Artwork by Adam Sarpalius
As 2009, and the decade come to a close, PMA will be looking back at our favorite songs of the last ten years. We will update a list with 75 empty slots until we reach that song that changed everything. You can keep track of this list by keeping an eye on this page. We make these lists in hopes that you guys will chime in the comments and share your favorite musical moments of the noughties.
Naming a song the best of the decade is a bold statement, in spite of any credentials you may have. Before I even started this list, I knew that LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" was my favorite song of the last ten years; and sitting here, trying to figure out how to tell you why it deserves such praise is proving to be far more difficult than I ever anticipated. It's not a conversation I've ever had aloud with someone — shocking, yes, but true. However, it is one that I have had in a brief email exchange with a reader Seth Fowler. In his email, Seth asked me what my personal theme song was. Which song, through its beat, melody, or lyrics, bests represented me.
I was taken back by this question. It was so blunt and innocent and curious. I never did answer his question. I couldn't come to terms that a single song can properly represent a whole person, especially me. I did, however, share with him, the song I felt best illustrated where I've been, where I am, and where I want to be. The seven minute and thirty-nine second miniature opus found in LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver, "All My Friends".
It opens with a galloping piano loop that will accompany us throughout the entire ride. Almost a minute of solid bare keys, strumming along and setting the mood. Seconds after the smooth, slippery bass-line pops its head out, James Murphy immediately snaps you out of the trance-like state you're in with the devastating and humbling first line, "That's how it starts". These four words are ones that speak volumes. And what follows is deeply nostalgic. It was then, that you knew that beyond "All My Friends"' anthemic qualities — the pianos, the bass-lines, the drum line percusion — the song was a long sigh, an old man's lament. "That's how it starts".
"All My Friends" is poetic in a way LCD Soundsystem hadn't prepared you for. It's brilliance is found in its honesty; its genius embedded in its insight. By this account, James Murphy is a man who can hold a mirror to his face and come up with one simple but stomach turning question: "where are your friends tonight?"
We've finally gone through Pretty Much Amazing's 75 Best Songs of the Decade. Expect a podcast with our Top 25 by Monday, 1/4. Till then, have a Happy New Years Weekend!