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Part 2, May-August

Further continued 

MAY

48. Avril Lavigne: 

Everything Back But You
Because you wrote
I wish you were her
You left out the “e”
Slowly but surely, over the course of the month, I went from hating Avril’s third album to grudgingly enjoying a few of the tracks.  This one took me longer to warm up to [note: also, looking at the lyrics, how glad am I that I got the clean version?], but once I understood the lyrics of the chorus, I got rather hooked on the story of the song, and rather liked the racing beat, spastic electric guitars and all.


49. Innocence
It’s a state of bliss, you think you’re dreaming
It’s the happiness inside that you’re feeling
It’s so beautiful it makes you want to cry
Hooked me with its somber piano notes at the beginning; this soft, slow song was originally the only track I really liked, and it’s still my favorite.  


50. One of Those Girls
She’s one of those girls, they’re nothing but trouble
Just one look, and now you’re seeing double
Before you know it she’ll be gone, off to the next one
This is another song firmly connected with dog-walking in my mind, although this time, it stirs up memories of walking her through the woods section of the park, in early budding spring.  It’s a very energized song, suitable for listening to while out on a long walk.


51. Two Rivers
I was busy being enchanted by all the B-sides I’d turned up; this one was a nice throwback to her early days, but by now I find it somewhat boring.


52. When You’re Gone
It’s literally all about the beautiful piano in this one.


53. Brett Dennen – Ain’t No Reason
People walk a tightrope on a razor’s edge

As with “Chasing Cars,” I recognized this song by its lyric from its inclusion in the fic, but I connect it with where I first heard it – playing over the end of an episode of House.  I LOVE this track; the ambling pace of plucking strings and the folksy sound of the singer’s nasally voice just carry me away on all the images put forth in this song, bringing to mind a white-collar worker wandering through the city looking for meaning. 


54. Celine Dion – Les Derniers Seront Les Premiers
This quickly swept the field as far as my favorite French Celine song.  The sound of the chorus is absolutely stunning, and the whole song has a powerful, optimistic, and rather spiritual overtone.  And it’s kind of hard not to love what she starts doing with vocals towards the end.  


55. Hilary Duff – With Love
See “American Idol Hit List.” I was all “What?  Hilary Duff has a new song?  Gimme!” As I generally do with her singles, I promptly fell in love with it.  Fun, bouncy and slightly techno music that I played on loop quite a bit.


56. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
ER gave me a sucker punch of an ending montage set to this song – which I shall most probably forever associate with Sarah being driven off to Wisconsin, and Tony left alone – and I had to go hunt it down immediately. Its instrumental section is entirely too long, but the verses are gorgeous.


57. Maria Mena – Patience
One day, while browsing a music community, I decided to take a chance on this random name, which for some reason seemed like it might be my style of music.  And what do you know, it was!  Female singer-songwriter, adult contemporary style.  I fell in love with her voice and went in search of more.


58. Maria Mena – Sorry
This is still one of my favorites.  Such a soft, sad song – I love sad.  And this one will forever be imprinted in my brain as one of Lauren Gottlieb (my favorite girl)’s lyrical solo songs on So You Think You Can Dance 


JUNE
59. Avril Lavigne  - Headset
See I got a little bit of a problem 
Back where I come from
Feels like five people in my population
The last B-side I found ended up being the best; it reminds me a lot of “My World,” one of my favorites from her first album…I like things that reference her small-town background.  It’s a fresher, clearer sound. 

60. Hilary Duff – Dignity
Where's your, where's your, where's your dignity?
I think you lost it in the Hollywood Hills
After having read about this single in People long ago, and having been intrigued by its premise, I finally got to hear it.  I was not disappointed; Hilary’s always been one of my favorite singer-starlets because she appears to have a brain, unlike so many of her contemporaries, whom she takes to task in this beautifully self-superior (and rightfully so) chastisement of a song.  Was on loop for ages.


61. Hilary Duff – Gypsy Woman
She can swallow knives
She can swallow lives
Gold and black stare
Brought the night of your demise
Far outstripping all other tracks on the album, I love the mysterious, enchanting, almost spooky tone of this song.  This is one of the songs I had on my “writing” playlist for a while.


62. Maria Mena – This Bottle of Wine
Don’t analyze me
There is no apparent link between
The day he said he’d leave and my
Recurring dreams and how I just can’t sleep
Unless I’ve had a drink or five

So…then I happened upon this track (and the next), which knocked Mena’s two previous songs out of the water in terms of playback time.  I should absolutely, positively not love a song that’s all about losing yourself in drinking, but somehow the way she sings it takes her above all that.  And the cool musical effect of the guiro (that’s it, right, the washboard sound?) doesn’t hurt.    


63. Maria Mena – Those Who Caved In
And how is everything in the real world
Is anybody left there sane?
I think it’s time for you to join the minority again
This song more than any other of the month is always going to remind me of summer, of working on creative writing, reading Harry Potter fanfic, and watching/writing reviews for So You Think You Can Dance.  I don’t know why this one is so attached to those items, but I love it. 


64. Marion Raven – Break You (acoustic)
On the same music community, I unexpectedly stumbled over a post with three of her tracks.  She was my favorite half of one of my most beloved bands ever, M2M, and I squealed with excitement upon finding these songs.  The quality of the recording I have is absolutely terrible, tinny as could be, but it’s also acoustic, a bit faster and much less choppy than the polished track from the CD, so I prefer what I’ve got.


65. Marion Raven – Falling Away 
This is by far my favorite of the three; her voice is just so intense as she drives through the chorus.  This song is actually good in acoustic or studio version; really, it reminds me why I fell in love with the sound of M2M in the first place.  And in direct contrast to the video’s winter scenes, I always imagined a middle-of-summer context.  


66. Marion Raven – Six Feet Under 
Okay, so I’m listening to this track in its polished form for the first time as I type this, and it is…a lot more interesting than the acoustic version, even though I really loved the original.  So I’m going to just pretend this version (pretty piano!) is the one I had all along. Yep.  


67. Regina Spektor – Braille
She was lying on the floor, counting stretch marks
She hadn’t been a virgin and he hadn’t been a god
So she named the baby Elvis
To make up for the royalty he lacked
Someone on the music community put up a post explaining “I like songs that tell stories,” and listed this one and the next with lyric snippets.  Having liked Regina twice before, and being intrigued by the lyrics since I, too, love songs that tell stories, I took a chance.  And it was PHENOMENAL.  This is one of my favorite songs ever; so many poetic images in it, and I love what she does with her voice.


68. Regina Spektor – Buildings
And her conscience would issue yet another last warning
It took me a while to realize that this is actually sort of a depressing song, what with all the bouncy, plucky piano notes, but that contrast is part of what makes it so fascinating. This would be my second-favorite Regina song; there was a period at the end of the month where I would literally just play these two songs on loop every time I turned on my MP3 player, including the first day I went biking to the library/garage sales downtown, and so I have a very clear connotation of a warm summer day down by the boat docks on the lake, where I’d paused on the midway point of my journey to write in my journal and talk about, among other things, the music I was listening to. 

JULY
69. Cat Power – Werewolf
Somewhere along the road, someone – possibly Stunt Muppet [Edit: now confirmed as
70. Citizen Cope – Let the Drummer Kick
Over the summer, So You Think You Can Dance starts to take over Idol’s position as a powerhouse music rec’er.  Mia (my favorite choreographer) used this for a very strange type of contemporary dance for Lauren and Neil (my favorite pair), and even though it’s not like anything I’d normally listen to, the combination of dancing high-octave piano notes and the almost hypnotic sound of the repetitive verses gets me nodding my head and hitting the “repeat” button.


71. Clay Aiken – A Thousand Days
A Long, Long Time Ago, I despised Clay on Idol, and continued despising him right up until the point I saw him perform his first single on Leno and was bowled over by how much I loved it.  So upon hearing he finally had a new, non-Christmas album out, I decided I should see about hearing it. It was vastly disappointing, to say the least, but I managed to pull out a couple of tracks I liked.  I have no idea why I like this one, but the chorus seems to come closest to capturing the sound of his original CD.


72. Clay Aiken – Broken Wings
It’s really the duet that makes this one work, the beautiful and ethereal voice of the woman providing both vocals and powerfully spoken lyrics (which my Google-fu informs me is an original poem, added to the cover of this song).  The mood is so haunting, I get chills every time I hear it.


73. Stars – Your Ex-Lover is Dead
This scar is a fleck on my porcelain skin
Tried to reach deep but you couldn’t get in
Now you’re outside me, you see all the beauty
Repent all your sin

Now THIS song has a rich and complex history.  I originally fell in love with it when Jaimie did a lyrical solo to this verse, and I exploded from squee and went flying to the internet to collect this beautiful woman’s song immediately.  I was temporarily jarred by both the spoken bit at the beginning and the voice of a guy on the first verse, but then I realized it was an exceptional story-song.  Immediately afterwards, I went off on vacation, and with my MP3 player as company in the long car trip, I found myself just playing this one on loop over and over, and singing it when the charge ran out.  So it really, this more than anything is my summer song, reminding me of my mini-vacation to the North Shore, our little rustic cabin lodgings and drives to tiny towns. 


74. Tori Amos – Pandora’s Aquarium
Stellaluna wrote little bits of flash fiction for various songs; this one (CSI: NY in a very spooky AU context), on top of the fact that I already knew I liked Tori Amos, was so chilling that I snapped up the pro-offered song right away and wasn’t disappointed.  It’s one of the few times I’ve ventured out of my “Scarlet’s Walk” bubble where her music is concerned, but it was very much worth it. 

AUGUST
75. Oliver Wood and the Remembralls – Lupin’s Tale (Where Are We Going)
I’ve tried to steer far and clear of the ridiculous craze that is wizard rock, but somebody posted this + lyrics to a Remus/Tonks community, and it turned into a great song.  It’s generalized enough that you don’t immediately think of Harry Potter if you’re just hearing the song without knowing what it is, but specific enough to very clearly be directed at Tonks, which is nice, even if the song’s a little bittersweet.    

76. Regina Spektor – Apres-Moi
Apres-moi le deluge
After me comes the flood
Deciding that I needed more Regina Spektor music in my life, I went hunting on Radioblog and churned up a few more pieces.  I like the commanding, low-octave piano, the famous quote, and the bit that breaks into Russian.


77. Regina Spektor – Better
If you never say your name out loud to anyone
They can never ever call you by it
This song has an odd connotation for me…it makes me think of Neopets, specifically playing Sutek’s Tomb.  In a nutshell, Sutek’s Tomb is a game that’s worth the time but still takes a good 4-6 minutes to play each round, and so it’s something of a chore unless you distract yourself with music.  I’ve gotten more than few songs stuck in my head this way.  Anyway, the lyrics aren’t terribly interesting, but I love the light sound of the chorus.


78. Regina Spektor – The Ghost of Corporate Future 
I like the way she plays with tempo in this one, and the simplistic, child-like chords.  The imagery is rather random and inane, but I guess that makes it classic Regina Spektor.  And yes, I might associate this one with Neopets too.


79. Shakira – Escondite Ingles
This really was the year of Shakira, wasn’t it?  Working my way steadily through the rest of her music, I finally got to borrow the “Fijacion Oral” album, and while I wasn’t overly impressed by most of it, I like the crashing, fast-paced rock feeling of this track.  


80. Shakira – La Pared
Love the subtle, muted understatement of the verses giving way to the powerfully heartening tone and beautiful projection of the chorus.


81. Shakira – Las de la Intuicion
Probably my favorite of the three, her voice is clear, sweet and pretty, and I rather like what I roughly understand the translation of the title to be.

 

k_t_f]– was filling out one of those fandom memes, and there was a question about associating a song with a character, and she went with this for Remus Lupin.  Intrigued, I asked for an upload, and was promptly knocked flat by its brilliant fit.  This will always and forever be about Remus in my mind.  
On to Part 3 of 3
 

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
lieueitak
Jan. 19th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
Brett Dennen – Ain’t No Reason Yay! FINALLY someone else knows who he is!
rainbowstevie
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:25 am (UTC)
Huh, I figured he would have gotten a rather big boost in popularity after getting his song on a popular TV show...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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