here they are:
"Graceless" by The National: The title of this song alone indicates that it will not exactly be an uplifting one (then again, there aren't really any songs by The National that contain positive subject matter, so it's hardly surprising). It seems as though Matt Berninger is literally "losing his religion" in "Graceless", with such lines as "I figured out how to be faithless", "now I know what dying means", and "God loves everybody, don't remind me". The rhymes Matt sings for the title of the song can feel a bit strained at times (e.g. "erase this", "waste this", "weightless", "face this", etc.) but then again, perhaps the struggle for a word to rhyme with "graceless" goes in line with the weary, cumbersome feeling the song itself has to offer.
"New" by Paul McCartney: Paul McCartney's new song is "New". No, I'm not trying to sound redundant, it's just that "New" happens to be the TITLE of McCartney's latest tune. Part of the charm of this song comes from who produced it, if you ask me, and that would be Mark Ronson, who has been known for producing material for musicians like Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse. It seems as though whenever Sir Paul has hired good producers for his 21st century material, it ends up having a solid sound, like the Nigel Godrich (Radiohead's producer) produced albums he had during the mid-'00s. "New" doesn't sound a thing like Amy Winehouse or Lily Allen, though. It sounds better (at least I think it does)!! Its catchy, Beatlesque pop sound and Brian Wilson-ish harmonies make "New" sound timeless!!
"Pompeii" by Bastille: With electronica becoming an increasingly more dominant form of popular music, the arrival of "Pompeii" seems quite timely. Ordinarily, electronica doesn't impress me too much, but thankfully, "Pompeii" is laced with both smooth enough harmonies and a catchy enough melody for me to appreciate it. Perhaps what's gotten so many people hooked on the song so far, though, is its faux-Latin "day-oo day-oo, day, day-oo, day-oo" chorus, which makes it stand out from other forms of contemporary music. As a side note, "Pompeii" is a triple geographical whammy! Pompeii is in Italy, Bastille is in Canada, yet the band itself is British! Go figure!!
"Say the Words" by Satellite: These guys sound like Travis, Coldplay, The Doves, and many other "Britpop" bands, and even their accent sounds somewhat British. So why are they from America?! Oh well, that's not the point of this song, as far as I'm concerned. The main focus of "Say the Words" is to bring the more guitar based side of the Britpop sound into the 2010's. On the surface, "Say the Words" sounds like a love song, and perhaps part of it is, but the first two verses of the song seem to indicate that the song is more centered around someone who has given up all hope on his/her life. The chorus is probably encouragement that the lead singer is providing to the subject of the song in order for him/her to feel less pressure regarding his/her life.