I believe that music can serve as an exorcising tool, as a vehicle to reach our emotions and to help us overcome (or to the contrary) certain moments of life. For example, I have found out that when we listen to songs from our childhood, many of us evoke endearing sensations (if we have had a happy childhood), whether the song is better or worse (for me a clear example would be Live Is Life). Because the music also reflects moments of our life, and returning to hear a concrete song can take us back to that time in which one listened to it, like a sort of external memory or backup. That is, we create memories that relate to songs and those songs transmit memories, both good and bad. Of course, sometimes if you listen a lot to a song that reminds you of a specific moment in your life, you lose the effect and no longer take you back to nowhere.
Whether by the lyrics, the melody or by the combination of both, there are certain songs that depress us or that by their cathartic nature purge us inside, and use them at certain times, or to rub us in our own mud or to abandon a state of mind to make it disappear, because as I said at the beginning of this article, I believe that music can also help people, even bittersweet people. In the end the important thing is that you like what you listen to, so if you are the kind of person who likes the silence and the intimacy of the night, this can be an interesting list for you: 100 songs to listen at night (00-09) contains music produced during the years 2000-2009 capable of breaking our emotional barriers without drama and sincerity; personal pieces that penetrate the listener, understanding the language you understand.
100. James Blunt – Goodbye My Lover (Back To Bedlam, 2005)
Let’s see what experts say about this Goodbye My Lover: “This histronic song is clearly designed to appeal to those emotionally retarded individuals who can’t feel anything unless they are clubbed over the head with tearjerker melodrama. It is shamelessly overblown and cringefully insincere.” Well, if you’ve got here, I can tell you say anything else about it…
Except: with this song we started.
99. Evanescence – My Immortal (Fallen, 2003)
We are in a dangerous zone. That of those bands that by their high public exposure and in the media, and by the style of music they make, derived or substitute of a style of minority music, are hated with as much fervor as with which they are loved. Personally, I can not value them, because neither I love nor they seem abominable to me, although it is true that their first album was a pleasant surprise that was leading to boredom for many, which is understandable.
My Immortal (the version of the video, with happy ending) is one of the songs of their second album, Fallen, that circled the world twice thanks, mainly, to the contribution that the group made to the soundtrack of Daredevil, singing Bring Me To Life.
If Evanescence ever comes up in a conversation, briefly comment that Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation are musically far superior and complain about the fact that the former are more famous. You will be the king/queen of the conversation.
98. Pedro Abrunhosa & Os Bandemónio – Momento (Um Espécie De Céu) (Momento, 2002)
Pedro Abrunhosa is a Portuguese singer who in 2012 created a lot of controversy in his country after having signed a document, along with several artists, supporting a law (#PL118) against private copying and certain websites. Many influential creators and organizations tried to get their hands dirty, but finally the party that was in the government retreated and modified that law.
Before that, Abrunhosa, who always wears sunglasses to hide his strabismus, had already published several albums and enjoyed fame and sales with them, among which highlights Momento, which included this homonymous theme that lyrically follows a loosely similar structure To Aleluya Nº 1, of Luis Eduardo Aute, although with better refrain.
97. Blink-182 & Robert Smith – All Of This (Blink-182, 2003)
Blink-182 had never stand out by their ballads or taken very seriously; however in their 2003 album (called like them, after 6 albums and 10 years of tours) was a substantial change in their career, which would follow a gap of 8 years until the publication of Neighborhoods (2011). I’ve always thought that their best song is Stay Together For The Kids with Dammit, but All Of This, with the collaboration of Robert Smith, the voice of The Cure, is undoubtedly one of their great songs. Smith’s unique voice and simple melody give you the key to getting something really absorbing.
96. Raphaël – Libre Service (Hotel De L’Univers, 2000)
At this point Raphaël is no longer unknown (three more songs are included in this list). Libre Service is the song that closes the album Hotel De L’Univers, his first album. Much more rocker than any of its successors, Hotel De L’Univers ends with this blow of almost five minutes. Because everything here is self-service (to see if our love is in guarantee).
95. Lifehouse – Everything (No Name Face, 2000)
The song of Clark Kent and Lana Lang from the series Smallville. At least that comes to mind when I listen to Everything. Their debut No Name Face was a sales success thanks to their first single Hanging By A Moment, a song that had a long tour in the USA and that finally became the most sounded song in all the radios of their country in the year 2001. In this case, Everything did not make as much noise, but soon began to stand out for appearing in many other television series.
I listened it to desperation a long time ago and maybe that’s why it is ranked 95 on the list, but it’s still a great song with a impressive two minutes end.
94. Jean-Louis Murat & Morgane Imbeaud – L’Héautontimorouménos (Charles & Léo, 2007)
In 2007 the prolific Jean-Louis Murat published Charles Et Léo, an album tribute to the memory of the singer-songwriter Léo Ferré and the poet Charles Baudelaire. In it Murat covers the songs that Ferré composed for his trilogy of albums dedicated to the work of Baudelaire called Les Fleurs Du Mal. Specifically, Charles Et Léo contains the songs of the third album, recorded in 1977 but first published in 2008, several years after the death of Léo Ferré.
L’Héautontimorouménos (from Greek heautón and timorumenos, which in English would be equivalent to The Executioner of Himself) is one of my favorite poems and this version sung with Morgane Imbeaud (member of the group Cocoon) is a great tribute to the figure of Bboth poets (Léo and Charles).
93. Quinteto Tati – Um Fado Qualquer (Exílio, 2004)
The song begins: “And in the end, everything was fine, more or less: the comfortable apartment, good design, a normal love, and such. In vain he sought reasons for exaltation and returned home very, very slowly, as someone who does not want to return.” And it ends up like this: “But tonight, if any fado sounds tired in the living room, he may end up without saying anything, filling his mouth during dinner.” A song about the passage of time and about those people who are not able to overcome that time passes and not necessarily for worse, but that what one did once, does not have to do it more.
92. PAL – Un Hilo De Wolframio (Canciones Hacia El Fin De Una Especie, 2005)
Songs Towards the End of a Kind (in English) is a very interesting album from a very interesting band. Un hilo de Wolframio is a meditative song about decisions, their influence on our lives and our ability to keep turning around something that can not be changed. Now you are defeated and you can not sleep.
91. Marlango – Vete (Malas Temporadas, 2005)
Leonor Watling, actress and voice of the band Marlango, made this cover version for the film Malas Temporadas, a song original and popularized by Los Amaya in 1977. The greatest merit of this cover is to convert a song eminently party-ish into another song, with no more similarities than those can be found in the lyrics.
90. Cabeças No Ar – O Primeiro Beijo (Cabeças No Ar, 2002)
Cabeças No Ar is a musical project formed in 2002 by Rui Veloso, Jorge Palma, Tim and João Gil (established artists in Portugal), who dedicated their first album to nostalgic songs that go back to childhood and the period of school, and among them highlights O Primeiro Beijo.
89. Russian Red – Nice Thick Feathers (I Love Your Glasses, 2008)
The song of the ice cream. Very wintry. I always liked the beginning just before the voice came.
88. Arctic Monkeys – Cornerstone (Humbug, 2009)
Having overcome the MySpace period of grains in the face, Arctic Monkeys did a much more relaxed job. Some say more mature, but I do not. Cornerstone goes about a boy who sees his ex everywhere and asks like crazy to other girls if he can call them by the name of this, until he meets her sister, who must be a bit crazy or worst.
87. Taking Back Sunday – New American Classic (Where You Want To Be, 2004)
In 2004, when the band Taking Back Sunday released the album Where You Want To Be, I read the online Chilean magazine Rockaxis (when the design was a black background that blinded after a few minutes) and in the review of this album the critic commented “Midway, with ‘New American Classic’, serves as a rest to both hustle and bustle. A winter ballad and nostalgic at the point of arrangements of strings, acoustic guitars and mellow lyrics to dazzle the girls.”
86. Bob Corn & Comaneci – Come To Me (We Don’t Need The Outside, 2007)
Bob Corn is an Italian singer-songwriter with a tendency to express himself in English. Come To Me is one of the two songs featured in this list of 100 songs to listen at night. A quiet and simple folk song, of the singer-songwriter type with beard of 3 months. On this occasion he is accompanied by the voice of Comaneci (Francesca Amati).
85. A Fine Frenzy – Almost Lover (One Cell In The Sea, 2007)
A Fine Frenzy is the solo project of Alison Sudol, a redhead girl born in Seattle, looking delicate and mischievous (it looks like she’s going to sell you the fall/winter season catalog of some Large malls). Almost Lover is also delicate, though not as mischievous.
84. Raphaël & Toots – Adieu Haïti (Je Sais Que La Terre Est Plate, 2008)
There are several Raphaël songs on this list, but on this the best thinf is the collaboration of Toots, the founding singer of the reggae band Toots & The Maytals, precursors of this movement in the 60s. His voice is nostalgia, and production is superlative, everything works perfectly; the whistles, the humming, the instrumentation. This is the best song of Je sais que la terre est plate, the studio continuation of his great success Caravane (2005).
83. Cristina Branco – Sete Pedaços De Vento (Ulisses, 2005)
Cristina Branco is one of the best and most famous fadistas of Portugal. It began in 1998 with the album In Holland and has already published thirteen since then. The last one in 2013, which we mentioned here because it included a version of Construção, by Chico Buarque. Sete Pedaços de Vento is a pretty fiery fado, against what most people are preconceived to think about this musical style born in our sinister neighbor (jokingly, I am also left-handed).
It was difficult to choose only one song by Cristina Branco and among them the best, but the question was that it had to be.
82. Refree – Envejece (Els Invertebrats, 2007)
Everyone grows old, and if we did not have it clear already, Refree impinges on it for three and a half minutes. You grow old, he grows old, the neighbor too, the one on the TV. No one is saved.
But the one that gives me the most pity is his cat…
81. Elizabeth & The Catapult – Rainiest Day Of Summer (Taller Children, 2009)
I listened Rainiest Day Of Summer for the first time in a report of some TV show. I would say it was about science (the show, not the song). It says: everyone’s got a bicycle but me (the song, not the show), on the rainiest day of summer.
80. Nikola Sarcevic – Lovetrap (Lock-Sport-Krock, 2004)
The Millencolin vocalist left the rock band and was dedicated to folk rock with his first solo album Lock-Sport-Krock. Lovetrap stands out for his raw voice, especially towards the end, along with percussion. It includes a harmonica in the melody, so it has all the ingredients for a millenolic song… I mean melancholic.
79. Marcelo Camelo & Mallu Magalhães – Janta (Sou, 2008)
Marcelo Camelo, leader of one of the most important brazilian bands of the past decade and with more successes, opened his solo career in 2008 with Sou and with the single Janta, in which his wife Mallu Magalhães collaborates. She sings in English and he sings in Portuguese. He tells her “I wanted to meet you, but I have to accept, will it be our love eternal or not? Eternity can be cruel”; and she responds “I’ll let you stay with me if you surrender”. And they married.
Folk with beard of 3 months, as I like to define this type of music.
78. Elodio Y Los Seres Queridos – No Quiero Perderlo (Esto Que Tienes Delante, 2007)
Before being called Eladio And Los Seres Queridos, Eladio in 2006 was called Elodio, when it appeared in a compilation of La Incubadora Records and the name of the group was a catchword of words that I liked more (Hate and the Beloved), but I suppose that this is pointless. In 2011 they released a second album, already with the current name and meant the confirmation of what was seen in their first album of 2007. Classical, classy and catchy pop.
77. Elisa – Eppure Sentire (Un Senso Di Te) (Manuale D’Amore 2/Soundtrack ’96-’06-Greatest Hits, 2006)
Eppure Sentire was the single featuring Elisa’s Greatest Hits album, but before that was also the promotional song for the Italian film Manuale D’Amore 2, the unnecessary continuation of the freshest (although not for all audiences) Manuale D’Amore. There is a Spanish version of this song that I did not want to hear.
76. Nizlopi – JCB Song (Half These Songs Are About You, 2004)
I would say that this song is dedicated to his father and that a JCB is a backhoe, call me insightful. It was quite successful thanks to the music video, which is possibly the best of the song, which is fine too, on the other hand. Counted from the perspective of a 5 year old boy who one day, instead of going to school goes with his father to work mounted on a JCB, the song goes deep into the joyous feelings that provoke that moment, then into the chorus back to the present.
75. Adele – Chasing Pavements (19, 2008)
Before they talked about her weight, they talked about her weight too, because people are very annoying, but this is not new. Chasing Pavements was one of the singles of her first album 19, and it supposed the birth of a star that already has an Oscar, Brits, NRJ, MTV Awards and several Grammy awards to her, in case someone is interested by this, and Chasing Pavements was the first reason to receive them.
74. The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight (The Airborne Toxic Event, 2008)
An orchestra sound is all you need to create an epic song, even if you only use it at the beginning of it. It’s really just pop/rock with some personality. A story about a man who (I imagine) sees his ex in a bar and how he stares at it for 2 minutes. She does not pay much attention to him; although she sees him in the distance, pretends not to, until the moment she goes with another man and looks back as if to hurt. But he’s still a shambles.
73. Seether & Amy Lee – Broken (The Punisher, 2004)
The truth is that the best thing that could happen to Amy Lee (lead singer of Evanescence) was that proliferation of movies based on graphic novels directed to the adolescent public. At least at the level of sales and collaborations. I have not seen The Punisher (I do not want to), but I do not know why I do not think this song will fit it very much.
It is worth remembering and recommending the original version of Broken, pertaining to the album of 2002 Disclaimer, sung alone by the band Seether.
72. Cocorosie – Noah’s Ark (Noah’s Ark, 2005)
Cocorosie is a duo of French-American sisters. Both the album and the single were promoted in a night TV show in Spain and it happened that I was watching it. I did not know Cocorosie, and although they sold them as good and modern because they used cat-meows and other “home-made” noises in their songs, I like Noah’s Ark. Cats, rhythm, lyrics and voices gladden the soul calmly. What I say is proven, just look at the album cover: a zebra throwing a rainbow before it was mainstream.
71. Aqueduct – The Suggestion Box (I Sold Gold, 2005)
The Suggestion Box is a unique song. Indietronica and indie pop create one of the most catchy songs of a very vindicable album, with tracks like this or Hardcore Days & Softcore Nights. 2005 was a booming year for indie music.
70. Coldplay – Trouble (Parachutes, 2000)
Coldplay became known 16 years ago with the album Parachutes, the first of the band and with which they obtained a base of followers so great and faithful that, despite to have been criticized lately for their lack of originality, excess of references or repeating schemes, with each new album continuing on the crest of the musical wave. Big hymns like Do not Panic and Yellow accompanied Trouble in Parachutes.
69. Migala – Instrucciones Para Dar Cuerda A Un Reloj (Restos De Un Incendio, 2002)
Migala is one of the most emblematic bands of the Spanish musical scene. Formed in Madrid in 1995, artists such as Nacho Vegas and Abel Hernández (El Hijo) have been present in their ranks, both providing solo material for this list of 100 songs to listen at night. In Instrucciones para dar cuerda a un reloj no one of them sing either. It is the voice of Julio Cortázar who recites his own poem along with the minimalist melody of Migala. If you listen quietly, it feels something special, magical.
68. Dulce Pontes – Canção Do Mar (Ao Vivo No Coliseu Do Porto, 2000)
No one knows for sure when fado was born, but everyone knows that fado is melancholy, nostalgia, talk about poverty and sadness. Dulce Pontes is the singer who returned to fado his charisma and his worldwide popularity. She has shown on numerous occasions that a concert of her is a great experience, either participating with Ennio Morricone, Jose Carreras or alone. Canção Do Mar is just one more sample.
67. Bright Eyes – Old Soul Song (For The New World Order) (I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, 2005)
The work that supposed the consecration of singer-songwriter Birght Eyes (Connor Oberst). Personally, I think he has never managed to match or overcome this, although afterwards he has had a very steady race in all its facets. In I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, Bright Eyes made songs like Road to Joy, First Day of My Life, We Are Nowhere and It’s Now, and Old Soul Song. Folk indie more intimate than in later albums.
66. L.A. – Stop The Clocks (Heavenly Hell, 2009)
L.A. is the Mallorcan group formed by the vocalist Lluis Albert Segura, Carlos Pilán (ex-guitarist of Sexy Sadie), Angel Cubero, Pep Mulet and Toni Alorda. The band successed in 2009 with the album Heavenly Hell and thanks to this success participated in most of the national festivals of those years, emphasizing their concert in the FIB. Stop The Clocks was the second excerpt from the album, after Hands.
65. Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova – When Your Mind’s Made Up (Once, 2007)
One of those cases in which the excess of exposure and the improper appropriation of a work by some people or social tribes degenerates in the hatred towards a product by all the other human beings. Once is a little movie with a tiny but very lovely soundtrack (sorry, but there is no other definition).
64. El Puchero Del Hortelano – Miedo (Candela, 2005)
¿Is Quiero saber the best Spanish song of this decade? Maybe not, because right now I do not remember all of them, but that is among the best that was done then, is a fact. It is said by someone who is not especially a fan of flamenco or rumba. Only the good ones…
By the way, Miedo appears in the same album that Quiero saber, next to the version of La quiero a morir. Very good.
63. Abraham Boba – Capital (La Educación, 2009)
Abraham Boba is a versatile artist. Multi-instrumentalist, solo singer-songwriter, pianist and accordionist in the band of Nacho Vegas and now also leader of the band Leon Benavente, with whom he published his first album in 2013. And has a hair that Pantene would envy.
Capital now reminds me of The Great Beauty, but 5 years ago it would remind me of something else. That’s what’s important.
62. Swan Lake – All Fires (Beast Moans, 2006)
Swan Lake is one of the many bands of singer Dan Bejar. The leader and vocalist of The New Pornographers, Destroyer and Hello, Blue Roses joined Carey Mercer and Spencer Krug, the latter from Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown or Frog Eyes, to form Swan Lake and create this song.
61. José Ignacio Lapido – Más De Lo Mismo (Música Celestial, 2002)
Member of emblematic Spanish bands like 091 or Lagartija Nick, the granadino José Ignacio Lapido is one of the best singer-songwriters of the last years in Spain. Although he has not enjoyed much sales success alone, all his albums are very vindicable. Más de lo mismo (More of the same) is just an excuse for Lapido to appear here with one of his many good songs.
60. Yann Tiersen & Neil Hannon – Les Jours Tristes (L’Absente, 2001)
One of the two songs by Yann Tiersen and Neil Hannon (each by their side) that appear on the list. If someone still does not know who Yann Tiersen is (where were you?), this is a good way to get to know him. If you only knew him for being responsible for the enjoyable soundtrack of Amelie, you will discover new facets of this incredible musician and also Neil Hannon, another composer with an admirable career, both solo and with The Divine Comedy.
59. Nacho Vegas – Ocho Y Medio (Desaparezca Aquí, 2005)
I have read several theories about what Nacho Vegas talks about in Ocho y medio. I agree with the one that says that he talks about his father, in theory passed away eight and a half years before this song (or he was Fellini). Ingmar Bergman (another depressing man) said that when he wrote the scripts of his films and filmed them, all those sensations he experienced before and during writing, disappeared and became something alien. I imagine that Nacho Vegas will do the same, otherwise he is a tormented man.
Vegas has many songs that I have been about to add to this list (El Ángel Simon above all), but in the end only two have entered.
58. Micah P. Hinson – Beneath The Rose (Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress, 2004)
What a first album was made by our friend. It has already been eight, the last one released in 2014 (and of which we have spoken too), but with this it marked a remarkable milestone in his career of personal singer-songwriter.
57. Benjamin Biolay – Bien Avant (Trash Yéyé, 2007)
The reincarnation of Serge Gainsbourg, they said… There is no doubt that there are great similarities: it has given great songs to other artists, especially women, and his appearance supposed a certain renewal and recognition abroad of the new French chanson. He has reached a point in his career where he participates in films, produces records, revitalizes artist careers and enjoys solo success. A fecund artist who was also married to the daughter of Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve, which gives more legend to his image as an artist.
Bien Avant talks about those relationships in which one already feels from the beginning that they are not going to turn out well, but you do not mention it until it is too late, because it has no solution.
56. DMX & Faith Evans – I Miss You (The Great Depression, 2001)
A Hip Hop track in the 100 songs to listen at night list and right before Sigur Rós? You are right. DMX and Faith Evans, the ex-wife of The Notorious B.I.G. Collaborated in this song that is dedicated to the grandmother of the rapper and actor of very bad films.
55. Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla (Takk…, 2005)
I do not know if it makes me feel happy or makes me feel sad. It depends on the day, although in general it is a positive motivational song (wintry), as nocturnal as morning. The joy of living, Icelandic version.
54. Stuart A. Staples & Lhasa De Sela – That Leaving Feeling (Leaving Songs, 2006)
That Leaving Feeling is a song that speaks of, as its title indicates, the feeling of leaving, leaving your city, your home, the protection that supposes the family and the friends, in search of the uncertainty of a new place. As you will read when you reach to Black Cab (in the middle list), the most melancholic songs are for the night. Music for a permanent winter.
Also a small tribute to Lhasa De Sela, died prematurely by a fucking breast cancer at 37 years.
53. Manel – En La Que El Bernat Se’t Troba (Els Millors Professors Europeus, 2008)
Manel, or the new Antònia Font, I thought (more than anything about putting a person name to a band).
I like this song alot. The lyrics and instrumentation are perfectly constructed in their initial naive conception that derives in delicate pop with a nostalgic and mysterious point. I stay with the “bonic”, with the big nose, with the story of the man of the forest and with the final encounter. It makes me melancholy and happy at the same time.
52. Joseph D’Anvers – Nos Jours Heureux (Les Choses En Face, 2006)
This is a polyglot list, and it is clear with this contribution (especially if you read the second part of the list, which begins with song #50). I do not know if it’s because it’s French, but you have to see how good this kind of music is. The title of the song means something like “happy days” in English, so we can already imagine what’s going on. There is nothing like a violin and a piano (except for an electric guitar, a drums, a bass, a harmonica, …).
51. Jens Lekman – Black Cab (Maple Leaves, 2003)
It could be said that it is in this part where the night songs are more luminous, mainly instrumentally. Such is the case of Black Cab, by Jens Lekman, a Swedish singer-songwriter who in 2003 pointed out ways and that over time has been fulfilling expectations, although I will always prefer Black Cab.