There's Nothing You Can Sing that Can't Be Sung (AYNIL w/o)Oct 25, 2003 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line Time for me to crash this love fest...
The music category certainly wasn't the friendliest place to be last week, what with all of us music writers spewing forth hate and aggression in the Songs I F@#$%^& Hate write-off. It was amusing and entertaining, but not friendly. Lest any newcomers to the site get the impression that we music writers are a bunch of hatemongers with nothing good to say about the world around us, Stairway2Drew has organized the All You Need Is Love write-off to bring us back into karmic balance. The task is awfully simple: provide a list of five albums you love, five songs you love, and five music writers here on Epinions whose work you love. Not necessarily the all-time greatest for each list, but simply the ones that rock our personal worlds at the moment.
Now, without further ado...
Nothing You Can Know That Isn't Known... 5 albums I love
Sam Cooke - The Man and His Music by Sam Cooke
His career was painfully short, lasting only from the late fifties to his death in 1964, but in that time, he put out some of the best songs that have ever been recorded. He could handle rock n' roll, gospel, R and B, pop, soul, and every other popular style of the day. With songs like You Send Me, Wonderful World, Cupid, Twistin' the Night Away, Bring It On Home To Me and so Many more, this compilation should be in every music fan's collection, and shows just how amazingly talented Cooke was.
Doolittle by The Pixies
This one is a more recent discovery of mine. I was simply unaware of the Pixies back when they were still putting out new material, but even if I had known about them, I probably would have given them a pass. Now, years later, my musical tastes have refined, and I've come to appreciate Frank Black's unique brand off experimental pop. Doolittle has so much to offer, from the energetic aggression of Debaser to the stripped down pop sensibilities of Here Comes Your Man. I appreciate the album more each time I hear it.
Cosmic Thing by the B52's
Carefully crafted, melodic pop music is fantastic. So is quirky, eccentric, offbeat music. It's so rare to find the two blended into a perfect composite, but the B52's managed to find the perfect balance between the two. Love Shack has been a party staple for years, but there are so many other great tracks here. Roam, Deadbeat Club, Channel Z, and so many others all sound as fresh and exciting as the did when the album first came out back in 1989.
Ben Folds Five by Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds is amongst the best songwriters we've got right now. The matter is not up for debate. His songs display a mastery of harmonies, structure, lyrics, and rhythm. The debut album from his group features so many pop gems like Philosophy, Underground, Uncle Walter, and Best Imitation of Myself. He's never put out a bad album, but I keep coming back to the self-titled debut for its sheer energy and exuberant sense of fun.
Abbey Road by The Beatles
Critics may cite Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band as the greatest album ever, but for me, it stands in the shadow of this last album that the Beatles recorded. This last outing from the fab four stripped away all the pretensions and experimentation they had gone through, letting them get back to writing perfect, memorable songs that have lasted through the years. While the whole album is fantastic, the stretch on side 2 between You Never Give Me Your Money and The End remains the greatest continuous set of music ever released on an album.
Nothing You Can See That Isn't Shown... 5 songs I love
Complicated by Poi Dog Pondering
No, it's not the Avril Lavigne song. This Complicated is a fast, upbeat song with a hint of disco beat underneath a thick layer of pop craftsmanship. With lyrics like "Sometimes I get so scared of life / I'm not afraid of death I'm scared of going through this thing twice," and a boundless amount of energy, this is one of those songs that always makes me feel better after a bad day.
Leave the Biker by Fountains of Wayne
Power chords and rich harmonies abound on almost all the songs I love, but this one adds in a level of charm and self-deprecating humor that multiplies its appear tenfold. As the unrestrained chords churn away, I can help sympathizing with Chris Collingwood and his gripes about the horrible, pigheaded men that the ladies always seem to flock to. Sometimes its rough being a decent kind of guy, but this song makes us smile as it reminds us that we're not alone.
Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks
From the honky-tonk piano in the intro, to the keyboard fills throughout, to the catchy bass hooks, this song catches the Kinks at the pinnacle of song craftsmanship. The simple, scratchy vocals hearken back to a simpler time that never really existed. But when Ray Davies sings lines like "We are the office block persecution affinity, God save little shops, china cups and virginity," it's easy to smile and feel like such a world is only a step away.
Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny
Clever, memorable lyrics often make or break a song for me, but this classic instrumental from the golden age of surf music reminds me that lyrics can sometimes just get in the way. The dreamy quality of the steel guitar melody and the simple snare drum rhythm that lies beneath everything are so elegantly simply, and combine to make one of the most romantic songs out there, all without uttering single word.
Intro-Inspection by (far to many artists to mention)
This one's a rather obscure track, but I've loved it ever since I stumbled across it on the internet about a year ago. Take the introductions to over a hundred of the most memorable songs from the last four decades, throw them into a blender supervised by a club DJ with an amazing amount of free time to dedicate to the project, stretch the result out over twelve minutes, and you'll get Intro-Inspection. Throughout most of the song, you've got two, three, or even four songs blended together seamlessly. There's nothing out there like odd sense of juxtaposition when you hear the intros to Bohemian Rhapsody and Hound Dog blended together, or the intros to Anarchy in the UK mixed with both Satisfaction and Barbie Girl at the same time. This song really has to heard to be believed.
Nowhere You Can Be That Isn't Where You're Meant to Be... 5 writers I love to read
He may not be amongst the most prolific and frequent music writers, but Officer has a real love of indie pop, and his passion really shows in his writing. He writes some of the best concert reviews I've seen, too. I can't wait to see how things turn out once one of his screenplays gets made into a movie.
My love of power pop is no secret, but I tend to focus on the bands from the nineties on. For the first bands that paved the way for power pop back in the seventies, there's no one better than Don_Krider. He's made me appreciate those older bands like the Raspberries and Big Star so much more than I had before.
I've run across quite a few writers whose tastes run tangential to mine, and Voxpoptart is among them, but it seems like every time I read something from him, he manages to line up his words in a much more clear and concise manner than I can manage. Besides, lately he's mentioned a few small anecdotes related to training for becoming a teacher, and it's nice to see that other are going through the same experiences I had.
I can't say I'm all too familiar with most of the bands that Emptywishes writes about, but I always enjoy reading what Kim has to say. She's got a great charm and wit about her that draws the reader in. It's like sitting down with a old friend at a small, hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. Plus, the whole "American girl living in France" gives her an extra added bit of exotic charm.
For news in the world of rock, I've learned not to turn to Rolling Stone, Spin, or any of those other corporate magazine. Whenever anything truly important happens in music, I know that it'll find its way into MattA75's newest Impertinent Thoughts on Pertinent Subjects columns. He tells us all the important bits and pieces that slip the cracks, and he wields a heft sarcasm stick to give a sound thrashing to those who deserve it. Let's not forget that Matt writes some of the most solid rock reviews we've got on the site.
Well, there you go. Five albums, five songs, and five writers. It's was tough to limit myself to only five for each category, and there simply isn't enough time to mention everyone and everything that deserves mention. Check out these other entrants to the write off, and the many others (like myself) who have crashed the party:
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