[List Extra: Pitch Perfect Soundtrack: I probably should have entered these as individual tracks, but TOO LATE, I got used to my numbering before I realized I had favorites. So I'm just recommending it all. Except not the instrumental track. Or the Trebles Finals mashup, because it's boring as hell. But otherwise, you can see all my faves in the big ol' review post (search for "The Music" if avoiding spoilers). Can I just reiterate here how amazing "Since U Been Gone" is on the soundtrack? Like, A+ better than Original Clarkson good. Also, Let it Whip is weirdly great -- it is really not a great song, but sure sounds like one here.]
AND NOW, THE REAL SONGS!
1. Demi Lovato – Let It Go
Standing, frozen, in the life I’ve chosen
You won't find me, the past is so behind me
Buried in the snow
So...everyone was raving about this song from Frozen, but Idina Menzel sounded screechy to me, so I immediately hunted up alternates. I found this before I realized that it becomes a completely different song halfway through, so rather than continue to look at covers, I just became wedded to this song instead. The sound is cleaner and smoother, and the concept is so much more interesting as a young modern-day woman's metaphorical isolation. The delicate intro is especially stunning.
2. Kendall Payne - Supermodels
What lasts the longest in this life:
Character, or rock hard thighs?
What a superfun song! Backstory: while researching my List of Comedies, I learned it had been the theme song to Popular, and I was curious because I have a couple of great Kendall Payne songs in my library already. This is definitely different: very 90s, Lillith-Fair quality pop.
3. Sara Bareilles – Chasing the Sun
It's a really old city
Stuck between the dead and the living
A song about living set in a New York cemetery, with lyrics so poetic it almost brings me to tears. If you skip all the other Bareilles songs here, I insist you go for this one.
4. Sara Bareilles - Hercules
I'm on the hunt for who I've not yet become
I don't particularly like the jazzy nature of the verses, but the background vocals in the chorus and bridge are really gorgeous, more somber, and sound like they belong to a different song altogether. That's the part I remember. Plus, the lyrics? Pretty cool self-empowerment.
5. Sara Bareilles - Eden
No way to make the pain play fair
It doesn't disappear just because you say it isn't there
Kinda reminds me of Sheryl Crow in the verses, and either way, I am always up for extended Eden metaphors. It brings Vegas or a similar casino city to mind, probably because I fixated on “rolled a lucky pair of dice” rather than “ended up in paradise.”
6. Sara Bareilles – Islands
Ready for the sea change
Helpless, felt this coming from a mile away
7. Boggie – Nouveau Parfum [New Perfume]
Je ne suis pas leur produit
Oh, it has been so long since I heard a fantastic French song. And this one comes with an amazing music video showing the process of digital retouching (or at least an exaggeration of it) and a pretty neat message about artificial beauty.
8. Boggie – Sympathique
Even better! Light, cheerful adult contemporary, with pretty tinkly piano to start. I think this might actually be my favorite song this quarter. TRY IT.
9. Lorde – Team
We live in cities you'll never see on screen
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things
I thought this was much duller than “Royals” at first, but damned if radio overplay didn't earworm the chorus into my brain. Ironically, it's pretty much the ballad-y version of “Royals,” as far as I can tell from the lyrics. (Also, dollsome once requested a Reign fanvid to this, and I'm not sure if it exists yet but YES THAT'D BE PERFECT.)
10. Paul McCartney – Queenie Eye
There were rules you never told me
Never came up with a plan
All the stories that you sold me
Didn’t help me understand
Because it's catchy, damn it. Just like full-group Beatles. Also because I am so enchanted by my Grammy comment of “this sounds like something written while playing with your dog.” Which is actually not so far off the mark, as it seems to refer to a schoolyard game. Also, watch the video. Johnny Depp seduces you in, and once you've seen how cute Meryl Streep looks dancing around, you'll be set for life
11. Juliana Hatfield – My Sister
She's the one who would have taken me to my first all-ages show
It was the Violent Femmes and the Del Fuegos
Before they had a record out
Before they went gold, and started to grow
I still need to know how I have not heard of this song before. It's so great! Like, short of a girl's name, music doesn't get more tailored to either my lyrical content needs or my musical desires when it comes to radio-friendly stuff.
12. Tori Amos – God
God, sometimes you just don't come through
Do you need a woman to look after you?
This song perfectly encapsulates my casually chatty attitude toward God.
P.S. The first 10 times I listened to this, I thought the lyrics were "sometimes you're a stone cold dude." Which also seemed accurate.
[List Extra: Select Remembered Tracks from The 90s Pop and Culture Box, which is pretty much all I listened to for 6 or 7 weeks straight. Top rediscoveries: What It's Like and Hey Jealousy]
13. Idina Menzel – Let It Go
The cold never bothered me anyway
Well, I finally got around to listening to it in full, courtesy of overhead store music, and she doesn't sound yowly at all this time around. What a pretty song! I especially love when it goes full-blown orchestra. Now, the question is, do I have the patience/bravery to test out any of these actual cover versions...and the answer is "not today."
14. One Direction – Story of My Life
She told me in the morning
She don't feel the same about us in her bones
It seems to me that when I die
These words will be written on my stone
1D and I had a falling out almost as soon as we fell in, between the quickly evident skankitude of all members not named Niall and the inappropriate edge of “Live Like We're Young,” but since they have managed to transform themselves from a synthetic British pop band into something that sounds like a crossover country artist with this song, they get a temporary pass.
15. Bastille – Pompeii
And the walls kept tumbling down in the city that we love
It took like 3 plays for me to go from “no. I will not listen to this British Imagine Dragons sound that acts like it knows it's a hit” to “damn it” and having it stuck in my head all the time. The car radio was also not real clear on which word was the song title and which was the artist, because I never clearly heard the second line after the above, and I picked the wrong one. So that's taken some adjusting. But I love the “how am I gonna be an optimist about this” refrain. It kinda has the same hook style as “I would walk 500 miles.”
COMING SOON: Lea Michele's album gets its own post because I'm not waiting 'til July to talk about it, but I didn't play it until April.