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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Favorites/decade - Boys (and girls) and their Toys

Technology is a pretty good thing. While I'm just as annoyed with "auto-tuned" vocals in recent years as most long-time music fans are, in the right hands, musicians with computers can make some amazing music.

Six songs from the past ten years come to mind as tops in the "playing in the studio with the PC" category:

"Til the day that I die" by Garbage. It's far too long in between albums for my taste, but I love the DJ cuts with guitar riff samples that roll all over this tune

"Only" by Nine Inch Nails. Very cool music video; however, it's Trent Reznor's restraint with technology that makes this one my pick for the best NIN tune of this decade.

"Dawn of the Dead" by Does It Offend You, Yeah?. This band's name cannot stay in my head, but the electronic siren beats that pulse throughout and the steel drum sampling make the song a delicious piece of ear candy

"Author" by Shimmerplanet. (once you click the link, scroll to the bottom of my post for a link to the song itself.

"Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani. Boom-chik-boom. Chik. Ba-boom-boom-chik-boom. For nearly four minutes. As many love this song as detest it. When it came out in March 2005, I was one of those who couldn't stop playing this song, stomping my feet, clapping my hands and thumping the dashboard. Music fans need the occasional sinful, fat-rich, high fructose corn syrup piece of pop and this was one of the best of the decade.

I heard this last song for this category for the first time in the opening few minutes of an episode of "NUMB3RS" from last season entitled "Disturbed". It was one of those cases of love at first sight. I'm not ashamed to admit that several of my picks in the coming posts were first brought to my attention by watching the song being performed on TV or featured somewhere in episodic TV. It was a great episode and, like many a music fan, I scoured the net looking for the name of this track and finally found it. The song was released five years earlier to little fanfare by a duo called "I Monster". Full of creepy music-box samples, echoes and "auto-tuned" vocals which actually worked for this song

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