17 Tracks Summer 2009 Mix

The other day I dusted off 17 Tracks Summer 2008 Mix and it was like a time capsule to twelve months ago. Rihanna ruled the world, free promotional downloads were all the rage, trans-Atlantic No. 1 hits dominated the charts and, Barack Obama was just another presidential hopeful.

This year's mix is a lot lighter on "hits for hits sake". Track 1 is the only song that's reached No. 1 in the US or UK and I'm fine with that (I couldn' stomach "I Kissed A Girl" from last year's CD. That was definitley a "hit for hits" sake song). To those of you who only listen to Top 40 radio, fear not, there's plenty of songs from big name acts but there's also plenty of new music to sink your teeth into.

Hope you guys enjoy the mix and this last month of summer.

01. "I Gotta Feelin'"
Artist: Black Eyed Peas
Album: The End
Why: Summer 2009 is the summer of the Black Eyed Peas whether we like 'em or not. President Obama commissioned Will.I.Am to create an album that would help Americans forget that they were in a recession and part of the bailout money went to buying the most expensive synthesizers money can buy. Between "Boom Boom Pow" and "Feelin", the Peas have had a lockdown on the No. 1 spot for 16 weeks and I'm beginning to think they'll outlast the recession.

02. "I Talk Too Much"
Artist: Just Jack feat. Kylie Minogue
Album: Overtones
Why: Because its a cool song. How can you say no to a hipster pop ditty from an indie electronic artist featuring one of the biggest pop stars in the world? It pleases Pitchfork and Popjustice readers alike.

03. "Fireflies"
Artist: Owl City
Album: Ocean Eyes
Why: This song was iTune's free single of the week a week ago and it sounds like a Postal Service reject. Maybe a few years ago it wouldn't have many a blip on my radar but after Ben Gibbard announced there would be no follow up to 2003's Give Up, I'll take whatever I can get.

04. "Hold The Line"
Artist: Major Lazer feat. Santigold
Album: Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do
Why: Nothing says summer like a cartoon musician. Like the Archies and Gorillaz before "him", Major Lazer is a collaborative musical project fronted by a cartoon character. Diplo is the mastermind behind the Jamaican commando and he team's up with summer mix favorite Santogold who landed two songs on last year's mix. I just love the part about "fresh from California".

05. "Lisztomania"
Artist: Phoenix
Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Why: Any song that references a movie in which Ringo Starr plays the Pope deserves a spot on a mix. Plus, Phoenix is the shiz.

06. "Awesome"
Artist: The Bloody Beetroots
Album: Romborama
Why: Because this song is AWESOME!!! Seriously, this track is so hot.

07. "She Wolf"
Artist: Shakira
Album: To Be Announced
Why: Shakira pronounces words like Alanis and she makes disco like the Bee Gees. Props to her for being the first artist to use the word lycanthropy in a pop song.

08. "Paranoid"
Artist: Kanye West
Album: 808s & Heartbreak
Why: Kanye is a perennial 17 Tracks favorite and "Paranoid" is one of 808s highlights. The new single mix makes the song about distrust and paranoia in a relationship gone haywire that much catchier.

09. "The Loving Kind"
Artist: Absent Elk
Album: None
Why: Originally a UK No. 10 hit by Girls Aloud, this Pep Shop Boys penned track shines no matter who sings it and Absent Elk's low key take on the track proves it.
10. "Already Gone"
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Album: All I Ever Wanted
Why: Sure Kelly hates it but Ryan Tedder didn't become the songwriter of the moment for nothing. It's a breakup song but its a happy breakup song. Those are far and few between.
11. "Sweet Dreams"
Artist: Beyonce
Album: I Am...Sasha Fierce
Why: You didn't think we'd put "Halo" on here did you?
12. "1901"
Artist: Phoenix
Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Why: Lucky Phoenix, they get two songs on the mix! "1901" is their best song. There is absolutely nothing French about it, actually, it sounds very Strokes-ey. Mark my words, this will end up as one of the year's most critically acclaimed songs.
13. "One More Chance"
Artist: Bloc Party
Album: None
Why: "One More Chance" is the healing balm to Intimacy's scars. Kele's desperate pleas for "one more chance to love you" and "don't say another word about the other boy" amid the swirling house beats and insistent driving guitar make for another Bloc Party classic.

14. "Obsessed"
Artist: Mariah Carey
Album: Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
Why: This song and its travails have provided so many rich story lines that it would be a crime to not put it on here. It has gone from the moment Mimi "jumped the shark" and used auto-tune to the first shot in a massive blog fueled war of superstars.

15. "Raindrops"
Artist: Basement Jaxx
Album: Scars
Why: It's like an Amazonian rainstorm...from the future! The raindrops equals moisture dripping from your lips is...interesting...and its dramatic build is euphoric. Always on the cutting edge of electronia, the Basement Jaxx deliver another hit.

16. "Run This Town"
Artist: Jay-Z feat. Kanye West & Rihanna
Album: The Blueprint III
Why: It would have been just another cocky song by Jay-Z but Rihanna adds the same attitude that she showed on "Live Your Life" minus the cumbersome Numa Numa sample and then you have Kanye's rapping. It's good to hear him do that again, isn't it?

17. "Box N Locks"
Artist: MPHO
Album: Pop Art
Why: I predict that this song will end up one of critic's favorite songs of the year. Like the lovechild of Prince and the Cars, "Box N Locks" is a hipster surf-guitar pop declaration of independence. MPHO's sentiments are similar to those of Santogold last year, challenging the notion that black artists have to make "black" music. Even their voices are two peas in a pod.


Bronson said...

Last year I complained about the lack of lil John. This year I think there should have been some Drake. I hope we get a big debate this year about how "mainstream" the blog is lol.

hun*ter said...

Haha, that's a stupid debate anyway. 17 Tracks is all about good music no matter where it comes from. Some people are only into top 40 and they pass up amazing songs by lesser known artists. Then you have snobby pretentious indie kids who eshew anything with over 10 fans. Good music is good music and it all has its place. Sometimes you need an intelligent song to listen to and sometimes you need a mindless pop song to listen to.

Nathan said...

So i love the album could have done without the Jay-Z and Mariah Carey....haha jk loved it! Really feeling Shakira's new song and Kelly Clarkson, even though apparently it's the same beat as Halo...o well

God Bless**AmY** said...

Like the album-not sure about Kanye West, never really been a fan of his-besides for the parody of Heartless for Twilight "I wanna be like Edward Cullen". What is so wrong with Halo, it is the best Beyonce song out there. Shakira rocks and is hot in her new video. And I have to side with you, Hun*ter, on the debate issue. Summer is great- Peace out. Nor*Cal Rocks!!!!

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