Saturday, January 31, 2009

Better Late Than Never...


1. MGMT – Electric Feel

‘Time to Pretend’ may have been the tune that broke them, but the second single taken from Oracular Spectacular was even better, a glorious synth-funk groove that called to mind the Gallic gloss of Daft Punk, the falsetto decadence of the Scissor Sisters and the carnal pulse of vintage Prince. “All along the eastern shore / Put your circuits in the sea / This is what the world is for / Making electricity”… Is it about sex? Drugs? The harmony of the universe? When it sounds this good, who cares?

2. M.I.A. – Paper Planes

‘Paper Planes’ was included on last year’s Kala, but 2008 saw the song explode and gain the kind of commercial success that must have seemed incomprehensible to an artist as defiantly uncompromising and controversial as M.I.A. The catalyst was its inclusion on a trailer for Pineapple Express, and soon enough its rapid rise up the Billboard charts had censors everywhere fretting over its ambiguous lyrical content and the gunshot sounds that rang out over the chorus. The slew of remixes that flooded the internet this year reflected the invention and creativity at work: taking a sample from The Clash (‘Straight to Hell’) and using it as the cornerstone of an infectious hip-hop anthem that satirises and skewers anti-immigrant prejudice, this is pop music at its compelling, subversive best. You get the feeling Joe Strummer would have approved.

3. MGMT - Time To Pretend

4. JOHNNY FOREIGNER - Salt, Peppa and Spinderella

5. MGMT - Kids

6. HOT CHIP - Ready for the Floor

7. CUT COPY - Far Away

8. FOALS - Olympic Airways

9. PORTISHEAD - Machine Gun

10. ESTELLE feat. KANYE WEST - American Boy

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