Archive for the ‘2007’ Category

For me, spoken word songs are amazing. Clearly, this song is one of those otherwise it wouldn’t start off this way. Regardless, Thou Shalt Always Kill is essentially the commandments the new generation should live by. However, the ironic underlying message is ‘think for yourself’. So instantly this song possesses and amazing sense of irony.

The song manages to recognise the single mindedness that every person in the world seems to employ in their lives by pointing out the common flaws and fallacies in their thinking. It even manages to point out that “Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are, or were” and that The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Crass, Minor Threat, The Cure, The Smiths, Nirvana, Pixies, Oasis, Radiohead, Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys and the next big thing are all ‘just bands’.

Along with the poignant statements made, there are some social observations made as well; “Thou shalt not think any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a peadophile, some people are just nice”, Thou shalt not attend an open mic and leave as soon as you’ve done your shitty little poem or song, you self-righteous prick” and “Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar, week in, week out Because you once saw a girl there that you fancied; that you’re never gonna fucking talk to”, and even manages to branch out into humour by repeating the lines “Though shalt not make repetitive, generic music”.

All in all, this song manages to serve as a new age mantra for the new generation whereby we must think for ourselves, live our lives and be true to ourselves. But we must always remember to give our all, or as the song says “
Thou shalt always kill.”
Note: This is a much better interpretation of the song.

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This is yet another song in which the meaning is not clear, but who really cares? Some songs are stronger when the meaning is not known, such as the case here. There has been speculation that this song is about a former member of UNKLE, DJ Shadow (who, by the way, released on of the best albums of all time in 1996), while others believe that the songs is about moving on from the past. But the one thing that is clear, is that this song is extremely powerful

The vocals are supplied by frontman of The Cult, Ian Astbury, whose deep and almost haunting voice gives this song a rather eerie, atmospheric tone. Another strange twist to the song comes from the video. I saw the video first while changing channels one night, and I must say that it is one of the best videos I have ever seen. It features a male character who wakes to find a bomb attached to him and he then, well, I won’t spoil it. But the video perfectly manages to sync with the song in terms of the atmosphere it incorporates.

The song begins with an acoustic guitar (which is heavily affected so you can hardly tell it’s a guitar) before the heavy beat comes in. The beat continues until Astbury’s vocals cut into the track, and from then on, the beauty of this song is unexplainable.

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 Don’t Fight It comes across as a rare song; the song, whilst beautiful and uplifting, manages to come across the same way when analysed. The song is essentially about ‘going with the flow’ and letting things take their toll. But it is written with such honesty and sung with great honesty too. The listener actually shows sympathy towards the singer for what it seems that they are going through.

Don’t Fight It doesn’t feature any fancy tricks or technological wizardry in the composition of the song, but instead is written with such dedication that you almost forget you’re listening to a 4 piece band instead of the musical entity that you may be fooled into thinking you’re listening to. The band has not had much more success outside of this one song (so far), but frankly, if this was the only song that they ever released, it would not bother me. Only because The Panics have managed to make their mark on the world of Australian music by leaving us with a song of such beauty and such greatness.

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Alright then Mr. Hypocrite, I thought you said you didn’t like hip-hop and such? Well, you see, it’s normal hip-hop, the stuff that is doomed to the top 40, that I hate. Australian hip-hop however, is something I rather enjoy. And further to that, this song is one of my favourite Australian hip-hop tracks. Released in 2007, We Get Around was the most popular track from Urthboy’s second solo album The Signal. Urthboy had previously gained popularity in the group The Herd (who also feature in this countdown *wink wink*). The song seemingly focuses on the effects of publicity and how everyone in the public eye, and Urthboy himself, tends to ‘get around’. A very well written song that deals with the topic at hand rather eloquently (which is surprising since it’s hip-hop), the song is made by the piano riff. That small run of notes repeats through a majority of the song, almost acting as a metronome in essence, but adds an element of class to the normally lowbrow genre of hip-hop.

The song features the general beats and effects that would be seen in almost any stereotypical hip-hop song, but the one thing that gets me interested in this song is the chorus. For some reason, the chorus, namely the parts “I’ve seen your photo, your photo don’t look a thing like you, I’ve seen your photo for a second I could see right through” seems strangely reminiscent of the tradition of hip-hop music where performers take a line from another song and incorporate it into their song, such as The Hilltop Hood’s do with Powderfinger’s These Days in The Nosebleed Section. However, for me it is these 2 lines that tend to incorporate a faux sense of sampling into the song (a technique which I respect greatly), and tends to make me enthralled in the song more so than I was before. And of course, he rhymes like an absolute genius.

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95. On Call – Kings Of Leon

As I said with the previous song, I am normally not fond of bands that become popular. Kings Of Leon were one of those bands. They had released 2 very good albums before becoming somewhat mainstream, and then 1 album that brought them to the eye of the general public. But TJ, if you don’t like bands like that, why did you pick Kings Of Leon? Well, I’m getting to that. Kings Of Leon deserve to get the popularity they are getting now, and despite my previous statements of disliking bands such as Kings Of Leon, I believe they deserve acknowledgement. This is why I have chosen On Call. QUite possibly the best song from their 2007 album Because Of The Times. The song opens with an eerie ambient effect that quickly turns into vocals. These vocals carry an almost lazy drawl that perfectly matches the tone of the song. Then the bassline kicks in, and my, what a bassline it is. The bass carries the entire song from that point on. Even as Caleb Followill’s voice almost screams the words “be there“, the bass line does not let up, carrying the same beat the whole way, only stopping for the slight pause prior to the chorus. The actual meaning of the song is paper thin; it’s about a relationship and the need to be ‘on call’ and ever ready for the other. But despite the originality of the song’s lyrics, this is one strange song in which, if the guitar and drums were taken out and left only the bass and vocals, an amazing song would still exist in full.

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When Kings Of Leon released their second album Aha Shake Heartbreak in 2004, there was an amazingly sweet song named Milk present. The song is driven by the sparse acoustic guitar and drawn out vocals (and the bass, later on), but it’s such a sweet song that at no point do you actually realise what is going on. I’ve never been able to listen to the song and actually focus on what is being said or done in the song. I am sucked into the song’s beauty every time, and resultantly I have no idea what ever goes on. Regardless, while it is a beautiful song, On Call wins out because it is not only the first Kings Of Leon song that I heard and liked, but it’s because it epitomises the indie rock that seems to be becoming less and less common.

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Hey TJ, can you summarise this song in just one word? Why yes I can, and thanks for asking. Intriguing. This is an incredibly intriguing song. Not only is this the longest song in this countdown (Yes, EVERYONE is now disappointed I’ve given away the length winner), but it’s also the one song that shifts styles the most, has the most spaced out meaning and is the only one that can have its genre described as ‘dark cabaret’.
Let me start again, A Little Piece Of Heaven is an incredibly good song, but it’s also amazingly disturbing. But TJ, surely NOTHING can be as disturbing as you make it out to be! Oh no? Well let me spell it out for you Tim;
  • A guy has a very strong relationship with a woman.
  • He kills the woman by stabbing her ‘fifty fucking times’.
  • ‘Ripped her heart out right before her eyes’
  • Preserves her body and consummates their relationship. Whilst she’s dead.
  • Woman comes back from dead and kills HIM.
  • They get married.
  • Happy families.
Wow TJ, I see your point! Indeed you do, indeed you do. You see, this song shows the amazing versatility that Avenged Sevenfold embodies; it starts with a cabaret sounding (that stereotypical French sound, you know the one) before going into a heavier and much more ‘in your face’ beat. As the lyrics start, the song goes into a very stop-start rhythm which heavily accentuates the vocals in a way that make you focus on them. However, the way that M. Shadows delivers the vocals (superbly, I might add), and the way that the lyrics are constructed, adds an element of mystery about the vocals. As in, you know what they are saying, but you think “Certainly this can’t be what they are saying! Oh my! Change of topic, killer song!”  Shadows’ vocals in this song are also broken up by The Rev’s cutting voice in the pre-chorus. The way that his voice contrasts with that of Shadows’ adds yet another aspect to the song, all the while allowing it to keep the mystique of necrophilia and romance that it had before.

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This is the second A7X song I’m talking about that focuses on death. Geez, these guys need to up their Prozac dose. Regardless, this is the only Avenged Sevenfold song I can call beautiful. It deals with a lead character who feels that he has died before his time, leaving all that he loves behind. With the lead chorus lyrics being ‘I don’t belong here, we gotta move on dear, escape from this afterlife’, Shadows’ vocals reach a height that makes me feel like I can honestly sympathise with the point of view being put forward by the character. This song also carries the string arrangement seen in A Little Piece Of Heaven which makes the song much more gentle than it can be, seeing that it’s done by a metalcore band. But following the bridge, which features great backing vocals by The Rev, the signature guitar solo sound of Synyster Gates come into the song, giving it a far heavier and more brutal sound. Following this, the song goes back into the chorus where Shadows’ soaring vocals are once again heard, and once again leading me into goosebumps territory.

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