Rilo Kiley, “Silver Lining” – A great, twangy alt-country tune with silky-smooth vocals by Jenny Lewis. Sample lyric: I was your silver lining, but now I’m gold.
9) Bjork, “Earth Intruders” – Bjork makes a striking(ly odd) comeback with this Timbaland-produced single from her new album Volta . Sample lyric: There is turmoil out there / Carnage! Rambling! / What is to do but dig / dig bones out of earth.
8) Radiohead, “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi” – One of about six Radiohead songs that could have made it on this list. Sample lyric: In the deepest ocean / The bottom of the sea / Your eyes they turn me.
7) Eddie Vedder, “Guaranteed” – This beautiful song from the Into the Wild soundtrack is “guaranteed” to get an Oscar nomination for best original song. Sample lyric: Circles they grow and they swallow people whole / Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they’ll never know.
6) Rufus Wainwright “Slideshow” – Rufus is the king of making the mundane melodramatic, and this epic tirade is a perfect example. Sample lyric: And I better be prominently featured in your next slideshow / Because I paid a lot of money to get you over here, you know?
5) Over the Rhine, “The Trumpet Child” – The most gorgeously urgent and apocalyptic Over the Rhine song since “Changes Come.” Sample lyric: The trumpet child will blow his horn / Will blast the sky till it’s reborn / With Gabriel’s power and Satchmo’s grace / He will surprise the human race.
4) Peter, Bjorn and John, “Up Against the Wall” – You’ve probably heard it on one of those trendy Levi’s 501 commercials, but it’s truly one of the most satisfying songs of the year. Sample lyric: You slap just like a wake-up call / The bruises on the face don’t bother me at all.
3) Arcade Fire “Intervention” – The use of pipe organ in this powerful song is simply astounding. Sample Lyric: Working for the church while your family dies / You take what they give you and you keep it inside.
2) The National, “Ada” – Horns and glistening piano accent the brooding vocals and forlorn Gatsby imagery of this luxurious song. Sample lyric: Stand inside an empty tuxedo with grapes in my mouth, waiting for Ada.
1) Andrew Bird, “Scythian Empire” – An exquisite, timely song that captures the zeitgeist with heartbreaking eloquence. Sample lyric: Their Halliburton attaché cases are useless / While scotch guard Macintoshes shall be carbonized.