Saturday, December 14, 2013

Zrbo's Favorite Songs of the Year: Numbers 5 and 4

#5 VNV Nation - Teleconnect Part 2

I found VNV Nation's newest album, Transnational, to be a bit of a letdown. While it's managed to grow on me somewhat since posting my review, the album is not the band's strongest. Lead man Ronan Harris has slowly changed the band over time from an industrial music outfit to a band that (expertly) produces synthy pop ballads, or as one commenter put it: Ronan Harris is the Phil Collins of industrial music.

There's definitely some truth to that statement. But damn if the band isn't just so good at creating synth-filled ballads. Take my number 5 pick of the year, the final track off Transnational, Teleconnect Part 2. Nearly the entire song is just one big synthy buildup. All that energy is released during the final two minutes with some exquisitely empowering lyrics that are just so quintessentially VNV in their sentiment.

#4 Emeli Sandé - Next to Me

I'm exposed to a lot of Top 40 at my work and sometimes a song will work its way into my brain, even songs from a genre I usually have zero interest in or opinion of. Next to Me is some sort of pop-gospel hybrid with a dash of that indie-folk sound that seems to be all the rage. I'm not even sure what she's talking about (I think it's about God, but who knows?). Anyways, I didn't expect to like this song so much and I bet you didn't expect to see it on this list, so we're both even.

Next time: three followed by two.

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