Wednesday, January 16, 2008

GREAT SONGS FROM 2007 - part 1

So, I've already written about my favorite albums of 2007, but there are a lot of songs that I love that were one-offs, or just come from albums that didn't make my list (I don't get albums for free as much as I used to, and I can't buy everything!).

Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One and Rakim: "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)" This song was actually comissioned by Nike to celebrate their anniversary. But to me, it's about how age ain't nothin' but a number. I don't know what new MCs are considered hot, but I doubt many of them would hold a candle to KRS or Rakim. The original version of this song, by the way, was produced by Rick Rubin, and didn't feature Rakim. But the version I like is the remix, done by the legendary DJ Premier. I love Rick, but Premier killed it. Premier is one of the great producers ever, and hip-hop heads know it, but since he doesn't throw his name into every song he works on, and he doesn't show up in videos, he doesn't really get his due. But he was a member of Gang Starr, and also produced Rakim, KRS-One, Nas and lots of other great hip-hop artists. He expanded into pop recently by working on Christina Aguilera's album, cooking up some really cool tracks for that one.

Mick Jagger: "Too Many Cooks (Spoil The Soup)" I wrote about this one last year: it's a lost track from the '70s, was produced by John Lennon, and features Jack Bruce of Cream on bass. Kind of unfair to even rate anything from 2007 against a Jagger/Lennon collab. It's a great, funky song.

Rilo Kiley: "Silver Lining" I wrote a bit about this one also: great song. I've read some writers compare them to Fleetwood Mac, due to the fact that the singer has had a relationship with someone in the band? That doesn't sound as tangled as the Mac, it's more like No Doubt. Whatever, I really like this song, and I'm also digging the rest of the album, Under The Blacklight.

Prince - "F.U.N.K." This was a one-off single he released on iTunes. One of his funkiest, most rocking jams in years. I think it was a dis to his fansites. Prince also released a pretty good album, Planet Earth, which had at least two cool songs: "Guitar" and "Chelsea Rogers." Prince also gets points for his cover of "A Case Of You" from a Joni Mitchell tribute that came out in '07.

Patti Scialfa - "Town Called Heartbreak" From her latest, Play It As It Lays, her best yet. This song is so good, Bruce Springsteen added it to his sets on this tour (which he hadn't done with any of the songs on her previous two albums).

I've got more songs to write about - from Green Day, Rush, The Dropkick Murphys, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Wyclef Jean, Social Distortion, Ray Davies, The Hives, The Arctic Monkeys and more.

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