Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

10.6.06

Great songs, according to me (Part 22)

It's been a while, so I thought I'd continue the Award-Winning Series! I know you can't live without knowing what songs I think are great!

As usual, links to the rest of the list: the archive of parts 1-15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21. Enjoy the selections!

211. Given To Fly (by Pearl Jam on the album Yield, 1998): One of the forgotten classics in Pearl Jam's song list, this song begins with Eddie's standard mumbling, which bugs me a bit, but I forgive it because when he lets loose, there is such power and passion in his voice. The music kicks in just as Eddie screams, "He's flying" and we feel the same way. It's a nice song that matches the feeling of flying with coming back to earth. It's also a nice Christian song without really preaching. I wonder if Eddie wrote it to be a Christian song. He doesn't strike me as one.

212. The Globe (by Big Audio Dynamite on the album The Globe, 1991): BAD never really took off, but this album is a blast of party music with a slight leftist edge, and that ain't bad. This song is the perfect example of the album - bouncy, danceable, a wee bit funky, and easily digestible pseudo-political lyrics that never get in the way of the fun. And it has lung cancer advice, too: "What's the health department got to say? Don't smoke more than fifty fags a day." Mick Jones - always looking out for you!

213. Glory Girl (by Amanda Ghost on the album Ghost Stories, 2000): This is a very good and largely ignored album, by a performer who I haven't heard much from since (but who is apparently working on something new). Ghost has a strong and strangely off-kilter voice (occasionally she lisps, which adds a weird edge to her songs), and on this tune, she shows off its power. She's singing about a lost girl who needs to find her way, and we're never sure if she's talking about herself. The music is nostalgic (in a good way) and Ghost's voice adds a nice touch of melancholy.

214. Go! (by Marillion on the album marillion.com, 1999): Marillion is certainly excellent at these kinds of songs, where the music and vocals start softly and build slowly to a climax. In this song, however, the blast of noise never comes, and the climax is instead soft yet still very powerful. Hogarth sings about never accepting a rut in your life and breaking out into something special, and the final refrain - "Wide awake at the end of the world" - lingers long after the song is over. It's a beautiful song on a very good album.

215. Gold (by 0+> (Prince) on the album The Gold Experience, 1995): This is by far the best Prince album of the 1990s (the concept album with the symbol is good, but not as good as this), partly because Prince drags his guitar out of storage and jams a lot, and partly because of this song, which is his most inspiring anthem since "Purple Rain." It's a song about the illusion of riches and how we have to find real wealth elsewhere and reflects his deepening religious thoughts, but it never gets preachy. The "Hey Jude"-like ending and a final transcendent guitar solo push this song to even greater heights.

216. Gold Dust Woman (by Fleetwood Mac on the album Rumours, 1977): This is a strange little song from Rumours, with Stevie rasping her way through bizarre late-1970s lyrics, but the chorus - "Did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter your illusions of love? Is it over now, do you know how - pick up the pieces and go home" - with Nicks chiding the foolish lover and dismissing him (?) so casually is what gives this song its nasty heart and makes it great. The music is haunting, too, which always helps.

217. The Golden Age (by Beck on the album Sea Change, 2002): Beck's 2002 album begins with this song and signals a complete change (hence the name) from what he has done before. This is a slow, thoughtful song, full of unrequited longing and despair, made more heartbreaking by Beck's tremulous voice. It's a lovely song even though it saddens us. Sea Change is a fantastic album, and this sets the tone for a more mature Beck and a more introspective one.

218. Golden Age (by Midnight Oil on the album Capricornia, 2001): Midnight Oil's last album isn't their best, but it begins with a great song that contrasts the depravity of the world with the promise of freedom and glory and a return to a natural state. It's something that the boys have sung about before, but this song, tinged by a nostalgia that shows their age, is pushed ahead into greatness over other Midnight Oil songs with similar themes.

219. Goldfish & Clowns (by Fish on the album Sunsets On Empire, 1997): A typical Fish song, in that the lyrics occasionally verge on the far-too-obscure before hitting us with a few lines that make it all worth it, while the music propels us along and changes up on us, just to keep us on our toes. It feels like a hopeful song, but as usual, Fish subverts our ears by slipping in just enough doubt to keep us from feeling completely uplifted. He's very good at that, and it keeps this song from falling into cheap sentimentality (which, unfortunately, when he's not on, he sometimes does). A nice song that is made great by its uncertainty about love and life.

220. Go'n Breakdown (by Suicidal Tendencies on the album Lights ... Camera ... Revolution, 1990): This song is just a nice piledriver of metal and mayhem. From the crunch of the opening guitars to the whine of the solos, we're never let down at all. Mike Muir's lyrics and the way he spits them makes this even more fun: "Went to school at U. of Hell, favorite course was kill and tell/Graduated head of class, majored in kickin' ass/Did hard time to get my Master, wrote the book on personal disaster/I don't need no PhD to be a doctor of fuckin' misery!" Sure, it's ridiculously violent, but it's a cartoon, and Muir never takes himself too seriously. A crazy ride to end the album, and a great song.

Yes, that's it for this time. Your insults are welcome!

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6 Comments:

Blogger Thomas said...

Why you assumin' we going to be all insultin', Greg?

11/6/06 7:35 AM  
Blogger Disintegrating Clone said...

"Glory Box" by Portishead. If you've never heard it, take a listen to it, Greg.

12/6/06 1:12 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Because everyone has better taste than I do, Thomas!

I kind of like what I've heard of Portishead, Mr. Clone. But I've never bought anything by them. I'll have to check them out.

12/6/06 7:03 AM  
Blogger T. said...

I wanted to come in and be insulting, but fortunately for you I know none of the songs. ;)

13/6/06 4:04 AM  
Blogger Lefty said...

Oy! You and the Marillion songs! lol.

'kidding.

20/6/06 6:52 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

That's because they're excellent!

20/6/06 7:10 PM  

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