Monday, December 28, 2009

Song of the Decade: Kanye West “All Falls Down”

Picking my favourite song of the decade is a near-impossible task, especially because no song clearly differentiated itself from the pack. So forgive me if a few years from now I change my mind and pick Peter Bjorn and John’s whistle anthem “Young Folks,” or The National’s elegiac “Fake Empire”; Ida Maria’s frenzied “Oh My God,” or Outkast’s overplayed but brilliant “Hey Ya!”; U2’s sparkling “Beautiful Day,” or Kaskade’s super-sleek “Steppin’ Out”; Radiohead’s penetrating “Everything In Its Right Place,” or Madonna’s disco classic “Hung Up”; Basement Jaxx’s thumping “Where’s Your Head At” or ... see my problem? For now, I’ll make the case for Kanye West’s 2004 pre-fame treatise on self-consciousness “All Falls Down,” a duet with Syleena Johnson (who subbed in for Lauryn Hill, whose original sample couldn’t be cleared – bet the powers-that-be want that one back). I just love everything about this song – its killer hook; its sparse, acoustic production; and especially its sharp lyrics, filled with rage and vulnerability (even some humour: “pass that Ver-say-see”) – and for me it announced a major talent that would go on to dominate the rest of the decade.

Kanye West: All Falls Down (ft. Syleena Johnson)
from the CD The College Dropout
Kanye West & Syleena Johnson - The College Dropout - All Falls DownMYSPACEOFFICIAL SITE

And for more new sounds, make sure to subscribe to my latest podcast, JeffMix2009.12.19 (also on iTunes), featuring music from Vampire Weekend, Annie, Cold War Kids, and Sloan, among others.

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