For katstevens, five songs starting with 'Y':
- The New Radicals - You Get What You Give
- The Manual in action. - the lead single off an album designed to showcase songwriting skills, with big piano and yearning vocals and a mindlessly cynical paean to youth and its punky ideals - and still something twists into life inside it and lifts the song until it sounds like summer. It's a great song even before the breathless assault in the last half-minute. Or possibly I'm just a sucker for a count-in.
- Ice Cube Feat. Mack 10 And Ms. Toi - You Can Do It (FNP Edit)
- Starts like the super tough sex-em-up from the cuddliest member of NWA (It's the one that goes "You got @ss for days, I got d1ck for weeks"), then suddenly has a breakdown of the mental kind and turns into a sped up happy hardcore version of same, complete with the sort of crowd noise not usually included on this sort of scorcher. Also notable distortion shows they've actually sped up Ice Cube's vocals, which was quite brave.
- Source Feat. Candi Statton - You've Got The Love
- Perfect 80s minimal synths, beepy treble, and bass like a Nouvelle Cuisine backdrop to the fantastic Ms. Statton
- Busted - Year 3000
- You have to hope that hit songwriters get together occasionally and compare new methods of going "Wooooooooooooaaah", like wine tasters or drugmakers. "Check out this one, a little slender, but can you hear the aftertaste?" "Is that.. it's a theremin! Lucius, you old genius!" The rest of this song (sadly Busted's only great one) is basically just getting out of the way of the great chorus.
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Y Control
- Four Y's for the price of one! The Yeah Yeah Yeahs always sounded like they had no idea quite why they were no longer playing in arthouse toilet clubs any more, and this is basically cut from the same swoopy ranty cloth as their first EP, always just enough in control. It was great, seeing them live earlier this year, to see that they still play Art Star, one of the songs where the elastic that holds them in this orbit snaps, and they fly off into noise.
For mrs_leroy_brown, five songs starting with 'H'
- The White Stripes - Hotel Yorba
- After the rock monsterism of the first track on White Blood Cells, this is an acoustic stomper of love and rusticism, drum and cymbals, the sweet naivete that really sets the tone for the rest of the great great album.
- Lord Rockingham's XI - Hoots Mon
- Known to a lot of people as the music from the Fruit Pastilles' ad ("There's Joose Loose About this Hoose"), this 50's track is packed full of hooks - the horns, handclaps, occasional interjections of a scottish nature, even what in an alternate universe is the inspiration for the first proper breakdown. All in under two-and-a-half minutes, this really sounds like the birth of a pop - sticking more and more things in for no more serious reason than they make it sound better.
- The Knife - Heartbeats (Rex The Dog remix)
- The first track that make me realise why the modern dance music could be so so good to the modern indie - the big blocks of emotion from the original are teased up into giant
beehivessculptures of tension and release. Basically, RtD takes the version of the song that you have in your head, all ringing around the chorus, and actually slightly faster than the original, and puts that on record.
- 20th Century Steel Steel Band - Heaven and Hell
- Both present on earth, apparently, but there's not much diabolic on show. This song by itself argues strongly for the abolition of guitars from 90% of their current use: they'll never sound like this, so why bother?
- The Housemartins - Happy Hour
- (flicks V-signs at half of his friends list)
For catsgomiaow, five songs starting with 'A'
- Scooter - Apache Rocks The Bottom
- Still rocking the place! Still with an ear for the great hook - in this instance more a case of throwing the kitchen sink at a full-length "sample" of the old Shadows tune. They're playing in Dublin next month, but at a under-18s concert :(
- Carter USM - After The Watershed
- True fact - the first song I ever got from evil illegal filesharing. Sampled strings, same old enormous guitars, same old drum machines, naked emotion. A song with absolutely no subtlety, but still a ton of artistry. For some reason my head has linked this to my friend Liz D - it only makes me love it more. WARNING: if ever I find this at a karaoke, I will attempt it.
- t.A.T.u. - All The Things She Said
- Perfect pop, exciting and confusing and confused and the START of something that may or may not have ended.
- Kenickie - Acetone
- Great slow viola-backed last track on one of the sharpest, slickest,
weirdestpunky pop albums I've ever loved. Plus a pissed-up outtake as hidden track.
- Talking Heads - And She Was
- Nothing showy in this mid-period track by ver 'Heads, neither the beamed-from-an-alien-planet early stuff nor the world music they ended up with, but it's still unmistakably them: breathless without actually being that fast, and floaty while David Byrne describes a dream in classic kiddish "and then this and then that" style.
So there you go. Ask for a letter if you want, and ye shall recieve.