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01.05.12 Top 11 Songs For '1112.24.11 Pissed Off, Give Me Recs
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Top 11 Songs For '11

A year to remember for sure. These are 11 of my rrfavorites in no rparticular order.
1TV On The Radio
Will Do

One of the best genre and stereotype smashing popular acts around, TV On The Radio are most known for their quirky up-tempo songs and downright strange videos. This song's bedroom beat,noteworthy lyrics are rivaled only by the song's exceptionally good official music video.

Already a masterpiece in its own right, Alcest trumped themselves when they re-recorded Le Secret. Originally, Neige was upset to hear reviews call the EP "dark." Despite the black metal styled vocals and comparably raw recording, he had intended it to be a cheerful album. The new take injects enough uplifting atmosphere into the song while preserving the creative integrity of the original. The lyrics, a beautiful poem by Charles Baudelaire by the same name, reveal the soul of the song. "Beyond the vast sorrows and all the vexations/that weigh upon our lives and obscure our vision/Happy is he who can with his vigorous wing/Soar up towards those fields luminous and serene..."
Sunset Of Age

Unfortunately, Anathema's reworking of their early songs in Falling Deeper didn't fare as well as Hindsight. In fact, I'd call the album flat out boring at times. But the finale, if you made it that far, is truly blissful and leaves me bewildered at why the same level of attention did not seem to be given to all of the songs. Sunset Of Age is transformed into a swirling, beautiful work with excellent strings, synth, piano, guitar and drums. The vocals are as dark and foreboding as the atmosphere. This is the best piece of music Anathema has produced in many years, and trumps everything on Hindsight.
4Bon Iver

I could have chosen any song on this album. It's like digging through a bag of flawless diamonds and being asked which one is most beautiful. I don't know, and I don't care. Bon Iver's self titled album is a spine-tingling masterpiece. I took it along with me through a 4 and a half month road trip across the US, and it spent more time in the CD player than anything else. When it spun I was left staring vacantly into in the road in front of me, lost in a dozen or so emotions. Its magic has still not worn off.
Mice On Venus

Not since Kow Otani's phenomenal soundtrack to Shadow Of The Collosus has a video game soundtrack captured my imagination like C418's Minecraft - Volume Alpha. The game, a riot success which needs no introduction, is famously minimalist. Blocks. Really, that's all. Yet somehow, depth. I am sure I am not alone in saying however that when one of C418's tracks kicked in (a fairly rare occurence) it added so much more to the game. Nostalgia. Longing. Sadness. Hope. I bought the soundtrack to see if it would have the same effect outside of Minecraft, and it does. Every track has its own unique character. I chose "Mice On Venus" as I feel it is one of the most noteworthy (and the longest.)
The Siege

If you recognize their name, it's either because you know Hebrew or have read Frank Herbert's Dune, or both. Either way, they are an extreme metal outfit from Israel, whose metal community seems to be growing at a healthy rate. Last year another Israeli metal album stole the hearts of metalheads around the world, Winterhorde's Underwatermoon. Arafel seemed to fly mostly under the radar of the west, but regardless, songs like "The Siege" continue to put Israel on the metal map. Features a lovely violin performance by the very lovely Nasha Nokturna.
7:Of the Wand and the Moon:
A Pyre Of Black Sunflowers

This album took me by surprise. I wasn't look for it. It found me through a friend, who shared my belief as summed up by my response to hearing the first few tracks: "This is the ideal music for wearing all black walking down a path covered with autumn leaves. It's a soundtrack for the transition into winter." Can you tell I was a teenage goth? I'd almost forgotten about that period of my life until this album so firmly struck that chord.
8Patrick Wolf

An unashamedly giddy song glorifying the familiar, the mundane, heralding a return home with such infectious adoration and joy. Moreso than all of that, a love song all fans of Patrick Wolf have been dying to hear. Patrick has seen his share of disappointment in love, and this song came on the heels of his announced engagement to his boyfriend of 2 and a half years. Patrick Wolf's sexuality is seemingly an unavoidable topic despites its insignificance as he so eloquently and positively reminds us in "Bermondsey Street": "Love knows no boundaries, sees beyond sexuality, and holds the sun in the palm of its hand, laughs down on the cynical man."
City Sleep

I love music of which it can be stated "the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts." In this case, the spartan duo Talkdemonic (viola and drums respectively, with a layer of synth) creates a healthy variety of sound elements ranging post-rock to stoner rock to psychadelic to, well, Talkdemonic. If you like instrumental music on the experimental side, such as A Cosmic Trail, you'll enjoy this.
10The Twilight Singers
Blackbird And The Fox

Dynamite Steps is the first album I've heard from this band, though that will change as soon as I have the necessary funds to purchase their back catalog. I am particularly enamored with this track which features guest vocals from Ani DiFranco.

"Seasons" sums up Yanni's approach to music. Playful, hopeful, global, sentimental, and unapologetically positive. I first heard Yanni in the form of Live At The Acropolis. That was nearly 15 years ago when I was pre-teen. Back then, classical music was pretty much all I cared to listen to, particularly Debussy. Yanni was something fresh and interesting to me. Neo-classical music with an emotional, personal touch. Nothing in his career trumps that performance. If you've never heard it, listen to "One Man's Dream" from that concert. Astounding. However, Yanni's studio work is more commonly electronic, more Tangerine Dream, less symphonic. This is a return to that style,d for the 21st century with a select few vocalists and a crispd sound. It's not perfect, but it's the Yanni I know and love.
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