I’m the retro music chick, which means, by definition, I don’t subscribe to the modern music scene. But sadly, I also have to go to the grocery store (the retro music chick makes a mean lentil soup) so I am often subjected to the radio. And occasionally, I like what I hear, so I’ve compiled my list of the top four songs of 2006 — these songs have the substance of something old, with the freshness of something new — and in #2’s case, as always, something inherently blue.
1. “Starlight” - Muse. Black Holes and Revelations wasn’t as good as Absolution, (despite what my friend Mike says) but this track inspires what the other songs lack — a sublime sense of purpose and an intricate sort of love. This is the kind of music Muse is meant to make. (Black Holes and Revelations)
2. “You Have Killed Me” - Morrissey. Mozzer and I have an abusive relationship — he will always crank out neo-angsty crap, and I will continue to listen to it. Ringleader of the Tormenters is the wankerific follow-up to 2004’s You Are the Quarry, which manages to boast two great singles while still being one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard. “You Have Killed Me,” however, captures the delicate balance of the greatest Smiths songs — the overly happy Marr-esq guitar melody interwoven with lyrics which totter playfully on the edge of emo. Sure, it’s just “These Things Take Time,” but that’s a great song — why not make a sequel? (Ringleader of the Tormenters)
3. “Breathe” - Anna Nalick. There is no end to female pop stars plucking out vaguely emotional lyrics over synthesized guitar chords (Kelly Clarkson, anyone?) Since Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton disappeared from the scene, radio ladies have lacked any semblance of depth. Until now. Simple, a little dippy and not the least bit innovative, “Breathe” still remains a strong pop hit. I grit my teeth, but listen over and over again.