Here is the begining of the end of the year wrapp up from your old friend Rollins. Lots of awesome songs. So lets get into it.
1. None Shall Pass – Aesop Rock from the None Shall Pass CD on Def Jux Records
While I’ve had a difficult time fully compressing the None Shall Pass full length the leading single pretty much kills any song that was released this year. I mean this song is what hip hop is all about as far as I am concerned. Head nodding, rapid fire freestyle feeling lyrics that just utterly destroy over a smooth sonic jam and catch hook. Aesop is not known for being catchy or accessible, and the album is certainly in line with that but this song can not be forgotten or ignored. Aesop is a master behind the mic and knows how to use his voice, imagery, beats and music to draw you in. He drops the science on growing old on this album and with in this central track that he builds around we find a frustrated Aesop spitting the madness of growing out of juvenile bullshit while others linger with in. Aesop kills and scores the top spot of the Dynamic Def Jux who had a great 20008.
2. Bakin’ Soda – Hangar 18 from the Sweep the Leg CD on Def Jux Records
This song should be all over MTV, droping out of every car in the city, getting remix treatment by Pharell or whoever the hell hip hop thinks is hot now and pretty much making you understand where hip hop comes from, which is of course PARTYING. This song is straight up fun to listen to, funny to think about (it’s a euphemism for crack, but not neccessarily the kind you smoke) and makes me want to go balls out and just freak out in my house. It defines as far as I am concerned the ethos of Hangar 18 which is to smile, have a good time, get down and love life. This is what Hip Hop can be, what hip hop is and what hip hop should be. Def Jux takes the one and two spot with the dance tracks of the year. It’s fucking scary.
3. Demon(s) – Darkest Hour – From the Save Us CD on Victory
Darkest Hours are from DC, I’ve watched them from the very early days when I went to school with some of them and have always hoped for their success and it appears this melodic death metal band is getting their due with their new album. Demon(s) finds the band working with in their genre but putting out a catchy songs that even the casual jock rock listener could get into. And what’s more John Hennry rocks a little melody into the mix as Schleibaum and Co thrash eternal behind him. This album was the album I have been waiting for Darkest Hour to make and this song is the the sweet necter that has made the harvest of the last ten years worth it. Jump around and break shit and sing the bro hymms with these DC destroyers. You’ll feel better I assure you.
4. England – Bloc Party – from The Prayer EP on Vice Recordings
This gem of a song was left off of A Weekend in the City and I think it’s a real shame and does a great disservice to that record. It’s abscence in my opinion really weakens the album as a whole because this song is just so beautiful. It is simple, lush with clean, shimmering guitars shining over a simple beat and Kele Okereke’s wet voice. The song was written as a snapshot of the ugly violence and racism that scratches at the surface of the English culture describing the beating of a youth by a gang of bored kids. It’s one of the most touching, emotionally evocotive songs I have heard in a long time and hopefully more people will find this song stateside, because while it is England specific in it’s delivery the horror is univeral and true of the ugliness that plauges modern global cultures.
5. Bottle of Buckie – Ted Leo – from the Living with the Living CD on Touch and Go
So I truly couldn’t follow a lot of Teddy’s new full length but damn if this song is not one of the best songs this guy has ever written. Hands down this song just kicks ass. It’s a fast driving song, that is perfectly tempered and just gushes the obvious influence of the Pouges that only someone as awesome as Ted could do. If you love Ted Leo and his work, this song reminds you why it’s okay to keep the faith despite some of his odder decissions (I mean a reggae song dude – it just doesn’t make sense) after all it has a pan flute solo in it but it still sounds awesome. I can’t even get over how fun this song is and how it was an example of why sometimes you just have to give artists the benefit of the doubt. Plus it goes out on some awesome Billy Bragg esque soloing. I mean the dude knows.
So those are my five favorite songs for 2007. I am gonna do a top ten compliation for you folks at the end of the year. Hopefuly this week I will get a chance to write about Album #5 (which might be about three different albums because the #5 position was a difficult one to choose this year). I am checking out Hangar 18 tommorow at DC9 (begrudgingly – that club is uncool but not in that hipster way, though the hipsters probably think it’s uncool for other reasons). Also I finally got Definace Ohio’s THE FEAR THE FEAR THE FEAR and it sounds great. If The Great Depression sounded this good that album probably would have been one of my favorites but THE FEAR THE FEAR THE FEAR is just what I was hoping it would be. So here is the first entry for 2008 (I know it’s 2007 still but I’m gonna let this one have a shot at being the first 2008 entry). Looking forward to the new Paint It Black album which after one track is getting me so hyped. Del The Funkee Hompsapien is dropping science on us via Def Jux which has me pumped. Pop Punkers Lemuria have a new album out in the OhAte as well so the begining of 008 is looking pretty boss if you ask me.
Top 5 albums dropping soon. Thanks for stopping by.