Monday, January 2, 2012

Honorable Unmentionables

Yesterday's post introduced you to my favorite songs of 2011. Today's post will introduce you to the songs that didn't quite make the list, mainly because there were significant things about them that I just didn't like—to wit, the words.

Now, everyone knows I'm a lover of words. I blog compulsively, Scrabble is my favorite game, and I relish in inserting repartees in conversation (bonus if it's a text-based conversation!).

I love music, too, but I love it in a different way. And when my two loves come together, it rarely makes for a good experience. Kind of like when your old flame meets your current boyfriend.

Thus, while music this past year (and occasionally the year before) has been full of glorious sounds, it has almost always been spoiled by the inclusion of gratuitous verbiage.

In the Dark by Dev
This is the second song that prominently features a saxophone to positive effect. It's a catchy melody, but what is this girl singing (uhh...droning?) about? Ew! I'd rather listen to the instrumental version, even though it gets a little tedious. Someone get me the vocal track to this song—DJ Valsgalore will turn it inside out, put it back together, and create the masterpiece that this song has the potential to be!

Cooler than Me by Mike Posner
This song holds sentimental value to me, because it was playing at the ice skating rink where my boyfriend and I had our third date (awww). There is one lyric that I enjoy in this song. At 1:48, the "highbrow shoes" make their appearance: "You don't know...the way that you look, when your steps make that much noise! [silence.] Shh!" Now I do enjoy a good pair of ostentatious heels – and the clopping sound they make when you wear 'em around like it ain't — so even though Mr. Posner seems to think this is a bad thing, I enjoyed hearing about it in the song. However, most of the rest of the lyrics are dumb, made worse by the fact that they almost sound like they're going to rhyme and then don't. Of course, it was the instrumentals that originally drew me to this song. The bridges are pretty cool; however, its crowning glory comes around 4:00, when all pretense of singing stops and you hear the music the way it was meant to be heard!

Tonight (I'm loving you) by Enrique Iglesias
No matter which 4-letter verb you choose to employ in this song's title, it's still inappropriate for radio. Plus, it starts off with yodeling. Some credit must be given to Enrique for using the sentence "Let's remove the space between me and you," and thus being one of the few artists in 2011 not to incur my subject/object wrath. But really, the best part about this song is the 15-second stretch starting at 1:00, when words give way to exciting electronic sounds (and a little vocal wailing which is fortunately pretty easy to ignore).

Without You [XS remix] by R3hab, originally by David Guetta
David Guetta didn't quite land himself in the grammar doghouse with the technically correct, though awkward, "All I need is you and I." But he did then proceed to surround the questionable lyric with sentimental mush and a pretty un-catchy tune. Fortunately R3hab did indeed rehab the song, setting it to a much more interesting beat and replacing the unexceptional background music in the chorus with something veritably spectacular (check out 1:30). Unfortunately, they kept the singing.

My wish for the music world is that they will come to realize what they should have been taught in kindergarten: if you don't have anything nice (i.e. really wise, clever, and totally harmonious with the music) to say, don't say anything at all.