Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Top 100 Canadian Songs Of All Time: Part 4 (#25-1)

Well this is it...the cream rises to the top! Onward to #1!!

25. "Charlotte" - Kittie

Kittie's coup de grace, most metal bands wish they wrote a song so unique and awesome. It's angry and sweet at the same time. It's ugly and pretty. Just an all around kick ass song of a kick ass album.

24. "Explode" - Nelly Furtado

Off of Nelly's forgotten album Folklore, "Explode" has such a distinct sound if it wasn't for her voice, you probably couldn't tell it was Nelly. I hunted this song for months after I first heard it and even own the album because of it. If you've never heard it, get on it quick son. Cool video too.

23. "So She's Leaving" - The Trews

Such a solid rock song, real guitars, bass, drums and singing ability like the good old days. Can't stop this song halfway through, have to let the whole thing play.  What a solo in the middle there too!

22. "Take A Minute" - K'naan

Though not born in Canada, K'naan did grow up in the GTA and is proud to call Canada his home. Using his turmoil filled past as inspiration K'naan developed a lovely sound for his album Troubadour. "Take A Minute" is just a hope filled track in a sea of depression and sorrow.  Perhaps you remember his song "Waving Flag" from the 2010 Olympics?

21. "Rebellion (Lies)" - The Arcade Fire

This song builds and builds to a thundering crescendo. It's constant beat and down strokes make it impossible to stand still or not to clap along.  The Arcade Fire seem to have to the musical world on it's ear, let's hope they return once again and blow us all away with great songs like this one.

20. "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" - Gordon Lightfoot

Add a great weaver of tales to G. Light's long list of credentials. When the great ship Edmund Fitzgerald went down in 1975, Gordon came in to honour those lost through an epic song clocking in at over six minutes long. To this day "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is viewed as one of the best Canadian songs ever, even if it's subject matter is American history.

19. "Heaven Sent" - Esthero

Esthero's unique blend of jazzy synth vibes, bass and her own distinct vocals makes her a worthy ambassador of Canadian talent. "Heaven Sent" is a dark, yet playful song. A trippy bass line leads you through a tale of murder and despair. Sounds unlike anything else on this list. Esthero's brother is actually Singer/songwriter J. Englishman. Fun fact!

18. "As Far As I Can Spit" - Rainbow Butt Monkeys

This song is pure energy and intensity. If you can make it through that opening riff without wanting more you are a stronger person than I.

17. "Speak Slow" - Tegan & Sara

This song is a light, fun and EXTREMELY catchy little ditty from our east coast twins. Tegan's voice is really used as another instrument in this one and the whole band seems in sync. Very memorable lyrics as well "When your love lets you go you only want love more" So true.

16. "These Eyes" - The Guess Who

Who can ever forget those opening piano notes? Burton Cummings really came through on the vocals for this one too, singing from his heart, the betrayal that inspired the song can be heard tear for tear on the record. "These Eyes" is a proud Canadian moment in song writing.

15. "Rationale" - King Cobb Steelie

Perhaps the darkhorse of the top 20. King Cobb Steelie formed in Guelph, Ontario and made an impression with this wonderful song "Rationale".  Deep, conscious lyrics brood out over almost industrial or tribal beats, the line between the two is blurred several times throughout the song. It's almost hypnotic the way the song plays out.

14. "You Oughta Know" - Alanis Morissette

This is a fuck you, all out, guns blazin' revenge song. And I love it! It's unclear who the subject of the song is, but it doesn't matter, the rage is timeless, substitute anyone and it works. Not many of Alanis' later songs recaptured this fire, maybe she knew she couldn't top the spitefulness. Either way "You Oughta Know" is here to stay.

13. "Twin Cinema" - The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers exist in their own little corner of the universe, unaware of what the rest of the musical world is doing they trod along in their own blissful genius. Twin Cinema is a must own for any Canadian music buff and the title track is great reason why.

12. "The Needle & The Damage Done" - Neil Young

All you need for greatness is Neil, a guitar and a microphone. Perhaps the most honest and personal drug song ever written, "The Needle and The Damage Done" is Neil's tribute to musicians he knew, famous or not, that were lost due to heroin. Plain and simple. Beautiful.

11. "Enya" - Age Of Electric

Age Of Electric consisted of 2 sets of brothers and lasted for 5 albums before splitting for good. "Enya" always stood out for me, not sure why. Such a sweet, slow song, but gets intense and powerful right at the proper moments. After dissolving the 2 sets of brothers carried on with Limblifter and Static in Stereo.

10. "Apparitions" - Matthew Good Band

Wasn't sure if I needed to say anything about the top ten or not. Can almost let the songs speak for themselves.  "Apparitions" is an impressive song with great pacing and Matt's knack for clever lyric writing. One of the best videos ever as well.

9. "Naveed" - Our Lady Peace

Not sure who or what Naveed is but the song is undeniably immaculate. From Jeremy's own brand of time keeping to Raine's powerful vocals gripping you in an unrelenting squeeze. Doesn't give up until the song's epic final moments. Yes.

8. "Charms" - Philosopher Kings

This song can really capture a moment, even if fleeting, of lust and desire and make an evening out of it. Gerald Eaton's voice has been known to reduce women to trembling chambers of their former selves. I included this one on my Sex Songs list and knew even then it would rank high here. One of my all time faves.

7. "Companion (Lay Me Down)" - Wide Mouth Mason

I'm a guitar player and I have a difficult time figuring out the main riff of this song. Another great one to capture a moment. Sean Verreault conjures up some wonderful imagery here, and the whole band sounds like they are having fun playing, which can really shine through in a song. A perfect song for an evening drive.

6. "The Lines You Amend" - Sloan

Jay Ferguson takes lead vocal duties in this Sloan classic, and speaking of classic it just has that Paul Simon/Beatles-esque vibe to it. Which is great. A sweet short track, but still long enough to captivate me for many years. Still not sick of this one. Why doesn't this guy sing more often? Sloan would be better!

5. "Wheat Kings" - The Tragically Hip

This song starts with fuckin' loons! Loons! You can't get much more Canadian than that! Gordie & co. crafted a great song around true events about a man who was falsely convicted of murder in the 60's I believe? Regardless this is a perfect campfire song, or even one to absorb on your own next to a moon-lit lake.

4. "Red" - Treblecharger

Perhaps the sole reason people knew or got into Treblecharger was because of this song. A slow, moving rock song that launched them into stardom. They'd re-release it a few times, but nothing matches the original. Go with your initial instincts folks.

3. "Hazards Of Sitting Beneath Palm Trees" - Hayden

This is perfection folks. Hayden is able to paint us a detailed painting of a disappointing holiday in under 3 minutes. I didn't realize the full brilliance of some of the lines until years after it's 1998 release. It's almost over before you know it, but too much of a good thing can be detrimental. The original cabin song.
fuck mike bullard

2. "Leave It Alone" - Moist

For a long time this was my favourite album. I played the shit out of it, still makes it in the rounds. "Leave It Alone" is a heart wrenching song that required each member of Moist to dig deep and be at the peak of their performance. Any member was off and the song would have suffered. Near the end of the song is one of my favourite guitar parts in all of song. I love how the song builds and builds and David Usher is literally screaming by the songs climax. What kept it from being #1? Good question, it wasn't an easy decision, song #1 has one little thing that this song doesn't though.

1. "All Uncovered" - The Watchmen

This is it. Canada's greatest song, no question. It starts off at a chill pace with a highway of bass, then the coy little guitar riffs come out to play. Before you know it you're lost in the throes of The Watchmen's brilliance. It has all the build up and emotion you can need from a great song. And a harmonica solo, one thing that Moist's "Leave It Alone" didn't have. Sounds odd to have it come down to that, but it gave "All Uncovered" a slight edge. The vocals are perfect, both lead and backing, the way the instruments come in and out of the foreground. I can't help but get a little overcome hearing this. Thanks for reading everyone who took the time!
Happy Canada Day!! JZ

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