So here are some songs that I stumbled across randomly and can't get enough of.
Heaven Right Here
Yes, he has a peculiar name and I had a lot of preconceived notions about his music just from that; boy, were they wrong! This is the most infectious song I've come across in a long time (if not ever), with possibly my favorite sing-along chorus and an amazing, late-summer chill atmosphere to it. It breezes by and you love every second of it. (Also, Summer Came is another of his songs I just picked up... one line serves as the epitome of this man's beautiful, emotional simplicity: "Summer Came when you came back to me.")
While I'm not really one for music from the earlier half of the last century, although I do download and listen to it occasionally, this revivalist folk tune (recorded in the mid-'90s, for the record) just worked for me from the get-go. Working with the simple variations in lyrics that I find just charming and never get tired of, Welch tells a moving little story. Of course, loving Randy Newman and Bruce Springsteen as I do, it shouldn't be a surprise that a big plus for me for this song is the songwriter's ability to channel a unique and entirely-defined character.
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
I'd heard my share of Smiths tunes (and my share of stories about Smiths tunes), but the gothic/depressed pop never really got to me until I heard this one. The story, I hear, is typical Smiths material, but this one has to be the pinnacle of their work. So in love with the woman he's driving with, the narrator doesn't care if a ten-ton truck crashed into them at the moment, because he'd be dying by her side. Is it morbid? Undoubtedly. Is it romantic? I sure think so.
This was the first entire jazz album I had to have. I love every song, and even though I'm not a jazz fiend and only skim the surface of that genre (like hip-hop and country and others that I only have a passing interest in), this album is one of my favorites in any genre. Beyond Take Five which is (hopefully) an "everyone knows it" no-brainer, each piece is exciting, fun, unique and entertaining. I first came to the album as a whole when I learned that Hey Ya! was in 11/4, which got me learning about time signatures, which got me to remember that Take Five was in 5/4 and then I remembered that the whole album is in unusual time signatures. I had to check it out, and I've loved it ever since. (I also have the 7/4 piece Unsquare Dance, which is from another time signature experiment album.)
Always with Me, Always with You
I've heard some of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen's work (I love the guitar, hopefully will learn to play it, and was fascinated by these and other "virtuosos"), but found most of the "shredding" too hard for me to enjoy much. Then I found this one, which is delicate, light, and gorgeous. And yeah, Satriani does a little arpeggio shredding towards the end, but that's just topping on the cake in this case. I love it.
Like I said, I'm not one for heavy metal music. But this one just recently got to me because of the story and artistry behind it's execution. Let alone the incredible guitar and drum work to imitate machine gun firing, a sound which I've never heard a band so accurately make, and let alone the story (based on a short story or a novel, I forget which, of a soldier practically decapitated in war, and left deaf, dumb, and polyamputated), this song just hit me the very first time I heard it (a rarity with me) like an emotional gut punch which, I suppose, is exactly the point. I might even look more into metal now after this song, so long as there is actual artistry behind a good amount of that music...
Hopefully, as I further explore new music, I'll write more of these songs. But, I definitely know my next journal entry will not follow these lines; next will be about how amazing a year this year has been for new music so far.