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The Music of 2013: Quarter 4

And what lovely things was I listening to at the end of the year? A couple of CDs, some current radio singles (look at this out of season nonsense!), and perhaps 3 or 4 that don't fit into one of those two categories. I especially recommend the last one on the list.

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October
90. Joy Williams - We
Rumor is, she's some kind of queen
Nobody knows that she cries herself to sleep


Yep, that Joy Williams CD is working out. This the perfect high-school-student perspective song ("we are not that different from each other").

[CD Rec: “Glee Sings the Beatles.” There is literally not one bad song it. It is a CD of pure magic, mostly because the mixture of male and female voices on already classic and wonderful Beatles songs creates an extremely enchanting experience.]

[In fact, I loved them so much that I included 13 out of 14 on this list because I'm mentally incapable of separating them, except for Something. I hid them behind this spoiler cut for convenience.]91. Glee Cast (Lea Michele) - Yesterday
Why he had to go
I don't know, he wouldn't say

I always thought it was something of a boring song, but if this pretty female solo isn't now the best memorial number, I don't know what is.
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92. Glee Cast (Kevin McHale/Becca Tobin) - Drive My Car
Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said, "Baby, can't you see?
I wanna be famous, a star on the screen
But you can do something in between"


Definitely my 13th favorite on the album – her part, the robotic half-spoken part which I now realize is part of the original song too, is such a weird choice, like a leaden weight sucking the energy out of his part and the general melody – but after realizing it is not so different from the chorus in Lana del Rey's “Off to the Races,” I became much more amenable to it. Now the tonal contrast is kinda interesting.
-
93. Glee Cast (Chris Colfer/Darren Criss) - Got to Get You Into My Life
If I'm true I'll never leave
And if I do I know the way there

Big and bold and full of brass. ARE YOU EXCITED? YOU SHOULD GET EXCITED! Maybe run around a courtyard, dance on some tables, stuff like that.

94. Glee Cast (Kevin McHale/Becca Tobin) - You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
If she's gone I can't go on
Feeling two-foot small

it's just sung at the most perfectly measured pace for you to sway along with it. Slow and calming like a lullaby, their voices blend beautifully, and the wistful pennywhistle makes it.

95. Glee Cast (ft. Darren Criss) – Help!
When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way


I just love the casually cheerful twangy guitar.

96. Glee Cast (Lea Michele/Naya Rivera) - A Hard Day's Night
It's been a hard day's night
I should be sleeping like a log

By all rights, this should make no sense as a woman's song. But it totally works! I don't know when I will learn that these two voices, regardless of my feelings on characters, become something magical when combined.

97. Glee Cast (Darren Criss/Chord Overstreet/Jacob Artist/some other dude you can't hear) - I Saw Her Standing There
Well she was just 17
And you know what I mean


I have always loved this song, I just love it more now. Also, the howl never stops being hilarious. Video form!

98. Glee Cast (ft. Darren Criss) - All You Need Is Love
There's nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy


Just makes me happpy. Because of reasons.

99. Glee Cast (Chris Colfer/Lea Michele) - Get Back
Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it couldn't last
Jo Jo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass


I had honestly never even heard of this song, but it tells a story! (a very weird story, but that's OK) So I love it. I also love when these two duet. And have I mentioned how spectacular Chris sounds in this lower register? Also, there is copious piano showmanship.

100. Glee Cast (Naya Rivera/Demi Lovato) - Here Comes The Sun
Little darling, it's been a long, cold, lonely winter

In which an already nice song turns into the softest and most darling lullaby you have ever heard.

101. Glee Cast (Jacob Artist/Blake Jenner/Melissa Benoist/Alex Newell) - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
I don't really want to stop the show
But I thought you might like to know
That the singer's gonna sing a song
And he wants you all to sing along


This is one of my favorite Beatles songs, so not even the half of these kids I dislike could drag it down. The music is the snazziest, and the duet on these lines really stands out.

102. Glee Cast - Hey Jude
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Meanwhile, this is one of the most boring songs ever, and there is just so no reason it needs to be almost 5 minutes long for Glee, but the thing is – it doesn't feel that long when you're listening to it, because the way they just keep layering in different voices lulls you along.

103. Glee Cast - Let It Be
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, "let it be"


This song has the most beautiful lyrics. Almost everybody gets a little part, and it's beautiful and moving and reminds me of “My Love is Your Love,” one of those unifying Glee songs that really benefits from Glee Club Magic to make it something comforting. Even if the magic is split across two different states this time.

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104. Delta Rae – If I Loved You
I don't love you, not like I want to
I don't love you, and that makes it hard


I'm not sure I've ever heard a song from this perspective – it struck me as very unique and I instantly latched onto it.

105. Passenger – Let Her Go
Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow, and they go so fast


Sounds a weird amount like James Blunt, but more British. I really like the folky feeling to the music, though, and hey, I am all for sad songs. Luckily for me, when I fell in love with it, all 3 of my radio stations were playing it so regularly that I literally could not drive more than 20 minutes without finding it somewhere.

106. Phillip Phillips – Gone, Gone, Gone
When life leaves you high and dry
I’ll be at your door tonight
If you need help, if you need help.


I still don't love his hoarse voice, but the chorus just knocks me flat out with Feelings. It's so uplifting and inspiring. I'd probably love “Home” for the same reason if Glee hadn't already improved it to perfection by mashing it up with Homeward Bound.

107. Katy Perry – Roar
I went from zero
To my own hero

Listen, my soul feels gross about this, especially since I knew a Glee version was RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER*...but as hard as I was trying to hold out, I heard the hook several times on a commercial. I got attached to it. When the song came on the radio, I couldn't resist the temptation to just hear it once or twice. Now I am bonded to Katy Perry's version because the third time, it was playing when I was semi-lost out in the country, knowing I was on the right road and could always turn around, but driving through completely unfamiliar territory. I felt like a brave and independent adventurer – you're gonna hear me roar.
*The Glee version was terrible anyway
*I am still laughing at a) Katy Perry claiming she ever sat quietly and agreed politely, and b) that Katy Perry in her current state of brashness and gross/weird music videos is a better option than doing that

November
108. Sara Barielles – Brave
And since your history of silence won't do you any good
(Did you think it would?)
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don't you tell them the truth?


It's true, this pairs well with its sister song of empowerment above, only this one is 100% classy and just better all around. The more I listen to the lyrics, the more they kind of make me tear up with pride. I am very moved by this anthem of encouragement. Don't look at me. Also, this had just better win All The Awards at the Grammys. I'm gonna riot in protest if it doesn't. During my semi-liveblog.

109. Lorde – Royals
My friends and I we've cracked the code
We count our dollars on the train to the party
And everyone who knows us knows
That we're fine with this, we didn't come from money


Damn, that's addictive. I didn't believe them, but it is. Everything about it works, from the snapping beat to the rest of the music to her voice to the lyrics. Speaking of which, the lyrics have spawned like 9,000 great parodies, but none will ever surpass this. #we don't care #we're forming government in our dreams

[CD Rec: Delta Rae, “Carry the Fire”: With songs actually split evenly between the male and female vocalists, harmonizing as well as trading off leads between genders, this is an album with absolutely zero bad songs. I cannot stress how glorious and rare this is. Even Glee Sings The Beatles has a semi-dud, but not this one. Predominately radio-friendly country, it seems to have a few different genres under its belt for variety. I've played the whole album start to finish at least 25 times so far, I love it that much. For this one, however, I am going to pull out a top 50%.]

110. Holding On To Good
Its colder in November
The leaves are turning on the limbs
The color's brightest just before the branches thin


I'm pretty sure this lyric is the main reason I love it, due to the time of year in which I first heard it, but it's the perfect country song/opening track. Great piano melody.

111. Is There Anyone Out There?
The towers I watched when I was young
Are not as tall as I once believed


I really love the "halalala" intro on this -- I think that's what kept me listening to the rest of the CD -- and the lyrics about lost wanderers.

112. Surrounded
Our souls are bound to older ground

Honestly, I just like this one because they use the phrase "foxes and hounds" in the chorus, and it delighted me when I would listen to it while working on Fox and Hound stuff. But it also has a really cool, commanding full brass intro, and does all sorts of neat things both musically and lyrically after that.

113. Dance in the Graveyards
While I'm alive, I don't want to be alone
Mourning the ones who came before
I want to dance with them some more


Aside from the fact that I picture this being performed by skeletons, it's a really fun (and certainly danceable) song about equating joy, rather than solemnity, with the afterlife. It's like a New Orleans funeral in song form.

114. Forgive the Children We Once Were
All our lives we feel this young
Sorry for the things we should have done


It is actually almost spooky how much this sounds like it belongs on Sufjan Stevens' “Feel The Illinoise” album in terms of music and vocals, maybe even lyrics. And if you don't know that one, then you can amuse yourself, as I have, about a song from the former bully's perspective.

115. Kerry Muzzey – Looking Back
A slow, quiet piano instrumental. I was cleaning out my bookmarks and found this – Glee uses bits of it for background mood music a lot, but it's very calming on its own. Just wish it were more than 2.5 minutes long.

December
116. Aloe Blacc* – Wake Me Up
Hope I get a chance to travel the world
But I don't have any plans

I tried to resist, but I find this irresistibly catchy every time it comes on the radio. I love its folk flavor, remniscient of the Avett Brothers, but with a very different techno pulse cutting in with the chorus.
*I'm not buying CDs from producers, so the vocalists are the only relevant musicians on a track. Just like how Sia is the one who sings "Titanium" -- period.

117. Lea Michele – Cannonball
I let go of fear and the peace came quickly
I was in the dark and then it hit me
I chose suffering and pain in the falling rain

I know I gotta get out into the world again

I'm sorry, I'm just going to be over flailing my limbs wildly because Lea is finally making the exact music I have always dreamed of her making and THERE IS GONNA BE A WHOLE CD OF IT LATER. Also, I love the power in her voice on the chorus.

118. Laura Shigihara - Everything's Alright
She said, “I'm sad,”
Somehow without any words
I just stood there
Searching for an answer


Final music rec from Chris, it came from “perhaps the most emotionally moving computer game I've ever played.” Soft, crystal clear voice and simple keyboard tones, it lulls you into a quiet state and leaves you with an inexplicable bittersweet ache in your heart.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
pianogurl330
Jan. 4th, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
Great selection of music!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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