Friday, 2006-01-20 | Classic Gin
I've still got the countdown bug. What follows are my favorite three songs of 2005:
III. THE VERONICAS - 4EVER.
When these two sassy twins from Australia who are always dressed like they just walked out of the shopping mall and whose press material reads like a mash-up of the biographical information of T.A.T.U. and Veruca Salt hit the internet, they hit it hard. If there's a recipe for pop success, this one-hit-wonder from the land down under followed it almost to a T on their debut single. The great genuius of the song and the group is that both are a nearly perfect amalgamation of the best parts of teen beat pop and shopping mall alternative fashion. It's almost impossible to tell where the gimic ends and the song begins.
II. NINE INCH NAILS - RIGHT WHERE IT BELONGS.
The Rez has done plenty of down-tempo sleepers and as many atmospheric instrumentals in his time. With Right Where... he proves that he isn't out of ideas yet. Like everyone else out there, I too went through a sad-sack phase and can therefore speak authoritatively about weepy, down-tempo, contemplations of ennui and personal tragedy: when I say that this track, given the sparsity of it, is more nuanced than anything else like it, you can take that to the bank. Reznor puts more work into this minimalist album-closer than most major studios put into the songs that they plan to popularize with copious amounts of payola. Reznor is, as I've argued elsewhere, still on the frontier.
I. HILARY DUFF - BEAT OF MY HEART.
Though she didn't release a proper album this year, HD was still around--her emaciated, skeletal gaze was as ubiquitous as ever in America's check-out lines and from America's buzy news stands. Producing and co-authoring a handful of songs with Good Charlotte--"Dead Executives" in the liner notes--that range from "alright, given the basic mistakes" to "barely listenable for its faults and flaws," HD at least tried to keep up appearances this year. As with all of the Dead Executives tracks on her greatest hits CD, Most Wanted, Beat of My Heart is characterized by missteps in terms of composition and arrangement and by less-than-perfect musical performances: the drummer, no doubt a Madden brother, actually manages to miss drum hits throughout and actually drops a whole beat in the last chorus. Underneath layers and layers of mutilated, rotting flesh this song has, at its core, a burning kernel of what HD once meant to her fans. Unlike the other Dead Executives tracks--which are as lifeless as they are amateurish--this one should strike fans of the old HD as the zombie who was once the girl you knew: you want to put her down, but fondness and nostalgia give you pause. There is something of your old friend in that lifeless body. Somewhere. Deep Down.