Trust the Gene Genie

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Perfect Song


I was having a conversation with an old editor and the idea of the perfect song came up. You know, the idea that for the listener there are a handful of songs that don't have a wasted lyric, a missed note, nothing. They are perfect. It got me thinking about (some of) my perfect songs. And now I will share a few. Oh yes, sit back and enjoy. And don't worry, I'll update this thread frequently. Because I know every last one of you is eager, eager, eager to know what songs out there I consider perfect.

Wilco's "Red-Eyed and Blue." First, the song is melencholy without being suicidal, (hello, Elliot Smith) and still manages to end with this happy whistling solo. Oh, Tweedy totally pulls it off. And the more you listen to the song, the more you find there. The lyrics are wonderfully, deceptively, simple: "We got solid state technology and tapes on the floor and some songs we can't afford to play." And Tweedy's voice, his emotive, half-mumble, resonant barritone is just so suited to the music. It moves you.

U2 "If You Wear That Velvet Dress." There are, obviously, better U2 songs out there ("Ultraviolet" and "Stay" for example) but "Velvet Dress" is one of the most rich, atmospheric and haunting songs I've ever heard. I love the lyrics. Bono just doesn't write like this any more: "Do you really want me to/Be blue as you/It's her daylight that gets me through" and "It's okay, we struggle for things not to say/I'm not listening to you anyway/I've got my own hands to pray." I mean, c'mon! And Edge's simple, quiet guitar riff that backs through most of the song blows my mind.

Anyway. Something to think about.

And I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to remind youthat tomorrow is the last day of free minidisc give-away contest. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Get those submissions in.

1 comment:

Urpy said...

I'm going to hold out for when you get 1000 visitors. Maybe you'll give away something decent then.

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