I've contributed to 'best of' lists when I wrote for Terrorizer. While it's a thrill to have a voice in these processes of canonisation and memorialisation, I also find coming up with my choices eye-wateringly difficult. The problem is that my listening doesn't work on an annual basis and I've never liked the relentless process of listening to every latest release. The other issue is that in recent years I have become more attached to individual songs than to albums. This is partly because mp3 players and youtube have eroded my attention span, but it's also because an individual song can approach perfection, whereas most albums tend to sag and lose me at some point. Another problem is more prosaic - every time I decide on a list I invariably forget something. So those caveats aside, here's an unordered list of songs that have given me a great amount of pleasure over the last ten years (no time to insert links I'm afraid - most are on YouTube and iTunes):
Outkast 'Hey Ya'
Electric Six 'Gay Bar'
Jennifer Lopez 'My love don't cost a thing' [I'm not joking - it's a cynical lyric in many ways but the tune is stunning]
Hatebreed 'This is now'
Sunn0))) (featuring Julian Cope) 'My wall'
Celtic Frost 'A dying god coming into human flesh'
LT United 'We are the winners' [Lithuania 2006 Eurovision entry]
Pirates of the Sea 'Wolves of the sea' [Latvia 2008 Eurovision entry]
Ruslana 'Wild dances' [Ukrania 2004 Eurovision winner]
Clutch 'Burning beard'Kylesa 'Unknown awareness'
Laibach 'Tanz mit Laibach'
Melt banana 'Shield your eyes, a beast in the well of your hand'
Hammerfall 'Hearts on fire' [The best video of the decade, witht the Swedish women's curling team]
Rammstein 'Feuer Frei'
Bubba Sparxx 'Ugly'
Goldie Looking Chain 'Guns don't kill people, rappers do'
Nile 'Lashed to the slave stick'
The Streets 'Fit but you know it'
Portishead 'Machine gun'
System of a Down 'Toxicity'
Meshuggah 'I' [okay strictly speaking it's a mini album - but it's all one track]
Andrew WK 'Party hard'
Velvet Revolver 'She builds quick machines'
Now I know that it's a pretty bizarre list and that as a mature academic I should have a more considered list of thoughtful albums. Of course I do have albums I've loved this decade (e.g. Celtic Frost 'Monosheist', Sunn0))) 'White One' and many more) but the fact is that none of them have given me as much pleasure as even one of these individual songs.
What the list reveals is that there are two styles of music that I love more than anything: novelty songs and extreme metal. What the connection is between the 2 I'm not sure. Maybe it's one for me to ponder with a therapist.
If I was more energetic and I had more time I'd make a mix tape of this selection for download, but it's pretty easy for any reader to do so - go on, you know you want to.