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!

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!


Great songs, according to me (Part 28)

Another fun installment of what I think are great songs! Of course, my tastes may be a bit off, according to you, but that has never stopped me before!

Of course, I have to link you up to the previous lists. Because that's how I roll!

Parts 1-15, archived. Part 16. Part 17. Part 18. Part 19. Part 20. Part 21. Part 22. Part 23. Part 24. Part 25. Part 26. Part 27.

271. I'm A Mother (by the Pretenders on the album Last Of The Independents, 1994): I am not a huge fan of the Pretenders, but this album is pretty strong, and this song kicks all kind of ass. It has a great rumbling guitar part that propels us along, and Chrissie's voice, which for me is sometimes a detriment to the song, fits it perfectly. She mutters early on in the song, which gives her snarl as we move through the song more savage impact. She sings about motherhood, and it becomes a powerful indictment of those who would deprive mothers of their children.

272. I'm Free (by the Soup Dragons on the album Lovegod, 1990): I know this is a Rolling Stones song, but I've never heard it (yes, I suck). Well, I've heard a brief part of it on that new commercial, but I've never heard the entire song. And I don't care, because this is a great song when the Soup Dragons did it. It has that excellent reggae thing going for it, and it's just so darned funky. I can take my reggae in small doses, thank you, and this the perfect amount. It still gets me bopping!

273. I'm Lost And Then I'm Found (by the Godfathers on the album More Songs About Love And Hate, 1989): Man, I love this song and this album. The Godfathers never hit it big, even though they showed up on Saturday Night Live in 1989 (which is where I saw them, doing this song, which convinced me to buy the album), but they kicked much ass. They were a throwback to solid guitar bands in an age of keyboard-drenched stuff, and this song epitomizes their awesomeness. With great lines like "Cigarettes and women be the death of me, better that than this old town" and hard-driving rhythms, this is just a wonderful rock and roll song. They released a couple more albums and then disappeared. But they still rock!

274. Immortality (by Pearl Jam on the album Vitalogy, 1994): This is such a cool song, coming at the end of maybe Pearl Jam's best album. Eddie mumbles a lot, sure, but he has such a way with making the mumbling sound powerful and deep, and in this song, the lyrics even demand that kind of portentousness! And when the music builds and Eddie actually sings "Truants move on ... cannot stay long ... some die just to live ..." and then we pull back and meander off, it's a magical musical moment. It's kind of disappointing that they have never released another album as good as this one (good ones, but not as good as this).

275. In A Bar (by Hamell on Trial on the album The Chord Is Mightier Than The Sword, 1997): Ed Hamell is a punk rocker playing an acoustic guitar, and he kicks much ass. This album is out of print, apparently, which is a shame, because it's very good, largely due to songs like this, in which Hamell slows things down a bit and sings about a man returning to his home town after years away, and discovering that things haven't really changed. Hamell does this sort of wistfulness very well (he has another song further down on this list with the same kind of feel to it) and it speaks to a nostalgic longing for the good old days, even with the recognition that they weren't all that good. Of course we can never go home again, and this song captures that sadness perfectly, as well as the depression of those we leave behind.

276. In And Out Of Love (by Bon Jovi on the album 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit, 1985): You know, if you're going to do cheesy big-hair metal, at least do it well, and Bon Jovi was pretty good at it. Occasionally they would really crank out a song that rose above the rest, and this one is an example. The lyrics are nothing to write home about, but Jon actually sneers and snarls a bit, which makes it less mass-produced than their usual songs, and Richie's wailing guitars remind us that he's pretty darned good. Maybe I think it's great because my 14-year-old male brain remembers it that way, but it still rocks 20 years later.

277. In The Cage (by Genesis on the album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, 1974): I have mentioned my love for Genesis quite often, and this album in particular. Every weird experiment Genesis did with their music came to fruition on this album, and they were able to get rid of the really weird stuff that didn't work and pare it down to "basic" weirdness. Take this song, which is probably my favorite from the album. Gabriel sings, "I got sunshine in my stomach, like I just rocked my baby to sleep" to start off, and the song quickly turns from the relatively feel-good beginning to a paranoid delusion of terror - "Stalactites, stalagmites, shut me in, lock me tight." The music whirls dervishly, then crunches to a slow burn as Gabriel sings like a prophet, "Outside the cage I see my brother John ... But he does not even want to try to speak. I'm helpless in my violent rage and a silent tear of blood dribbles down his cheek." Chilling. Then the gang ratchets up the music again and we spiral into madness once again. It's a brilliant song, and shows why Genesis could be a great band.

278. In The Dark (by Janet Speaks French on the album In The Planet Janet, 1994): This is a great song on an odd album that is out of print, sadly enough. It's not that it's that great an album, it's just that the packaging - it looks like a comic book, complete with story, and the songs on the album sort of go along with the story - is fun. This song, which is about despair and finding a way out of it, mines familiar territory, but the band feels like they care more about this song than many others on the album, which counts for a lot. It's a song that feels like it deserves a better album around it. The album is an oddity, and if you see it in a bargain bin, pick it up. It's nothing memorable, but it's not lousy.

279. In The Neighborhood (by Hamell On Trial on the album Big As Life, 1996): The second song from Hamell on this list, this song also goes to the nostalgia well, but with a less wistful yet more heartfelt feel to it. Hamell sounds like he has been more injured in this song than in the other, and it makes the song a bit more thoughtful. The music has a bit of an epic feel to it, coming out of the past to haunt the present, and lends the lyrics more heft. A beautiful song.

280. In The New Age (by King's X on the album Out Of The Silent Planet, 1988): The first song on the first album by King's X gets things off to a rousing start. It begins slowly and quietly, building power through the trio's soon-to-be-distinctive throbbing guitar play, and the vocals eventually reach a crescendo of barely-controlled screaming. The lyrics are, well, new-agey (shocking, given the title), but they're still pretty interesting, announcing a Christian sensibility without beating the listeners over the head with it. King's X got more overt with their Christianity in later albums, then backed off it, but on this album and in this song they strike a nice balance, and this song sets a mood for a powerful rock album with a nice trippy feel to it.

That's another group of songs that I think are great. Tell me how off-base I am, and I will scoff at your pedestrian tastes!

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