Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
Jay-Z's Unplugged appearance is great even though I wish he were a little looser, especially on the midtempo songs. The crowd interaction is fun. It's not just something special to this album; I get a little thrill out of any live recording where the audience takes a part in the proceedings, and where they do it as a group. Like here, where they fill in some of the gaps, like the "faaaame" and "laaaame" bits on "Takeover", or "vamoose/son of a bitch" on "Izzo", or plenty of other ones. Or some songs where you can hear everyone rapping along to all of the words. I don't remember people singing along on Nirvana Unplugged, but maybe that would have been inappropriate.
I'm sure there are other songs released in 2001 that I was captivated by, but this list gets at a pretty good cross-section of them, at least; some songs from my favorite albums, some from favorite artists, and a couple that just caught my ear.
Actual Blood - Shipping News
Bouncin' Back - Mystikal
Eclipse - The Beta Band
Following Through / Timebomb / The Other Side / Ellen and Ben - The Dismemberment Plan
Laser Beam - Low
Lord, Can You Hear Me? - Spiritualized
The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich - The Dismemberment Plan
The Surgeon's House - Burning Airlines
2 Rights Make 1 Wrong - Mogwai
Two-Way Diamond I / II / Don't Wake Me (live) - American Analog Set
I listed the four ending The Dismemberment Plan's Change because I like them all so much and I listen to them in sequence so much; though I'll admit to liking "Ellen and Ben" less than the other three, it just seems to go with them to me, and I still love it. Other than that I have no idea how to choose just one.
I closed more shows in the spring with "Laser Beam" than any other song. It wasn't totally intentional; it just ended up seeming appropriate a lot.
Some things that I liked this year, which were slightly atypical for me, like Jay-Z, or Basement Jaxx, had plenty of songs I loved on them, but I'm not sure which to put on a list like this.
Similarly I could put on a lot of things I liked slightly less; then there would be some Aaliyah, Missy E, Basement Jaxx, tech-house from the Kompakt comp, Wu-Tang, "My Father, My King", some Autechre, Kid 606, AAS, Arab Strap, etc. I don't feel like thinking about those right now though.
I do mean to write something (anything) about this list and my album list, eventually. Got a bit of paperwriting left to do though.
I'm not sure if I've noticed it before, but I think I put on Giant Steps during times of stress, meaning every finals week. I don't do it deliberately, it just happens. This is fortunate, since listening to it makes me feel very good.
One more paper to go.
Maybe part of why 69 Love Songs works so well, despite what one could easily take to be insincerity, or gaps in its seemingly exhaustive catalog of love and love songs, is that when the songs you like hit you, and when you recognize its relative albeit limited voluminousness, the illusion of its capturing (mirroring, complementing, glossing, idealizing, pick your favorite) love is effectively maintained.
I can't tell if the opening notes to "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" just sound like the song's going to go on forever, or if it's my knowledge of the song being transferred onto what I hear.
It seems I can never escape this question, "is it intrinsic or due to my past experiences?" And I think that's the way it ought to be.