Sunday, August 15

The Best Songs Ever Whenever Ever Is

Some songs are so good they can make an entire album. Some songs are so good they can make an entire career. And some songs are so good they can feel like nothing has ever beaten or is ever likely to beat it. It is these which I've whittled down my iTunes to, the ten best songs ever whenever is. Songs that the first time you heard them you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing, and just for a second thought, 'You know what, this is the greatest song ever'. These are all so good, I still think that about a few of 'em...

10. Oasis 'Stand By Me' -
Yes, I am aware that this is not from Brother Gallaghers' first two efforts. But I'm not alleging that 'Be Here Now' is a better record (though it is still unfairly lambasted), I'm just saying that the anthemy and mountainousness lodged within 'Stand By Me' so rightly parallels Oasis' standing at the time - plus its name - it defines them more than any other.

9. Stereophonics 'Just Looking' -
When I first got into proper music, these were actually quite happening. And 'Just Looking' comes from their second album 'Performance And Cocktails', itself an unfailing piece of indie. But the track's stirring chords, singer Kelly Jones' honeyed croak, the constancy of discontent it possesses - it just couldn't not be included. Perfect.

8. Bloc Party 'Helicopter' -
Though this may be the second-most recent number in this list, it still seems like ages ago if you take into account Kele Okereke's solo outing. Time was, Bloc Party fizzled with gassy effects pedals and professionally amateur vocals, 'Helicopter' being the greatest example of such. Kele's denied it relating to George W. Bush, saying it's actually on him.

7. Muse 'Time Is Running Out' -
It's only fair that THE band of superlative stadium chorales get a mention, right? Just when I thought it was all downhill post-'Plug In Baby', they came out all-woolly-synths-blazing to tear up the nation. Well, embezzle near-unlawful play-time on MTV2, rather. The tearing up the nation came a couple records later.

6. Foo Fighters 'The Best Of You' -
The best revenge is thought by many to live well. Not Dave Grohl, however, who would prefer his ex to have 'someone take her faith', just like she him. It, too, opens first with a vocal, a ploy that works wonders when meeting its as-raw, forthright guitars. By the 37th play, I'll admit, I wavered, but it's still the best Foo Fighters song. Ever, ever, ever.

5. Morning Runner 'Burning Benches' -
I'm not sure I'll ever get over these splitting after just one LP - and a mighty brilliant LP at that. Yet I'll always have 'Burning Benches', the definition of sentimental. Sentimental obsession and love and heartache, that is. Sadly, Morning Runner may only be known in future for soundtracking hit-but-mostly-miss 'comedy' 'The Inbetweeners'.

4. Death Cab for Cutie 'Transatlanticism' -
Well, derrr. The first of two of DCfC's to feature, 'Transatlanticism's title track is, to call a spade a spade, the finest love song of them all. "I need you so much closer," Ben Gibbard recurrently murmurs atop drop-dead keys and a clobbering beat. And if you don't bawl for the distance, forget about that living thing.

3. Coldplay 'We Never Change' -
One of the most overlooked Coldplay gems - and there are a few - 'We Never Change' is, like, only the sweetest thing on 'Parachutes'. Chris Martin goes: "I wanna live life and always be true... I sin every single day." It's sincere by way of an acoustic-steered stripped-down ambience. Naive hope with an honest bullet. Or something.

2. Hope Of The States 'Enemies/Friends'-
Another uber-accomplished band who withered away in amongst all the relative hype, Sam Herlihy's men carried 'Enemies/Friends' like they were the forefathers of soft rock. But boy did they have rights to. It is one of the best pieces of music ever written in the history of man. Sorry, but it just is.

1. Death Cab for Cutie 'Tiny Vessels' -
I'm not even sure I can listen to this ever again. Not only because I've played it to utter death, but it's so confessional and so ingenuous and so ashamed, it's almost too much to bear. "I wanted to believe in all the words that I was speaking as we moved together in the dark, and all the friends that I was telling and all the playful misspellings and every bite I gave you left a mark." Gibbard uses 'Tiny Vessels' to lay it all out there, his regrets over the 'man' he once was and the empty promises he was making. He gets more heated and repentant as the tales of cheap sex and spurned love linger on, all the while there's a deep ocean of battering drums and trembling strings dispensing below. "Yeah, you are beautiful, but you don't mean a thing to me." About as bitter as they come, but about the best song ever whenever ever was or is.