Thursday, February 28, 2008


An announcement: Just before I lost contact with Blogger, a bought an 80 gigabyte iPod Classic! It has made me so happy, and while trying to make sure I've transferred all the same music and rebuilding my old playlists is a tad annoying, it's 100% everything I wanted. And, no, I've been free to more experimentation with my music instead of posting the old standbys.

In honour of this wonderful event, this shot at roulette will include ten songs! And, bucking the recent trend, I will actually try to throw out a couple words about each song...

1. Alanis Morissette - Underneath (Sendspace link)

A song hopefully on her upcoming album Flavors of Entanglement, Morissette has put together a great song about how personal responsibility is the core of every problem in the greater world. We can' expect world peace if we cannot live in our own small bubble peacefully, something many people cannot comprehend. Until we learn to love those around us, we can't expect the rest of the world's problems to magically work out. This is a wise song, something Morissette has been moving towards for albums now, and I'm hoping it becomes a single and gets some exposure.

2. Alanis Morissette - Symptoms (Sendspace link)

Looking at aspects explored in the former song, this Morissette b-side for 'Hands Clean' puts forward much of the same theme. 'Underneath' posits that the larger problems are a cause of our smaller issues, and 'Symptoms' tells us that all of these problems are because we are relentless in our search for individuality, and in doing so we have ignored the fact that we are all one group, undivided by skin or gender or anything else. We are all human, and when we betray that, the cracks start to form. Morissette sometimes gets too caught up in her own drama, but this song showcases some of her best work, and its a shame it was left to a b-side.

3. A Band Called Quinn - I Wish You Love (Sendspace link)

There's something beautiful about this song that draws me in. The vocals are of course gorgeous, and the instrumentation is something I haven't encountered as much before. It's got a hazy, but nice, atmosphere that makes it just very enjoyable.

4. Maximo Park - Girls Who Play Guitars (Sendspace link)

I haven't listened much to Maximo Park in the past, but this song has intrigued me enough to make me want to follow up on it. A pair of friends wherein the protagonist is secretly in love with her, but she's clueless even as she's spent a year "watching me decay". He reflects on their conversations while thinking sadly about her promiscuity ("She goes out, she gets drunk, she gets off, she goes home, she gives in").

5. Rogue Traders - I Never Liked You (Sendspace link)

I have been addicted to this song for weeks now, and it has only just started to taper off. The energy in it is just utterly exciting, and that's a feeling I love. The lyrics are fun, unsubtle and not needing to be. It's just a plain good fun time, as we all imagine chewing out someone but refusing to say anything, whether out of self-preseration or just politeness.

6. Amy Studt - Furniture (Sendspace link)

I don't believe I've mentioned Studt on this blog, but her ldebut album, False Smiles, was pretty good. The new single for her upcoming April 2008 album My Paper Made Men has appeared and it blows pretty much every song off Smiles out of the water. It's quiet, broken, beautiful, with vulnerable lyrics that dodge the obvious or the cliche. I only recently acquired it, but its gorgeous, and bodes well for new new album.

7. The New Pornographers - The Bones of an Idol (Sendspace link)

It has recently come to my realisation that The New Pornographers' album Twin Cinema is quite possibly one of the most consistently excellent albums I have amongst my collection. This song is possibly my favourite off the album, though its hard to choose amongst the gold nuggets present here. I'm still finding the love for their others, but this album (and this song) are just wonderful.

8. Tegan and Sara - Superstar (Sendspace link)

An old favourite of mine, this may be the song that got me properly addicted to Tegan and Sara. It's eerie and gorgeous, atmospheric in a way Tegan and Sara aren't most of the time. Layers of vocals, with a great beat and a bizarre mix of speaking and singing that leaves you wondering where exactly the line is. I love the lyrics, about the seeking out of fame and the finding of it. It feels disorienting. "Take my heart while you're at it!" the protagonist yells, trying not to sell out and probably failing.

9. Pink - Dear Mr. President (Sendspace link)

The other night, I stumbled upon this gem while listening to the 'Pod. It's a song I ignored until now, but I've fallen in love with it. George W. Bush is a figure I've both tried to follow and ignore since his ascendancy to President of the US. It asks many of the questions I'd love to see the man answer, and besides the fantastic lyrics (which only sometimes falter), the performance of the song is commendable as well. The style of singing to the chorus, with a backup singer enhancing Alecia Moore's (aka Pink) point as the guitar moves simply in the background. It's beautiful. The final "Let me tell you 'bout hard work!' sequence is particularly moving.

10. Avril Lavigne - Sk8er Boi (Sendspace link)

To end on a funny note, this is my ultimate guilty pleasure that I can't see popping up here in any other context, so I'm posting it now. I first heard it years ago, in the parking lot of a Go Kart track, and listening to it always brings me back there. It's not particularly deep or moving, but it's a nice look at social classes and prejudices despite it being a 'mainstream pop song', and its a well-constructed story that gives me a nice visual. I can always imagine the events of this song nicely. And, ultimately, it makes me smile, and that's what counts!

Of course, as always, I think you should look into any artists you like and check out their albums! Will try to scare up a new showcase or even finish off that Top 100 of 2007 list by the end of this week!

1 comment:

Kara said...

YAY!!! Henry Lee! Gosh I dig this song.