Ryan’s Ten Song Shuffle

In keeping with this week’s theme for Stereo Control, I too will be shuffling my iTunes library, reviewing ten songs in the process.  Whereas Michael’s antecedence of the game stated that he might be embarrassed, I know I have thousands of great songs that Apple’s random generator thing can choose from.  Nick’s post also showed him for what he is: a Metal snob — but, I, of course, have a varied and eclectic taste in music.  Man, I’m going to be highly upset if all ten random songs are something lame like Whitesnake, after this arrogant introduction.

1. “Across The Universe” – The Beatles

It has been well-documented my love for all things Beatles, so it should come as no surprise that I love this song.  Lennon’s beautiful, imagistic lyrics (“Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox / They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe”) combined with the soft acoustic accompaniment create an angelic love-song.  The Sanskrit “Jai guru deva / Om” only drives the peacefulness of the song forward.  Almost nothing that iTunes can pick after this would even match up to its impossible standards.

2. “Looking Through the Eyes of a Child” – Eddie Money

Despite my adulation for lame ’80s music, I don’t know this song.  I really enjoy Eddie Money, so I’m sure this song will be cool.  Off of this first listen, I think I prefer the verses to the chorus, which feels too long.  However, Money’s vocals have a lot of feeling, and the guitar solo is one extremely tasteful.  This track may be too ballady and have too much ’80s-atmosphere on it, which would make numerous listens boring.

3. “Ruin My Day” – Jon Brion

Man, great choice, iTunes.  Off of Brion’s only solo album and masterpiece Meaningless, “Ruin My Day” is a great track.  It’s a slower, restrained song with great lyrics.  Brion creates an interesting narrative, and the piano-driven music only enhances it.

4. “Basket Case” – Green Day

Remember when Green Day was good?  I don’t think they’ve ever really been straight-up Punk, but “Basket Case” could be the closest they’ve ever gotten.  Honestly, I like this song — it’s catchy, fun, and even has clever lyrics (“I went to a shrink / To analyze my dreams / She said it’s lack of sex that’s bringing me down.”).  It may be Pop-punk, but Green Day was much better when they weren’t trying to be so mature.

5. “Beautiful Sorta” – Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

I’ve already stated how great Cold Roses is, and “Beautiful Sorta” is one of my favorites off of that album.  Rocking Alt-country.

6. “Election Day” – The Replacements

Another song I don’t know, though I really enjoy The Replacements.  This first listen makes me think it may be off one of their later albums, since it’s more Blues than Punk — Paul Westerberg began “experimenting” with The Replacements sound towards the end, maturing as a songwriter (I was somewhat right, now that I’ve looked it up.  It’s a bonus track off of Pleased to Meet Me, their fifth album).  The tune feels like it’s probably a political statement, with lyrics like “I don’t care who gets elected / I don’t care who gets to find out.”  Best part of this song though? Westerberg’s howling vocals towards the end.

7. “Dinosaur Act” – Matthew Sweet

Sweet’s music is either hit-or-miss with me.  He’s got some awesome Rock songs, but he’s also got a lot of drab, average music.  “Dinosaur Act” falls into the former category, luckily — though I can’t say the same for any of the other songs off of this album Altered Beast.  Sweet’s guitar playing is really the standout instrument in this song, though his vocals in the chorus are pretty intriguing too.  He combines the straightforwardness of Rock songs with strange atmosphere, pushing “Dinosaur Act’s” intensity.

8. “Eclipse” – Pink Floyd

Speaking about intensity, “Eclipse” is the last song on Floyd’s epic Darkside of the Moon, one of the greatest fucking albums ever.  I can’t say anything except that this song, and every song preceding it on the album, is pure genius.  This is one of the few that would give “Across the Universe” a run for its money.

9. “Killin’ It” – Foxy Shazam

Ah, here’s a song that I don’t know from a band that I don’t really know.  I’ve heard this album, the self-titled Foxy Shazam, sucked because it changed their sound a lot.  Which is whatever, I don’t know them anyway.  On first listen, Foxy Shazam sounds like they’re a newer version of over-the-top, theatrical Rock music, a la Queen or Meatloaf.  Eric Sean Nally’s vocals are front and center, and at least on this song, he’s got a really powerful voice.  It sounds a bit overblown for my tastes, but I don’t think it’s horrible by any standards.  I’d have to be in the mood to listen to this music, and at the same time, I can see how talented they are — based off of this one song, and this one song only.

10. “Voices” – Cheap Trick

And we close out with one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands.  Great, quirky lyrics (Rick Nielsen is a great lyricist): “I hope you understand my meaning / Hey, it’s me again / I’m so in love with you again.”  The production is wonderful, the music is tight, and Robin Zander’s singing is phenomenal as always.  Cheap Trick is one of those bands that don’t get nearly as much credit in the Classic Rock greats as they should, and this is one of the songs that proves it.

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7 Responses to “Ryan’s Ten Song Shuffle”

  1. I’m honestly surprised you have any Foxy Shazam, but their first album was pretty heavy, and from then on it got progressively lighter, until their self-titled and the one after it, Church of Rock and Roll, came out. I literally vomitted when i heard them. But apparently they put on a good live show, so whatever.

  2. You’re surprised I have music? That seems retarded.

  3. You do know only 2 of my 10 songs were metal right? Fucker?

  4. Basket Case?

  5. […] mentioned numerous times before, but I get a huge nerd-boner for anything that has to do with Jon Brion.  As both a producer and a […]

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