Trust the Gene Genie

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Lovin' logic

Let's not break the momentum. I've blogged all week long and dang it we got to keep it going.

It's a been a while, so let's do another addition of the Report's Perfect Pop Song series. You remember how it works. And you can catch up here, here and here. In this edition, we revist some of the artists that popped up on Volume 1, for which I kind of apologize. But the fact of the matter is, some bands just produce great pop songs.

The Samples' "Feel Us Shaking" -- This one goes all the way back to their first album released in 1989. In fact, it's the first track from the disc and it's still easily one of the band's best songs. "Shaking" just shimmers with summer sunlight as Sean Kelley sings about the beach, unrequited love and marine life. Yes, marine life. But part of what makes the song so great, of course, is that they make it work. The melody is wonderful -- simple and almost evocative of something long-gone -- an emotion the Samples excel at communicating. All the while the song manages to remain upbeat and near-optimistic. "I'd like to stay but I couldn't stay with you/I have to go I have a lot I want to do."

To quote H.L. on the band, "For me (the) Samples is pure adolescent nostalgia. I can't listen without wondering what happened to empty Saturday mornings where i could simply lie on my bed, listen to tunes, and day dream. They always conjure up a time when new romance, new success, or new adventure was just over the horizon, just out of view but sure to come."

Mana's "No Ha Parado de Llover" -- Mana is one of Mexico's biggest rock bands and sometimes it gets a bad rap for it. They're not as inventive as Cafe Tacuba or as creative as Los Caifanes. They're pretty mainstream but that's part of what makes their stuff work, or at least translate well for folks north of the border. "Llover" is just a great all-around rock-pop song. The guitar hook is killer and the chorus, even though its in Spanish, is easy to sing along to. "Sigue lloviendo/Me sigue lloviendo al corazon/Dime que diablos voy a hacer." Oh, it's a break-up song for sure and has lines that could only work in Spanish, 'cause when you translate them to English they sound pretty silly. An example? "I'm like sand without its sea." "When will my eyes stop raining?" The chorus is better. "It keeps raining, it keeps raingin in my heart. Tell me, what the hell am I gonna do."

Guster's "Satellite" -- Guster's a great band that channels the Samples a little bit in the whole whimsy/nostalgia vein. They're great at communicating a lot of emotion in simple, easy to dig songs, of which "Satellite" is the perfect example. It's a little love song that compares the singer's object of desire to a satellite: "Maybe you will always be/Just a little out of reach." It's a great tune.

And as long as I'm quoting readers, high school mate and fellow Skutchie Ryan Jensen describes Guster thusly: "They are one of those bands that have both male and female appeal. They appeal to the women because of their sensibilities and looks and they have an appeal to men because they perform the type of music that we would probably try to write should we ever enter the business."


Thom G. said...

I have totally been digging on Guster's new single on Alt Nation on Sirius. And The Samples rule. Did I tell you that I recorded a Pixies reunion concert on my dad's new, 42-inch HDTV and digital cable DVR? They opened the show with "Bone Machine," "Monkey Gone to Heaven" and "Here Comes Your Man." And I'm glad to see you blogging reg, man.

HL Rogers said...

Ahhhhhhh, so nice to my words quoted. Its like a reaffirmation of my existence broadcast through the internet.

Sounds like I need to get ahold of some Guster.

bemus said...

I never got into Mana, but I'm glad you mentioned Cafe Tacuba. They were one of my favorite bands in Mexico. Not many people have heard of them though. If you want to borrow my tape, just hollar - I'll mail it to you.

RachelRenae said...

Love Guster!

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