Thursday, December 30, 2004

Whatever's Left - Best Singles 2004

Kasabian - 'L.S.F.'
'L.S.F' was something of a turning point for me. I was sick of the hype surrounding Kasabian. 'Club Foot' didn't really get my attention, and meanwhile I was having to endure Kasabian being mentioned in practically every issue of the Leicester Mercury. Then I saw the video for 'L.S.F.' They made a good video. They made a clever video. And the song was undeniably catchy. Sorted. 4.1/5 from Hannah

Keane - 'Somewhere Only We Know'
It's very rare that you encounter a song you fall in love with upon first listen, still love at the end of the year, when in that time you have managed to sing it accompanied by one of the most stunning indie bands on the planet and a couple of thousand fans just as enthusiastic as you are. Oh, and be inspired to learn the entire thing on the piano. Tom's soaring vocals, along with the simplicity of this little number has made it the song that will always remind me of 2004. 4.8/5 from Hannah

I won't say too much, because Hannah's said it all really, but a few months after the rest of the country, I fell in love with this too. Hannah, send me the sheet music! 4.8/5 from Leo

Dogs Die In Hot Cars - 'Lounger'
I was drawn to DDIHC by Zane Lowe (oh the shame!) on mtv2's Gonzo. I saw the videos for 'Godhopping' and 'I Love You Cause I Have To' and despite not being instantly convinced, I was getting a spark from this band, so I took a chance and I managed to get my hands on the album. 'Lounger' is definitely my favourite song on the entire thing, with mad lyrics, great music and a variety and electricity that separates them from everyone else out there. The video was bizarre, with some terrible acting that could only be there to make you smile. It's what the song does, folks. 4.9/5 from Hannah

I was drawn to DDIHC by Hannah (oh the shame!) who kept going on about them. Then I discovered the wonderful channel that is The Amp where 'Lounger' was played every ten minutes. And then I bought the album, and Hannah patted me on the head and said I was a good boy. It' s a good album too, but that's another story/post. 4.82/5 from Leo

Mousse T ft. Emma Lanford - 'Is It Coz I'm Cool'
The surprise of the year came in the form of my first ever SOTW, which was this track. It wasn't eurocheese, but instead, a weird indie-dance-pop hybrid complete with bass guitar and strings that developed, musically, throughout, accompanied by 3 minutes 45 seconds of catchy melodies and vocal harmonies. Pop perfection. Shame they couldn't keep it up! 4.9/5 from Hannah

Green Day - 'American Idiot'
I just heard this on WL Launchcast, and it still hasn't lost it's magic. The video is an epic, the song is a perfect capture of 'that attitude' to the USA and it has undoubtedly dragged Green Day into the mainstream. The video was a masterpiece, and the song was a download chart success. Who said politics wasn't good for you? 4.7/5 from Hannah

Razorlight - Golden Touch
'Razor-who?' they heard me say. Not for much longer. 'Golden Touch' is one of those songs with a real sense of development. There's so many different things going on, musically, that it's hard to get bored. Beginning at a much more simplified stage, it blossoms into something almost as all-over-the-place as The Libertines. Oh, and it's bloody catchy, too. 4.5/5 from Hannah

Ash - Orpheus
I first discovered this song when it was used to advertise the breakfast show on Virgin Radio. Admittedly, I had no idea who it was, and the only thing I'd previously known of Ash was that they had a video with cheerleaders in. This, however, was something different, a great rock song, that's even better live. The album's not half bad, either, but this is definitely a highlight. 4.4/5 from Hannah

Franz Ferdinand - 'Michael'
I loved Take Me Out, don't get me wrong, but since every writer on the planet appears to have concocted their own little appreciative writeup to this masterpiece (and deservedly so) I've picked something slightly different. Michael wasn't a storming chart success, but it deserved to be. It has THE coolest guitar riff and chord progression of 2004. 4.7/5 from Hannah

Jet - 'Look What You've Done'
Yes, I can be won over by a piano. It's a recognised fact. Aside from the popular 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl?' Jet showed their softer side at the beginning of the year with this little number. It was sensitive, and moving, and so dissimilar from what had gone before, leaving me wanting the sheet music to play it for myself. It's a shame the majority of the album was so poor. 4.7/5 from Hannah

Girls Aloud - The Show
Doo doo, do-do-do-do-do-do, d-d-d-doo... hm, the opening bars of The Show, though brilliant, are not easily transposed into text form, as you can see. But you get the idea. As I remember, 'The Show' was tragically robbed of its rightful place at number one by some crap. Possibly Usher-type crap. And to further demonstrate the Public's dodgy taste, 'The Show' was then virtually forgotten while the good but inferior 'Love Machine' was much hyped. Oh well, 'The Show' - I loved you. 4.8/5 from Leo

Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For
Another single that was robbed of a higher chart position. There go Gwen's chances of a UK number one - the album's good but none of the other tracks are up to WYWF standard. It was a close run between this and 'Toxic' for my Single of the Year (see below). 'What You Waiting For' was either one of the best pop songs of recent years, or I was just hypnotised by the Alice in Wonderland video. I'm not altogether sure, but it gets 4.98/5 from Leo

The Killers - Somebody Told Me
As recommended by Jamie, I've included this. It is the only Killers track that I've been remotely interested in and my friend obviously rates it highly, for when asked for his singles of the year, came out with this and said anything else required thought. So, we're thinking it's pretty damn good. It's being re-released in 2005 too - bonza! 4/5

Singles of the Year:
Aside from the above shortlist, each of the WL staff was permitted to pick one single to rule them all...and produce a splurge of random singles they really enjoyed.

Leo chose:
Britney Spears - 'Toxic'
This should probably be 'What You Waiting For - Gwen Stefani', but Britney needs my loyalty right now. Just ignore the rubbish cover on the right, the song itself was good. Britney may not be able to write songs, or sing them, and she may even look a bit of a mess these days, but she is very good at moving her mouth and dancing in an air hostess outfit, I'm sure you'll agree. Thank God Britney was sensible and listened to her fans when they told her she should release 'Toxic' - she was all ready to release some awful 'Dirrrty' soundalike, the silly cow. 5/5

Hannah chose:
Scissor Sisters - 'Laura'
I first heard this single in 2003, and was incredibly grateful for its re-release. Even making the finals of the ITV Popularity Contest Single of Year, it proved it had wide appeal, and instant cult status. The catchy piano bassline really did it for me, though the way the whole song was brought to a climax, before defying the 'rules' and adding the crazy bit on at the end with almost indecipherable backing vocals. Camp. Crazy. Filthy. Gorgeous. 5/5

Richard Parker chose:
Kylie Minogue - 'I Believe in You'

Phwroar. 5/5

The Splurge:
Love Machine, Take Me Out, Mary, Radio, In The Shadows, Free, Bedshaped, Freakin Out, Love of Richard Nixon, This Love, These Words, Spitting Games, Vertigo, Four To The Floor, Lost in a Melody, Starcrossed, Sing For Absolution, Gravity, Vice, Can't Stand Me Now, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Try Again Today, Run, Don't Ever Think, Walk Idiot Walk, Whatever Happened to Corey Haim, Seaside, Godhopping, Obviously...

Happy 2005, folks!