Monday, 26 October 2009

My Ears Were Not Made For This

Currently, for some reason, I seem to be running on a very short fuse. Things that normally I would allow to wash over me are annoying me more than is strictly reasonable. And bizarrely a lot of them seem to be musical. There are too many songs out there that aren't trying hard enough. I'm aware this is very subjective so I apologise in advance if any of them is your personal favourite, but the tetch demands to be released...

1) Songs that fail to live up to the initial promise of the intro
Well, at the moment just the one: Sweet Child Of Mine by Guns and Roses. A sublime introduction that promises great things. And then, after a perfectly OK but not special set of verses and choruses, winds down to a dreary "we can't decide what to do with the end of this and are even singing about it... where do we go where do we go where do we go...". Poor effort all round, Mr Rose, must try harder.

2) Songs that are totally let down by an inappropriately jaunty bit
Here Comes The Night by Them/Van Morrison. What went wrong here? Excellent intro. Excellent chorus. And then the verse has a ridiculously misplaced Benny Hill oompah quality to it. Every time I hear it I want, in a Frankenstein way, to rip out the verses and replace them with something from the Doors.
Spirit Of Radio by Rush, and Jane by Jefferson Starship. What was wrong with those post-prog people?? Why couldn't they leave things alone and not meddle? These songs are the musical equivalent of a cake that has been iced, decorated, and then iced some more, and then soaked in rum, and then served in a lettuce basket with a smoked salmon garnish. Although when I say "smoked salmon garnish" I mean "startlingly embarrassing misguided reggae-style bridge". There's a point in the middle where you actually have the feeling that you're watching your father breakdance at a wedding. Dear God, somebody stop the horror.

3) Songs that are just downright lazy and were phoned in by artists too complacent to care if their work was sub-standard or not
Do I need to say any more than All You Need Is Love by the Beatles? Combining a dirgey sub-Maharishi melody with the most offensive tuba-driven chorus, this resembles nothing so much as a badly-organised minibus singalong on a mental hospital's Chessington day out. Except the singers aren't even pretending they're enjoying themselves. The wah-wah-wawah-waaaah trombone on the chorus sounds like the incidental music from a Carry On film, where Charles Hawtrey has just put on a hat full of custard. Poor, poor, poor.

That's all for now. There'll be more. I haven't even started on the worrying tendency to try to make things youth-accessible by adding rap sections yet.

11 comments:

Mwa said...

I love it. I don't agree. But I love that you get so worked up about it.

Lucy Fishwife said...

I know, I'm sorry. I'm actually quite relaxed generally - but I can't quite forgive Van Morrison for coming over all diddly-dee in the middle of an otherwise good song... actually which one were you disagreeing about?

Deborah said...

I love it - you have a fabulous wit. Can't recall any of those songs well enough (except 'All You Need... and I do agree about that) to agree or not, but I'm prepared to be convinced just by your cleverness. Thanks for the laugh.

Angela Montague said...

Agree!

Also nominate Hey Bleedin' Jude and its Na Na Na Nana Na Naaa-ing. Take a bad song and make it longer, if you ask me.

Loved the post!

Rol said...

Ooh, I like this. Any feature the punctures the Beatles balloon has me crying MORE!

Cassandra said...

Fcuking brilliant post, LuLu. I have to say that I agree COMPLETELY about Here Comes The Night. And can you imagine DANCING to it? I cannot STAND rap (short for CRAP) used to sex up classics, the most excruciating eg being Islands In the Stream. I also have VERY strong views on "repeat to fade". HOWEVER, am incapable of writing more now as have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but will pop back tomorrow to say MORE!!!!

Lucy Fishwife said...

Deborah - thank you! I was more annoyed that they weren't trying hard enough than that they were actually BAD, but at the time I hadn't had enough coffee and felt very worked up...

Angela - It's the self-indulgence. It positively screams "Do we HAVE to write another couple of songs? Or can we just drag these ones out a few minutes to fill the album?"

Rol - Oh yes, I am on that bus ride to blasphemy with you. I was brought up on the creme de la creme of 70s hippy music (Dylan, Mitchell, Baez, etc) and have to say that the Beatles are my very least favourite.

Cass - What possessed him???????? I once saw Van the Man himself when I was on a bus in Notting Hill. He looked like a homicidally grumpy Danny de Vito (and shorter, too). The bus conductor leaned out and yelled "OI! VAN! GIVE US A SMILE!". Obviously he didn't. I agree with hating "repeat to fade" but worse is when you hear a song played live and they don't know how to end it, and it peters out in a self-conscious "erm, that's it.." way. And worse than rap - the post-Fatboy "remastering" of songs that sound exactly the same but have added "hereweGO" bits added. Bah, humbug.

fifi said...

I absolutely hate any record that uses children's choirs, Another Brick in the Wall, Pipes of Peace, oh god there are tons of them but I can't think of any more just now but they make me squirm with their sickening cuteness

Lucy Fishwife said...

Fifi - yes, yes. Especially since it's just shorthand for "We're bound to get an Xmas number 1 with this". Although on that score I think the Spice Girls and East 17 need shooting for getting an Xmas number 1 just for wearing furry parkas in the video to their thoroughly unChristmassy songs.

JS said...

Lucy, you are so right.

And I also agree with Angela about Hey Jude. Utter lazy tripe.

I think, as with so many things, Jarvis has the answer. Pulp's Do You Remember the First Time has a truly phenomenal intro. so when the song gets a bit boring in the middle ... they play the intro again! Geeenius.

blackwatertown said...

How horrible. You have now skewered Here Comes The Night for me. But... When you're right, you're right. And you're right.