Fuse is counting down the top hits of the year. Fans voted at Fuse.tv for their favorite songs and the ultimate viewers choice will debut at number one in the Top 40 of 09: The Year in Music. Tune in Saturday, December 12th at 4pm ET. An encore will air Sunday at 12pm ET.
“Hang You From the Heavens” is perhaps most representative of how you would expect the Dead Weather to sound. Jack White demolishes the drum kit, particularly the hi-hats, while Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence hit a slew of grimy notes and tones. As if that’s not enough, Alison Mosshart’s sexy-as-hell vocals make the track worthy of a cigarette break. It might not be the best track off Horehound, but it’s certainly up there.
While the R. Kelly/Jay-Z collaboration failed miserably, the vinyl-only “Moth/Wolf Cub” single showed that bizarre genre crossovers could work. Four Tet was one of the primary founders of folktronica and Burial was one of the names that made dubstep the household name it now is. Locked in a room together, their sounds combined in a breathtaking fashion. Burial’s patient beats roll on smoothly under Four Tet’s ethereal cut-up loops. “Moth” is significantly subdued and minimal, but the B-side “Wolf Cub” is where the partnership really cooks, beginning with a distinctly Four Tet-sounding, diced hand piano and evolving to include Burial’s stuttering beat and moody atmosphere. It would be nice to hear more come out of this.
From its title to its punchline, this song is clever, a coming-of-age-in-a-library tale with bodies pressed against the spines of books. Not just clever, though. The puns barely cover the tangible feeling of excitement turning to disappointment (a.k.a. growing up). Musically, it captures both the rush of feeling loved and its come-down. It’s a firecracker with an air of sadness: the perfect metaphor for the way hot new bands like the Pains of Being Pure at Heart are treated as superstars one day, then yesterday’s news. They seem to be powering right through that cycle, however, on the strength of songs like this.
It’s always a bit of a bummer when one of the most solar-plexus-punchingly great records of the year comes out in November or December. Some people haven’t heard it yet, and others are wary of confusing novelty with quality, so it doesn’t make the “Best of” lists as much as it should.
Well, I’m here to tell you, Them Crooked Vultures really is one of the greatest albums of 2009, and the first single, “New Fang”, is the song Natalie Portman should’ve made Zach Braff listen to in Garden State, not the Shins’ anemic “New Slang”. It might not change your life, but it’ll sock you in the gut, in the very best way possible.