Room for Two - Roots Before Branches (Studio Crashers Extended Mix)
What can I say, this is a track that really grabbed me from the start and I've really come to love the more that I hear it. I don't really listen to pop music unless it's in a dance remix format, so I didn't see the video until long after I heard the dance version:
That white girl can sing! The video is good but the Studio Crashers Mix brought out a bittersweet quality that that really expressed the way my life has been feeling lately -- the frustration of feeling like I can't quite get to the things in life I've always wanted, yet recognizing that I've been laying the foundation for those good things to come. I can't say how other people judge their dance music, but I can't ask for anything more in a track, to be able to express my life in a way I could not otherwise express.
Filo & Peri - Shine On (Activa Mix)
From the bittersweetness of wanting what I haven't yet figured out how to let myself have to soaring where I'd love to be, Shine On is the embodiment of what I love about trance and dance music in general. It's a reminder that we can look beyond where we are to where we'd like to be. And that's a wonderful thing.
My favorite is the Activa Remix... it leaves out some of the vocals from the original, but it hits all the right emotional notes. I've linked to the Aly & Fila Remix because that's what they have available at Masterbeat. I'd grab any mix of this track that I could find.
Debby Holiday - Joyful Sound (Wayne G & Porl Young Atlantis Anthem)
There are plenty of things out there telling you how awful the world is and what's going wrong. In my mind, a DJ's job is to remind you of what's beautiful in the world and to help you find some joy even if it's for just a few minutes. It's great to have tracks that are unapologetic about it, rather than simply regurgitating what's hot at the moment. It's also great to have Debby Holiday back on the scene. Hearkens back to a time on the scene where there was plenty of music that just felt good.
Mary J. Blige - Just Fine (Moto Blanco Club Mix)
Another track that's in the same spirit as the aforementioned Debby, Mary J. will tell you how it is and if you're smart, you'll listen. I won't change my life, my life's just fine! Yes ma'am, we love you, Mary J! My favorite mix is Scotty K's, but I'm not exactly sure where you can buy that one. Moto Blanco gives you a high energy, yet delightfully groovy track. Ok, for the record, Masterbeat shows this as being released in December 2007, but this is my blog and I can do what I want.
Chanel - Dance (Fish n Chips Remix)
"It feels like somebody should be dancin' up in here..." If I could recommend that Phoenix listen to one song, it might be this one. Somebody really SHOULD be dancing here. Anyway, take Spiller's classic Groovejet and put Chanel's perfect vocals on top and you get one top track.
There were other good tracks this year but these are definitely my top 5. Don't wait, buy them now.