Best Of :: Long Songs of 2011

July 8th 2011


A year or so ago, I predicted that the next big thing in music would be exceptionally long, exceptionally slow songs. Obviously this didn’t happen, but turns out all I was predicting was where MY personal taste would shift to in 2011. Funny how we often think our own little worlds are universal right? Anyway, here I am in July, with a list of three long songs that I reckon are the best of the year so far.


The-Dream – Body Work & Fuck My Brains Out (9.34)

When The Dream’s fourth (and apparently final) record comes out later this year, this two-part synth opus could well be split into two separate tracks. Which would be a shame, because collected as one, this Prince homage is the sort of ultra-indulgent, maximal R’N’B that only Kanye West seems to have the balls to attempt anymore. But unlike ‘Ye, The Dream isn’t deeply conflicted about anything – the conceit of Body Work & Fuck My Brains Out boils down to “The Dream likes babes; The Dream is great at sex.” And thank God! When a track is this musically hedonistic, the lyrics should follow suit. Check the chorus to the fast-paced ‘Fuck My Brains Out’ section – it deserves a sex Pulitzer:

She said, “Listen to me baby, I know one day you gon’ up and leave.”
She knows I’m a Virgo and I’m impossible to please.
Looked into my eyes, turned around, got on her knees,
She said, “I know you’re a cheater; but boy before you leave – fuck my brains out!”


Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – Cold Feet (Album version 6:16)

Musically, this song is perfect. It introduces the most wonderful loop – A combination of firm yet delicate guitar strokes and echoes, measured and thoughtful drums, and Twin Peaks synths – and then repeats it, with minimal additions or changes for 6+ minutes. Then, over the top, Jack Ladder delivers a performance that’s at once Bruce Springsteen life-weary and Flirtily goofy. Who would have expected not one but TWO puns in a Jack Ladder single?

1. Now that you’re here, I wanna make like a tree; I wanna leave.

2. I see you brought your baggage; I brought my troubles too.

So why is it so incredibly moving? So hypnotic? The music obviously plays a big part, but in the end it comes down to Cold Feet being the sound of an artist finding himself, finally, on his third album. I can’t wait to see wh


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