Welcome one and all, to what I hope to be a regular(ish) feature here. As you've probably noticed, I'm a huge fan of music, and I always love an opportunity to talk/rant about it. Anyway, here I'm going to find some songs (not necessarily current) to give a thumbs up to, and some to give a thumbs down to. Simple enough, right?
Thumbs Up to The National - "Fake Empire". I think that this may just be the best song made of 2007. From the slow intro to the amazing jam at the end, this song just brings it. While I absolutely love the trumpet and trombone duet at the end, the highlight for me definitely Berninger's vocal work. He just sounds so very raw and emotional throughout the song.
This song is such a great description of the hollowness of modern life, living without direction. If you haven't heard this song (and album) than you are really doing yourself a great disservice.
Thumbs Down to Katy Perry - "Ur So Gay". Man, I loathe this song! First off, I hate that the word gay is used as an insult. I know that the song is intending to say that the guy acts gay despite his heterosexuality, however, with the climate of the word being used as synonymous with stupid, it really just further enforces that use of the word. So MASSIVE thumbs down for that.
On a more personal note, I hate this song because, well, it more or less describes me to perfection. Seriously. Readers of this blog will know that I am a vegan, I care about the environment, and I am an Indie Music Geek. Just like the guy in the song. Also, lord knows I have had many people assume that I was gay (probably for those above reasons) despite my heterosexuality.
I can just picture any of my ex-girlfriends blasting this song as they angrily think about me, and I HATE that!!!!
The third reason that I can't stand this song, is because it's so damned catchy! Despite my disagreement with some of the lyrical choices, there are some really clever lines in this song, and the beat just makes me want to sing along...thus making it even harder for me to truly hate! You win this round Perry....
Thumbs Up for Estelle featuring Kanye West -"American Boy". Once more Kanye strikes gold! This song is such a great summer sing-a-long track. It's so hard not to get caught up with it's optimistic beats, Kanye's well placed rhymes, and Estelle's angelic voice. Really there is nothing not to love about this song, it's a great club track, a great road trip song, and really just a great song all around.
I haven't had the chance to check out much more of Estelle's stuff, but I hope that it's all just as awesome!
Thumbs Down for G-Unit - "I Like the Way She Do It". Shouldn't he have retired by now? That is what he said he would do if Kanye out sold him back in September, and well, Kanye won that round, but yet here we are with another Fity song.
While the beat is great to bump and grind to, the lyrics are exceptionally unimaginative. I don't know if anyone has told any member of the G-Unit this yet, but it's not 2001, and he's not fresh anymore. Perhaps something new is in order.
Thumbs Up to Final Fantasy - "Peach, Plum, Pear". I legitimately think that this is one of the greatest covers of all time, and considering my love of Johnny Cash, and Cake, that is a huge compliment.
Owen Pallett totally takes this great song by Joanna Newsom and makes it his own. Listen to the way he sings "The gathering floosies, are born to be choosy", it sounds almost like he wrote it himself. Before I saw Final Fantasy, I never thought that I could see someone play the violin angrily, but once more I was proven wrong. In watching the video, I hope you notice just how masterfully Wilson loops his songs back, and plays with himself. Sure he does it in all of his songs, but it just came together even more so in this one.
Thumbs Down for Katy Perry - "I Kissed a Girl". Strike two for Ms. Perry here! I personally can't stand this song at all. While it is catchy, and will no doubt be the breakout hit of the summer, it is just plain wrong. She is trying to go for an edgy sexually-liberated vibe here, but I think that it totally fails.
First off, this is not a song about sexual-liberation at all. This is a song done by and for "Look-At-Me-Lesbians". Gals who are sexually liberated not for their own sake, but for the sake of men. It's simply disgusting and totally take the women's lib movement back decades by subverting it. GAH!!!!!!
Secondly, by latching on to the popularized subversion of a subversion, it's not edgy at all! You want an edgy gal singer, go for Lily Allen instead....
That being said, like her other entry here...it's damn catchy, and hard not to sing a long to.
And that should about do it for this first entry. I'll put more out later that won't just feature Katy Perry...I swear :)
Until next time,