Adventures In 2010: Top 10 Musical Moments Of 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One of my blog compadre's The Middle Eight had a great post idea to note their top 10 musical moments of the year, and well, I'm going to "post swipe" his idea, because I thought it was imaginative and that it would make another nice precursor to the upcoming Adventures In 2010 list.

Usually whenever we go "Hey! I like this song!" we  just sort of engulf  the song as a whole, but what about portions of that particular favored song? A string of notes, a lyric, a bit of instrumentation, the way the singer does something different with their vocals at one point...pieces that make a track whole. So as I'm challenging myself to come up with 10 musical moments of this year, I'm also challenging you, my Adventurer readers, to come up with some of your own.

The "rules" entail:
  • The portions that you choose have to be songs from 2010.
  • It can't be the full song.
  • You have to talk about a portion of the song. A instrumentation, a bridge, a string of notes, a lyric...basically, pick a piece of a song that you liked.

So peep my top 10 musical moments of 2010, and you are more than welcome to submit your own in the comments! Don't be shy!

10. The shower of synths introducing Robyn's "In My Eyes". No doubt it was modeled off of the epic climaxes of 80's dance songs, which is why it's so favorable for me. I also imagine that's how bouncing atoms would sound. Yeah, that was real Ms. Frizzle of me, but really, you gotta hear it to get what I mean.

9. The kick-off of the chorus on Bruno Mars "Just The Way You Are" when he goes: "When I see your face, the whole world stops for awhile, cause girl you're amazing, just the way you are...." Now if only guys were really THAT sincere, I'd be swooning every damn day.

8. When Cee-Lo goes "That real, that deep, that burning, that amazing unconditional, inseparable love", in the opening of "Fool For You". I like how he made his vocals staccato and really got down into those lyrics. It is very Earth, Wind, and Fire (no joke why Phillip Bailey is a featured guest on the track). He also does this style through the entire song, but that portion I really dug.

7. Marina & The Diamonds "choir" of  "but I feel celestial..." in the build-up to the squeaky synth and orchestral middle eight of "Shampain". Ooo, it was nice.

6. The 2:30 mark to the end on Corinne Bailey Rae "Closer". The chorus of trumpets kick in and Corinne tenderly goes in and out of free wheeling scat into being coy, then let's it all out at the very end. It was the brightest moment on The Sea.

5. Goldfrapp's Head First had a plethora of synth tapestries that delighted my synth loving heart. Still, one of my favorites was on "I Wanna Life" when the song is gearing up for it's "big" finale. Starting at the 2:10 mark there's some Harpsichord sounding keys and then goes into this misty synth moment. It's quite intricate. Then at 2:39 it zips into a much more robust sounding chorus. The song ends that way as well on a very abrupt note, a note that sealed the deal for me with this track.

4. Like Goldfrapp, there are many many moments on Janelle Monae's The ArchAndroid that left my jaw to floor, but my favorite moment that made go "ah ha!" was on "Dance Or Die" where she goes in this lyric graph:
This man wants to see another jubilation
And that man wants us in emancipation
And then there is the man who wants a stronger nation
You see we really got to and i think that we ought to
Protect the mind from degradation
Sow in the seeds of education
They run from us, are we that dangerous?
There's a war in all the streets and yes the freaks must dance or die!
And then the guitar comes on in wailing away. Epic. My second favorite moment from ArchAndroid is on "BaBopByeYa" at the 2:29 mark to about 4:30, where it drifts into this bongo-Samba drum beat, and Janelle let's her vocals fall into a scatty Sarah Vaughn thing. Then she sweeps into a Shirley Bassey moment where her thundering vocal range takes center stage among the James Bond-esque instrumental backing. Then some shivering strings come into play. It's really wild and makes you go, "This girl is serious".

3. The racing Fender Rhodes and a plunking piano intertwining in the background of Jose James' "Warrior". Very urgent, very jazzy, very good instrumentation trickery.

2. The clopping chimes intro on Andreya  Triana's "Draw The Stars". It's an eerie brilliance that starts up the Lost Where I Belong album and the song. It was one of those moments where you go: "Okay, this artist is trying a new avenue." It's just one of those rhythms that sets the tone, foreshadowing what is to come on the rest of the album. I always like a great intro in that vein.

1. Erykah Badu singing in "Window Seat", "don't want nobody, next to meeee" just the way she phrased/sang it. I felt that...a lot. Another moment of note is the section where she goes "come back, baby" and there's that dreamscape of chimes and keyboards. Talk about soothing and serene.

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