Note to Readers
I got to thinking that the "Music That Irritates Me" page makes me look like a grouch. So I created this page to give credit to those people bombarding my eardrums who play something I enjoy.
"Saturday in the Park" by Chicago (heard on the PA at KMart)
There's a lot of joy in this music, but it's not simpleminded. I love the harmonically challenging piano riff, and Robert Lamm's vocal delivery always makes me smile. And for once he gets in his "revolution, man" philosophy in a way that even Spiro Agnew would approve. Can you dig it? Yes, I can!
"I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis (heard on "Nice 98")
I like the song just fine, but it's not anything outstanding (the sultry delivery of "unbelievable... blue eyes" is pretty sexy, though). Why it makes my day is that this song was constantly on the air during the summer when Jessica and I first met. Ah, sweet memories!
Aside from that, though, it's an okay little pop ditty.
"Silly Love Songs" by Wings (heard on the PA at the dentist's office)
Is this the perfect pop song? The production is beautiful: a fat bass that's not murky, snappy horns, warm vocals. The arrangement is incredible: it's built on that tricky yet melodic bass line, with enough little touches to sustain the extended running time - the little sax obbligato during the bridge, the bass slide after the horn break, the congas during the round. And the main horn riff is some serious competition to the vocal melody. The lyrics may be a bit defensive in the verses, but has there ever been a truer statement than: "I only know that when I'm in it / Love isn't silly at all"? When the pot smoke clears and he pays attention, this man can make some incredible music.
"All I Want To Do Is To Thank You" (I guess) by an unidentified performer (heard in a car commercial)
Assuming that this is a real song and not a jingle commissioned by Mercedes, I love the fact that someone would write a song about changing lanes on the highway. I also enjoy the snappy tune and the funky guitar part. I always get a kick out of this commercial.
Just for your own information, the song in the Mercedes commercial that you mention on the "Songs that Make My Day" page is called "Thank You" and it's performed by Geggy Tah. It IS an actual song, surprisingly enough. It cracked me up when it first came out in 1996 or so, and I hadn't thought about it until I saw the commercial, when it cracked me up all over again. It's as disposable as disposable can be, but man, what fun!
Anyway, I just thought you might be interested to know that. Hey - thanks for the link to my site on your page, too! (Disclaimer Music Review Archive) It's always nice to see a new face in the web review world!
"Jessica" by the Allman Brothers Band (heard on the Weather Channel)
Not only does it bear the name of the sweetest woman in the world, but this song is an absolute delight, from the opening guitar melody to the lickety-split piano lines. It fills my heart with boundless glee every time I hear it.
"Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd (heard on Classic Rock 94) (for more, please see this note)
What a gorgeous riff! And the piano playing at the end knocks my socks off. I'm not sure why a bunch of Floridians felt compelled to write about Alabama, but as a proud Michigander I know there's something special about the unloved places of the world, and I'm glad there's at least one rock and roll anthem that's not based in LA or New York. Amen, brothers!
"What's Love Got to Do with It?" by Tina Turner (heard on Light 106)
A slinky beat, a husky voice, a keyboard that sounds like a tin whistle mated a harmonica... this is the essence of eroticism, boiled into four minutes. I dare you to listen to this in front of your parents and not blush.
"Come Dancing" by The Kinks (heard on the PA at Toys BackwardsR Us)
As Dave Marsh says, nostalgia is no cure for what ails you. But this song, with its sprightly horn line, giddy vocal, and smile-inducing storyline, found me and Abe shuffling through the aisles. And dancing with your baby is definitely a cure for what ails you.
"Rock and Roll All Nite" by Kiss (heard at the Olympics closing ceremony)
I like the song OK, but what really impressed me was Paul Stanley's fortitude - playing bare-chested (hairy though it is) in the cold Utah night. And I hope Gene Simmons kicked the Child of Light's ass.
"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding (heard on the PA in the grocery store)
This is such a sweet vocal, and the whistling simply transports me. For a number of minutes I found it quite difficult to care which brand of brown sugar was cheaper per ounce.
"Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne (heard on Rockin' 101)
While I don’t find the entertainment value in watching him dodder around the house like a senile junkie, I’m always glad when I hear this song, with the world’s greatest song intro (BAH-BAH, “ai-ai-ai”, * sproing *), a killer riff, and that undeniable chorus. A fond reminder of the days when metal had tunes, not just shouting.
"End Theme to Sex and the City" by Douglas J. Cuomo (heard on HBO)
The rhythmic complexity of this is simply dazzling, with three separate melodies starting on different beats, and I'm intoxicated by the sax oozing over the marimbas. They need to play this a lot longer (maybe just let it go on instead of plugging the next inane episode of "Arli$$").
Freestyle Rap by an a capella hip-hop group (heard on the campus of Wayne State University)
While I'm not the world's biggest hip-hop fan (I think the last hip-hop record I bought was "Mama Said Knock You Out"), I was thoroughly impressed by this group of guys standing in a circle and recreating the complete sound, with one human beatbox, another singing bass, a third doing the keyboard line, and a flowing MC (minus the M, of course).
"Build Me Up Buttercup" by the Foundations (heard from the neighbor's house across the street)
My neighbor likes to "blast the oldies" when he's working around the house, so we all get to enjoy his taste in music. Fortunately, this weekend he played this groove, with the world's catchiest broken heart and a scintillating piano hook. The Knowl-Tones massacred this a few times, and it's still one of my all time favorites.
"Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns 'n Roses (heard on VH1 Classic)
I was just flipping through the channels when this stopped me in my tracks. When you haven't heard it in a while, it's amazing just how powerful this song is. With one of the last two-guitar bands that actually knew how to use them (you hardly see Izzy in the video, but you hear him all over the mix, sliding into riffs just a hair ahead of Slash) and Axl Rose actually making a point, this is a sock in the gut coming between "Making the Band II" and "Food Finds."
"Twelve Days of Christmas" by Bob and Doug McKenzie (heard on Magic 106)
"Good day and welcome to day 12." The brothers McKenzie's gift suggestions are both funnier and more practical than the traditional list, and whenever I hear the tune I keep thinking of theirs first ("three turtlenecks, two French toasts, and a beer in a tree") and have to remind myself to sing the "right" lyrics.
"Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra (heard on a Volkswagen commercial)
I forgot how much I like this song until its thumping beat grabbed me from across the room. The moment when a chorus of overdubbed Jeff Lynnes (a recipe for disaster in other contexts) breaks into the operatic bridge is like a musical ray of sunshine peeking through the clouds.
"Every Day I Write the Book" by Alison Brown and Sam Bush (heard on public radio)
When you can get past his pretensions as a crooner, the fact is that Elvis Costello writes some damn fine melodies. This unaffected bluegrass rendition of his only Top 40 hit is a refreshing reminder of just how catchy and enduring his best work is.
"Crazy on You" by Heart (heard on Rockin' 103)
While all the other heavy metal bands were trying to find ever-tighter underwear to get their vocalists to sing like women, Heart just went out and hired a woman. Smart move, too, because Ann Wilson's pipes have the raw power and melodic finesse to carry almost any hard rocking tune, and she especially shines here.
"Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child (heard on Modern Dance 106)
Not only is the title one of the finer demonstrations of the flexibility of our excellent language, I'm awfully glad they found a way to use this killer riff without having to endure Stevie Nicks.
"Wonder" by Natalie Merchant (heard on Magic 105)
It's nice when someone as chronically modest as Merchant takes the time to assert herself, and especially when she comes up with a piano riff as delightful as this one.
"The Power of Love" by Celine Dion (heard on the mall PA)
I realize the songwriters are pulling out every trick in the book to manipulate my emotions, but damn it, it works! The slow burn, that ecstatic chorus, the weepy vocal, it tears me up every time. This is how co-dependence feels.
Complaints, criticisms, or bribery reviews: Contact me!