Me: Hey Coop, what did you think of 2010, as far as music goes?
Cooper: 2010 was rad as far as everything goes.
Cooper: I just felt like everyone—everything—was super innovative. I saw a lot of stuff this year I'd never seen before.
Me: To be fair though, you're 11 months old.
Cooper: True enough. Maybe my perspective is off.
Me: Don't let me rain on your parade.
Cooper: I mean, right there, those are two things that just flat out amazed me this year—rain, and parades.
Me: It's only when the two go together that it kind of sucks.
Cooper: Really? I guess I could see that.
Me: But getting back to music. I have to be honest that I didn't hear a lot of individual songs that really knocked me out. Songs that truly blew me away and that I had to listen to over and over.
Cooper: I did. I totally did.
Me: Like what?
Cooper: Probably my two favorite songs I heard this year are Cat Stevens' "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" and Low's "Peanut Butter Toast and American Bandstand."
Me: But neither of those songs came out this year.
Cooper: On a purely conceptual level—talking cognitive fundamentals here—I don't get what you're saying. Everything came out this year.
Me: Well, you came out this year, but those songs are old. The Cat Stevens song is older than me, and the Low song is more than a decade old.
Cooper: I don't know Dad, this is all seeming like some weird technicality to devalue my opinions on music.
Me: No, it's just you're not getting the whole point of talking about music at the end of the year.
Cooper: No Dad—I think you're missing the point. Those were my favorite songs of the year. Period, full stop.
Me: Okay, okay. You win. Props for picking a Low b-side, by the way.
Cooper: Thanks. I know pretty much all that band does is lullabys, but this is the one that really speaks to me. I look forward to peanut butter some day. And bandstanding.
Me: You don't... never mind.
Cooper: Frankly I'm surprised these aren't your favorites too, since you sing them to me as often as you do.
Me: I love those songs! They're just not new to me.
Cooper: Right, they're "not from this year" or whatever. So what were your favorites?
Me: Yeah, well like I was saying—
Cooper: —nothing knocked you out. Right. But it couldn't have all been average, could it?
Me: Just to give you an idea of my feelings on the matter: I have this compulsion to rate every single song in my iTunes library. Out of nearly 13,500 songs, 13,250 of them are rated.
Me: Yeah, a little. But it really helps with the smart playlists.
Cooper: You're digressing into territory I don't understand.
Me: Sorry. Anyway, for some perspective on my feelings toward music released this year, I have 504 songs in my iTunes that are from 2010. Of those, I only gave 21 songs a five-star rating.
Cooper: What is that, like 4%?
Me: Something like that. I'd need a calculator for that.
Cooper: It's 4%.
Me: Okay. And those 21 songs were written by 11 different artists or bands. I mean, it's really a small number. By contrast, I have 460 songs from 2009, and 38 are rated five stars, by 16 different artists.
Cooper: You're looking at around 9% there. Definitely a better ratio.
Cooper: But Dad, you've got to stop sucking the pleasure out of this with all your statistical analysis.
Me: No, the analysis is fun!
Cooper: So weird. So what were the best songs?
Me: Should I rank them?
Cooper: Jesus Dad. I've got a nap scheduled later this afternoon. Can you just pick a few of your favorites and list them? They're all five stars, so ranking seems a little much.
- Emeralds: Candy Shoppe
- Broken Social Scene: Sweetest Kill
- Spoon: Who Makes Your Money
- Vampire Weekend: White Sky
- Richard Catwrangleur: Little Witch
- Josh Ritter: The Curse
- The Walkmen: Stranded
- LCD Soundsytem: I Can Change
- Arp: From a Balcony Overlooking the Sea
Cooper: Can't believe Simon & Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song" isn't on this list. That song is so good.