Friday, October 07, 2005

XM in depth, Channel 9

Finally finishing off the decades and thankful that I'm as far as I am -- Sussudio was on the '80s channel.

Inner Circle, Sweat: I'm not much of a reggae fan. This one didn't change my mind.

Enigma, Sadeness, Pt. 1: Hmmmm. Every once in a while in the early '90s, I found myself going through a Clannad phase, in part because I had a couple of friends who attained some sort of advanced blissful state whenever they listened to weird fusions of bland pop and Irish mystic music. (I wonder if they wound up liking the Corrs, though they leaned too heavily toward the "bland pop" end of things.) Anyway, Enigma is no Clannad. I think it's basically the kind of music pseudo-intellectuals put on in the background when they want to get kinky.

Ben Folds Five, Brick: I like a lot of Ben's stuff, and I know this is his one big hit. For some reason, I don't like this one. It's not as if it's his sellout song -- a heartfelt piano ballad about the emptiness of getting an abortion in North Carolina isn't exactly your typical Top 40 cash-in. The lyrics adequately convey complex emotions, just as they do in many of Ben's best. Maybe the piano riff plods a little too much? I don't know. It's a song I respect but don't really like.

Los del Rio, Macarena: I have to admit I always feel a little inadequate when hearing this song, or at least happy that I'm not single. The singer, who sounds cute but also sounds 17 at most, says, "If you're good, I might take you home with me." My problem is that I couldn't do the dance. It's a weird mental thing -- I can memorize complex operations, but I'm clueless when it comes to remembering dance steps. But the old guys singing this crap did the dance just fine. So they'd be the ones going home with the 17-year-old singing so happily that we shouldn't worry about her boyfriend. That's depressing, and more than a little creepy.

No Mercy, Where Do You Go: Another from the genre of music I like to call "dance crap."

Snow, Informer: Wow, I picked a great hour to listen, didn't I? At least this one has some camp value. A-licky-boom-boom indeed.

(Incidentally, I see that one of the country stations is playing Travis Tritt's Strong Enough To Be Your Man. Is that an answer to Sheryl Crow? You know, Travis, she's taken.)

The Outfield, For You: I once read a great review of the Outfield that marveled at their talent and hook-writing ability but lamented the clumsy, misogynist lyrics. ("Tony Lewis' singing shames what he is forced to convey," is one phrase I remember.) This isn't one of their hits, but it's one of their better efforts lyrically. Not saying much, but this is the best song of the hour so far.

Everything but The Girl, Missing: Now associated with Chris Kattan's classic "Mango" character, but it's a memorable song of longing in its own right.

Inner Circle Live @ XM, Bad Boys: "Springfield cops are on the take / but what do you expect for the money we make." Why have I heard this band twice in an hour? Is this really representative of the decade? Didn't I like this decade? You know -- peace, prosperity, adulthood, meeting the love of my life, etc. To be fair, this isn't a bad effort. Most reggae songs live and die by the way the bass and drums play around the beat, and this one lives.

Blind Melon, No Rain: Out of respect for the dead -- or at least the guy's daughter -- I won't describe how much I hate this song.

Monica & Brandy, The Boy Is Mine: No, I am not listening to this. I miss the '40s.

Elton John, Club at the End of Night: Sounds vaguely familiar. Not bad, but I doubt I'd be wanting him to skip Goodbye Yellow Brick Road to play this one if I ever shelled out the cash to see him live. The mewling synthesizers drag this one down.

Barenaked Ladies, It's All Been Done: Indeed it has. Always a fan of the clever Canadians, and this romp through time is always a good listen.

See, they made some good music in this decade. You just have to listen to XM for an hour to hear a couple of minutes of it. Or go to your CD collection.

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