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.
Why isn't "Speedballin'" on the Outkast best-of, dammit?
The new Wu-Tang, Iron Flag, is built out of very short samples and loops.
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.