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Archive for April, 2013

Shinkokyuu shite – Watanabe Marina

The Onyanko Club were the largest girl group in the world before all this AKB 48 and Morning Musume nonsense. But their size precluded one of the best aspects of the girl group sound in harmonies. All together, their voices form a shouting, primary school assembly-type chorus, and as great a force as that is, it overwhelms any possibility for the key, subtle musical glories found in smaller groups.

So what to do? Reduce everything. This song is Marina’s (or Marina featuring the Onyanko Club on the record) but supporting her, adding so much and aligning it with girl group perfection is Kudo Shizuka and Ikuina Akiko on backing vocals. Three people. This song is what it is and provides as much as it does because of them and their oohs and ah-ahs. It’s all that’s needed.

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Halo

Halo – Beyoncé

The more i hear this, the more i’m convinced it is not a perfect song. It has one thing going for it – its chorus – and it squanders that most of the time, falling back on it for majesty rather than working a higher majesty through it. Every run through of it feels like a fall to a safety net of assured audience gratification. It is what happens when you give someone who can sing a good, lifting chorus, but there is little more. It’s the residual of that. It could have been constructed as something wholly beautiful, moved moment by moment, unfolding, climbing – it could have told something, but it doesn’t. It does one good thing the requisite amount of times. They play this at supermarkets and everyone keeps shopping.

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I Remember Everything

I remember everything – Enjin

Ok, so this song is perfect. That’s established. All that’s left is to find Mr. Enjin and tell him so. Turn up on his doorstep one day and say: “You know that one song of yours you released on a tape comp twenty years ago? Well outside of the time and place and scope it was released in, i found it and it means a lot to me. So what have you been up to?”

What has he been up to? Why only one song? Maybe he made it into some embarrassing Britpop band and this is a shameful, juvenilic, punk past that he doesn’t need some nerd reminding him of. Maybe he just works in an office… and this is a shameful, juvenilic, punk past that he doesn’t need some nerd reminding him of. He shouldn’t have written a perfect song then, and allowed the internet to develop so it would reach me here, years later.

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On the spines of old cathedrals – Shrag

…girls with expensive cameras pose. It is not the last song on the album (well it is if you play the B side before the A side), and there were a few singles and compilation songs released afterwards, but this how i see Shrag left us: A perfect, driving song of such correctness and determination, promising and setting everything right with the world, with music, with me, with you. Everything the band was in one song. Through they’re ten years as a band Shrag just got better and better, and to leave on this, with everything that could have been as potent and incredible as everything that was, i can’t think of a better farewell.

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At least i’m not as sad (as i used to be) – Fun

I think this song may haunt me. Also it seems mean-spirited and from a lofty, down-nose-looking place of assumed cool it really isn’t entitled to. Going into the jungle and reporting back to your centred, normal populace just how crazy and primitive things are there. Just like 99% of documentary television nowdays. Hey.

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Hitch-Hike

Hitch-hike – Liliput

The one with the whistle. I think they were Liliput by this song. Looking it up, i think this may have been their first song as not Kleenex – Kimberly-Clark having just threatened legal action. I’ve never been sure, getting every song of theirs in one go in that two disc discography set Kill Rock Stars released many years ago. So many songs, so much ground covered, so many band morphings, only five years. But this was them at their best: Guitar, bass, drums and those weird and amazing things that made them Kleenex/Liliput. At least i think it is them at their best. it has been so long since i’ve listened to that second disc of mature band sounding songs. It could be incredible to me now, as a mature person.

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I Want To Break Free

I want to break free – Queen

This was on the second volume of Queen’s greatest hits CD’s. None of my friends or their parents had the second volume, or ever listened to it if they did, so there was this whole latter half of the band’s output that remained secret to me until the world had exhausted those early songs and put these ones in commercials and movie soundtracks. Important songs that meant things to people.

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