January 11, 2004

10 Songs of 2003

I really had a hard time limiting my favorites to ten. Not just because I love many songs from last year but also because there was really no stand-out song for me. Unlike, say, in 2001 when U2's "Walk On" was my personal anthem, this year I consider my top 5 songs of equal bearing. I had to resort to their "singability" factor to rank them as such. This means that if I can sing the song beautifully on "videoke" (ahem!), then it's ranked higher than the others. Hehe.:)

For a song to qualify on my list, it has to be released as a track or single in mainstream radio (with emphasis on the word mainstream). Album cuts that weren't released on radio are excluded. That's why even if I love Coldplay's "Warning Sign", it's not part of the list simply because it wasn't given radio airplay.

Other than that, the criteria's still subjective. I lean more towards anything pop (whether it be pop-rock, pop-pop, pop-alternative, pop-anything actually.) I'm sorry but I'm not that fond of love songs, rhythm and blues, mellow music, eurodance, rap and hip hop (although there are 3 hip hop songs in my list, which, I guess, basically reaffirms hip-hop's place in music culture last year.) What more, I am not a lyrics person. I believe both lyrics and melody should complement one another because if you only like a song because of its lyrics, you might as well write poetry. Last year, I'm mostly depressed, so songs about this state are easily favorites. I guess I'm telling you these so that, more or less, you'll understand why these songs are tops for me. I mean, I don't like it myself when my favorites are not in other people's favorites. :)

I listed 27 tunes as favorites last year and these are the cream of the crop...

10. CLOSE by Paolo Santos
Forget the overplayed TV commercial. Forget that it's a theme song of some teenybopper movie. And admit that it's a well-composed, well-sang piece that's gotta be the breakthrough song of this once indie artist now dominating (and really dominating) the airwaves and paving the way for all these acoustic hoopla.

9. CRAZY IN LOVE by Beyonce and Jay-Z
It's all about the trumpets, baby. It's all about the trumpets.

8. HEY YA by Outkast
"Trip", "Hip", "Hop", and "Funk" all combined in their real sense.

7. BIGGER THAN MY BODY by John Mayer
This catchy first single from his latest album just proves how talented this Mayer geek is. It also proves that you don't have to rest on your laurels by playing it safe and playing the same kind of tunes like most singers. You can constantly experiment and explore new musical possibilities in every song you offer.

6. WHERE IS THE LOVE? by Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake
Critics may not be that supportive of Black Eyed Peas going "pop" in their new album but you can't deny that last year's anti-war theme was also a fresh listen compared to the generic hip-hop tunes proliferating these days discussing nothing but sex and violence. It helps that I can rap this well, too. :)

5. BEAUTIFUL by Christina Aguilera
Never mind Aguilera's schzophrenic image. Focus instead on this well-composed piece of pop by Linda Perry and the "Beatlesque" piano accompaniment playing in the background. Okay, Aguilera's voice was also good.

4. I'M WITH YOU by Avril Lavigne
Never mind Lavigne's contrived angst. Focus instead on this well-composed piece of pop by The Matrix and the early 90's melancholic feel accompanying the singing. Okay, Lavigne's "yeah, yeah...yeah, yeah...yeah, yeah...yeaaahhhh" was also good.

3. LIKE A STONE by Audioslave
The ex-Rage Against the Machine members didn't go wrong when they hired ex-Soundgarden lead Chris Cornell to front their new band. Cornell's nasal growl (if there's such a term) perfectly complement the melodious instruments in this powerful tune about pain and longing. Like a Stone simply rocks! (No pun intended). :)

2. UNWELL by Matchbox20
It's very eerie how the song's lyrics aptly describe how I felt during my depression moments last year. This is a very very sad song and I looove it!

1. MARIPOSA by Sugar Free
Yep, last year's anthem for the lonely is also my number 1 pick. It's been sometime since a Pinoy alt band came up with a song this good. The idea of giving a somewhat happy tune to very sad lyrics was also refreshing. I'm definitely looking forward to singing this song on videoke. Screaming "Ayoko nang mag-isa!!!" will be pure catharsis. :)

Special mention to Parokya ni Edgar for giving us the funniest song of the year. No, not the overplayed "Mr. Suave" but the hip-hop parody "The Yes Yes Show", which also pokes fun at other Pinoy bands' over-inflated egos. Definitely, a laugh trip and some genius' writing! :D

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