Thursday, December 18, 2008

what a beautiful place I have found in your face (2008: A Musical Retrospective)

2008 was a great year for music. I was introduced to a lot of great new songs. I'm kind of a casual listener to music - it seems I never just sit down and listen to music while doing nothing else. I'm always listening to it while I drive, clean the house, work on the computer, etc. Still, I'm able to absorb what I'm listening to pretty well, although I must confess that I'd like to become a more conscious listener of music.

Without further ado, my top music picks for this year.

My Favorite Albums of the Year

1) She & Him - Volume One

How I love this album. I listened to it constantly during the spring. I love the retro sound of it - to me, it's pretty timeless. I love Zooey Deschanel's voice and its raw imperfections. It's rare for me to like every track on an album, but I enjoy every single song on Volume One.

2) Coldplay - Viva la Vida

This was probably the album of the summer, at least in my world. One listen, and I was hooked. This album really carried me through the summer.

3) Roma di Luna - Casting the Bones

Roma di Luna was probably my best music discovery of the year. I had the pleasure of seeing them live on our anniversary trip; that was my introduction to them, and I've been hooked ever since. I love their folksy style, and I love the lead singer's ethereal voice.

My Favorite Song of the Year

I listened to a bunch of different songs this year, some of them over and over, but my favorite song of the year is Roma di Luna's cover of "In the Aeroplane over the Sea". I'm not a big fan of the original version, but lordy, I love Roma di Luna's version. I wish I would have known about this version back on our wedding day - I would have loved to walk down the aisle to it.

Here are the lyrics to "In the Aeroplane over the Sea":

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
What a beautiful dream
That could flash on the screen
In a blink of an eye and be gone from me
Soft and sweet
Let me hold it close and keep it here with me, me

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me, me

What a curious life we have found here tonight
There is music that sounds from the street
There are lights in the clouds
Anne's ghost all around
Hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me
Soft and sweet
How the notes all bend and reach above the trees, trees

Now how I remember you
How I would push my fingers through
Your mouth to make those muscles move
That made your voice so smooth and sweet
Now we keep where we don't know
All secrets sleep in winter's clothes
With one you loved so long ago
Now he don't even know his name

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
And when we meet on a cloud
I'll be laughing out loud
I'll be laughing with everyone I see
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all, at all

You can listen to Roma di Luna's version here. Do it! Do it now!

The Strangest Albums I Downloaded This Year, Neither of Which Were Actually Released in 2008

1) Lady & Bird - Lady & Bird

This album gives me the creeps. It's haunting and melancholy, and I can't listen to it that often. But it has just the right amount of strange to keep me intrigued.

2) Beirut - Gulag Orkestar

A head trip to listen to, but it's very fun and enjoyable (and weird).

My Favorite Playlist of the Year

I love making playlists in iTunes. I used to make them based entirely on genre or mood, but now I've switched to making playlists as a soundtrack to a particular time in my life. My favorite playlist of the year is called "So Summer Doesn't Suck So Much," and it features the songs that made me feel really happy, thus saving this past summer from complete suckage.

(I'm too lazy to link to all the songs - sorry about that.)

1) "Appels and Oranjes" - Smashing Pumpkins
2) "Blue Monday" - New Order
3) "Bury Me Beneath the Killin' Fields" - Roma di Luna
4) "Effigy" - Natalie Merchant
5) "Fight Test" - The Flaming Lips
6) "Funky Goes to Hollywood" - DJ Earworm
7) "Head On" - Jesus and Mary Chain
8) "I Can't Afford to Be Broke" - Roma di Luna
9) "I Hate Everything About You" - Three Days Grace
10) "In the Mood" - Cadillac Kolstad and the Flats
11) "Lost!" - Coldplay
12) "Lost?" - Coldplay
13) "Radio Song" - REM, featuring KRS-One
14) "The Romance of Wolves" - Roma di Luna
15) "Safe in my Lover's Arms" - Bering Strait
16) "These Arms of Mine" - Otis Redding
17) "Trouble Down the Road" - Roma di Luna
18) "Violet Hill" - Coldplay

And this concludes my 2008 Musical Retrospective.

Now I'd like to hear your top picks of 2008 - or of all time. I'm in desperate need of new music for our vacation, so the more recommendations you can give me, the better. Thanks, everyone!


WeezerMonkey said...

I am currently obsessed with The Kooks. My previous obsession was with Black Kids. I also have a recent penchant for Santogold and CSS. Earlier in the year, I couldn't get enough of Vampire Weekend.

amber said...

i'm also a casual listener of music. i'm either driving, cooking or doing stuff in the office when i have it on -- although that doesn't stop me from singing at the top of my lungs or dancing around when a good song comes on ;)

i LOVE viva la vida! LOVE IT! i'm also happy with prospect's march that was just released.

a lot of the music i downloaded this year came from tv shows, such as One Tree Hill, Grey's, SYTYCD and stephanie meyer's playlists from the twilight series. i pulling a blank on actual songs, but if i remember some, i'll shoot the names over to you.

Angie Eats Peace said...

Maybe I will make some themed playlists,..I dont have shit else to do.

inflammatory writ said...

My favorite album this year is Bon Iver - To Emma, Forever Ago. Heartfelt songs from a guy with a beautiful falsetto voice recorded in a cabin in the woods, and sort of sounds like it was made on another planet. Heart wrenching and gorgeous.

I am also currently obsessed with This Riot Life by Veda Hille. She took old Christian hymns and modernized them, so the melodies are familiar and haunting but the lyrics are super current and reflect on personal tragedy and triumph. Amazing.

laceyJ. said...

How fun! I loved the different "categories" you featured. And now I HAVE to check-out Roma di Luna!

phairhead said...

YEAH Flaming Lips!