Friday, February 18, 2011

11 Best Second Tracks: Conclusion

Two "11 Best" features in the books. Here's the condensed list:
11. Band of Horses - "Wicked Gil"
10. Toro y Moi - "Minors"
9. Drive-By Truckers - "Sinkhole"
8. Tom Waits - "Shore Leave"
7. Animal Collective - "My Girls"
6. Spoon - "The Way We Get By"
5. Modest Mouse - "Gravity Rides Everything"
4. Bob Dylan - "Isis"
3. Sun Kil Moon - "Carry Me Ohio"
2. Wilco - "She's a Jar"
1. Radiohead - "Paranoid Android"
Despite it being the focus of this feature, it's not like I eagerly anticipate the second track of every album I hear. I just try to listen to every track with some degree of scrutiny that doesn't overshadow the base enjoyment of the record. But as a critical listener, it was difficult for me to ignore that there seems to be a trend: the best albums, in my opinion, have track 2s that have some sort of perpetuating effect on the whole work. On to this month's Wild Card:

Ryan Adams - "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)"

Why's it the Wild Card? While it is the second track of Heartbreaker, the first track is comprised of thirty seconds of lighthearted banter between Ryan and David Rawlings. "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)" is an album opener in every sense of the term. But it'll always be the second track.

Keep an eye out for the third edition of 11 Best sometime in March.

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