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The Music of 2013: Quarter 3

I'm here! I'm totally not late! And I totally didn't give up on sleeping tonight to finish this or anything. (in fairness, t'was already 90% put together, with links and everything, I just had to fix formatting. Yes there DOES seem to be a lot of formatting to fix.

24 songs in all. More than half of them may be from one master source. As usual, it's skewed to a certain style, but also as usual, there are a fair number of random surprises.

July (the “where all my tunes at*” month)
66. Michelle Tumes – Listen
Rhythm resounding for a million years
Timeless impression for all to hear


Long story short, I bought the wrong CD at a garage sale because I was so excited to see her name. Said CD is mostly way too Christian and dull for my tastes, but its opening track has a neat Celtic vibe that draws to mind running free in nature.

*July 23 update: SERIOUSLY, WHERE.
July 28 update: *mainlines Smash* FINALLY! [October note: I would skip to the end of August if you want something different. BUT NOT REALLY, because the July songs at least stand entirely on their own against the best of iTunes.]

Note #2: most of the Smash songs for July are short so they link to clips from the show. Awesome clips. Clips from the non-Marilyn musical, for the record. They have a second one now, in case you're confused. I know this is a post about music, but promoting Smash is a job I take very seriously, even post-mortem.

67. Smash Cast (Katharine McPhee) – Some Boys
Some boys don't know how to love

Her voice is so soft and high and pretty and wistful, I cannot conceive of how this was ever sung by a guy.

68. Smash Cast (Jeremy Jordan*) – Broadway, Here I Come
(*or alternate and equally awesome option: Krysta Rodriguez)

The people are all pointing
I bet they'd never guess
That the saint that they're anointing
Is frightened of the mess


The piano on this is fantastic. It's also an incredibly inspiring-sounding song, until you pick it apart and you realize the lyrics describe a suicide attempt. Arguably metaphorically, as a leap into the promise of fame, but YOU JUST DON'T KNOW. It's incredible, though. Even Chris liked it. It's like the one song I've successfully foisted on him.

69. Smash Cast (Katharine McPhee) - Caught in the Storm
Tell me how I begin to forget you
When you keep coming back and I let you
Love me until you disappear


Bent my ear with the opening piano and the - shocker - storm imagery. To put it another way, this sounds the most like something that would come off a Kat McPhee album, instead of being part of a musical.

70. Smash Cast (Jeremy Jordan/Katharine McPhee) – Heart Shaped Wreckage
We can start over, better, both of us know
If we just let the broken pieces go


Quite a slow number, but the way the upper octave piano notes rush in when McPhee joins with her soft, high part makes it worthwhile until the chorus kicks in. The chorus is pretty cool.
P.S. Nobody let me forget that I'm using these lyrics for the title of the Klaine Reunion review post. Because I keep forgetting until I reread this post.

71. Smash Cast (Jeremy Jordan/Katharine McPhee) - Rewrite This Story
Pretty face, pretty voice, pretty much someone they forget
Hard to tell me apart from the 10 other girls they just met


I love how this is two totally different stories-to-be-rewritten in one – guy from the wrong side of the tracks (and life in general) vs. Plain Jane being told to market herself as a potential star. I can't even decide which half I love more.

72. Smash Cast (Jeremy Jordan) - I Heard Your Voice in a Dream
Sing to me and I will forgive you
For taking my heart in the suitcase you packed


This is such a sad, heartbreaky ballad. With cool music, and a pretty choral backing. I maintain that it reminds me of either a Kris Allen or a Phillip Phillips song (perhaps a bit more of the latter – it really does remind me of “Home”), because those guys totally sound the same, and also this is a compliment. The lyrics above are some of my favorites in any song ever.

Voice: You totally want these to be Klaine lyrics too, don't you?
RS: All the songs make sense.

73. Smash Cast (Katharine McPhee/Mara Davi) - I'm Not Sorry
(hey, what do you know, there also exists a McPhee/Krysta Rodriguez version! In video form, even -- DELETED SCENE YAY)
Talkin' in your sleep, I heard you're livin' in a dream
Go wake up in your castle, my throne is not your destiny
You'll never take this crown from me


Ahh, there's my techno/club track. Such a good dance song. Or dance-fight song, since there's a war going on between the singers in the lyrics.

74. Smash Cast (Katharine McPhee) – Original
There was a girl who blended in
That was the way her life had been
'Til she decided to be someone else


Ironically, this sounds like a factory-produced pop song...but man, do I ever love the sound of those, especially when my girl is at the helm. By far the catchiest of the batch, so Imma just ignore how it is basically a song praising Lady Gaga.

75. Smash Cast (Krysta Rodriguez) - Reach For Me
Bright stars are burning high over Manhattan
All washed out in neon and hidden from view


Darkly pretty and mysterious-sounding. There's a vaguely echo-y quality to her voice via studio magic that makes it sound like her voice is rippling, and if this is not enough to convince you to watch/listen, you should check out the incredible aerial acrobatics that accompany the full length performance. (I will pimp this performance 'til I die, yo. Or at least crown it on my 2013 fandom survey as the best non-Glee musical performance.)

August
(“In which a complete soundtrack for Bombshell comes into my possession, and I take a new look at a bunch of songs originally introduced in season 1.”)
76. Smash Cast (Megan Hilty/Katharine McPhee) – Smash!
I know all the tricks of the trade
I've even invented a few

Something about this slinky, bluesy jazz number recently wrapped itself around my brain and won't let go.

77. Smash Cast (ft. Will Chase) - On Lexington & 52nd Street
See the girl who's become a joke
See the man whose heart she broke


This song was around last year too, but I was 600% done with the character playing the role of Joe so lol if I cared, but since he was totally absent for second season, I was able to appreciate it in the context of the musical. I love both the wistful/lonely piano notes that open it and the swell of anger/bitterness it builds to. I also love the ambient background noise.

78. Smash Cast (ft. Katharine McPhee) - Cut, Print...Moving On
Last year we were all strangers
This year we're lifelong friends

It takes some pretty impressive lyrical magic to make a song that perfectly transposes as both a song in the musical that makes sense for Marilyn's life AND an introductory song for “Hi, I'm a recently overhauled TV show named Smash and these are the opening minutes of our brand-new second season!”

79. Smash Cast (Katharine McPhee/Christian Borle) - Public Relations
When your life's a mess, call the foreign press

Definitely has that “musical soundtrack” sound that doesn't really hold up on its own outside that context, but I sometimes I really like the heavy, breathy Marilyn inflections. Also, this one has like a squillion double entendres that make me laugh because they're sung in such a cutesy manner.

80. Smash Cast (ft. Megan Hilty) - Dig Deep
From the 20th Century Foxholes I'm released
And just like the sun I'm rising in the east

Scatty jazz it is! I just really love the lyrics. (see above re: “musical soundtrack.”) A new Monroe Doctrine is in effect!

81. Smash Cast (ft. Megan Hilty) -- I Never Met A Wolf That Didn't Love To Howl
You never know where a wolf might crouch
But his natural habitat's the casting couch
So take lots of pictures of the wildlife
To tell the wolf you could share with his wife


I always kind of liked it, but somehow it didn't click until recently. I guess I just really like Megan's exaggerated take on Marilyn's inflection. Also the lyrics. And finally, only as of late, the music -- ideal for all your big band needs.

[END SMASH DOMINATION]

82. The Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit Em Up Style
Hey ladies
When your man wanna get buck wild...


Because sometimes covers of things are just really incredibly great. Mostly when they involve fiddle. And the lead singer of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, apparently.

83. Tim McMahoney - Hey Adam Levine
You may know me as the king of almost
But I'll still be around

Song based around Adam Levine apparently thinking he was hearing a girl during blind auditions on The Voice. I bring you the helpfully censored radio edit from eMusic; enjoy. It's just really catchy, OK?
--
[p.s. click for full lyrics because the internet doesn't have 'em and they're cool]Full lyrics:
I been up, I been down
I been all around this music town
Somehow I'm here to stay

I went out on a limb, like a hundred times before, to California
So they could hear me sing
No one told me exactly how this would go down
And then your chair turned around

Hey Adam Levine, I don't sound like a girl
I'm just a guy singing in my world
Trying to make someone believe

Hey Adam Levine, you thought I was a chick
Guess what, I have a ___
Cee Lo said I was unique
Hey Adam Levine

We met up and we sang
We talked about the classic things
Then you called my name

I got pumped, I got scared
And everyone said, “It's your year.
Hold on to your dreams.”

You've been putting on those moves like Jagger
While I've been sitting at home, waiting for your call

Hey Adam Levine, I don't sound like a girl
I'm just a guy singing in my world
Trying to make someone believe

Hey Adam Levine, you thought I was a chick
Guess what, I have a ___
Cee Lo said I was unique
Hey Adam Levine

This Love has taken its toll
But it won't get me down
And you may know me as the king of almost
But I'll still be around (you just wait and see)

Hey Adam Levine, I don't sound like a girl
I'm just a guy singing in my world
Trying to make someone believe

Hey Adam Levine
You thought I was a chick
You know what'd be totally sick
If you would sing a song about me
Hey Adam Levine


---------
84. Belinda Carlisle – Circle in the Sand
Sundown all around
Walking through the summer's end


Sounds so much like Stevie Nicks it's spooky – I first heard it at Savers, and I was positive it was her the whole time.

September
85. KT Lindemann – Alaska
You knew my secret
You know everything
You know everything except how to keep your restless body planted


This is the girl we saw play at the local coffeehouse. The title spoke to me, so I decided to love it best. And this is just so very pleasant and calming I can play it on loop for hours.
[click for full lyrics, or as close as I can get, 'cause the internet doesn't have 'em]How the hell are you?
I am better now
Are you still getting clean?
I'm still coming clean

And where the hell are you
Are you by water?
You're still a Midwestern kid
And a West Coast archetype
How big is Alaska?
How much does it rain?
How dark are the winters where you are?
How big is Alaska?
How thick is your skin?
Are the poisons rolling in still?

You've got pictures
You've got gifted things
You've got things collected, stitched and glued together
You knew my secret
You know everything
You know everything except how to keep your restless body planted
It carries on
You don't live in the cities anymore

How big is Alaska?
How thick is your skin?
Is there a place for anyone in there still?

How the hell are you?
I am better now
Ah-hah (x7)

-------------
86. Snow White – Bleed 'Til You Die
She was lost in the moonlight
She was lost in her head

I had a couple dollars' worth of eMusic credit left when this popped up in the recommendation. I know the title is less than cheery, but the piano solo in the beginning was so pretty and haunting I bought it based on a 30-second sample with only one line of lyrics. I literally regret nothing. I had a terrible time hearing lyrics, though, so

87. Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badhu – Q.U.E.E.N.
I heard this life is just a play with no rehearsal

R&B plus rap. Which part of this aligns with my usual interests? Zero parts! Boyfriend's fault! IDK IT'S KIND OF NICE. It's not vulgar and it's a woman, so that negates the usual flaws in rap, plus there are some pretty cool lyrics that remind me why equality was a good thing to care about before feminism got super outraged about every imagined slight. Also, from start to finish it's just pretty fantastic dance/groove-around-your-room music. My booty will not lie for two months. (I can neither confirm nor deny whether that is a quote from someone else.

(sidebar: I hope this album shows up at the Grammys this year, because I'm going to screech and stamp my feet in passionate support for her if it does. I haven't listened to it in full, but what I've heard seems really respectable.)

88. Janelle Monae - We Were Rock and Roll
You were twenty-one, thought we owned the sun

Glee called, it wants to cover this. It's just crying out for Glee studio magic, can't you hear it?. No, too soon? All right. This is a really nice cooldown song from the above, has kind of a retro/disco-y feel. And as metaphors for once-great relationships go, this is pretty solid.

89. High School Musical soundtrack (Zac Efron) – Bet On It
Did you ever get on a ride, then wanna get off?

Truly, there were so many deep, high-quality lyrics to choose from, I almost could not decide. I'M SORRY IT'S LIKE AURAL CRACK. God, Glee, rescue me from this madness.

(Glee: I would, but you decided to go spoiler-free and then not watch me until October, so...I'mma skew your next edition super hard in my favor instead and leave you to twist on this embarrassing number until then.)
--------------
Aaaaand that concludes our wild ride of musical exposure/lesson in Smash canon. I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
janusfiles
Oct. 7th, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Glee, have they ever done a cover of "Everlasting Love" in an episode?
rainbowstevie
Oct. 7th, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
Nope. (Endless Love yes, but not Everlasting)
janusfiles
Oct. 8th, 2013 03:34 pm (UTC)
Darn.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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