Years in Review Compilations
Beginning in 2005, I began making “year in review” music CDs as Christmas gifts for my sister. Not necessarily “Best Ofs,” the CDs were intended more as a review of the most influential music I had come across in the previous year. The CDs are mostly arranged in chronological order, starting in January and ending right before the disc is made in December. Below are the track listings from each:

2017 Year in Review
I’m lucky I captured this year at all. In a year that saw me move across country, again (Austin to Chicago); switch careers (teaching to marketing); and experiment with Apple Music, I also lost my job before I could curate what as at best a first draft of my chosen tunes. In a cost-cutting move I cancelled Apple Music thus losing my playlist. I only recovered it when I got a new job and stopped being so cheap in July. For better or worse the first draft became the final draft.

  1. “Trees on Fire,” DJDS
  2. “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano,” Sampha
  3. “Die Young,” Sylvan Esso
  4. “call the police,” LCD Soundsystem
  5. “Fear and Force,” Vagabon
  6. “In Undertow,” Alvvays
  7. “Shark Smile,” Big Thief
  8. “On the Level,” Mac DeMarco
  9. “Ballad of the Dying Man,” Father John Misty
  10. “Turn Out the Lights,” Julien Baker
  11. “Ran,” Future Islands
  12. “Holding On,” The War on Drugs
  13. “Road Head,” Japanese Breakfast
  14. “Sugar for the Pill,” Slowdive
  15. “Baby Luv,” Nilufer Yanya
  16. “Bad Ones,” Matthew Dear (w/ Tegan and Sara)
  17. “Wave to Anchor” Hundred Waters
  18. “Over Everything,” Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile
  19. “Foot Down,” Tomar and the FCs
  20. “Downhearted,” Molly Burch
  21. “Diggin’ Holes,” Brent Cobb
  22. “High,” Little Dragon
  23. “Stay Young,” NE-HI
  24. “3WW,” alt-J
  25. “Young Leo,” Mise en Scene
  26. “Wild Fire,” Laura Marling
  27. “Predator,” Will Johnson
  28. “Andromeda,” Gorillaz
  29. “Watching from a Distance,” David Ramirez
  30. “This Time,” Land of Talk
  31. “Listen Up,” Nicole Atkins
  32. “What’s that Perfume That You Wear?,” Jens Lekman
  33. “Introduce Yerself,” Gord Downie
  34. “Thin,” Aquilo

2016 Year in Review
This year’s list caught me by surprise in hindsight. I knew I was always listening to good, new music this year, but had no idea how much till I had to narrow down my list. As a result, there are a lot of really good songs/albums not included here. But what is here–mostly alt-country and sassy female singers–not only represents my current status in Austin, but also songs that had the most staying power in what turned out to be a very busy year.

  1. Infamous,” Basia Bulat
  2. Grand Canyon,” The Wind and The Wave
  3. Then Again,” Pinegrove
  4. Emotions and Math,” Margaret Glaspy
  5. Fireworks,” Mitski
  6. In Bloom,” Sturgill Simpson
  7. The Pain (Song for Dennis Wilson),” Will Courtney
  8. High and Dry,” Frankie Lee
  9. Drivin’,” Robert Ellis
  10. You, Love, & Me,” South Austin Moonlighters
  11. Wreck You,” Lori McKenna
  12. The Very Last Day,” Parker Millsap
  13. Packed Powder,” Blind Pilot
  14. Fire,” Mal Devisa
  15. The Root,” Magna Carda
  16. Chantel,” Steven Julien
  17. LA1,” Moby
  18. In a World Possessed by the Human Mind,” The Tragically Hip
  19. Fill in the Blank,” Car Seat Headrest
  20. Hurtin’ (On the Bottle),” Margo Price
  21. Shut Up Kiss Me,” Angel Olsen
  22. I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” Lucy Dacus
  23. Drop the Guy ASAP,” Lisa LeBlanc
  24. Masterpiece,” Big Thief
  25. Cleopatra,” The Lumineers
  26. Love is the Truth/ You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket,” Jack White [Live on The Tonight Show]
  27. Burn the Witch,” Radiohead
  28. Dawnstar,” Beth Orton
  29. Snow,” Lisa Hannigan
  30. Wildfire,” Mandolin Orange
  31. Drive,” Hayes Carll
  32. Ramon Casiano,” Drive-By Truckers
  33. True Sadness,” The Avett Brothers
  34. If I Ever Was a Child,” Wilco

2015 Year in Review
Who knew that leaving one job, starting a new one, and moving my family 2,000 miles east to a city and state where we know nary a soul would be so time-consuming? Definitely not me up until late November when I realized that I had a YiR list ready for my sister, but not ready for track-by-track commentary. As a result, no individual blog posts this year, my friends. But fear not, there are stories for each.

  1. “Betray My Heart,” D’Angelo and the Vanguard
  2. “Make You Better,” The Decemberists
  3. “Sound & Color,” Alabama Shakes
  4. “Should Have Known Better,” Sufjan Stevens
  5. “Pedestrian At Best,” Courtney Barnett
  6. “Under a Rock,” Waxahatchee
  7. “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas,” Beach Slang
  8. “That’s Love,” Oddisee
  9. “Waitress,” Hop Along
  10. “Ship to Wreck,” Florence & The Machine
  11. “Sprinter,” Torres
  12. “24 Frames,” Jason Isbell
  13. “Sprained Ankle,” Julien Baker
  14. “Stay On My Shore,” Joan Shelley
  15. “Maggie I’ve Been Searching For Our Son,” Craig Finn
  16. “Sleeper Hold,” Saintseneca
  17. “What Part of Me,” Low
  18. “Bad Blood,” Ryan Adams
  19. “One,” Moving Panoramas
  20. “Baby When I Close My Eyes,” Sweet Spirit
  21. “Disciple,” Tame Impala
  22. “June,” Prince

2014 Year in Review
This was the first year that the YiR posts were housed on my own site, and no longer on Tumblr. It was a fun year of music to chronicle as there were a lot of new bands and a lot of new genres that I usually don’t listen to. As a result, the order and the vibe were all over the place, making this a true sampler of the messy year I was leaving behind.

  1. Thunder Clatter,” Wild Cub
  2. Morning,” Beck
  3. Every Time the Sun Comes Up,” Sharon Van Etten
  4. Ojai,” Ray LaMontagne
  5. Stronger Than That,” Bahamas
  6. Soft Offering (For the Oft Suffering),” Hey Rosetta!
  7. Do You,” Spoon
  8. Gimme Something Good,” Ryan Adams
  9. Eyes To The Wind,” The War on Drugs
  10. Awake,” Tycho
  11. Come To Me,” Elephant
  12. Seasons (Waiting On You),” Future Islands
  13. I Miss Your Bones,” Hospitality
  14. Slowly,” The Haden Triplets
  15. Talking Backwards,” Real Estate
  16. No Rest For the Wicked,” Lykke Li
  17. Glass/Film,” S. Carey
  18. Coffee,” Sylvan Esso
  19. Cigarettes & Loneliness,” Chet Faker
  20. Avant Gardener,” Courtney Barnett
  21. My Silver Lining,” First Aid Kit
  22. Red Dust,” James Vincent McMorrow
  23. Trusty and True,” Damien Rice
  24. From Eden,” Hozier

2013 Year in Review
This was the first year in several that I didn’t write blog posts to accompany the release of my annual list. I was just coming off of paternity leave, and balancing being a dad and a teacher for the first time. As a result, the words didn’t come and/or I was a bit lazy/overwhelmed.

  1. “Black Holes,” Frontier Ruckus
  2. “Wonderful, Glorious,” Eels
  3. “Winter Solstice,” Cold Specks
  4. “When Will I Be Loved,” The Chapin Sisters
  5. “Everywhere I Go,” Caitlin Rose
  6. “Lake Charlevoix,” Dana Falconberry
  7. “Instant Crush,” Daft Punk
  8. “Take What You Can Carry,” The Maine
  9. “Someone Else’s Girl,” The Olms
  10. “Unbelievers,” Vampire Weekend
  11. “Little Numbers,” BOY
  12. “Youth,” Daughter
  13. “Cover Me Up,” Jason Isbell
  14. “She Wants to Know,” Half Moon Run
  15. “La pieuvre,” Groenland
  16. “Nothing is Real,” Boards of Canada
  17. “Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins),” Shad
  18. “The Wire,” HAIM
  19. “Fall,” Serena Ryder
  20. “Sirens,” Pearl Jam
  21. “Here Comes the Night Time,” Arcade Fire
  22. “Wires,” Basia Bulat
  23. “Ragtime,” Neko Case
  24. “Almost Home,” [Live on WNYC] Moby

2012 Year in Review
This year was a lot of change that resulted in a lot of looking back. As a result, my songs for the Year in Review mix are nostalgic, optimistic, and introspective in self-conscious ways that span my transition from Ann Arbor to San Francisco, seemingly still single to fully married, and completely selfish to finding out I’d be a father. There’s not a single doubt in that list, and not a single bad tune on this one, even though I pared it down to a lean 24 songs for the first time in years.

  1. Somebody that I Used to Know,” Gotye
  2. All Right,” Marie-Pierre Arthur
  3. Out of the Game,” Rufus Wainwright
  4. Breathing Underwater,” Metric
  5. Simple Song,” The Shins
  6. Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting,” Glen Hansard
  7. Stubborn Love,” The Lumineers
  8. It Ain’t Over,” Shad
  9. Watcher,” 2:54
  10. Yet Again,” Grizzly Bear
  11. See Through Blue,” Beth Orton
  12. The Once and Future Carpenter,” The Avett Brothers
  13. Devil’s Got A Gun,” Whitehorse
  14. Crucify Your Mind,” Rodriguez
  15. We Want To Be It,” The Tragically Hip
  16. Labrador,” Aimee Mann
  17. Give Out,” Sharon Van Etten
  18. Angels,” The xx
  19. Stay Useless,” Cloud Nothings
  20. Little Talks,” Of Monsters and Men
  21. “Become Someone Else’s,” Jens Lekman
  22. “Emmylou,” First Aid Kit
  23. 1904,” The Tallest Man on Earth
  24. “Justice Delivers Its Death,” Sufjan Stevens

2011 Year in Review
This year’s Year in Review compilation contained 27 songs. While I’m uploading each song, you can follow along on my blog by clicking here. Unfortunately this year’s list suffered the same fate as last year’s, namely that things got too crazy in December and I was unable to complete list. Hopefully I’ll be able to return one day and describe each song with more detail.

  1. VCR,” [Live at KEXP] The xx
  2. Something Beautiful,” Lynn Miles
  3. Hearts Beat Loud,” [Daytrotter Session] Keegan DeWitt
  4. Untitled (Love Song),” The Romany Rye
  5. When the River,” Sondre Lerche
  6. The Thoughts That Give Me The Creeps,” Hellogoodbye
  7. Airplane Window,” Hezekiah Jones
  8. Salt Year,” Chris Bathgate
  9. Helplessness Blues,” Fleet Foxes
  10. Calgary,” Bon Iver
  11. Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
  12. Don’t Give Up On Me Now,” Ben Harper
  13. Mine Smell Like Honey,” R.E.M.
  14. Down by the Water,” The Decemberists
  15. Lost in my Mind,” The Head and The Heart
  16. The World (Is Going Up In Flames),” Charles Bradley
  17. Radio,” Raphael Saadiq
  18. I Might,” Wilco
  19. Diamonds and Gold,” [Daytrotter Session] Langhorne Slim
  20. “Change the Sheets,” Kathleen Edwards
  21. “Passenger,” Lisa Hannigan
  22. “Little Hell,” City and Colour
  23. “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help at All,” Dan Mangan
  24. “Lucky Now,” Ryan Adams
  25. “Keep You Right,” Blind Pilot
  26. “Hot As Day,” Wye Oak
  27. “Sven-G-Englar,” [Live] Sigur Ros

2010 Year in Review
Though this was another great year for music, travel took me away from my computer at the end of the year, and so I only made blog entries for all but the last five songs. Kind of a bummer since I left the best for last (including Ray LaMontagne’s “Like Rock & Roll and Radio,” which was one of my favorite songs of the year.)

  1. “My City of Ruins,” (live from the Kennedy Center Honors) Eddie Vedder
  2. “Get It Out,” (live) Blind Pilot
  3. “If Only You,” Basia Bulat
  4. “Zebra,” Beach House
  5. “On Melancholy Hill,” Gorillaz
  6. “Tighten Up,” The Black Keys
  7. “You and Your Heart,” Jack Johnson
  8. “The High Road,” Broken Bells
  9. “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” Richard Hawley
  10. “I Learned the Hard Way,” Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
  11. “July Flame,” Laura Veirs
  12. “Goodbye, Killer,” Pernice Brothers
  13. “Rose Garden,” Shad
  14. “My Baby Left Me,” Rox
  15. “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” The National
  16. “Nothing But The Whole Wide World,” Jakob Dylan
  17. “City With No Children,” Arcade Fire
  18. “Dr. So and So,” Alec Ounsworth
  19. “Save My Love,” Bruce Springsteen
  20. “On Top of Your Love,” Royal Wood
  21. “The East Wind,” Gord Downie And The Country Of Miracles
  22. “Go Do,” Jonsi
  23. “Down for the Count,” Girl Talk
  24. “Richard II,” Titus Andronicus
  25. “Nerves of the Nightmind,” Frontier Ruckus
  26. “Coronado,” Deerhunter
  27. “Breakdown Into the Resolve,” Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
  28. “When We Fall In,” (live) Sean Hayes
  29. “I Saw You Walk Away,” Badly Drawn Boy
  30. “Like Rock & Roll and Radio,” Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs
  31. “January Wedding,” (live from Studio A2) The Avett Brothers

2009 Year in Review
This year marks the first (and hopefully annual) companion series of posts about each song. By following the link to each song below, you’ll be able to read descriptions of the songs, reasons why I chose them, and stories related to each one.

  1. A-Punk,” (live) Vampire Weekend
  2. Time to Pretend,” MGMT
  3. In Step,” Girl Talk
  4. Inní mér syngur vitleysingur,” Sigur Rós
  5. For Emma,” Bon Iver
  6. The Wrestler,” Bruce Springsteen
  7. Oh No,” Andrew Bird
  8. Sushi,” Kyle Andrews
  9. Out of Reach,” Bump
  10. When Last I Spoke to Carol,” Morrissey
  11. People Got A Lotta Nerve,” Neko Case
  12. I Don’t Know,” Lisa Hannigan
  13. Pulling on a Line,” Great Lakes Swimmers
  14. Morning Moon,” The Tragically Hip
  15. Compromise,” Shad
  16. The Reeling,” Passion Pit
  17. Dirty Dishes,” Deer Tick
  18. Mykonos,” Fleet Foxes
  19. Airstream Driver,” Gomez
  20. I Go To Pieces,” Joe Pernice
  21. Elle,” Marie-Pierre Arthur
  22. The Fixer,” Pearl Jam
  23. Looking Out,” Brandi Carlile
  24. I and Love and You,” The Avett Brothers
  25. Feeling the Pull,” The Swell Season
  26. Chasing Pirates,” Norah Jones
  27. 75 and Sunny,” (live) The Ryan Montbleau Band
  28. 3 Rounds and a Sound,” Blind Pilot

2008 Year in Review
This year’s compilation is a bit slower and more “adult contemporary” than any previous one, due primarily to Chris listening to Ann Arbor’s 107.1 a bit too much, subscribing to Paste magazine, and getting a bit slower and older himself.

  1. “Saving My Face,” KT Tunstall
  2. “Lentil,” Sia
  3. “Carousel,” Sydney Wayser
  4. “A & E,” Goldfrapp
  5. “Oh No,” KaiserCartel
  6. “Serpentine,” Chris Bathgate
  7. “Silence,” Portishead
  8. “Supernatural Superserious,” R.E.M.
  9. “Valerie,” Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse
  10. “If I Had Eyes,” Jack Johnson
  11. “Three Easy Pieces,” Buffalo Tom
  12. “My Final Offer,” Mates of State
  13. “I’m Amazed,” My Morning Jacket
  14. “No One Said It Would Be Easy,” Cloud Cult
  15. “Changing Your Mind,” Bob Schneider
  16. “See These Bones,” (acoustic, live), Nada Surf
  17. “Songs For The Road,” David Ford
  18. “Something Good This Way Comes,” Jakob Dylan
  19. “All You Need is Me,” Morrissey
  20. “Fix It,” Ryan Adams
  21. “The Lovers Are Losing,” Keane
  22. “You Are The Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne
  23. “Un-Named,” Leona Naess
  24. “Clash Dans Le Tempo,” Constance Amiot
  25. “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz
  26. “You’re The World To Me,” (live), David Gray
  27. “The Silence Between Us,” Bob Mould
  28. “You, Me & The Bourgeousie,” The Submarines
  29. “How The Day Sounds,” Greg Laswell
  30. “The Way I Am,” (acoustic) Ingrid Michaelson
  31. “Turpentine,” (acoustic) Brandi Carlile
  32. “Chocolate,” (acoustic, live), Snow Patrol
  33. “Dream Catch Me,” (acoustic) Newton Faulkner
  34. “Northern Skies,” Dido

2007 Year in Review
This year’s compilation was highlighted by Chris’s move from San Francisco to Ann Arbor. A lot of these songs were listened to over the 3 day drive via I-80.

  1. “Intervention,” The Arcade Fire
  2. “Phantom Limb,” The Shins
  3. “Stuck Between Stations,” The Hold Steady
  4. “In the Words of the Governor,” Sufjan Stevens
  5. “Parentheses,” The Blow
  6. “The Story,” Brandi Carlile
  7. “Venice,” Zach Condon
  8. “On the Radio,” Regina Spektor
  9. “All My Friends,” LCD Soundsystem
  10. “Dashboard,” Modest Mouse
  11. “1234,” Feist
  12. “In View,” The Tragically Hip
  13. “Four Winds,” Bright Eyes
  14. “Maple Leaves,” Jens Lekman
  15. “The Painter,” I’m From Barcelona
  16. “Fake Empire,” The National
  17. “The Underdog,” Spoon
  18. “Leave the Light On,” Chris Smither
  19. “Two,” Ryan Adams
  20. “Girls Who Play Guitars,” Maximo Park
  21. “Part-Time Model,” Flight of the Conchords
  22. “Onion,” Sean Hayes
  23. “Kid-A,” (Radiohead cover), John Mayer
  24. “The Trouble with River Cities,” Pela
  25. “Gone Gone Gone,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
  26. “Long Song,” Sara Bareillis
  27. “Livin’ in the Future,” Bruce Springsteen
  28. “Bodysnatchers,” Radiohead
  29. “Can’t Believe a Single,” VHS Or Beta
  30. “You’re the World to Me,” David Gray
  31. “1973,” James Blunt
  32. “Falling Slowly,” Glen Hansard & Marketa Irlglova
  33. “Darlin’ Do Not Fear,” Brett Dennen
  34. “In the Colors,” Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
  35. “Mardy Bum,” Arctic Monkeys
  36. “The Headmaster Ritual,” (The Smiths cover), Radiohead

2006 Year in Review
The second year doing this, I put together a short collection of songs he was listening to, mainly, in his first months settling into San Francisco.

  1. “Now It’s a Year,” Antlerand
  2. “Marching Bands of Manhattan,” Death Cab For Cutie
  3. “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome,” Madeleine Peyroux
  4. “Forever Lost,” The Magic Numbers
  5. “Portions For Foxes,” Rilo Kiley
  6. “Conceived,” Beth Orton
  7. “Fraud in the 80’s,” Mates of State
  8. “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games,” Of Montreal
  9. “Sister Jack,” Spoon
  10. “Monster Hospital,” Metric
  11. “A Way of Life,” The Concretes
  12. “You Have Killed Me,” Morrissey
  13. “Marker in the Sand,” Pearl Jam
  14. “Leaving So Soon?,” Keane
  15. “Hold You in my Arms,” Ray LaMontagne
  16. “Wet Sand,” Red Hot Chili Peppers
  17. “The Captain,” Guster
  18. “And I Was a Boy From School,” Hot Chip
  19. “Sommerville,” The Pernice Brothers
  20. “Maybe I’m Right,” Pete Yorn
  21. “The Way Things Used to Be,” Badly Drawn Boy
  22. “Upon this Tidal Wave of Young Blood,” Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  23. “Phantom Limb,” The Shins
  24. “Heartbeats,” Jose Gonzalez
  25. “In Repair,” John Mayer
  26. “Coconut Skins,” Damien Rice
  27. “Gone Away From Me,” Ray LaMontagne
  28. “Star of Wonder,” Sufjan Stevens

2005 Year in Review
This was the first year of the compilations; mainly songs that I enjoyed playing on The Poet Drain (my weekly radio show that I hosted while at Notre Dame). In it original form it was two discs: the first 15 songs fast, and the last ones slow.

  1. “I Can’t Win,” The Strokes
  2. “Henry VIII,” The Tyde
  3. “Landing,” Moby
  4. “Indian Summer,” Pedro the Lion
  5. “Now It’s On,” Grandaddy
  6. “Bad Day,” R.E.M.
  7. “Such Great Heights,” The Postal Service
  8. “Dirty Girl,” Eels
  9. “Me And Jesus Don’t Talk Anymore,” Beulah
  10. “Kissing the Lipless,” The Shins
  11. “Running with Scissors,” Ben Lee
  12. “The Air Near My Fingers,” The White Stripes
  13. “Motiveless Crime,” South
  14. “Somewhere Else,” Travis
  15. “Home,” Leona Naess
  16. “11-11,” Rufus Wainwright
  17. “White Flag,” Dido
  18. “Under Control,” The Strokes
  19. “Don’t Use My Broken Heart,” Leona Naess
  20. “Cannonball,” Damien Rice
  21. “Walking Down the Hill/Some Sad Song,” Travis
  22. “No Room to Bleed,” Ben Lee
  23. “Priests and Paramedics,” Pedro the Lion
  24. “Hall of Fame,” Sea Ray
  25. “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” The Postal Service
  26. “Split Screen Sadness,” John Mayer
  27. “If You Knew,” Jeff Buckley

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