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Archive for the ‘UK’ Category

http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/1/27/2288303/064%20-%20Belle%20 There are lots of songs which tend to use sexual innuendo but cleverly disguise it with catchy and clever lyrics (example; Turning Japanese, Blister In The Sun), but there are few which are able to do all of this and still maintain a very quaint charm throughout the song.
Somehow, this song manages to incorporate every sort of sexual office innuendo that you would normally see in such movies as Secretary, and maintain it’s sweet charm. Sonically, this song song is fun with a bouncy beat and jazz styled chords. The vocals are soft and dreamy, yet they still manage to cut into the listener’s ears in the chorus.

For one of the best Scottish bands of all time, this is a very typical song of what made them famous. It’s a fun song with fun lyrics that disguise an even more fun sub-plot if you will. But it’s a fantastically fun song with no real point, it’s sole intention is serve as a fun story of office work and the relationships found therein.

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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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83. Drop The Pressure – Mylo

Generally, when songs consist of very few lyrics, you want them to be good. Generally, when songs tend not to stray away from the main beat and melody line, that melody and beat want to be good. Generally, when Mylo releases an aptly titled House album named Destroy Rock And Roll, the lead single, Drop The Pressure, is good. Coincidentally, that is what happened in 2004. Mylo’s single Drop The Pressure consists of very little variation musically, however it is generally the effects placed upon the vocals that leads to the song being a winner.

The vocals consist of only one line that is repeated throughout; “Motherfuckers’ gonna drop the pressure“, but it is a powerful line that manages to entice the casual, immature listener through the use of swearing, whilst still maintaining an element of badassery in the way it is delivered.
To be honest, there is little I can say about this song, as it is really a song that must be listened to so you can appreciate it. Many people dislike this song due to the repetitiveness, but the fantastic bassline and amazing vocal effects tend to make this song from a run of the mill electronic song into something amazing.

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Destroy Rock & Roll

Picture this; a young lad of 12 years old watching “Rage’ at 3 am on a Saturday morning. Now imagine this song coming on. Oh yes, that was me. This song and it’s spoken word vocals form a faux vendetta against rock music as it calls for all “perversions” to be destroyed. However, this song has a very repetitive beat and clever idea that somehow culminates into a monster of a song that is still played at clubs today.

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    When songs start with a punch in the face, you know they’re going to be good. In this instance, the pounding beat that starts off this song serves as one motherload of a punch in the face. Depeche Mode have a history of making abrasive music that still manages to maintain it’s  alternative pop edge. In the case of I Feel Loved, there is a very similar tone to one of Depeche Mode’s best known songs; Personal Jesus. This makes me wonder whether or not the band has actually attempted to re-create what is already a fantastic song. Well, in my opinion, that’s a great thing. When you have a song that managed to influence such great names as Johnny Cash, and then make a song that sounds remarkably similar, you have no doubt created a winner.

    I Feel Loved starts with a thumping bassline that hides a light, but very beautiful melody. The vocals too have a very strong presence in the song that are only enhanced by the melody and bassline. The message of the song appears to be a sarcastic take on addiction and the breaking of an addiction, whereby only the drugs continue to make an addict ‘feel loved.’ Regardless, the song is still fantastically upbeat and manages to make a slightly taboo topic seem almost sexy in the way that the song manages to make use of the instrumentation to initiate great, sensual music

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    Most songs regarding a break up generally take 2 forms. The first is the typical “Oh baby, how did it end up like this? We were so good together?” Whereas the second is the just as typical “Go ahead, see if I care.” The latter of which generally features so many profanities that even 2 Live Crew would become jealous. However, rarely is there a song in which the singer tends to take the path of “I’m so over you, oh wait, no I’m not.” This song seems to be about a fellow who has recently come out of a relationship, and he is quite happy about it. His feelings towards his girl are fairly well presented in the title of the song since he, understandably, appears to love this woman less and less everyday.

    But that, however, is not the case. Instead, this amazingly fun little ditty is actually a self-serving mantra to the fellow because he is not actually over her. Yes, that right. The singer appears to be fooling himself that he actually loves this woman less and less, and he will instead find love from his parents and girlfriend since “That’s enough love for me”. Since he has a girlfriend, we can only assume that he is unhappy and wants out. Other things included in his ‘personal mantra’ include lines such as “Everyday I love you less and less, I can’t believe once you and me did sex. It makes me sick to think of you undressed, since everyday I love you less and less.” These fantastic lyrics show the simplicity of both his thoughts and the style of lyrics needed to make an awesome song.

    Despite the serious yet lighthearted message in the song, the song is musically very appealing. A simple riff at the beginning (and might I add that this riff is not only genius in terms of aural pleasure, but it is also genius in terms of “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?”) starts the song before another simple drum beat comes in prior to the simple lyrics. Essentially this song is a lesson in simplicity and how to make a top 10 single. I will be quite honest here, if I can make a song that is not only as simple as this song, but also manages to cram a very humourous and direct message into such easy lyrics, then I would be a happy person.

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    Oh My God

    I could swear that the Kaiser Chiefs were just taunting me with their first album. Not only are they able to cram such fantastic melodies and vocals into each song, but they are able to make lyrics that are so freakin’ simple and direct at the same time, but I digress. Oh My God was the first single from their debut album Employment in 2006 (I might also add, Employment is quite possibly the best name for a debut album ever), and the bands first ever single as well. The song begins with, again, simple lyrics and an inviting keyboard exercise before the stellar chorus. The confronting vocals shout the message of the song so directly and with such great vocal skill that I must admit I get shivers when I hear it, and if I get shivers from a song, it’s bloody good.

    I Predict A Riot

    This was the first Kaiser Chiefs song that I heard, and the second I heard it I was taken in by the ferocity and intensity that the band played with. I had never heard of them before, but when I heard this song I instantly heard as much of them as I could. I was in awe at the lyrics of the song (and the entire damn album! I mean come one! Stop writing lyrics that are so simple and leave some for the rest of us to write!) and the chorus. The voice in the chorus made me sit up and take notice. This song let me understand that it is not only what you say in a song, but how you say it. The chorus of this song is a perfect example of this, and every musician should follow this example when they write a song.

    * Note: All of these songs contain the signature ‘rising yell’ that Ricky Wilson likes to use. I have one message for you Mr. Wilson; don’t. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. No offence, it’s a good technique, but there is such a thing as overkill. Although, the fact that I picked three songs here that use this technique says something. Disregard this, good work!

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    89. Over And Over – Hot Chip

     There are many musicians that you should not piss off; Pink, Alanis Morissette and Hot Chip, to name a few. For what sounds like a reasonably typical dance song by a delightfully inventive band, is actually a thinly veiled middle finger towards critics. Following the release of their first album, Coming On Strongin 2004, critics thought that Hot Chip were anything but what the album suggested and instead labelled them as being too ‘laid-back’, ‘boring’ and ‘repetitive’. Two years later, the band took the critical reception to heart and wrote Over And Over. The lead lyrics start off their rebuttal to the claims against them; Laid back? Laid back? We’ll give you laid back.”, before starting to almost simultaneously explain their choice of the music they are playing. “Over and over and over and over and over, like a monkey with a miniature cymbal, the joy of repetition really is in you”. By these lyrics the band are able to creature a beautiful attack on their critics, explain their music and confuse the heck out of listeners at the end of the song with the repeated spelling of the words “Kissing, Sexing, Casio, Poke, You, Me, I”

    Throughout the song, repeated beats and hooks and the fact that the main beat sounds like it is made out of some household objects, gives a great raw feeling to the song, which makes it sound as if the band are not only serious about what they are saying, but in fact, they are deadly serious. Electronic bands such as Hot Chip have a knack for really meaning what they say in their songs, and in the way that Over And Over is written, it can be clearly seen that they really disagree with their reviews and that they think their music is fantastic. Which it is.

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    And I Was A Boy From School

    When I first heard this song, it was not the original. Instead, I heard the cover version by British India, and instantly I thought this song was amazing. Sadly, I didn’t hear the original for almost a year. But when I did hear it, I was amazed! Such a beautiful song that features almost completely disjointed rhythms and beautiful jazz inspired synth notes. The song’s message is confusing, but the dulcet tones of the vocals make the message almost irrelevant as they suck you into their dreamy soundscapes and melodies. In short, a beautiful song that is only beat to the first position by a great song that is essentially about revenge.

     

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    Years ago when I first heard this song, I heard the original version. Instantly I was drawn into the beautiful orchestral melodies, the piano that drives the song and the vocals of James Walsh. However, after buying the single and listening to the b-sides, I discovered the Thin White Duke Mix. The Thin White Duke is Stuart Price, a British electronica musician who remixed this song amazingly. Now, I found that version found on the b-side is only half as long as a version someone sent me a couple of years back, and frankly that song sounds as if someone cut it in half and stuck it on the single. But the 8 minute version is a thing of great wonder. It starts with an orchestral arrangement that harks back to the original song which then changes into the vocals from the chorus, which become double tracked, before the song reaches legendary status.
    After the song’s introduction, the beat of the song become evident. This beat also inspires the name and the meaning of the song. The beat is commonly known as a Four To The Floor beat, which means that there are 4 beats per bar in a very common and straightforward rhythm. The song itself references this in the fact that the song is essentially about a man who thought he would be involved with a woman and that their relationship would be considered ‘four to the floor’, i.e, they would have a very common and straightforward relationship, but I digress. The beat of this song is the backbone. The straightforward beat and the strangely hypnotic bassline, and the ever-present snare drum transform this song from a typical mainstay of the ‘piano rock’ genre to a genre transcending gem that appeals to alternative rock enthusiasts and techno lovers.

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    Four To The Floor

    Yes, it may be a bit of a cop out having this song as a runner up, but to be honest, it was hard for me to choose between them. This song has so much soul, and the original version has an incredible raw vibe that defines the genre of alternative rock, or in the commonly accepted case, piano rock. While the song was not as popular as its remixed counterpart, the original deserves as much recognition for being so different yet so similar to the remix. Regardless, this is an amazing song that should not be forgotten to make room for the remix.

    In The Crossfire

    A couple of years ago I listened to a lot of talkback radio on Triple M. Before you judge me,
    Spoonman was an incredible host and he had a fantastic personality for radio. But anyway, when this song came out, he played it. Lots. That’s how this song got imprinted on my mind. The song focuses on the Iraq War and about how the singer doesn’t feel involved until he hears the crossfire on the radio. For a song that involves politics without becoming preachy, it’s a winner. Even the music suits the style for which the song is written and the meaning of itself. If Four To The Floor had never been written, this song would be in the list.

     

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    The Chemical Brothers have always been an incredible duo. Ever since their breakthrough hits such as Song To The Siren whilst still under the name The Dust Brothers in 1992, to Block Rockin’ Beats in 1997, they have always managed to deliver tight-as-hell beats and quite commonly, great vocals coming from samples or a guest vocalist. 2005’s Believe is no exception. The duo recruited Block Party’s Kele Okereke to perform lead vocals on the track (which, by the way, only consist of 4 different lines), and Okereke instantly adds in everything he has experienced with Bloc Party, giving this track a new age feel as well. The track’s driving rhythm starts the song and continues for 25 seconds before any sign of a change comes in. However, the change that does come eventually comes in the form of a bass/synth hook. As well as incorporating elements of funk guitar and ambient sounds, the song is fairly bland and repetitive. However, this repetition works to the advantage of The Chemical Brothers who utilise Okereke’s vocals to take the song to brave new places, all the while keeping the original Chemical Brothers sound that has remained a trademark for so many years.

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    Do It Again

    In 2007, The Chemical Brothers released their 6th album
    We Are The Night. This album contained the track Do It Again. The track not only has an awesomely strange (albeit disturbing)  music video, but it has a similar hook to Believe. Theoretically, there is not much difference between the 2 songs. However, this only achieved 2nd place due to the fact that I suffer from the ‘condition’ of disliking songs when they get popular. The stigma attached to such songs is too much to deal with for me. But the reason I get so passionate about this is because it leaves much better songs to be forgotten. While it was popular at the time, and is undoubtedly still a commonly known track, Believe was forgotten by many people when Do It Again was released. So in order to give this track the respect it deserves, Believe is number 1, and Do It Again makes 2nd place.

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