LISTEN, DAMMIT!: 5 Songs of 2007

Okay so I had planned to keep this going on a weekly basis, but work got crazy and some personal issues took up my time and mental energy. Well, I've relaxed, consumed numerous free drinks at the company holiday party, enjoyed my annual reading of Holidays on Ice, and I'm ready to talk about music again.

Best-of lists are all over the place and it got me thinking about how the year has been for music. It has certainly not been as stellar as what I consider a magical year for music - 2005 - but there were quite a few nice moments for the year, many from some of the same artists who released 2005 masterpieces (Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, etc.).

Many of my favorite songs of the year are not listed below because (a) I'm only picking five and (b) some do not have corresponding videos. Instead, this is a selection of songs from bands that I suggest you take a closer listen to, if you haven't already.

Apostle of Hustle: "Cheap Like Sebastien"

Another offshoot of Broken Social Scene, Apostle is fronted by BSS's lead guitarist Andrew Whiteman. Whiteman exudes a bizarre sexiness both in this video and onstage. This song kept popping up in my head at various points throughout the year. The video reminds me of a typical day at the office!

Arcade Fire: "Neon Bible"

I wanted to include "Keep the Car Running," my favorite track from this year's Neon Bible, but apparently there is no video for it. Instead I included this excellent rendition of the title track, performed live inside an elevator. This band never ceases to amaze.

Band of Horses: "Is There a Ghost"

The simple and repetitive, yet haunting, lyrics are what make this song so memorable. This is a band that has crept up on me over the last month and I've found myself listening to their latest album, Cease to Begin, repeatedly. The video, however, is a little silly!

Robyn: "With Every Heartbeat"

Robyn had a couple Top 40 hits in the 90s ("Show Me Love" and "Do You Know What it Takes") and then fell off the radar. Now she has resurrected herself in Europe as an indie/electro-pop crossover and come forth with this excellent single. Fun video, touching lyrics, and her voice is a tad Kate Bush-esque, which to me is a good thing.

Spoon: "The Ghost of You Lingers"

Spoon was everywhere this year. Festivals, TV appearances, etc. Deservedly so. Their 2007 release Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was a strong quality effort. The song getting all the buzz is the raucous upbeat "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb," but "Ghost" is my favorite on the album. It's colorful, moody and haunting and can perhaps be seen as the other side of the coin to "Is There a Ghost."

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