here they are:
"A Little Smile" by Joe Jackson: "A little smile" is just what you're gonna get if you're a fan of this eclectic, Elvis Costello-esque musician who is best known for the new wave era classic, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" Unlike Elvis Costello, who has consistently released songs and albums throughout his career, Joe Jackson tends to be a bit more selective about when he'll release something new. The last I heard from him was the brilliant piano-pop piece, "Invisible Man", which came out in 2008. I don't know what Joe has been doing during the 7 years since that song was released, but whatever it was must have paid off, because "A Little Smile" was certainly worth the wait! The song comes off a little bit like what a Bruce Hornsby cover of a Ben Folds song might sound like, though I can't help but be won over by the wistfulness and charm of the song. Also, I LOVE the bridge parts of the song. They sound so preciously bittersweet!
"Bad Blood" by Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift?! (An entire ALBUM of her material, at that.) For a man who hated his name being mistaken for '80s pop-rock musician Bryan Adams, this sure does come as a surprise!! Well, to quote a popular Taylor Swift song, "the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate" on Ryan Adams, but luckily he still has the support of people like me who allow him creative freedom, even if that means doing versions of songs by musicians whom I haven't become a fan of. Here, Ryan turns Swift's techno-pop-y Christina Aguilera-ish song "Bad Blood" into something that sounds like it would be more at home on Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" album than it would on the current Top 40 charts. Ryan's goal here seems to be turning popular media into something more akin to pop art, almost like what Andy Warhol famously did to Campbell's soup cans many years ago, and he does a surprisingly good job at it, too! The lyrics of what I previously viewed as an ordinary song suddenly become more personal and emotional. This is truly an example of musical poetry at its finest!
"Lover Come Back" by City and Colour: Dallas "City and Colour" Green started off as a folk musician and then turned up his rock 'n' roll quotient on the two albums that followed his debut. In his latest song, "Lover Come Back", he comes full circle and makes those two worlds collide. It is a pleasantly folk-y song with rock 'n' roll instruments being used in the background. Perhaps collaborating with pop sensation Pink (a.k.a. "P!nk", whatever that's supposed to mean) in folk-rock duo You + Me made Dallas want to return to folk music. Whatever the case, "Lover Come Back" is a lovely, bittersweet song, and it's one that I've waited for him to do since back when he debuted in 2009! Some may think that Dallas is letting his sappy side come out here, but I think he's just being sentimental, and I also think there's absolutely nothing wrong with being sentimental.