As the new year draws closer, we’ve decided to take a look the music that’s gotten us to where we are today. So in an effort to broaden our musical horizons and our understanding of contemporary artists, we’re counting down 2012 by counting up from 1952, taking a look at a handful of songs from a different year every day until January 1st. You can find the full list here. Today we’re heading back to 2001!
The White Stripes – “Fell In Love With A Girl”
I distinctly remember first reading about The White Stripes in a Maxim magazine, which prompted me to download “Fell In Love With A Girl” from Kazaa, or Morpheus, or whatever spotty P2P client was in vogue at the time. I was immediately captivated by the ramshackle, bare bones garage rock – and really, who wasn’t? This song is a as good as anything the duo has done since, and Michel Gondry’s corresponding stop-motion lego video is a suitably lo-fi video treatment.
Daft Punk – “Digital Love”
This music video is a clip from Interstella 5555, a wordless animated film about an outer space pop band, soundtracked almost solely by Daft Punk’s entire Discovery album. A fitting premise, considering it plays like a Top 40 compilation from Mars circa 2152. “Digital Love” builds itself around a sample of George Duke’s “I Love You More,” and climaxes in a bionic guitar solo that was mysteriously crafted from a combination of synths and samples.
Destiny’s Child – “Bootylicious”
Beyoncé’s old crew celebrates being sexy in da club over a pitched down sample of Stevie Nicks’s “Edge of Seventeen.” It was such a popular track that “Bootylicious” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and my permanent lexicon.
Radiohead – “Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box”
A part 2 of sorts to Kid A, Amnesiac sees the band experiment further with atypical sounds and unexpected genres, both losing and gaining fans as they drift further from guitar-based alternative rock. On “Packt,” Thom Yorke’s autotuned vocals ask us repeatedly to gett off his case, while metallic drum loops encircle us in cold, confusing darkness.
The Strokes – “Is This It”
Simplicity goes a long way. Such was the case for The Strokes’ debut and breakthrough album, Is This It. Minimalist production and hasty recording sessions perfectly captured the band’s memorable rock songs, culminating in an album that changed the face of alternative rock for the next decade and beyond.