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  • Aug 16th 2014
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What will be Pitchfork's #1 Song of the Decade So Far?

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    • Artist: Kanye West
    • Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    • Year : 2010

    Where were you when My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy got a 10.0? I was a freshman in college, and had been listening to a rough leak of the album everyday when I went out to get food. I thought it was his best album for sure, and early consensus agreed. But none of us could have expected: The first 10.0 for a non-reissue in almost nine years since Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I audibly gasped when it went up. This was unheard of. Word spread across the internet, this was as exciting and rare an occasion as a new album from a reculsive act á la My Bloody Valentine. And at the center of all this was Runaway. A nine-minute epic featuring Kanye West's singing voice, which he had been criticized for on his 808s & Heartbreaks album. A rare peek into the self-critical side of the usually confident-to-a-fault West provided a stark, powerful single that became ubiquitous with how an artist can truly express their emotional self through hip-hop.

    6 votes

    Midnight City

    • Artist: M83
    • Album: Hurry Up, We\\\'re Dreaming
    • Year : 2011

    The little song that could. Although it's actually a BIG song. Massive. M83 has always painted emotions on a massive scale, and managed to turn that into a hit single that played at parties across the world. This is in part due to its immaculate construction: A pinnacle of LOUDquietLOUD style music. The yelps and stabs of the chorus open up the world of the song, forcing the listener to REALLY pay attention to the especially quiet lyrics. Although it's more likely a casual listener is more focused on the percussion, a solid drumbeat perfect for strolling through a city, a small town, or even barren plains at night.

    And just when you think the song can't get any better, the sax comes in.

    3 votes


    • Artist: Frank Ocean
    • Album: channel ORANGE
    • Year : 2012

    Frank Ocean is one of the best storytellers in music today. An R&B Bob Dylan, Ocean covers topics ranging from drug addiction, the ennui of the wealthy, to unrequited love of another man (a sensitive, daring topic for a black man who wants to make it big in the hip-hop world). However the track that takes the cake on his major label debut is without a doubt Pyramids, a nearly ten-minute epic metaphor of love, devotion, obsession, and status spanning multiple movements, from a club banger to a slow jam as time shifts within the song. There's a reason everyone from Kanye to Beyonce wants to work with Ocean, and it's not because he's the next big thing. It's because he is the big thing in pop music.

    3 votes


    • Artist: Bon Iver
    • Album: Bon Iver
    • Year : 2011

    Bon Iver could've just given us another For Emma, Forever Ago, another album full of emotional acoustic ballads, and the people would've been content. Maybe not happy, but content. However, Justin Vernon clearly had bigger intentions and created a sound unique unto himself with his 2011 release. Holocene was Pitchfork's runner-up for song of the year in 2011, losing the #1 spot to Midnight City which may just be the polar opposite of Holocene. Holocene is more a stroll than a strut, a calm exploration of wintry isolation that could bring chills to any listener. Vernon has proven himself to be one of the most versatile musicians working today, collaborating with musicans ranging from modern folk songstress Anaïs Mitchell to the electro-crooner James Blake, and even working with Kanye West multiple times, but for all his work "Holocene" may just be his sonic masterpiece.

    1 votes

    Round and Round

    • Artist: Ariel Pink\'s Haunted Graffiti
    • Album: Before Today
    • Year : 2010

    Ariel Pink is a weird dude. The hipster Kurt Cobain look-alike's debut album with his backing band is full of quirk and oddities, but those come to a fun, bouncy head in "Round and Round", which was originally Pitchfork's #1 song of 2010. While P4k may have liked it at the time, Ariel Pink's biggest hit hasn't had the kind of cultural impact, nor did it have a strong artistic statement that Pitchfork's BIG picks tend to have (Such as the biggest song of the 2000's, Outkast's "B.O.B."). Expect this to chart high, but not too high.

    1 votes

    No Black Person Is Ugly

    • Artist: Lil B
    • Album: Ultimate Bitch
    • Year : 2014

    Based God proposes the question himself: "MOST POWERFUL SONG OF DECADE?". The man once best known for fucking his bitch and parking his car (usually not in that order) dropped an absolutely #based song recently that has, much like previous releases, completely changed the conversation surrounding him. A rallying cry for peace and equality, Lil B aka BasedGod aka Lil Bars aka Brandon McCartney may have released the greatest song of his career, and the most powerful song of the decade.

    2 votes

    New Slaves

    • Artist: Kanye West
    • Album: Yeezus
    • Year : 2013

    Kanye West doing songs that act as social commentary as being black in America is nothing new. Even in his earliest singles he was dropping rhymes like "Cause they make us hate ourself and love they wealth/ That's why shorty's hollerin' "where the ballers at?"/ Drug dealer buy Jordans, crackhead buy crack/ And a white man get paid off of all of that". West has never shyed away from the topic, but he's never approached it more directly than he has on "New Slaves". The music is harsh and haunting, and lyrics honesty and terrifying. Even with the Frank Ocean-assisted outro which provides a moment of light on an incredibly bleak album, the core of the song sticks with you. West may sound paranoid, fearful, and angry on the track; but he's never wrong on it, either.

    1 votes


    • Artist: Grimes
    • Album: Visions
    • Year : 2012

    One of the most political songs of the bast half-decade, Grimes declarations of fear in a male-dominated world struck a chord with listeners in a way that very few other songs could, or have since. Based around a minimal and mechanical beat, Oblivion lacks the typically "epic" sound of a track that someone would put at the top of a "best of" list. The delicate, almost fragile nature of the song however, is exactly what makes it so suited for a #1 pick. The first woman to be atop Pitchfork's Top Tracks since Annie's "Heartbeat" in 2004, Grimes uses gender to her advantage by creating a warm, accepting atmosphere to deliver her message about gender relations and rape culture in America. This all sounds heavy-handed, but the beauty of the song is that you could enjoy it just as much as a pop song as you could a personal account of fear and anxiety, which is what makes Oblivion such a wonder.

    1 votes

    Hold On, We're Going Home

    • Artist: Drake ft. Majid Jordan
    • Album: Nothing Was The Same
    • Year : 2013

    It's no wonder that director Bill Pope adopted an 80's vibe for this track, with its popping drumbeat, sailing synths, and intimate crooning. It's an incredibly earnest, warm song on Drake's album which bounces back and forth from typical Drake introspection to typical Drake bravado, but he (ironically) never sounds more real than he does here. Hold On, We're Going Home is a simple, strong love ballad that Drake would probably use to entice the women he would eventually end up sulking over, or at the very least drunk dialing them. It's about love in the most honest way. It's the pop song that the people deserve.

    1 votes


    • Artist: Sia
    • Album: 1000 Forms of Fear
    • Year : 2014

    At the time of this article, P4k hasn't even hinted what it's top songs of 2014 will be. However, mixing public opinion with Pitchfork's penchant for well-executed, emotionally honest pop songs I would venture to guess that Sia's "Chandelier" has a pretty good shot at landing in the Top 10, if not the top spot itself. Sia had long spent her time behind the scenes of music, and managed to construct the perfect single to burst back onto the scene. Not only does Sia provide a stunning vocal performance technically, but she carries the immense emotional weight of the subject matter (Her struggles with alcoholism) with a pain and fervor that make the listener feel concern for the protagonist's safety. It's almost disarming to hear this song or a remix of it playing in a club where attractive 20-somethings are drinking their troubles away, and it's especially confusing to see it performed by another artist on The Voice where the singer is literally surrounded by decadent chandelier's and does not understand the intention behind the song, but none of that takes away from just how high Sia flies when she sings this song.

    0 votes
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