Yes, we are fully aware of certain internet traditions. In fact all of them. We currently soon expect a Stuff White People Like about white people liking to unknowingly ironically not like Pitchfork. Still we soldier on.
Tracks 100-81 from 2008 here.
Listen along with Pitchfork here.
80: The Bug [ft. Warrior Queen] “Poison Dart”
Relentless and heavy. More of a soundtracker or club track. Not so much of a standalone. Dark and oppressive in a well done way. No need to hear again.
UC’s take: I’ve been waiting for this song for a while now. It is terrible and so so so typical of the crap that always appears in a Pitchfork list. I mean, if this song weren’t on the list, I would just quit. It would be like an environmental scientist finding that all of a sudden, greenhouse gas emissions just stopped and everything normalized to completely normal temperatures. They would be secretly miserable at the disappointment. I am not disappointed. Just nauseated. [PP Adds: You’re just so cynical, UC!]
79: Ida Maria “Oh My God”
Whoa. Raw like she’s barely holding it together while convincing us that her barely holding it together is nothing but a ruse. There is definitely something here. It’s not uncompelling, but I feel so jaded by the rest of many of these tracks that I’m having trouble being compelled. Mark this one down as one to listen to closely.
UC’s take: I was going to say that it’s OK, but then I remembered that we have a word for that here at 3B. However, that word is escaping me because the boredom of listening to this song just caused me to gnash out my cerebral cortex. Oh well.
78: Frightened Rabbit “The Modern Leper”
If you like this, you’ll like them. It is not clear to me that this one has greater charms than “When My Head Rolls Off”- they both share equally obvious territory. I’d place these guys in the “good emo” territory with Okkervil River, ‘cept these guys are Scottish, and Scots never get criticized for being emo, only twee, and this isn’t twee. Maybe it’s tweemo? Sing-talky isn’t great at the beginning, but odds are the earnestness will win you in the end, notwithstanding the crutch of the earnest use of “fuck.”
UC’s take: I think this is fine, but forgettable. Then again, I don’t respond to Pinko’s neo-emo-tweemo music. I don’t care much for Okkervil River either. The whininess is almost Bright Eyesesque, but not quite. I would probably be more into the song if somebody else were singing because I liked the beat and intensity of the music.
77: Telepathe “I Can’t Stand It”
I have to pause this monster 9 minute track to go get a glass of water and visit the washroom. I was expecting it to be some stupid fork borecore house snoozer, but it got awesome right when I hit pause. Now I am excited…back in a few. OK, back and continued widescreen stumblegaze. Super good. Best track thus far.
UC’s take: Just when I thought I was really going to hate this song, it stopped sucking. I guess I should have read Pinko’s commentary first to prepare me. It is really good actually. Definitely a top 3 track of the list so far. Damn, even Marc Masters nails the description. I’m so so so thrown off. [PP adds- and of course it doesn’t see like you can buy this anywhere, except on some label compilation, which I’m sure somebody got in the mail for free and some other people didn’t]
76: Justice “DVNO (Radio Edit)”
I love this song for two reasons. One is that it is a playful riff on ridiculously exclusive clubs that simultaneously would never and only be the places cheesy enough to play Justice. The other is this:
UC’s take: Umm, pass. I’m actually kinda sad. I think I actually don’t hate Justice and I had some expectations for this. But I hated it. Awful.
75: Little Boots “Stuck on Repeat”
Sleighbells are the in sound this year and we’re seeing them all over the list. Sentiment and mood are there, lyrics and vocals wet blanket what could be a nice dark dance floor downer. Missed opportunity means meh-ssed opportunity realized.
UC’s take: How come no mention of the fact that the song is a total rip-off of a Franz Ferdinand song? I let out a big groan when this song started, then I briefly felt the shame of a quick judgment. Now, I feel no regret. Boy, it’s a long long long wait for the end as well.
74: Wale “The Kramer”
This spot- the no holds hyper in your face discussion of race rap- on the list last year was a kind of crap tune from Killer Mike (or was that two years ago?), while this year it’s a profoundly uncomfortable mixed message meditation on a giant pile of stuff that’s hard to talk about. The delivery is just short of breathless on the edge of your seat and the narrative is twisty turny unpredictable and definitely in your face. Kind of impressive and very, very tough.
UC’s take: Typical and token entry. I think I would not want Mike Powell’s task. There’s definitely a place for this music out there, and definitely a place for it on the Pitchfork list. But it doesn’t mean there needs to be a place for it on my iTunes library. Gutsy.
73: Goldfrapp “A&E”
I love Goldfrapp. I just don’t think the first two thirds of this song are that great. When it kind of fills in and goes all Goldfrapp breakdowny then it gets OK for about 20 seconds. I suspect there are a better 8 songs on this album.
UC’s take: Gah, is this cheesy? Why would Goldfrapp sound cheesy? This sounds like the song that your record producer forced you to make so that you could market your CD to teenagers. I’m sorry to say, but this song goes into Tori Amos territory. Bad Tori Amos territory. Poor Alison.
72: Fleet Foxes “Blue Ridge Mountains”
Appalachian hill-dwelling Gregorian monks open this, while segueing into guitar from a totally different 60s song while the vocals go somewhere else. I suspect every song on this album could have been placed non-controversially somewhere around here. I’ll leave it to Fleet Foxes-addict UC to discuss the subtleties of this likely truth.
UC’s take: Having already been outed as a massive Fleet-Fox-o-phile, you already know that I love this song. I also love Amanda’s description of this song. I also love every other song on this CD. Listening to FF makes me all lovey-dovey. Pinko is correct about the placement of FF songs in this list. Everyone knows that they should be clustered in the 1-20 range, but that makes for a contrived and possibly honest list. That could never happen.
71: Sigur Rós “Gobbledigook”
I think Sigur Ros have been listening to Animal Collective and Panda Bear. Pretty good. I love Amanda Petrusich speaking truth to hipster with: “Built around an acoustic guitar riff (which, incidentally, could have been snatched from the Dave Matthews Band’s “Grey Street”)…”
UC’s take: Pinko is totally right about the Animal Collective influence. I don’t think I would identify the artists of this song correctly, even on repeated listening. In fact, even the non-gobbledigooky name of the song seems un-Sigur-Ros-y. It’s very good, though. Nice and repetitive and interesting.
70: Rihanna “Don’t Stop the Music”
I love the way Rihanna says “stress” recalling her “got me stressing” from floor stomper “S.O.S.” This isn’t nearly as awesome as that, or as guilty-awesome as “Disturbia” which I feel is bound for the top 20 here. The quality that Rihanna brings to her biggest most crowd-pleasing hits is that the vocals are fully integrated into the track as part of a fully committed pop banger, not some lyrics grafted onto a melody grafted onto a random production. What am I even talking about? Looking forward to Katy Perry and TI down the list. I await the presumably embarrassingly bad Jay-Z track as well. At least we’ll have Rihanna. I am a stabbing robot.
UC’s take: And Rihanna in counting down from 10.9.8 …. #70! How many years in a row has Rihanna appeared on this list? Is she truly the pre-eminent pop artist? This song sucks, even though Rihanna is still pretty hot. I presume that’s what she was rated on.
69: Portishead “The Rip”
This song features Beth Gibbon describing some other figure yet comes across as so introspective and isolated from any thoughts of the audience in its kind of insular focus, then shifts midway into an almost warm synthetic wash. You almost feel like she’s being snuffed out by a kindly antique robot. Very good. Portishead are such quality.
UC’s take: Well, I knew that there was a new Portishead this year, and I think their music is quite good. But I didn’t bother listening to any of it until right now. It starts off introspective and interesting and gets even more interesting halfway with the electro. This is pretty exceptional stuff. I’m not quite floored, but I’m kinda chaired, or possibly countered. Stepstooled? Great track. I should probably listen to more of them.
68: Four Tet “Ribbons”
This music is fine. What is it that makes it excellent? Allow me to be unserious for a second. I was at my hipster SoHo dentist getting my teeth whitened. He had just given me a superfluous hit off the nitrous and an aromatherapy eyepatch when I was floored, or more accurately slowly reclined to this Four Tet stunner. No, too forced. I submit that someone or something touched Brian Howe’s wiener upon first hearing rendering him “goosebumpy” every time he hears it. Unconscionably meh.
UC’s take: Not won over by any means. I think this music has a place, but that place is really pretentious and bad art shows. It would be perfect there with shots of absolut kiwi or something like that. Boring with a lower case g!
67: Young Jeezy [ft. Kanye West] “Put On”
This song is so just add water puffy instant dinosaur I’m surprised DMX didn’t release something over these beats 100 years ago in 1998. That’s right, I’m beefing with Young Jeezy. Uninteresting and almost devoid of anything original, it is marginally above average for a generic club track. I seriously worry about Kanye West, though. Dude needs a hug.
UC’s take: I should point out that this song was blaring out of my laptop in full-on gangsta mode when the chair of my division came over to talk to me about career development. Awesome! I think I liked this song, more than I probably should have. I do have to say that the autotune Kanye is really creepy.
66: Lykke Li “Dance, Dance, Dance”
Delightful. Tweewegian even.
UC’s take: I’m a sucker for Swedish singers. This much has become apparent to me. The lyrics don’t seem to match the lyrical tune of the singing, but I generally ignore words anyway. This is utterly precious and adorable. It is catchy too. Good find, Pitchfork!
65: Max Tundra “Which Song”
Why is it that some neo-80s songs we love and others are unabashedly terrible? Life is unfair as we drive Ms. Pacman straight into Pinky three straight times, suiciding our quarter to make the machine and this song STFU. Fucking terrible and cynical crap.
UC’s take: How many passes do I get? Pass. Koji Kondo must be rolling in his grave. So sad.
64: The Whitest Boy Alive “Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix)”
Not quite slinky but kind of suave and stealthily unrelenting. Very good.
UC’s take: Not horrible by any means, but I found it pretty forgettable. Meh+. I don’t have anything else to add.
63: The Very Best “Kamphopo”
I’m sorry but it sounds like a cross between “Under the Sea” and maybe “In da Club” with it’s steel drums syncopated into a staccato chirpiness. Something in may actually be interesting, but seems almost accidentally designed for name-dropping around the hypothetical Fork Inc. offices. Possible grower.
UC’s take: I want everybody to know that I try with world music. I do, honest. I’m not bothered by alternate languages and instruments. I like steel drums. I like the ginormous concrete wall of synth strings that fills up this song. I just don’t find this music genuine. I think it is designed to be played in coffee shops that sell Free Trade beans and in outdoor clothing stores. I’m too cynical for this.
62: The Tough Alliance “Lucky”
This song sounds so amazing if you read the write-up. Then you realize P-fork cobags are trying to double up on some Swedes whom they already lauded for a top video for a slight 80’s neo-romantic jaunt by anointing its B-side to even greater glory. Like sitting down to a pornographic film and finding out it’s starring Ron Jere-meh. The melody does vaguely remind of a Flock of Seagulls song, though you will now just think of a boner-destroying hedgehog based on my last sentence.
UC’s take: I couldn’t make any connection between the P-fork review and the song. In fact, I can’t make any connection between the P-fork review and any possible musical form. It eludes me. Also eluding me – any memory of having listened to this song. I’m on my 3rd listen now trying to form an impression. It sounds pretty middle-of-the-road and inoffensive. I think the song needs a power chorus or something dramatic. Now, it’s just a meh.
61: Q-Tip “Gettin’ Up”
I forgot every single aspect of this song while I was listening to it because someone IM’d me about dog poop on F-book. And I like Q-tip.
UC’s take: This song is just fine. It should be playing on Entourage while they do a panorama of LA and all the blondes with their fake boobs. Also suitable for this music would be a SNL rap featuring Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, or perhaps Chris Parnell. It would involve Sarah Palin looking really awkward. If it sounds like I’m ripping this song, I don’t mean to. This is about as good hiphop as I’ve heard.