Well, thanks to last quarter I did not quite make it to 200 (count your blessings!), but I still packed, uh, 50+ onto this final part. Glee comes roaring back with a vengeance and CD recs abound. These may be related.
And Maroon 5 got on here twice; I don't understand my life.
135. Glee Cast (Darren Criss / Chris Colfer / Lea Michele / Corey Monteith) – Don't Speak
I really feel that I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe this could be the end
Three out of my five Heavenly Angel Choir voices, part II (albeit now with a redundant spare). I love the original, but I have had the chocolate-rich tenor on these lines rolling through my head (matched only by the impeccable harmony on the next two lines) since August 13 while dying for the rest. It was getting on here no matter what.
136. Glee Cast – The Scientist
I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
I don't need more covers of this, especially given its general lack of greatness in the first place, but the 8-part arrangement between the four couples is genuinely impressive. I love how unique every solo part is and how pretty the various combos sound. I do not love how it rips my heart open right now, but that will heal.
137. Glee Cast (Lea Michele/
On Sunday you went home alone
There were tears in your eyes
I called your cell phone, my love
But you did not reply
Boom. Now I guess we'll never know if Glee covers things because they're on the radio or because I ask! Anyway -- this was not done in quite the style I expected, but it turned out much better. It works magnificently as a duet, and even more so because it's stripped down to mostly just prominent piano, and wow, it becomes so much more emotional like this. I legit did not know this song had emotions such as those featured in the lyrics above.
[side note: The only reason Glee's "Barely Breathing" isn't on here is because hearing it still rips my heart to pieces, and not in the good way of The Scientist. Also I would like to note for the record that the slowed down acoustic covers of “Teenage Dream,” both studio and live-in-episode versions, are still equally perfect and heartbreaking.]
138. Glee Cast (Melissa Benoist) – Everytime
And every time I try to fly
I fall without my wings
I feel so gross having a Britney Spears song on here for any reason, but turns out this little lady is just the perfect delicate voice to make these lyrics work if you need something to make you sad. The tinkling piano helps.
139. Jessie J – Price Tag
We need to take it back in time
When music made us all unite
9/30/12: Poor Jessie J, I keep liking all her songs on the radio but never enough to nominate them on their own power.
Or, “and now I feel bad so I have to tell everyone in an Official way how much I enjoy this song.” Do you know how great it is to have a song with reggae elements on mainstream radio??
140. Delta Goodrem – Fragile
Six thoughts at once, I can't focus on one
Seven days a week but my life has just begun
This came off a fanmix waaaay back in the day. After literally months of it incessantly popping up on shuffle, I'm finally ready to let it hit me. So, hit me with the pretty sadness. Ahhh, that's the stuff.
[CD REC: The Hunger Games Soundtrack. All worth hearing as a collection except screamo nonsense “Take The Heartland,” but otherwise, top...60% (besides what I've already recced) below.] If I had one more slot I'd add the Decemberists' 'One Engine,' just because it's fun how fast and galloping its tempo is. Nothing about it is particularly special, though.
141. Arcade Fire - Abraham's Daughter
Just as an angel cried for the slaughter
Abraham's daughter raised her voice
It starts out sounding like rock anthem hell, and then suddenly it gives way to eerie choral vocals, which somewhere around 4 lines in you realize are actual lyrics and not just high-pitched oohing. Super cool lyrics.
142. The Carolina Chocolate Drops - Daughter's Lament
Woe be, woe be, mockingjay
Woe be, woe be to thee
I’ll send an arrow through your heart
For to bring such news to me
I tend to strongly dislike true a capella, but there's one on one of my Celtic CDs that I like and this reminds me of it, a bit (even though there's more of a...country? lilt to this). Now that I've heard all the lyrics, I can't stop singing it.
143. The Civil Wars - Kingdom Come
Run, run, run away
Buy yourself another day
Dark and foreboding, fantastic instrumentation, and good lord, do I ever love their harmonies. Who ever said anything about irrational subconscious hatred for The Civil Wars, not me!
144. Maroon 5 - Come Away to the Water
Come away little light, come away to the darkness
In the shade of the night we'll come looking for you.
In which Maroon 5 impersonates a Celtic band singing about creepy water spirits, near as I can tell.
145. Neko Case - Nothing to Remember
I'm ashamed that I'm barely human
And I'm ashamed that I don't have a heart you can break
Late bloomer. About the only non-Taylor Swift song that sounds like something I'd find on the radio, and the only one that doesn't seem somewhat Hunger-Games-ish.
146. Birdy - Just a Game
I don't know where I am
I don't know this place
Don't recognize anybody
Just the same old empty face
The piano at the beginning of this sounds so familiar, and it's driving me nuts that I can't place it. This music sounds like it belongs in tragically haunted houses, period pieces and/or wintery fantasy sequences, or at least the soundtrack of computer games with those elements.
[CD REC: Birdy, self-titled album. It's hard to pick out many more particular favorites I want to listen to on their own; it largely all blends together in one exquisite blur of high-pitched, clear-voiced beauty almost like an instrumental soundtrack would. Not a single bad track.]
147. Birdy – 1901
Past and present, 1855-1901
Watch them build up a material tower
Think it's not gonna stay
Anyway I think it's overrated
I think I mostly decided to love this based on the title, though I'm still not totally clear what's happening besides references to the Eiffel tower, but I like the idea of it being set in the past and her lower register caught my ear.
148. Birdy – Young Blood
We're all young and naive still
We require certain skill
But nothing changes like the wind
Hard to control when it begins
I probably would not hate the original, especially with its “Chuck” context, but this is what we're working with. Her magical voice superimposed on that familiar music lifts my spirits and makes me feel like seizing control of the future every time I hear it.
149. Birdy – Terrible Love
It's a terrible love and I'm walking with spiders
I just really love this lyric. What does it mean? Who knows! But I feel like it makes sense when I say it!
[CD Rec: Keri Noble, self-titled album. She's a surprisingly solid all-around adult contemporary artist. I promoted tracks 1-3 (Ooh Oh, Emily, Watch Me Walk) some years back, and those are still my favorites, but here are my other top 3. There are a total of 10 but I could not narrow it down any further. Again, not a bad number on the CD.]
150. Keri Noble - Simple Things
Some people love New York
Leave everything to be there
A slow, soothing and peaceful piano-and-violin based melody, where I cannot help associating the first verse with the Glee kids.
151. Keri Noble - Red Wine 'Til Daylight
Sometimes you wanna sort your thoughts out
But other times, you just wanna drink until the daylight
I may have discovered this during an all-night crying session, which fit the song's theme, but nevertheless, the whole tone of the music somehow makes me think of autumn road trips. Which definitely shouldn't involve wine, red or otherwise. [2018 edit: though it should be noted that ever since I played it on repeat after putting my dog to sleep in Feb. 2013, I have instead associated it with how I felt that night.]
152. Keri Noble - Remember My Name
She says, “If it’s what you want, it’s what you’ll get and I won’t fight it.
But hurry up and make it quick before I cry."
Aw, a sad story about a woman who sleeps around for lack of self esteem or fulfillment.
153. Ingrid Michaelson – Keep Breathing
The storm is coming but I don't mind
People are dying, I close my blinds
Soothingly repetitive and sad-making in a way I can't quite put my finger on. (probably its original fic context in If I Die Young).
154. Maria K. - Starbucks Smile
My heart is sweeter than Reeses
I wanna squeeze you to pieces
Look what I found on a trashy “Now That's What I Call Music” CD! Someone seems to have made a mistake and slipped this charming bubblegum pop/Disney-Channel-esque number in, which sounds very much like the song version of the sort of fluffy YA novel I read.
155. Glee Cast (Cory Monteith/Blake Jenner) - Juke Box Hero
He's got stars in his eyes
I didn't know this one beforehand, but the way they sing the title phrase is obnoxiously catchy for a rock song, and also I love the harmonies. Pretty sure that's like the ninth time I've said that, but it is still true.
156. Glee Cast – Summer Nights
Tell me more, tell me more
How much dough did he spend?
This song is a year old, but now I have reason to love it. It's the best Grease song they cover; the girls' solo parts in particular all sound fantastic.
157. Glee Cast - Born to Hand Jive
I could barely walk when I milked a cow
When I was three I pushed a plow
Super catchy dance number. You will hand jive and you will like it.
158. Glee Cast (Melissa Benoist) - Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (reprise)
Sandy, you must start anew
Don't you know what you must do?
Hold your head high
Take a deep breath and sigh
Goodbye to Sandra Dee
Sweet precious Marley dearheart lamb and her Sad Girl Solo!!!
159. Glee Cast - Greased Lightning
We'll get some purple French tail lights and thirty inch fins, oh yeah
A Palomino dashboard and dual muffler twins, oh yeah
WHAT A SUPER CATCHY AND FUN SONG (and, as a bonus, minus the apparent vulgarity of the original! Who would ever listen to it any other way.)
160. Glee Cast - You're The One That I Want
You better shape up
'Cause I need a man
And my heart is set on you
I can't even decide if I like the New Finchel or the Original Finchel parts best, but the new kids made me love this song.
161. Glee Cast (Naya Rivera/Ricky Martin) – La Isla Bonita
Tropical the island breeze
All of nature wild and free
This is where I long to be
I should probably stop trying to resist it/protest that I never included the original even when I loved it, and admit that I am obsessed with this cover, which is 98375 times better than the original for the inclusion of a verse in absolutely lovely Spanish.
162. Lana del Rey - Without You
We were two kids just trying to get out
Live on the dark side of the American dream
Apparently “Born to Die” got rereleased in a 2-disc version, and I'm pretty iffy on the second one due to the swearing all over, but the new tracks on the first one all drew me right in. Not sure what it is about this one, maybe the music effects? It's slow but feels like one of her “bigger” songs. I LOVE this couplet, inparticular.
163. Lana del Rey - Lolita
It's you that I adore, though I make the boys fall like dominoes
It looks dumb, its lyrics are dumb (spelling out words is always a bad way to go), it's dumb all around! But the heavy on/off accent of the chorus's cadence is instantly addictive and that makes it my favorite of tonight's trio.
164. Lana del Rey - The Lucky Ones
Every now and then, the stars align
Boy and girl meet by the great design
Very similar to 162, although this makes excellent use of chimes to provide the powerful closer.
165. Kelly Clarkson - Dark Side
There's a place that I know
It's not pretty there and few have ever gone
If I show it to you now, will it make you run away?
SOMEBODY IS GOING TO TAKE GLEE DOWN. Stop it! Stop working your Warbler magic! THIS IS THE VOICE I HAVE CHOSEN TO COVER THESE GORGEOUS LYRICS. It is a song for girls to identify with and a girl should sing it and I want Kelly back in my library.
(you should probably just assume that I'm also playing Glee's version at some point, because Blaine)
[edit: nope, nope, I think I got this one. Played The Good Version enough times to permanently attach myself to it. *fist pump of victory*]
166. Maroon 5 – One More Night
You and I get so damn dysfunctional we stopped keeping score
Damn fan trailer. That “ooh-ooh-ooh” chorus is just too addictive for words. Guys, it might be my favorite M5 song ever??
167. Glee Cast – Some Nights
Some nights, I wish that this all would end
'Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I'm scared you'll forget me again
Some nights I win, I always win
This is an irritating song (I hate this band), but it's like their music exists for Glee to claim it as its birthright and destiny. How are they so good at creating these perfect group numbers? I'm so full of love and pride right now. It works incredibly well when almost everyone's got a little part and you can match lines to characters. It's even better than when they covered We Are Young. By, like, a lot.
168. Glee Cast – Homeward Bound/Home
The trouble, it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
D'awwwww. Feelings! Emotional ones! All my graduated babies who left the show (plus Finn)...none of whom it turns out I actually miss except Quinn, but Dianna Agron's voice is back in my life and that is all I care about.
169. Glee Cast (Matthew Morrison/Jayma Mays) - Christmas Eve With You
I never saw a reindeer fly
Make its way across the sky
But I know if I close my eyes
My wishes will come true
Hey, look what I found on last year's Christmas album I'm just now listening to! Apparently it's an original...and I like it very much. Ooh, I've missed his smooth voice. And as we learned on “The Scientist,” she sounds surprisingly pretty when paired with him.
[CD Rec: Glee, “Season 4 Volume 1,” because it only has one horrible track and it's the last one, so you can just stop it early. I don't particularly love any numbers not already featured this list, but they still work as part of a set.]
[CD Rec: Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger.” An EXCELLENT representation of radio-friendly contemporary music from start to finish. Like, the titular single is the worst song, and even that one I am finally over my radio-overplay-induced KILL ON SIGHT trigger that the opening music used to induce. I do have some definite favorites, but I don't hate any at all.]
170. Kelly Clarkson - Mr. Know It All
You ain't got the right to tell me
When and where to go, no right to tell me
Acting like you own me lately
You don't know a thing about me
This kicks off the CD, and that was the Point of No Return for me as far as falling in love with the whole thing. I don't even know what I love about this song, except it feels like falling home, it so perfectly matches the sound of everything I would have been listening to 10 years ago. Energetic and edgy without screaming, all the things that made me love Kelly Clarkson in the first place.
171. Kelly Clarkson - Einstein
Our love divided by the square root of pride
Multiply your lies plus time
I'm going out of my mind
Snappy studio-magic music! But really, the best lyric in here is “dumb + dumb = you.” I can't get over how entertaining I find it.
172. Kelly Clarkson - I Forgive You
I forgive you, I forgive me
Now when I do start to feel again?
I can has Klaine breakup theme song? (No, RS. Nothing else applies. But I like this line so much!) I love the fast tempo of the music, too.
173. Kelly Clarkson – Hello
I'm coming through this desert of stone
These faces on the statues that I used to know
Wishing I was more than what my story has told
Or hoping that I'm dreaming in the day and this isn't happening
Hooked me from the opening notes, continued with fantastic lyrics from start to end, managing to be a sad song about being alone despite an energetic tempo. “Dreaming in the day” is my new favorite phrase.
174. Kelly Clarkson - You Can't Win
If you're thin, poor little walking disease
If you're not, they're all screaming “obese”
If you're straight, why aren't you married yet?
If you're gay, why aren't you waving a flag?
So many fun contradictions, I don't know where to start. It feels it should be every celebrity's personal anthem, really, so I'm glad it starts with her.
175. A Fine Frenzy – Almost Lover
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should've known you'd bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do
Courtesy of Tumblr, bringing me songs with which to mourn Dair on Gossip Girl. I am just so happy to finally love something from the lovely A Fine Frenzy that I don't even mind how sad it is. (Hah, I say that like it is not actually the number 1 draw for me when it comes to music.)
176. Paloma Faith - 30 Minute Love Affair
Sometimes it's better just to let them go
Cause your illusion's more than what you could know
She's apparently in charge of all my OTP feelings now, as I can only read this song title metaphorically, specifically in the context of Dan/Blair. These particular lyrics, though, seem like sound advice for all shippers of canon-doomed things.
[CD Rec: Sarah McLachlan, "Wintersong." This is possibly the most beautiful Christmas album I have ever heard, due not only to her voice but the fact that it is a nice mix of classic carols and newer songs. There are only 3 or 4 I don't especially care for. And since it's the end of the year, I give up on splitting the CD perfectly in half and Imma just rec all the faves that come to mind.]
177. Sarah McLachlan – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
So this is Christmas, and what have you done?
Another year over, and a new one just begun
I just love this opening verse. And the fact that I have a new mainstream Christmas song to love. This is very pleasant and dreamy; makes you want to sway to it. Great chimes in the background, too. I was planning to split the number with Glee's cover, but the Glee version is so incredibly bland by comparison it is laughable.
178. Sarah McLachlan -- What Child Is This (Greensleeves)
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring Him praise
The babe, the son of MarySung with beautiful reverence that sounds like the most peaceful church service imaginable.
179. Sarah McLachlan - River
It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I fell in love with Rachel's version on Glee, but I must admit, I'm also glad I can graduate to this slower, deeper, richer and more mature version.
180. Sarah McLachlan - Wintersong
And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
A devastating tribute to a deceased loved one during the holiday season. Pardon me, just CASUALLY CRYING.
181. Sarah McLachlan – The First Noel/Mary Mary
They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.It starts very slow and traditional, then it morphs into minor key and by the time you get to the second half it ends up sounding very Middle Eastern-influenced.
182. Sarah McLachlan - In the Bleak Midwinter
In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone
Snow had fallen, snow on snow
No one will ever quite touch Loreena McKennitt's version to me, which sounds like it is a century or two older than its origins as an 1872 poem, but this is a very close second, especially if you would like one in a considerably more reasonable register where you can understand the words.
183. Sarah McLachlan - Song For A Winter's Night
The smoke is rising in the shadows overhead
My glass is almost empty
I read again between the lines upon each page
The words of love you sent me
Very atmospheric and an antidote to the sadness of 180, I think. I choose to believe these lovers are separated only by distance, nothing else.
184. Glee Cast (Melissa Benoist) – The First Noel
The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
The Glee Christmas album is a depressing ball of suckage this year, except for my perfect new angel covering one of my favorites in a stripped-down and partially a capella version.
185. Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah by SOMEONE PLEASE COVER THIS WELL??
And while we are playing
The candles are burning low
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago
Oh my god, this is so freaking catchy and yet all the voices in charge of it are so bad. Barenaked Ladies = scratchy and wrong, but Glee has Kermit the Frogboy frog-voicing all over it. And yet...I still can't stop alternating versions in a desperate frenzy just to hear the music. How have I seriously never heard this song before? IT IS CLEARLY THE GREASTEST HOLIDAY MUSIC IN RECENT MEMORY. I just wish like hell Puck could have covered it alone.
186. Taylor Swift – Ours
Don't you worry your pretty little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
I never listen to “bonus” tracks that aren't on my copy of a CD, because it feels like being taunted that I was sold an incomplete version. But today I decided to take a chance on those from “Speak Now,” and oh, this is so cute. And not just in the sense of “it is cute that Taylor acts like she has ever worked an office job a day in her life.”
187. Taylor Swift – If This Was A Movie
Six months gone and I'm still reaching
Even though I know you're not there
It sure SOUNDS like she's saying “Eli,” which is kind of a problem given how thanks to Glee I now want to fly into a violent rage at the sound of that name, but the lyrics claim this is not the case and it is actually “come back to me-e like.” So in that case, yay! I love the whole sentiment behind the song.
188. Taylor Swift - Superman
I watch Superman fly away
You've got a busy day today
Go save the world, I'll be around
And this is just a fun and bouncy one to round out the set, not as awesome as the other two, but worth hearing.
Wanna move on to 2013?