here they are:
"Longing to Belong" by Eddie Vedder: This song suggests Pearl Jam's leading man longing to belong...to the "Into the Wild" soundtrack again. The same mix of acoustic guitar, ukulele, and bittersweet heart-melting emotional quality he used on such gems from the smash indie flick's soundtrack like "Rise" and "Guaranteed" are once again present on "Longing to Belong". It is less than three minutes long, though, unlike most (if not all) of the songs on the soundtrack, but somehow Eddie has managed to wrap all of his wistfully tearful thoughts into roughly two and a half minutes of pure bliss in this tune! As refreshing as it was to hear Eddie rock out with Pearl Jam on songs like "The Fixer" and "Amongst the Waves" two years ago, it's also nice to hear him at his more somber, precious moments as well.
"Lost In My Mind" by The Head and The Heart: This one is a very pleasant, wistful indie-folk tune, sounding like a cross between the autumnal folk-rock of Good Old War and the more rootsy variety from that of bands like The Avett Brothers. A real heart melter, just like the one I mentioned above (though so far, I like this one better). "Lost In My Mind" is a very apt title for a song that evokes nostalgic images of taking a road trip during the fall season with orange-gold leaves falling from the trees and an orange-y sunset sky in the background. The combination of being written in a major key, yet still retaining a somber mood, somehow makes this song a surefire winner for me!
"Rope" by Foo Fighters: I was gonna hold off on reviewing this one, it's been circulating on adult alt stations for awhile now, despite its resemblance to "harder" acts, mostly '70s classic rock/progressive rock like Queen, Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and The Who. I was pretty shocked, though, when I found out Music Choice Adult Alternative, which I often have considered to be one of the most accurate representations of the (sub)genre, started playing this!! Therefore, I'm gonna give this one a go. "Rope" starts off benign enough with its unique chords played on echo-y distortion, but once the drums start kicking in, the song becomes faster and harder, and starts spouting off guitar riffs vaguely similar to songs like Yes' "Roundabout" and Rush's "The Spirit of Radio". The chorus is also a bit shaky, with Dave Grohl's somewhat frantic, desperate delivery of "Gimme some rope I'm fallin' dooowwwwnnnnn!!!!" A good song, but a bit rough for stations that are more known for playing more melodic, balanced acts like U2, R.E.M., and Counting Crows. Oh well, I guess different doesn't hurt once in a while!!
"Uberlin" by R.E.M.: For the legendary alt-rock band's third major song from "Collapse Into Now", they've calmed down a bit, but still retained their cleverness. The title alone, "Uberlin", is actually a pun, combining the phrase "Uber" (meaning "very") and the German capital, Berlin. Perhaps what makes this song so appealing, though, is not necessarily the song itself as much as a video for the song I recently discovered in which the lyrics are written out as though they are on a map, moving from place to place as they are written out. Since the lyrics of the song largely center around traveling, it's quite fitting as a "music video" (if indeed it is one).
"Velcro" by Bell X1: Until their big breakthrough with the Talking Heads soundalike song, "The Great Defector", Bell X1 were primarily an Irish folk-rock act. Ever since then, it seems as though they've tried to tweak their sound into sounding more like Modest Mouse than Damien Rice. "The Great Defector" was, in my opinion, one of the best songs of 2009, because it was just so...different!! And Bell X1's lead singer did an excellent David Byrne imitation (whether he intended it or not)!! So how does "Velcro" compare?! It's got the same new wave-y sound as "The Great Defector", but somehow it just isn't the same! Perhaps the saving grace for "Velcro" is in its quirky lyrics, from the chorus ("I'll be your velcro"), to random bits in the verses (for instance, "Watching a 6-year-old on YouTube playing drums to 'Billie Jean'", somebody tell me what THAT's supposed to mean!!) Heck, even the TITLE is quirky (how many other songs do you know called "Velcro", or that even USE that word for that matter?!)
"Werewolves" by The Damnwells: No, this is not a cover of the late, great Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London", and it doesn't sound like the song either. It's a song simply called "Werewolves". This song is another one of those somber, autumnal, somewhat wistful/nostalgic sounding songs (see also the first two songs I reviewed in this week's blog). I seem to fall instant prey to these kinds of songs. I have only heard one other song by The Damnwells, the uber-melodic, somewhat Fleetwood Mac-ish "Golden Days", which was another song I just loved instantly! "Golden Days" had better harmony techniques than "Werewolves" does, though. But that by no means disqualifies "Werewolves" from becoming another instant classic for me, though. The Damnwells are melodic indie/neo-folk-rock geniuses, 'nuff said!
"You've Got the Love" by Florence and The Machine: The seven words Sting became famous for singing almost 30 years ago ("every little thing she does is magic") would most certainly describe the cute, redheaded Florence Welch from Florence and The Machine! "Dog Days Are Over" became the surprise smash hit of the summer/fall of 2010, and it looks like "You've Got the Love" is going to end up being the song following in its footsteps. Once again, Florence has used her eclectic musical palette to combine indie/alternative rock, pop, and soul to create an irresistibly catchy, danceable number on "You've Got the Love", which actually wasn't her song originally, but she seems to have made it her own! The video is also pretty awesome, with our ginger haired leading lady singing on a plastic moon in a silky golden outfit! Lookin' forward to knowing what she'll churn out next!!