Monday, December 27, 2010

Favorite Songs of 2010

"Fallin' For You" - Dierks Bentley - Great melody, lyrics, and a fantastic beat that chugs right along with a quiet intensity.  If you don't like the fiddle, this could be the song to change your mind.

"Hangman" - Cadillac Sky - An inspiring song with defiant lyrics that vow not to let people, life, the devil, etc. get you down.  Essentially a song about following and doing what you're passionate about, doubts be damned.   "Ain't no hangman gonna get a rope around me"

"Missing You Is More Than I Can Do" - Randy Rogers Band - Fantastic melody, fun take on a classic country theme.  "Don't take this wrong because I know you belong out there on that stage / But I swear if my life was an open book it would be missing a page"

"Coffee and Cigarettes" - Jimmy Eat World - This song makes me think of college for some reason.  Not sure I could have survived without either one.  Anthemic, like most of their tunes.  "Been a lot of places since / but nothing else compares / To easy times and easy eyes / to meet you in a stare"

"Macon" - Jamey Johnson - Was released as a single but failed to do much on the charts.  Just a fun song 'bout gettin' back home to yo' woman.  "Gotta get back to Macon / love all night"

"Roll With It" - Easton Corbin - This song hit number one on the country singles chart.  It's a great feel-good summer song.  And it's actually country.  Good stuff.

"Eyes Wide Open" - Jars of Clay (featuring Derek Webb and Mac Powell) - Catchy tune with a great message and handclap percussion, with which you can never go wrong.  "So God bruise these heels we've dug in the ground / that we might move closer to love / Pull out the roots we've dug in so deep / Finish what you've started / Help us to believe"

"She Won't Be Lonely Long" - Clay Walker - Hit Top 5 on the charts.  Walker's had some classics, but this may have eclipsed them all as my favorite.  It's just a great song and Walker sings the hell out of it.  "Heaven help the fool who did her wrong"

"For the Summer" - Ray Lamontagne & the Pariah Dogs - Certainly one of the best voices in any genre of music.  This is a beautiful song about coming home after being on the road, and it has spot-on production (dig the country-soul vibe).  "Can I come home for the summer? / I could slow down for a little while"

"After the Scene Dies" - Drive-By Truckers - A haunting ode to bars and venues that are getting shut down for lack of support or corporate/government greed, but more generally about doing and working hard at what you enjoy.  "When the frontman turns to Jesus and the drummer moves away / I'll still be doing what pleases me / After the scene dies"

"Pretty Good At Drinking Beer"  - Billy Currington - Fun song about the glories (or in-glories?) of imbibing.  Currington's getting pretty good at laid-back songs like this, and I, for one, enjoy them quite a bit. 

"Knee Deep" - Zac Brown Band (featuring Jimmy Bufett) - The most talented band played on country radio (their Pass the Jar DVD shows all members to be impeccable musicians).  This one has some nice guitar picking and follows in that age-old American tradition of escapism.  I wore this one out in Maui.  "I'm knee deep in the water somewhere / Got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair / Only worry in the world / Is the tide gonna reach my chair"

"Little Lion Man" - Mumford & Sons - This song has nearly 15 million views on Youtube and a good number of them are from me.  I stumbled on it out of the blue one day and was immediately taken by the banjo lick throughout and the great chorus.  Certainly one of the best of the year.

"If I Die Young" - The Band Perry - It wouldn't surprise if the rest of the songs on this band's album are terrible country-pop, but it also wouldn't surprise me of there were more songs like this.  It's got a pleasant melody, fairly poetic lyrics by country radio standards, and fantastic production that includes a mandolin, banjo, fiddle, and steel guitar. 

"F**k You" - Cee Lo Green - There's just no denying this song.  It sounds like Al Green singing a love-gone-wrong movie written by Quentin Tarantino.  Hilarious, and actually pretty easy to relate to.

"In God's Country" - Infamous Stringdusters - An absolutely killer version of a well-known U2 song.  I like this one better than Dierks and Co.'s cover of "Pride."  Of course, there would be no song without U2's source material, but I'll go as far as to say I like this even better than their original.  The Stringdusters truly make it their own.

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