Here are my picks for best songs of last year, 2006. I've only got five that are memorable, because it was kind of a sparse year for good music. This is a year late, but I wanted to post this before I finalize my top song picks for this year. You can also check out my 2005 song list.
5. Wind It Up - Barenaked Ladies
While I was underwhelmed with their latest CD 'Barenaked Ladies are Me', I did enjoy the last song in the album 'Wind It Up'. The video is good too - a funny and oddly inspiring story about a rock star making a comeback in the national air guitar tournament.
4. Fidelity - Regina Spektor
Here's a nice feel-good song with catchy vocals and melody. It's memorable because I first saw the video in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep, and thought it was fantastic. A couple of weeks later, I heard it again while browsing in a bookstore and it just had a good mood to it.
3. Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
One of the most played songs on radio for the year. This is a great motivational song - especially with the excellent lyrics combined with Natasha Bedingfield's powerful voice. My favorite part is when the gospel choir sings along in the chorus. It's about deciding and writing your own future and enjoying the present moment.
2. SOS - Rihanna
When I first heard this on the radio, I immediately noticed the Soft Cell 'Tainted Love' background loop, but on a new song. Who is this Rihanna and why is she stealing from Soft Cell? I was determined not to like this new song, but after repeated listens I had to admit that it was growing on me and I was starting to like Rihanna's new spin on an 80's new wave sampling track. After a couple of months, I was hooked. It's also good workout music.
1. O Valencia - The Decemberists
It was on a dark and cold November night that I saw The Decemberists play this song on Letterman. The music and singing struck me as something very unique, and the lyrics were romantic and tragic in an epic sort of way. It transported me momentarily to a different time and place - where true love exists and lingering feuds are settled the old fashioned way. O Valencia had that magical, innocent aspect to it, which you don't see much of these days. And this is why it's my top song of the year.