|My Top 50 Songs|
A fun little exercise I did. When I went through my library and chose
contenders I picked around 160 and narrowed it down. It was
interesting to see where I ranked songs that used to be my favorites
when I was first getting into music with my favorites today. I think
the National had the most nominations with around 10 and As Cities
Burn close behind with like 8. I have 3200 songs in my iTunes library
at this moment, which is probably not a huge number in comparison
to many other Sputnik users, but here's my top 1.5%. Descriptions
start at 20.
|46||Blood and Water|
|45||Third Eye Blind|
Play Crack The Sky
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
The Beautiful Letdown
|40||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Deathkamp Drone / [Antennas to Heaven...]
The Wolves (Act I And II)
|34||As Cities Burn|
This Is It, This Is It
|32||The Gaslight Anthem|
The Patient Ferris Wheel
|31||The Classic Crime|
|29||The State Lottery|
I Celebrate The Day
|26||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven...
|25||Death Cab For Cutie|
A Lack Of Color
|23||Future of Forestry|
Slow Your Breath Down
The Battle of Hampton Roads
When I first made this list this was left off. I'm not as infatuated with the
Monitor as most are here, but then I realized that not including it was a crime. I
plopped it down in the 40's but then I realized that was a crime too. Bumped it
up a little, then a little more, and it found its way into the 20 spot. The word
"epic" is insufficient.
Like running up a mountain and then jumping off a cliff and flying.
We Need Each Other
Band is decent at best, but We Need Each Other is incredible. Positive energy
unleashed, We Need Each Other is a universal call to friendship and
Beside You Now
Another gem from an average band. They have one golden egg of a song that is
Beside You Now. Fast subtle rhythm, bittersweet, heartbroken lyricism, and the
sickest double vocals you'll ever hear, Beside You Now is a diamond in the
|16||Third Eye Blind|
God of Wine
The final song in the closing trifecta, God of Wine is intense, moving, and an
ideal closer for a classic album. The part where Jenkins sings "The god of wine
comes crashing through the headlights of a car that took you farther than you
thought you'd ever want to go, we can't get back again" is chilling.
The Geese of Beverly Road
Likely the National's best lyrical song, which is certainly saying something.
Highlight lines include "Hey love, we'll get away with this, we'll run like we're
awesome, totally genius," "We're the heirs to the glimmering world," and
"Come be my waitress and serve me tonight, serve me the sky with a big slice
The Fisherman Song (We All Need Love)
The story of meeting a fisherman. Clever symbolism and a driving finish make
this so memorable. Also an incredible live song.
Apartment Story groves, swells and builds subtly. Layer upon layer, it's the
crowning highlight on the near-perfect Boxer.
Deathbed is a song about a man dying. He reflects on his life and the choices he
made. Incredibly genuine and a sprawling eleven minutes long, Deathbed is
about as ambitious as a pop punk band can get.
My limited exploration into this band beyond this song has revealed this: they
are the definition of your average pop rock/rock band. So Everything is likely a
fluke, a rare mathematical oddity that an average band can release an
emotional epic of enormous magnitude. Forgotten both by their fans and much
of the time myself, Everything is a secret tour de force of lyricism and emotion.
The Unwinding Cable Car
For a long time I would have said The Unwinding Cable Car was my favorite
song, and though it has grown off of me slightly, it's still up there. It has the
most plays in my library with a staggering 149.
|9||As Cities Burn|
The conceptual idea behind Clouds is quite imposing. The first few minutes are
merely different vocal samples of people's opinions regarding God with some
minimal instrumentation. When the full band comes in they rebuke all of them
remarking brilliantly "I think our god isn't God if he fits inside our heads."
Perhaps the best conceptual song I've ever heard, both in its general concept
and its execution.
|8||Third Eye Blind|
The Background is the prime example of the personal nostalgia of Third Eye
Blind's self titled debut. The guitar effects are impossibly close to home and
those lines "the plans I made still have you in them" and "I only know because
I carry you around in the background" get me every time. A song you feel long
after it's through.
|7||As Cities Burn|
Timothy is where As Cities Burn finally lets go. All of the pain throughout the
album is gently released and they are truly broken. The final words to close the
album are magnificently dark and comforting at the same time.
I think everyone wants to like the children's choir technique more than they
actually do because so many times it is used cheaply as a disingenuous way of
creating humility, but Anberlin sure don't do it that way. Even without them
though, (*fin) is the perfect album closer. Seeing this performed live and
hearing the audience sing the part of the children's choir while Stephen
Christian sang his part is likely my favorite concert experience.
In a certain sense I'm frustrated that Mae released this song because I'm not
sure that a 14 minute piano suite by just another alternative band will ever be
able to reach the acclaim it deserves. I don't listen to classical music or
instrumental piano music much at all, but I feel as if those people that do
caught on to Seasons and took it seriously it could be immensely successful.
|4||Third Eye Blind|
Motorcycle Drive By
To be honest I don't know how to explain why Motorcycle Drive By is so good, or
much of the album it comes from. All I can really say is that few bands have
ever packed so much emotion into a single song. In a certain sense I pity
everyone who has yet to hear it, or anyone that fails to appreciate it, because
Motorcycle Drive By is about as personal as music gets.
Let's be serious, Untitled 1 is musical perfection embodied. A six and a half
minute emotional catharsis that doesn't even use real words. Chilling,
frightening, and riveting.
|2||Pedro the Lion|
Secret of the Easy Yoke
On first listen Secret of the Easy Yoke is actually quite boring. David Bazan
mumbles through most of the song, as he does on much of the album, but
multiple listens reveal the song's power. A more deeply personal song may have
never been written, as Bazan comes clean on his faith and really his entire
outlook on life. An extremely influential song on me personally, in fact if any
song has ever been "life-changing" for me it is likely this one.
|1||As Cities Burn|
Really it's an easy pick. From the shimmering synths at the start to the
climactic guitar frenzy, Contact is perfect in its lyrics, vocals, production,
instruments, structure, you name it. The complexity of the ideas running
through Contact are mind-boggling both within itself and in relation to the rest
of the album. The part where Bonnette sings "God, does grace reach to this side
of madness? Cause I know this can't be the great peace we all seek" and the
following instrumental section is easily my favorite moment in all of music.