Well, isn't this fun? Twenty bits of songs that are cool and awesome and stuff?
Let's dig in!
The first time...
Eventually (read: the second or third time you heard it), you realized that this was a thirty second song turned into a three and a half minute excuse for the gloriously stupid music video. The first time that hook hits, though... fucking fantastic.
"I'll send you up in the air, wingardium leviosa"
I'm a sucker for a Harry Potter reference in a club rap song, I guess.
The first time I heard the laughing in this song, I was sort of dozing off a bit, and it completely terrified me. Even now, it puts me ill at ease for the duration of the song.
The swarm arrives
Never let it be said that the post-rock crescendo is dead. "Swarm" ends up being quite generous with them, giving the listener several. It's the big one before the (fake) comedown, though, that really pushes the limits on it. Adding several elements beyond the standard "ever louder guitar and drum buzz" that most examples stop at.
Bring in the flutes!
It's like they always say. Black metal just isn't black metal without an extended flute breakdown nine minutes in.
"I had no good news"
Britt Daniel's voice is generally top notch, but something about the way he delivers the line "I came home
last night; I had no good news" sounds so damned cool against the
driving beat and menacing bassline of "Rainy Taxi".
Doing deeds and dashing / Mike delivers coffee
"I deal in dirty work / Do the deed and then dash, ditch 'em"
"Top of the morning, my fist to your face is fucking Folgers"
The first is by El-P, the second by Killer Mike. Both lines are pretty much completely awesome.
"I'm reckless at night, I'm sorry for days"
The lingering feeling of unease that's been building throughout the song finally spills over over the narrator admits she might never be over what's eating at her. That wouldd be enough, but the fact that the song kicks into pure 80's goodness on the spot just seals the deal.
"...gardens, flowers, warm winds"
I like the first half of "Warm Winds" just fine, but the second half melts into a hazy reminiscing blur ("Sometimes I bite my lips and close my eyes just to pretend it's you"). For all the hype around Isaiah Rashad's album (and it does have its highlights) this is my favorite thing that he's been a part of to this point.
11. Calvin Harris - Summer
So help me, I like this song. The abrupt twang the punctuates between the crazy revved-up EDM hooks only amplifies that enjoyment.
"like a bird through the night"
The moment that the best Top 40 song of the year turns from being a pretty damned good song to being something else entirely. Her voice gives me chills even today. (the "I'm holding on for dear life" post-hook bit is also aces).
...and it's apparently a very painful death
Break my legs so I won't walk to you
Cut my tongue so I can't talk to you
Burn my skin so I can't feel you
Stab my eyes so I can't see
You like it when I let you walk over me
You tell me that you like it
Your love is killing me
"When you don't know that you're wrong..."
"...or just how wrong you are."
Release 1 / Release 2
I had a hard time choosing between the first release (1:09 in), where the song pays off the proceedings with a pretty nifty hook, or the second one (3:27), where you realize that the first hook was just a decoy to build the real thing off of.
6. Sharon Van Etten - Traifa
The little saxophone bit
It isn't much, but the descending three note saxophone melody works just perfectly in the chorus to my favorite song off of Are We There.
I always forget how early this part comes in (four minutes in), and how long it lasts (about six full minutes!) For a solid six minutes, from the "built up to almost Explosions in the Sky proportions" swell to the ending, where only Neige's voice remains, Délivrance's back half is golden shimmery goodness.
"I ain't gotta say shit"
There are so many parts in this song to love ("got the game on lock like we changed the key", or even better "I'ma m--I'ma maniac"), but the one that towers over all of them is the ending, where Danny Brown's forceful flow evolves into shouting, which evolves into a swaggering roar. "I AIN'T GOTTA SAY SHIT, TELL YOUR BITCH TO SUCK MY DICK."
...it works better in context, I promise...
"Fuck that get down"
Great song, great video... great buildup to the instrumental hook.
"Hands up, flip a finger to 'em...fuck that get down"
The sun is brought
Post-Rock does not corner the market on big swelling crescendos. This one starts light, with Michael Gira chanting "bring the suuuuun" as the song starts building and building until you think it can't possibly get any bigger, lest it explode.
At that point, you are roughly halfway through the explosive climax of the first half of the song.
The most cathartic moment (well, "moments", since it happens twice) in music since I don't know when.