Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The 50 Music Project: Nearly There!

XXIV. The New Millennium

Brand New Day, Sting

This song will always remind me of New Year’s Eve 1999, when Sting sang it for a very well-heeled party of revelers ringing in the new millennium at Rockefeller Center.

I Was In The House When The House Burned Down, Warren Zevon

As Greil Marcus wrote, the song was "Excitable Boy with humor intact, but no longer a joke, because when the house burned down the singer found he had nowhere else to go."

Woke Up This Morning, A3
Get This Party Started, Pink

I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow, Soggy Bottom Boys

There are probably people who think that George Clooney really sang this song, but in fact the vocal belongs to Dan Tyminski, the great vocalist and guitarist with Union Station, Alison Krauss’ band.

Run On, Moby
You Said Something, PJ Harvey

My City of Ruins, Bruce Springsteen
Beautiful Day, U2

New Favorite, Alison Krauss & Union Station

Greil Marcus once wrote, when describing a list of his favorite songs and albums, that the works “seemed like miracles” to him. On this song, the voice of Alison Krauss is nothing less than a miracle. The song is slow, almost painfully slow, but never once deviates from the tone Krauss sets from the very first note. Yet, the tension builds throughout, and finally comes to a crescendo with the final uttering of “I know you’ve got a new favorite…” Haunting, and heartbreakingly beautiful.

A Little Less Conversation, Elvis Presley

The King is Dead. Long Live the King!

Mil Besos, Patty Griffin

“I lost my heart on the thousand kisses that I left on your lips." It sounds much better in Spanish. The first perfect album of the new millennium.

My Ride’s Here, Warren Zevon
The Rising, Bruce Springsteen
Lonesome Tears, Beck

Extreme Ways, Moby

Thanks to the savvy marketing ability of Moby, this is probably best known as Jason Bourne’s theme song.

Clocks, Coldplay
Flake, Jack Johnson
12:51, The Strokes
Hotel Yorba, The White Stripes
Hey Ya, Outkast
White Flag, Dido

Keep Me In Your Heart, Warren Zevon

Against all odds, the final album, The Wind, was wonderful, certainly the most consistent and well-produced album of his career. Less than two weeks after its release, he died. And the following year, he finally won a Grammy.

Everything Must Go, Steely Dan

Even for seasoned cynics like Becker and Fagen, this song set new standards for sardonic.

The Reason, Hoobastank

One of those perfect pop songs that comes around every now and then, seemingly out of nowhere.

Little Digger, Liz Phair
Vertigo, U2
Devils and Dust, Bruce Springsteen
Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand

Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson

Without question, the best song to come out of American Idol.

Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani
Summerlong, Kathleen Edwards

Hurt, Johnny Cash

The Man in Black's decade long collaboration with Rick Rubin reached its high-water mark with this amazing recording of the Trent Reznor song. The performance and the production were so soulful, so terrifying, that the song is not likely ever to be known again as belonging to Trent Reznor.

Dare, Gorillaz
Biggest Mistake, The Rolling Stones

Black Cadillac, Rosanne Cash

Within the span of 18 months, Rosanne Cash lost her father, her mother, and her stepmother. Her tribute to the three was Black Cadillac. At first blush, I compared the album to “Blonde on Blonde” and “Exile on Main Street”; only time will tell if it has the lasting impact of those two classics. The brilliance is evident early, from the use of the ‘Ring of Fire’-style horns on this song. The use of two producers can sometimes be a bad sign, but Bill Bottrell's work provided a depth to the music that sometimes had been lacking in the past, and longtime producer (and husband) John Leventhal matched it by not ‘prettying up’ the songs for once. Simple, spare arrangements and heartfelt, moving lyrics coupled with Rosanne's strongest singing ever made it her best album in a career of great ones.

Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, K.T. Tunstall
Pay Me My Money Down, Bruce Springsteen
Crazy, Gnarls Barkley
Not Ready to Make Nice, Dixie Chicks
Saving Grace, Tom Petty
Two Dogs And A Bone, Los Lobos
Someday Baby, Bob Dylan

No comments: