Trust the Gene Genie

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Did I say every day?

Okay. So the whole posts-everyday-plan didn't quite work out. I'm lazy. Tell me something I don't know. So we'll say, starting today, it's posts everyday until we hit 1,000. I'm so on it. Grab the signs and hit the streets, the revolution starts now.

First off, the last installment of my Perfect Songs Vol. 1 list. You can catch up here, here and here. A friend of mine had the brilliant idea of burning the perfect songs onto a disc and giving them out to whoever replied in the comments sections. That's right, all you have to do is reply. The first three people get a copy of Rob's Perfect Songs Vol. 1. Free swag! The Web is such a wonderful resource.

Spoon's "Everything Hits at Once": It's the first cut from their 2002 kind-of-come-back album "Girls Can Tell" and, while nearly every song off this album could be considered perfect in some way or another, "Everything Hits at Once" grabs you first. It's a sonically dense, bright but dark around the edges little pop song, complete with a piano break and lots of "oooos." It shimmers with minimalist lines like, "Don't say a word/The last one still stinging" and "I go to sleep/But think you're next to me." In the end the song's about tragedy and lost love, but it's brilliantly rendered with an upbeat rock swing and a catchy melody.

U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)": Sure, it's probably one of the band's top three overplayed, way-too-well-known songs, but it has that status for a reason. The song simply doesn't miss. The guitar riff that backs it is easily one of the best the Edge has ever turned out and the lyrics beg to be shouted out at the top of your lungs. It comes together on every single level. You find yourself unconscienciously tapping your foot when the song starts and by the end you're ready to take the front lines in the fight for civil rights. It's simply U2 at their best, doing what they do best. It's a perfect song, a perfect anthem.

Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah": Most of Buckley's songs are brilliant. But his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is flawless, absolutely the definitive version of the song -- and it's been covered by the likes of Bono and Rufus Wainwright. It's moody, sweeping, sorrowful and joyous all at the same time. Because of Buckley's unsurpassable vocals. It's like the song was written specifically for his voice. He hits these beautiful Irish tenor highs and breathes intimacy into some of Cohen's bolder phrases. Like most of Cohen's songs, it's dripping with Biblical imagery and Buckley is makes it work on various levels. From the opening line, "Well I heard there was a secret chord/That David played and it pleased the Lord/But you don't really care for music do you" to the line "And I've seen your flag on the marble arch/And love is not a victory march/It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah," Not a single note is wasted, not a single line is thrown away. Buckley makes it his own and it's a prefect song because of it. At some point in your life you will listen to this song and it will make you cry.

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