I enjoyed too much music this year to limit myself to a top 10 albums list! So here are some songs that made my year better but would be left unacknowledged in the top 10 albums format because the album they appeared on will not make my list. The song titles will have links for your (and my!) listening pleasure. Let us not grow weary of discussing/hearing/dissecting music!
Sufjan Stevens – “All Delighted People”
Of the three epic, 10-minute plus tracks that Suffy put out this year, only one truly affected me. “Djohariah” loses itself in cronky soloing for several minutes, and “Impossible Soul” loses my interest at the first instant the autotune creeps in. This one, though, Sufjan got right, and wonderfully so. From the chorus of ladies behind him, to the fitting tribute to and/or repurposing of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence,” to the variety of melodies that find their way out of the progressions, it is marvelous and thrilling for all 11+ minutes.
Women – “Eyesore”
On the strength of several tracks this album was close to making the top ten, so there is much more here than one song. “Eyesore” is a monstrously disjointed jangle, snaking through sections that seem melodically unconnected, which stand in for verses that eventually give way to the rockin' finale its been stowing away all along. The dissonance and atonality in some of the album’s tracks is close to intolerable – if not at least confusing – but when they put their minds to it, Women are capable of utilizing these more distancing elements to enhance, stimulate and draw nearer. This is apparent on the album’s closer, “Eyesore,” the most affecting song on their album Public Strain, and my favorite album closer of the year. I can't get enough.
More to come!