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Sunday, December 30, 2007

wongie top songs of 2007: #1 rihanna - umbrella


rihanna - umbrella [link 2]
[whether you loved this song or not, there's no denying that 'umbrella' broke through all musical boundaries and became one of those songs that EVERYBODY could sing along to. featuring a kick ass thick drum loop (from apple's garageband program no less!) and unfortunate repetitive wordplay, rihanna really lucked out with this one (heck, her whole album is a minor miracle since she's not the best singer around). still... it's my pick for the best song of the year. i'll see you in 2008!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #2 peter bjorn and john feat victoria bergsman - young folks


peter bjorn and john feat victoria bergsman - young folks [link 2]
[the whistle that was heard around the world, 'young folks' was yet another end of 2006 song that played like crazy in 2007 (it was definitely the soundtrack of spring playing in every bar/club/clothing store i walked into). definitely a close contender for my #1 song of the year.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #3 glen hansard and marketa irglova - falling slowly


glen hansard and marketa irglova - falling slowly [link 2]
[i could honestly watch this scene over and over again (i sort of do it already now that i bought the dvd of the film) and i still go into 'sigh' mode. the movie, the soundtrack and ultimately this very tune drew me in so deep that 2007 was easily the year of ONCE. i can't really add more to that except that if you haven't seen this film yet, then i implore you to watch it soon (especially if you love gentle guitar music, it would be a shame to miss this sweet experience).]

wongie top songs of 2007: #4 robyn feat kleerup - with every heartbeat


robyn feat kleerup - with every heartbeat [link 2]
[though this song was released as a radio only track in sweden late 2006, it wasn't until mid august (and the UK release of robyn's career/image changing self titled album) that brought this amazing heartbreaking tune into popular consciousness. to me, this was one of the saddest songs of the year made all the more addictive because of it's hypnotic beats that surround it. truly a brilliant piece of pop!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #5 kate nash - foundations


kate nash - foundations [link 2]
[the best description of a dysfunctional relationship was also one of the catchiest songs of the year. who knew that it could all come from a 20 year old pixie hipster? finding her audience via the power of myspace and blogs, kate stayed at the UK #2 singles spot for 5 weeks, making it one of the biggest hits of 2007. yeah the power of blogs!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #6 ingrid michaelson - the way i am


ingrid michaelson - the way i am
[i was part of the wave that discovered ingrid via greys anatomy at the end of 2006. but to see her ascent into mainstream culture via the old navy ad and now VH1 is pretty darn amazing (especially for a self released artist from staten island). DIY artists are really making their mark this year and i love nothing but to give them props when they deserve it!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #7 leona lewis - bleeding love


leona lewis - bleeding love [link 2]
[i had ALOT of hope that with the magic touch of clive davis at the helm, the debut release of xfactor winner leona lewis would be one of the better diva albums of the year. unfortunately that wasn't the case. but lucky for the talented bland girl, her 1st single continues to prove that a great song can really build a career. oh well... onto the next diva in waiting for 2008.]

Saturday, December 29, 2007

wongie top songs of 2007: (honorable mention) sugarland - stay


sugarland - stay [link 2]
[NOTE: WATCH THE VIDEO FIRST! ok, i'm kind of cheating here since i just discovered this song about an hour ago (it was late and they were showing a repeat of the 2007 CMA awards), but their live performance just blew me away. then i go online and i find myself watching the emotional video for this song a few times and BAM! i'm a new fan! i'm not the only one, sugarland members jennifer nettles and her partner kristian bush have released a surprise smash that has not only brought back their 2006 album into the top 20 this week but also non-country music listeners, like me, into their world. call me a cheeseball, but this song really works!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #8 feist - 1234


feist - 1234 [link 2]
[there's nothing more interesting than to see one of your favorite acts of 2007 get overexposed by a simple apple nano ad campaign, but then again, to see feist make the top 10 of the billboard pop charts as a result is also kind of cool. there's also the fact that this video is my favorite of the year and gosh how i wish i was one of the dancers!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #9 junior boys feat andi tomi - in the morning


junior boys feat andi tomi - in the morning [link 2]
[the barrage of syncopated bleeps and heavy breathing easily makes this the best electronic funk pop song of the year (even though the awesome album so this is goodbye was released in late 2006). can't wait to hear what this canadian duo have in store for 2008!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #10 groove armada feat mutya buena - song for mutya


groove armada feat mutya buena - song for mutya [link 2]
[there's something really humorous about this seriously overlooked summer gem. the lyrics crack me up ("that's who has replaced me, what a dis") and the total embracing of 80's new wave pop further makes the lack of crossover success a real shame for everyone involved.]

wongie top songs of 2007: (honorable mention) alicia keys - no one


alicia keys - no one [link 2]
[it's pretty amazing that alicia keys came out with a 3rd studio album (yes, only three albums to her name!) where song after song has the potential to stand the test of time. leading the pack is this bob marley inspired worldwide smash that drew people in almost instantly. like other honorable mentions of 2007, though i loved this song, i just didn't love it enough!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #11 amy winehouse - back to black


amy winehouse - back to black [link 2]
[taken from the album that just kept on buzzing with timeless hits, it's hard to imagine a period when the downward spiral of amy's personal life didn't overshadow her brilliant music. who knows if she'll ever be able to record a note again, but if she doesn't, these four minutes perfectly encapsulates the natural heartbreaking talent that she inhabits.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #12 franz ferdinand - all my friends (lcd soundsystem cover)


franz ferdinand - all my friends (lcd soundsystem cover) [link 2]
[not to deny the fact that lcd soundsystem released one of the best songs of the year, but the truth of the matter is that the franz ferdinand cover is just... better. since this version was commissioned by the lcd folks themselves, i don't feel so guilty about my choice.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #13 timbaland feat keri hilson and d.o.e. - the way i are


timbaland feat keri hilson and d.o.e. - the way i are [link 2]
[at first this just sounded like a reject from the futuresex/lovesounds sessions, but then after repeated (most not voluntary) listens, i quickly realised just how simple, genius and timeless the whole song plays. easily one of the best club tunes of the year.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #14 the dears - you and i are a gang of losers


the dears - you and i are a gang of losers [link 2]
[due to sheer random forces, this song kept on showing up on my ipod while i was walking around town feeling extra wistful (there's nothing more powerful for a song than having NYC as your visual accompanist). add to the fact that i love lead singer murray lightburn's voice and you pretty much get how this love song for the lonely made it to my #14.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #15 rihanna - don't stop the music


rihanna - don't stop the music [link 2]
[this stargate (irreplaceable) production is pure unabashed merriment (mary-ment is more like it!). with a classic michael jackson hook that just takes the song to another level, it's amazing how many wonderful songs came out of rihanna's good girl gone bad album (and at least two more singles to come). the power of great a&r and ALOT of production money!]

Friday, December 28, 2007

wongie top songs of 2007: #16 j. holiday - bed


j. holiday - bed [link 2]
[there's something so off kilter and electronic about this r&b song that i was sure it was written by the timbaland hitmaking machine. so imagine my surprise when i found out that singer/songwriter 'the dream' was the culprit behind it all (plus he wrote rihanna's "umbrella"). definitely THE producer to work with in the coming months, my take on this song is that it's a piece of songwriting genius, if you ask me.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #17 bat for lashes - what's a girl to do


bat for lashes - what's a girl to do [link 2]
[2007 marked a wondrous year for natasha khan and her band of merry faeries. not only did bat for lashes garner a surprising nomination for the prestigious mercury prize (and was the bookie favorite to win), but also nabbed a spot on the influencial jools holland show. i'm usually not a big fan of the art school milieu, but with a killer song and bunny infested video like this, how can one resist?]

wongie top songs of 2007: #18 sophie ellis bextor - today the sun's on us


sophie ellis bextor - today the sun's on us [link 2]
[it's so weird how many wonderfully 'pop' songs got overlooked in 2007. this mid range ballad definitely falls under that category (even with an equally beautiful video by sophie muller). don't know what happened here but sophie deserves a bigger year than she got. fingers crossed that her upcoming greatest hits collection will generate some buzz stemmed from the two new songs she recorded specially for it.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #20 roisin murphy - overpowered


roisin murphy - overpowered [link 2]
[the hipness of roisin murphy constantly precedes her music. a fashion icon that creates music way ahead of the popular curve, it's not a surprise that her album 'overpowered' only peaked at #20 in the UK charts. but don't let her inability to connect with the mainstream deter you from loving this talented and vocally sexy diva. roisin may have released one of the best pop dance electronic albums of the year. as for this single, it just keeps on getting better with every listen!]

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

wongie top songs of 2007: (honorable mention) justice - d.a.n.c.e.


justice - d.a.n.c.e. [link 2]
[this year's "daft punk" (ie: crossover french electro band) managed to not only have one of the best videos of the year, but also nabbed a grammy nomination along the way! what has the world come to? d.a.n.c.e. made it very close to my list, but i just had 30 other songs that i just liked... better. but i can't deny that 2007 was the year of justice, so as an honorable mention, let's all d.a.n.c.e.!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #21 m.i.a. - paper planes


m.i.a. - paper planes [link 2]
[easily my favorite track off the awesome kala album, m.i.a. has done a wonderful job establishing herself as an outspoken rappa/singer representing true cross genre music this year. definitely one of my live highlights of 2007, this track just killed onstage at the virgin festival. both chill and gangsta at the same time, all i can say is "f**k yeah!" when i hear this.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #22 reba mcentire feat justin timberlake - the only promise that remains


reba mcentire feat justin timberlake - the only promise that remains [link 2]
[oh yes, i listen to reba! this song is so completely simple, yet one of the most moving ballads of the year. who'd have thought that justin had it in him to write a song like this? the fact that he just allows reba to shine by offering an almost background harmony to it all is just plain genius!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #23 newton faulkner - dream catch me


newton faulkner - dream catch me [link 2]
[normally i would avoid any musician with dreadlocks, let alone GINGER ones, but in the case of british troubadour newton faulkner, i'll let his unruly locks slide. much has to do with the fact that he's come up with one of the most catchy US sounding singer/songwriter albums of the year, and yet he is thoroughly british. now if he'll just cut his nasty hair maybe i'll even admit to being a fan one day.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #24 sara bareilles - love song


sara bareilles - love song [link 2]
[while the crappy colbie caillat is getting all the play on top 40 radio, the word of mouth machine will have to work just a tad longer before sara breaks onto the populist playlist. plus i have a soft spot for anyone who used to be an acapella nerd! acapella nerds unite!
UPDATE: with the help of itunes downloads, sara made the top 10 of the billboard singles chart this week!]

Monday, December 24, 2007

wongie top songs of 2007: #25 siobhan donaghy - don't give it up


siobhan donaghy - don't give it up [link 2]
[completely ignored when it was released back in april, siobhan donaghy's album 'ghosts' was an almost perfect collection of dreamy kate bush-lite pop. perhaps the timing wasn't right for songs like these, but on my ipod playlist, this OTT single was a repeat offender.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #26 lil mama - lip gloss


lil mama - lip gloss [link 2]
[either i'm a sassy 10 year old girl deep down inside or i have to schedule a serious deprogramming very soon! even though i've heard this song a gazillion times, that deep bass clap still gets me a lil bit poppin'!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #27 kate walsh - your song


kate walsh - your song [link 2]
["haven’t you heard I’m stuck on a verse, i’m stuck on a boy who fills me joy, i knew i was wrong to jump straight on into, this picture so pretty but he is so pretty to me.." so simple and borderline twee, yet i just can't get enough of this love song by uk folkster kate walsh. one can't help but feel warm and fuzzy with each listen. sigh...]

wongie top songs of 2007: (honorable mention) plain white t's - hey there delilah


plain white t's - hey there delilah [link 2]
[one of the catchiest songs of the year also ranks up there as one of the most overplayed tunes (and therefore hated) of the year. love it or despise it, you can't deny that "hey there delilah" had you singing along to it at some point in 2007. a one hit wonder for these chicago kids? don't care really, i feel bad enough putting them on my list!]

Sunday, December 23, 2007

wongie top songs of 2007: #28 yoav - beautiful lie


yoav - beautiful lie [link 2]
[singer songwriter yoav is only starting to get some serious attention on both sides of the pond with his distinct approach to guitar based music. a loop artist (yoav creates beats and rhythmic tones on his guitar and loops them live) that creates a kind of chill out clubby sound, i'm totally looking forward to his debut album charmed & strange due out early next year!]

wongie top songs of 2007: #29 vampire weekend - mansard roof


vampire weekend - mansard roof [link 2]
[any indie band that claims that their sound is partially influenced by african beats deserves a thumbs up. these new york cuties were an end of year discovery for me but i'm so happy that it made my blip. hopefully 2008 will be a breakthrough year for these preppy fun boys.]

wongie top songs of 2007: #30 shy child - drop the phone


shy child - drop the phone [link 2]
[this new york duo have been on the verge of "buzzdom" for the past year and though i've heard a gazillion remixes, the original (with it's silly lyrics) still gets me going every time. the song that just won't quit, maybe 2008 will be their year then...]

wongie breakdown: the music industry 101

it's been a VERY long time since i've been back here, but i figured i'd return with a wonderfully insightful article that the great david byrne wrote for wired magazine about the current state of the music industry.

who better to break it all down for us than with this legend?