And in the No. 6 song, she wants you to heal along with her.
Siobhan Donaghy’s Ghosts was my favorite album of the year, glossy Europop songs created by someone who apparently had only listened to Kate Bush and Slowdive records in the months leading up to entering the recording studio: lush production, details that blossomed in headphones, and enough overall artistic moxie that Donaghy could have maybe finally shed the “ex-Sugababe” tag. Maybe, if her label hadn’t dropped the ball when the long-delayed album finally came out.
OK, the album’s flop (it peaked at No. 92 on the UK chart) was in large part the result of the market for hypersmart pop that people are willing to pay cash money for drying up all around the world, even in those markets that aren’t behemoths of dumb like These United States. And really, pretty much any song on Ghosts could have taken this spot, but I chose “Don’t Give It Up,” the album’s opener, because of the way it sublimates its jangling nerves under a choir of Siobhans on the chorus, their voices swooping up into the highest registers as they reassure the listener that everyone’s taken a knock or two. (Not to mention that since it leaked before the rest of Ghosts, it topped my iTunes play count of songs from the album.) But since I love Ghosts top to bottom and I could talk about it for days, here’s the vaguely Inland Empire-inspired video for the stunning monologue-to-an-ex “So You Say,” which has what Matthew Perpetua described as a “Wilson Phillips-as-a-shoegazer-band chorus”: