It’s about that time when everyone starts compiling their “best of” lists for the year; there are “best song” lists and “best album” lists and “best band” lists. Magazines have deployed armies of critics to dissect the year’s “best” musical offerings. Music television has shows dedicated to “best of” countdowns. This is all fine and good, but, like people, music has good attributes, and not-so-good attributes. Just like the high school set gets honored for being “Best Dressed” or “Most Athletic” or “Wittiest,” I decided that I would honor songs and/or bands that rocked my world in 2013 for their individual talents and gifts. To make the suspense last, I will publish a few categories each day until all 13 are revealed, and I am saving the “Best of the Best of” until the end. And go!
BEST ANTHEM OF 2013
You know what I’m talking about, those songs that make you want to thrust a fist in the air and go conquer the world shouting declarations such as “we are the champions” or “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.” I had so much difficulty choosing just one, I talked myself into letting there be a tie.
“Red Hands” by Walk Off The Earth….This song from the R.E.V.O. LP, about taking responsibility for something, or not, makes me crank the volume in the car and sing out loud. Really loud. Digitally speaking, “Red Hands” was certified Double Platinum in Canada this September.
“Kids” by Saints of Valory…Austin, Texas-based Saints of Valory released their Possibilities EP containing “Kids” (the song, not actual children) in July of this year. With its big, full sound, echoing chorus, and lyrics containing words like “persevere” and “freedom” and “hopes” and “dreams,” how can you not call this an anthem? This song always makes me bang on the steering wheel (especially at the beginning. Go listen, you’ll see what I mean).
[Honorable Mention: “Roar” by Katy Perry.]
BEST DANCE-ABLE DITTY OF 2013
Sometimes you hear a song and you can’t seem to stay still while you’re listening….this year brought us:
“(Everything) is Debatable” by Hellogoodbye…Veteran California indie pop group Hellogoodbye released this toe-tapper back in October, which peaked at #33 on the U.S. Alternative chart and #27 on the U.S. Indie chart. Unlike their older music, this song is more indie, less techno, but there are still some little techno tidbits for your listening pleasure. It tells us that “it’s such an arbitrary line that we dance, we dance, we dance/oh everything is debatable, everything is debatable.” About one thing, however, there is no debate; it’s impossible not to dance when this song comes on.
[Honorable Mention: “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor)” by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.]