Friday, November 16, 2007

Thoughts on Songs I Heard On The Radio Today

"Don't Stop Believing," Journey: I swear this song haunts me. Anytime I'm in a bad mood, suddenly Journey appears on my radio, as if to add insult to injury. I know this song was meant to be uplifting or something, but Lord does it suck. Plus, I end up singing random snippets of it for a couple hours. I am 98% sure this song will somehow be the last thing I hear in my life.

"Come and Get It," Badfinger: I have no idea why this is considered an acceptable rock song. Yes, it's catchy. Yes, it's easy to sing along to. But it lacks elements like verses, or a bridge, or cool solos, or interesting guitar riffs, or cool instrumentation, or really anything outside of "If you want it, here it is, come and get it." Did Paul McCartney just write this on a napkin, throw it in his suit pocket, forget about it for a couple years, then just give it to Badfinger so they'd have something to sing? I cannot think of a single other song that has no verses whatsoever.

"Angie," The Rolling Stones: Have I mentioned this song in this occasional feature before? Seems like I have. I love the poignant interplay between the violin and the piano in this one enough to make me consider starting a rock band with just a piano and a violin. But the thing I really love is Mick Jagger's singing in it, because it's so loose and not concerned with being exactly on pitch that I can sing along with it even though it's probably way out of my normal range and still sound good.

"The House of the Rising Sun," The Animals: The Animals, on the other hand, believe in singing at the very edge of my normal range perfectly on pitch, which usually means I sound terrible for a couple beats when I sing along with it. This makes me sad, because I really like this song and I want to sing along with it but hate sounding terrible. The discomfort this situation causes always makes me want to change the station, but I stay for the cool organ solo. I'm a sucker for cool organ solos.

"Sultans of Swing," Dire Straits: Dire Straits, meanwhile, somehow made a music career out of nonchalantly breathing four notes for three and a half minutes backed by catchy guitar riffs. I'm pretty sure tone deaf toddlers could handle Dire Straits' vocals with minimal difficulty. I like the groovin' guitar solo in the middle of this one. I suppose the lesson here is that decent lyrics, catchy guitar riffs, and groovin' solos can mask ridiculously simple vocals, because I never noticed them until I sang along with it after struggling mightily with The Animals.

3 comments:

liz said...

I agree with your assessments here. To properly sing "The House of the Rising Sun" you must be just far enough on the loose and unself-conscious side of tipsy, but not actually drunk. Too sober, and your vocal chords are too tight, too drunk and you just sound sloppy.

liz said...

Um...vocal cords. Not vocal chords. Gah.

Andy said...

Heh, vocal chords. I once had a dream that I could harmonize a third above or below myself. That was awesome.