Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!! :D

I must say, it's been an interesting year! One post on a leap year, another on the 4th of July, and NOW one on Halloween!! :D Sorry, no "scary" songs this time around, hehe, but I've got three good ones that I think you're gonna like! So here goes.

"Babel" by Mumford and Sons: The Celtic influenced folk-rock quartet known as Mumford and Sons have ruminated on religious themes before ("can you kneel before the king, and say I'm clean?", for instance, from their "White Blank Page" could refer to Jesus for all I know!), but they've never had a song title so far with a religious/biblical reference until now (though they mispronounce "Babel" as "BAY-bul" instead of "BAB-ul"). Given the point of reference here (the Tower of Babel, from which the word "babble" supposedly comes from), I would think that "Babel" might be about problems in terms of communication. This is part of what "Babel" is about, but the meaning behind its lyrics go deeper than that. It is more about the fall of mankind (which can be interpreted from the lyrics, "So come down from your mountain and stand where we've been/You know our breath is weak and our body is dead"), and about trying to reach God directly, but struggling to do so in the process (for which the lyrics, "Press my nose up to the glass around your heart, I should have known I was weaker from the start" are sung). For a band whose first big hit had the "f" word in its chorus, Mumford and Sons are quite an honest, intelligent, and soul searching band (and yes, I even love the song I just referred to by them in that sentence)!!

"Here Comes My Man" by The Gaslight Anthem: A sequel to The Pixies' "Here Comes YOUR Man", perhaps?! 'Fraid not, this song doesn't sound anything close to The Pixies. "Here Comes My Man" is just Brian Fallon and the rest of the members of The Gaslight Anthem doing what they do best - mixing the earnest, heartfelt approach to roots-rock of Bruce Springsteen with the "thinking man's punk rock" sound of The Clash. The Springsteen influence is pretty obvious here, perhaps more so than any other Gaslights song, from the Phil-Spector-goes-rock sound of the percussion to the "sha-la-la"'s in the chorus (all that's missing is a killer sax solo!) As if having Springsteen and The Clash as influences wasn't enough of an old school rock move for The Gaslights, Brian Fallon also takes on an interesting perspective in the lyrics that was previous reserved for people like Joni Mitchell. Much like how Joni sang "I was a free man in Paris", instead of "HE was a free man Paris", Brian also takes on the opposite sex perspective, with lyrics like "Don't you think I knew about all your pretty girlfriends?", and of course, the chorus, in which he sings "here comes MY man", from a woman's point of view to (presumably) another guy. Thank you, Brian Fallon, for bringing lyrical narrative back into music, I appreciate it very much!!

"I Don't Believe A Word You Say" by Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite: So, what happens when rock 'n' roll chameleon Ben Harper teams up with bluesman Charlie Musselwhite?! Powerhouse rock 'n' roll, that's what!! "I Don't Believe A Word You Say" captures the feel of some of the best known classic rock anthems, from its "Mississippi Queen"-ish rhythm, and its combination of hard rock guitars and blues harmonica, which recalls songs like Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks". The lyrics are repetitive, but in a song in which the main focus is on jamming (for both the guitar AND the harmonica) instead of singing, that shouldn't really matter too much. The song is aiming to please fans of blues music and classic rock, and if it does so, then mission accomplished, and rock on!!