1. Kanye West, “Champion.” For years, I though Donald Fagen was singing “Did you realize, that you were Italian in their eyes” instead of “a champion” in “Kid Charlemagne,” now sampled in “Champion.” That’s right up there with “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy.” April 29, Ford Center — be there!
2. John Legend, “Each Day Gets Better.”
3. MGMT, “The Handshake.”
4. Art Brut, “Nag Nag Nag Nag.”
5. Asobi Seksu, “Lions and Tigers.” American neo-shoegazers Asobi Seksu revive the shimmering-sheets-of-sound unsettling beauty of My Bloody Valentine, Curve and Lush, mainly because shoegazer got a raw deal in the U.S. when it was got zeitgeist-trampled by grunge.
6. The Postal Service, “Against All Odds.”
7. Neutral Milk Hotel, “Ghost.”
8. J Dilla, “Wild.”
9. Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill.” My spooky-prog crush, circa 1985, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love still sounds like ghosts pushing their way into our dimension. Like many of her art-rock contemporaries, Kate was playing around with a Fairlight, one of the best early digital samplers, which accounts in part for Hounds of Love‘s excellence as a headphone disc — found sounds drifting in and out of the mix evoke the creepiness of Gothic literature more than they do mere Gothic rock.