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January 04, 2007

Losing Hope: The 9 Best Songs of 2006
Posted by Shadi Hamid

I wanted to belatedly wish everyone a happy new year. See if you can muster any optimism for the world that we have lost and the world that the Bush administration seems intent on losing for yet another year. In the immortal words of Coldplay, we live in a beautiful world, yea we do, yea we do.

I know this is a cliche, but it really is music that keeps us alive, that allows us to relate to a world which sometimes makes little, if any sense. The private is not necessarily separate from the political, as the misunderstandings, malice, loss, and longing which define the shattered hopes of a world losing its way, are the same kind of loss and longing that animate our own imperfect relationships with those whom we love - friends, family, wives, husbands, lovers. There is an inevitable gap between what is, what could be, and what shall never be. Jumping off that admittedly vague pseudo-philosophical point (perhaps inspired by my recent viewing of Babel), I now turn to nominate the 9 best songs of 2006, the songs which captured the zeitgeist of not only my own life, but of a world that seemed to me to crumble before my very eyes, defying the hopes and possibilities which 2005, however gingerly, seemed to offer:

1. Muse, "Starlight"
2. Editors, "Bullets"
3. Keane, "Atlantic"
4. The Kooks, "Seaside"
5. Thom Yorke, "Harrowdown Hill"
6. Keane, "A Bad Dream"
7. Band of Horses, "The Funeral"
8. The Vines, "Spaceship"
9. Kasabian, "Empire"

And then for # 10, I guess I could include Radiohead's "Optimistic," which deserves to be on a top 10 list no matter what year (it was originally released in 2000).


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