Thursday, January 10, 2013

Music - Best of 2012

All Samuels Public Library cardholders are eligible for three free downloads a week from Freegal, a massive online database containing over 500,000 songs.  Sifting through such an enormous selection of music can be a daunting task, so we here at Samuels have decided to offer a few suggestions for the overwhelmed (or new) Freegal user.  Since it’s the beginning of the year and many magazines, websites, and blogs are compiling “Best of 2012” lists, the following three songs are a few standouts from the past year’s releases: 

Fiona Apple—“Every Single Night” (from the album The Idler Wheel is Wiser…) 

Fiona Apple hit it big in the ‘90s with songs like ‘Criminal’ and ‘Fast as You Can’ before disappearing for a while at the turn of the millennium.  Her new album is her first in over 7 years, but her signature style shows no sign of rust on “Every Single Night,” a single as passionate as it is cerebral.  With just her piano and some occasional percussion as musical accompaniment, Apple is able to showcase her immense songwriting talent and wonderfully emotive vocals.  Nowhere is this more effective than in the final mantra of “I just want to feel everything.”

Jack White—“Sixteen Saltines” (from the album Blunderbuss)

Those who just want to rock will probably be better off downloading Jack White’s “Sixteen Saltines,” a high-energy number that harkens back to his days in the sorely missed White Stripes.  Containing a monster riff and some wicked guitar histrionics, this song is made for blasting from your speakers and rockin’ out.  Turn up the volume and enjoy.

Passion Pit—“Take a Walk” (from the album Gossamer

It seemed like every high school and college kid I know was talking about Passion Pit in 2012, and for good reason: their mix of ‘80s synth-pop and ‘00s indie rock proves highly irresistible.  “Take a Walk” is a perfect example, with a soaring chorus you’ll be humming for days.  And don’t write it off as just another fluffy pop tune—lead singer Michael Angelakos accurately describes lives touched by economic hardships, making it a perfect soundtrack for a year marked by continuing recession.   

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