here they are:
"Back Against the Wall" by Son Volt: Son Volt have come a long way from their days in the mid '90s as a rowdier country-rock group with their minor alt-rock radio song, "Drown". They've become a lot quieter and sadder since then. "Back Against the Wall" is probably one of the most bittersweet songs Son Volt have recorded. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that the album it's from is called "Notes of Blue". Maybe we'll get an entire album of bittersweet ballads from the alt-country quintet! "Back Against the Wall" is not without clues of the band's rock 'n' roll past, though, as it does contain a ragged, Neil Young-esque guitar solo towards the middle and end of it.
"Do You Still Love Me?" by Ryan Adams: It's not often that one of the most heavily anticipated songs of the year comes in December, yet Ryan Adams' latest song is now getting airplay on 25 adult alt stations, and it only took less than a week of the song's existence for people to fall head over heels in love with it! Why is this, you ask?! Well, it's because "Do You Still Love Me?" is one of those songs that just grabs you by the neck and proclaims its power right on the spot as soon as you hear it! The song is performed in an arena-rock-cum-roots-rock style, not unlike certain songs by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp, and it has one of the most boastful guitar solos ever known in a Ryan Adams tune! Do we still love you, Ryan?! You bet we do! Keep coming out with songs like this one and we'll only love you more!
"Painting (Masterpiece)" by Lewis del Mar: Lewis del Mar is not one person, but two people, in spite of how their moniker might sound at first. Their debut song, "Painting (Masterpiece)", is as colorful as its title makes it sound, both musically and lyrically. The thumping C sharp bass note in the beginning of the song makes it sound a little similar to Everclear's "Father of Mine", albeit a lot less grungy and a lot more...ummm...indie...tronic?! (It's hard to come up with a term to describe what their music sounds like, haha). The lyrics of "Painting (Masterpiece)" use a lot of color related imagery, particularly during the chorus. To this, I can only say that although it might not be easy to be green, I don't feel blue about it. As a matter of fact, I'm tickled pink!
"Radio Kids" by Strand of Oaks: Strand of Oaks sure are radio kids, too! Their breakthrough song, "Goshen '97", talked about "singing Pumpkins" (as in Smashing) "in the mirror". In "Radio Kids", the arena rock of the '80s collides with a chord progression that sounds similar to "Morning Glory" by Oasis from the '90s. Strand of Oaks really know their stuff, clearly. "Play it, play it, loud on the radio!" lead singer Timothy Showalter pleads urgently during the chorus of "Radio Kids". Don't worry, Tim. We'll be blasting this song from our radios loud and clear for the next few months, at least! Thus ends this year's blog posts (besides the yearly Top 20) with a big, loud, rock 'n' roll BANG!! See ya next year, all you crazy music lovers!