RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

The Music of 2012: Quarter Two: The Madness Continues

I can't be stopped! ALL OF THE SONGS. I think my goal for the year is going to be to hit 200, since I'm currently 50.5% of the way there. I've got some variety mixed in around the permanent Glee backbone, though, including at least 8 never-before-featured artists. You may still need to take this in stages. I've got 4 CD recs in there.

YouTube links for most of them, but I was able to round up the 9.5 radio hits on a playlist. (the half point is for the last song. Which barely counts.) So if they're not linked in the title, they are there. The links worked as of June 29. And if the Playlist ones don't work, give them a kick/hit play again. They usually straighten out.

Flip back to Quarter 1, or continue below.

59. Taylor Swift – Eyes Open
Every lesson forms a new scar
They never thought you'd make it this far

This blew in and out of my life in about 3 days flat, but it sets up a song five numbers down, so. And this is the only one the radio will play, so I'm trying to have it make a comeback. I just have to focus on giving it a new, better context.

60. Train – Drive By
On the other side of a street I knew
Stood a girl that looked like you

The fast, peppy music totally got to me (although the radio has since killed it with overplay). I spent exactly one day wishing the Warblers would rescue it like they did the last useless Train song, and then I gave in because it was such a blessed relief from the radio's usual 6-track playlist every time it came on. The worst part is that I let the melody get to me before vetting the lyrics, ignoring the voice in the back of my mind that thought it was picking up unsavory vibes. Is it or is it not referencing a one night stand?

61. Soundtrack Feature: Almost Alice (Alice in Wonderland, 2010)
Although it is not instrumental at all, I've decided to just do the whole soundtrack on one number as a concept album because I enjoy listening to every song in order – every last one! -- yet would not want to listen to any of them on repeat all by themselves. There is literally something for every genre here, though. Clicking the link above will cause the blue mist to transport you to another time and another place, by which I mean a hidden and backdated post where I discuss every song if you're curious.

62. The Band Perry - If I Die Young
Who would have thought forever could be severed by
The sharp knife of a short life

You'd think, having referenced a story by this title on the last installment, I might know this song existed before now. No matter; I spent exactly two nights trying to figure out who sang this and how they got a country/Christian hybrid on the Top 40 stations, before being shocked and awed with, “Oh, THAT'S what 'The Band Perry' sounds like? Cool.” Nobody told me about a pretty female soloist, okay! I hear “band,” I tune out regardless of whether or not it contains girls. Warning: sweet-voiced heartbreak; will induce tears with minimal provocation despite admonishment within lyrics to “save 'em for a time when you're really gonna need 'em.”

63. One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
Don't need makeup to cover up
Being the way that you are is enough

So this happened. Mostly because it is ridiculous levels of innocent sweetness with a fabulous and heartening message of positive body image wrapped in puppy love. It's the sort of cuteness I imagined Justin Bieber was going to be like, until he turned out to be an unexpected mutant hybrid of teeny bopper/godawful rap artist. RETURN OF THE BOY BANDS, STAT.

64. Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars – Safe and Sound (well that didn't take long)
Hold on to this lullaby
Even when the music's gone

If I Die Young (story version) decided to highlight this in one chapter, at which point I was a guaranteed lost cause. I told you all I needed was better context; one play sealed the deal. I wonder why I never thought this was magnificently eerie and haunting until now? Do I have some sort of subconscious hatred for The Civil Wars? (I do. I don't know where it came from.) But the vocals are fantastic, outstripped only by the lonesome-sounding music at the beginning.

65. Glee Cast (ft. Matt Bomer/Darren Criss) - Hungry Like the Wolf/Rio
Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand

So seamlessly blended that I am now pretty sure both original songs sound exactly the same (a/k/a what you hear here). Legit cannot separate the music/melodies out in my head anymore. Even tried playing the originals once, but they suddenly sucked. FYI: It remains hilarious to me to type “Matt Bomer” after “Glee Cast.”

66. Smash Cast (Megan Hilty/Katharine McPhee) – Cheers (Drink to That)
It's going Coyote Ugly up in here, no Tyra
It's only up from here, no downward spiral

In which a presumably skanky Rihanna song gets turned into a light, catchy friendship anthem with plenty of guitar accompaniment. Watch the clip and tell me you don't love it! (solid NBC link) (weaksauce quality YouTube), there are so many harmonizing vocals in the clip that don't clear the studio version.

67. Glee Cast - You Should Be Dancing
I am reasonably sure that there is nothing about the Glee version that stands out against the original, especially since these voices are barely recognizable as cast members, and yet the title speaks truth. All your happy Blaine dance numbers are belong to us!

68. Glee Cast (Darren Criss) - It's Not Right But It's Okay
Close the door behind you, leave your key
I'd rather be alone than unhappy

--Also all your angry Blaine dance numbers. Uptempo remix FTW.

69. Glee Cast - (Chris Colfer) - I Have Nothing
I don't want to have to go where you don't follow

Pretty and emotional power ballads, I have missed you.

70. Glee Cast - (Lea Michele/Naya Rivera) - So Emotional
Ain't it shocking what love can do?
Fantastic pop sound (significantly lacking in emotion, though). Whitney who?

71. Glee Cast - My Love Is Your Love
It would take an eternity to break us
And the chains of Amistad couldn't hold us

I just love everything about this, from the mellow, laid back approach to the relative diversity of voices involved. Might have been my favorite of the Whitney Houston covers.

72. Kaz - Strangers
Beautiful mind
Broken by what we couldn’t see

Fanwork alert! This lovely little piece was based off the heartwrenching read linked within the title link. While extremely quiet and simply arranged, it's just what I like in music. This is basically what I would create if I could invent melodies.

73. Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
The stairs creak as I sleep, it's keeping me awake
-It's the house telling you to close your eyes

I found a new radio station which prides itself on playing actual musical variety, and this one bent my ear. It seems like sort of a weird little indie piece, but apparently I am a sucker for a lot of trumpet. And I like how the lines trade off in a dialogue.

74. Ed Sheeran – The A Team
It's too cold outside for angels to fly
And then I heard just a snippet of these pretty lyrics about daydreams and being 18, clearly telling the story of a girl that I had to have THIS MINUTE, and after some intensive Google-fu I shook this out. Turns out it's about a crackwhore. No, that's cool, it's tragic and heartbreaking and pretty, with lots of acoustic guitar and little else.

75. Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out
Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments

Glee disappointed. I had to settle for the original, ugh. Kinda like last time, I don't know if I love it, or if it's just the peer pressure getting to me (why does her voice not move me??), but after about two weeks of indecision I got really attached to the complex background music and her high pitched vocals. And I definitely like it more than Dog Days Are Over.

76. Glee Cast (Chris Colfer) – Not The Boy Next Door
Coming home used to feel so good
I'm a stranger now in my neighborhood

Joy and fun, despite misleadingly depressing-sounding lyrics.

[CD REC: Jamie O'Neal, “Brave.” I checked out this out for “Somebody's Hero,” which was my sob-triggering song when I first heard it in college, but then I started playing the full CD instead because from the opening notes it stopped me in my tracks and just kept delivering. Hey there country music, hi, hello, we seem to have started seeing each other again. I honestly thought it would be Carrie Underwood or Kristin Chenoweth who brought me back, but sure. Goin' with the top half below, per my usual rules, though I also rather like Follow Me Home and Ready When It Comes.]

77. Trying To Find Atlantis
I met a mystic down in Memphis
We stood at the foot of the pyramid
He had me looking east, he had me looking west
Then he sold me a map and said, “I wish you the best.”

If you are not immediately pleased with the sound of the first two bars, there is no hope for you here.

78. Naïve (can only find a fanvid, alas)
Yeah, we'd turn that song up loud
And we'd drown Bruce out, singing "Born in the USA."

I just like the nostalgic images this puts in my head of driving around and singing classic rock. I also apologize to the world at large that 80s music now makes me think of the word “classic.”

79. Devil on the Left
She brought a lot of men to their knees
But only one of them was thinkin'
“Lord, won't you help her please?”

This is a rather entertaining story about a stripper, actually. But it's an absolutely perfect country sound. So much twangy guitar is involved.

80. On My Way to You (and I can only find a sample for this one)
I worked a little while in a little town in Colorado
But the winters were just a little bit too long

The slowest of this bunch, the story in the lyrics sold it for me.

81. Girlfriends
I've been staring all day at the same computer screen
Around here I'm treated like I'm just some damn machine

Perfect country sound: Girls Night Out/Gretchen Wilson version. Only classier. It's a hoot.

82. Glee Cast – Friday
Kickin' in the front seat, sittin' in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?

...guess what finally got awesome? I resisted hearing this for a whole year out of sheer determination that I would not follow the sheep who make up viral video spreaders, but eventually the episode wore me down. It is just so much more hilarious when shamelessly sung by a bunch of guys, boy-band style. Clearly this should be part of any regularly scheduled end-of-week dance parties.

83. Smash Cast (Katharine McPhee) – Run (I always want to call it “Light Up”)
I'll sing it one last time for you
And then I really have to go

There! That is the sort of unique, pretty-voiced, alluring sound I have always wanted to hear from her.

84. Meiko – Leave The Lights On
What would they say, what would they do?
Would it be trouble if they knew?

This sounds suspiciously like what happens after you become friends with Boys With Girlfriends. The lol factor of which is 70% of the reason I decided I was into this song the first time I heard it, though it was also an immediately catchy beat.

85. Smash Cast (Megan Hilty) – Secondhand White Baby Grand
Something secondhand and broken
Still can make a pretty sound

First number from the actual Marilyn musical that has wrapped itself around my heart rather than passing pleasantly in and out of my ears. Soft, pretty, and so achingly sad.

86. Smash Cast (Katharine McPhee) – Don't Forget Me
For a kiss they paid a thousand
Yet they paid fifty cents for my soul

And there's the second. More heartbreak, even as it turns into the triumphant closing number.

[CD REC: Lana del Rey, “Born to Die.” I ran it four times before more than one popped out at me as being better, so this is the order in which the top half won my heart. BUT, we have now reached a point where I'm at 40+ plays and the only one I skip is “Radio,” which was instantly fired for the F bomb. I'm already one over the arbitrary 50% limit and must stop, but Diet Mountain Dew and Dark Paradise are also in heavy rotation while Blue Jeans and Million Dollar Man are slowly gaining traction. I feel like so much of what she sings about trashy, but the way it's hidden within this vintage image, rich music and a distinctive smoky voice obscures and smooths away my objections. This is meant to be heard in full album form, not just singles. Especially since I am having a hell of a time finding album versions and not live options or hideous remixes, and am still not sure these are all right.]

87. This Is What Makes Us Girls
There she was, my new best friend
High heels in her hands, swayin' in the wind
While she starts to cry, mascara runnin' down her little Bambi eyes:
"Lana, how I hate those guys."

I had the worst time picking lyrics because ALL OF THEM are the best, and it's just kind of heartbreaking all around, with captivating music. This is far and away the only song on the disc to rival “Video Games” in my heart, so if you want to listen to one, pick this. No one else agrees with me, but I am right.

88. Carmen
She says, “You don't want to be like me,
Looking for fun, getting high for free”

Girl's name with a (dark and cautionary) story behind it, sold. Love the French lines as well.

89. Born to Die
Walking through the city streets
Is it by mistake or design?
I feel so alone on a Friday night

Languid, sleepy pace, sort of hypnotic.

90. Off To The Races
I'm your little scarlet starlet
Singing in the garden

Pretty sure this the most terrible of all the songs, subject-wise? But I can't help but love the squeal in which these lines are said, and the music in general clinches its spot.

91. Summertime Sadness
I got my red dress on tonight
Dancing in the dark in the pale moonlight
Got my hair up real big, beauty queen style
High heels off, I'm feeling alive

Well, look at that title. "Telephone wires sizzling" is an image that sticks with me every time I go out on a walk. And with the chimes, it's one of the only other ones that really sounds like it was plucked off a 1960s record.

92. National Anthem
Red, white, blue's in the skies,
Summer's in the air and baby, heaven's in your eyes

Last minute sneak-add, I couldn't leave this off. I just love the chorus. This too feels like summer captured in a song, especially since I finally realized the fuzzy popping sounds at the beginning are meant to be fireworks, not the skips on a record player.

93. Glee Cast (Chris Colfer) – I'll Remember
No, I've never been afraid to cry
Now I finally have a reason why

Oh look. It's like my life motto. But especially my motto for coping with Glee. As stated on May 24 (the date is worth noting for later): “And also somehow the only song from the last 4 episodes that has sunk beneath the surface for me.”

[LIST EXTRA: 20b. Somebody That I Used To Know, Pentatonix cover. It helps the mystique if you don't know what the group looks like, and you imagine some sort of elaborate college choral arrangement. And while I haven't obsessed over any others yet, I have had a lot of fun just enjoying this group's arrangements of songs I otherwise don't really like. “How Will I Know,” looking at you.]

June 13: “Ugh, what is this musical wasteland, where my tunes at??
June 14: “Ah, there we go.”
[CD Rec: Glee: The Graduation Album. I wish this had been a bonus album next to a hypothetical Volume 8 covering songs between January and April, but I'll take what I can get. It makes for a pretty solid theme album where there are absolutely no tracks I have to skip (though “School's Out” remains exceedingly weak). Top half it is! Besides Time Of Your Life, because that is classic no matter what and I'd rather spotlight newbies.

94. Glee Cast (Lea Michele) - I Was Here
When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember, so they won't forget

Not sure if I totally love it now that I know the original is Beyonce, but I have to go with my gut that feels something uplifting every time the inspiring music and her sobering lower register hits me.

95. Glee Cast (Cory Monteith) - Not The End
The sun will still shine tomorrow
So it's time for moving on
There's not a second for sorrow
Even though the moment's gone

WHATEVER, SONG. I STILL HAVE SORROW. This song is the entire opposite of my life's philosophy, so that is probably why I love the way it breaks my heart when sung by Glee kids. Probably I would lack any sort of emotional attachment to the original, because even this sounds super-duper Generic Music From A Band-y.

96. Glee Cast (Lea Michele/Cory Monteith) - Roots Before Branches
Why do I reach for the stars
When I don't have wings to carry me that far?

It's like I recognized it as a pretty lyrical piece tailor-made for my ears, but I needed audio convincing, free of distracting images, to solidify the choice. That was when I realized it came with unwanted male accompaniment, but what are you going to do. He's really just there for backup; it's a girl's solo, really.

97. Glee Cast - You Get What You Give
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes, run to your mansions

Come around, we'll kick you down, yeah

Sucker for group numbers, I am, and apparently also a sucker for chanting bridges.

98. Glee Cast - Tongue Tied
My eyes and your eyes
Like Peter Pan up in the sky

After about 20 replays, I finally figured out the difference between this song and the one above, though it still takes me a second just looking at titles (NOTE TO SELF: distinguished by female harmonizing). And...I still don't know what to say about it. I'm too hung up on how much I hated the original version as soon as I heard it on a commercial even before said commercial was played to death, and how I'm simply impressed that Glee turned it around into a triumphant celebratory number.

99. Glee Cast (Lea Michele/Jenna Ushkowitz) – Flashdance...What A Feeling
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life

Not sure why this took so long to click when obviously it was a wonderful, shiny lady duet made for dancing.

100. Glee Cast – Paradise by the Dashboard Light
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away, and will you make me your wife?

Now that you mention it, this is an exceptional 80s rock flashback. It has so many different bridges and mood swings that it's basically 3 separate songs, but once you accept that they're all part of one extremely long story (though apparently Glee condenses it down nicely from the original), it gets rather more entertaining. Fantastic group performance number, and by far the best of the June additions.

Starships were meant to fly
Hands up, and touch the sky

It is not my fault! I associate this song with happy Max/Caroline dress shopping montages on 2 Broke Girls! I NEEDED IT. And after extensive research to find a decent cover, I found the “radio edit, a/k/a super clean version.” There, that's better, even if "bad b___ like me" sounds more awkward.

But oh, my brain does not feel good about making this official. Like at all. It is a struggle to decide which person offends my sense of good taste more, Nicki Minaj or Wade/Unique/Alex Newell. I think I like the actual female voice better. Unfortunately, Glee has this thing where it fixes intrinsically objectionable songs, in this case by not just halfheartedly censoring but correcting the swearing to much more natural lyrics. I can't even try to find a random pretty girl on YouTube to sing it, because part of its kicky summer appeal is the techno dance music and studio effects. Blergh. This is the worst I have felt since adding Lady Gaga music.

On a related note, after hearing a lot of praise about it, I just downloaded Spotify. And while I hate linking things to my Facebook account (what is so difficult about wanting to keep my past school life and my everything-I-do-online life separate!), it seems pretty awesome so far, especially as I was not aware the basic service was free. But please, if there's a reason I should get out of here, sound the alarm. You should especially alert me to whether it shows activity on my profile or something without my knowledge, because I don't want those guys getting the wrong idea, like I might actually check my Facebook messages more than twice a year.
Tags: music of...

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