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>> WHY MAKE SNAP JUDGMENTS WHEN YOU CAN TAKE TIME TO SAVOR THE SOUNDS?
The top 10 songs of 2007

 Few hip-hop artists manage to turn a phrase or express an idea as well as Lupe Fiasco, and he did it well in 2007.
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Date published: 12/27/2012

By Jonas Beals

IT'S THAT TIME of year again, ladies and gentlemen. Time to get in the rockin' wayback machine and judge the music of the year from a safe and studious distance. I give you the top 10 songs of 2007.

"1234" by Feist

While this is a great song and an unexpected hit, it mostly makes my list because of Feist's "Sesame Street" version, which I've heard thousands of times this year.

"Can't Tell Me Nothing" by Kanye West

I'd be lying if I said the incredible Zach Galifianakis / Will Oldham video for this song didn't have something to do with my love for it. Otherwise, the tune deals with the classic Kanye combo of success and shame.

"Please Read the Letter" by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

This unlikely combo worked beautifully on the album "Raising Sand," and they never sounded better together than on this track.

"Icky Thump" by The White Stripes

For a while there, The White Stripes were keeping rock 'n' roll alive by themselves. They handled it pretty well, thanks to gritty and ambitious songs like this one.

"Paper Planes" by M.I.A.

Before there was "Gangnam Style," there was M.I.A., bringing world music to hip-hop and American airwaves. She sings in English, but this song introduced rap as a potent global movement.

"I'm Not Gonna Cry" by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Pretty much everything Jones touches turns to funky soul gold, but this single put all of the Dap-Kings' tightest tricks in one bag. The bass line hops like a hot frog and the greasy horns keep the tune sliding over the bumps in the road. This is real soul, not just a revival.

"Gunpowder & Lead" by Miranda Lambert

Five years on, this is still the most explosive song you're likely to hear on country radio. Five years later and Lambert is still tearing through Nashville like double-aught buckshot.

"Roc Boys (And The Winner Is) " by Jay-Z

Lyrics--typically braggadocious--are secondary to the funky horn sample that forms the basis of this track. Thanks to that hook, HOVA had one of the slinkiest party anthems in hip-hop history on his hands.

"Superstar" by Lupe Fiasco

The other side of the coin is this track, one with outstanding verses from Fiasco but a tired hook by Matt Santos that nearly castrates the tune. Still, those verses are on fire, encapsulating the soul-twisting consequences of fame and fandom better than Kanye ever has.

"All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem

Five years ago, I didn't think much of LCD Soundsystem or their critically acclaimed album "Sound of Silver." I think I needed a little more life before I could appreciate this tune, which deals with a surprisingly mature subject: losing your youth. Although the music suggests a triumphant electro-dance number, the lyrics carry plenty of melancholy. If that's not rock 'n' roll, I don't know what is.

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com


JONAS' IN-TOWN PICK: Ocean Drive ("Island" Gerry Maddox and "Hurricane" Ed Lambert) at Colonial Tavern. Catch some tropical summer breezes in late December. Friday at 9 p.m. OUT-OF-TOWN PICK: Keller Williams at The National in Richmond. Fredericksburg's own man made of music in a great venue that's not too far away. Sunday at 7 p.m. LISTENING TO: "Great Divide" by Hanson. Yep. That Hanson. Sort of over-produced, but it's a well-played, powerful song. And it happens to be from 2007.