Friday, December 7, 2007

Another Top Ten (that has nothing to do with the store)

What can I say?

I like Top Ten lists... and I like sharing my opinions on completely arbitrary things.

Tonight's topic???

Sad songs.

I believe it was Charlie Brown who said "Happiness is a sad song," and I subscribe to this camp. There is nothing so exquisite as the melancholy "Boo Hoo" of a sad and haunting tune.

Here goes:

10. "Lost Cause" by Beck, on the album "Sea Change." Beck is of course known for more bee-boppy electronica, but this whole album is a melange of musical moroseness after a breakup with his girlfriend of nine years. Best lyric: leave you here/ wearing your wounds/ wave your guns/ at somebody new.

9. "Love is a Losing Game" by Amy Winehouse from the album "Back to Black." Amy's personal life is a lesson in irony. "Losing Game" is how EVERYBODY feels at least once in there lives: the quintissential doo-wop heartbreak. Best lyric: self professed profound/till the chips were down/ know you're a gambling man/ love is a losing hand.

8. "So Cruel" by U2, from the album "Achtung, Baby." This song was written about the Edge's breakup with his ex-wife, the former Mrs. The Edge. Bono wails and weeps and moans but my one complaint is that there isn't enough of Edge's creepy, soothing falsetto. Bono gets all the glory, and don't get me wrong, I love him dearly, but I am most definitely an "Edge" gal. Best lyric: the men who love you, you hate the most/ they pass right through you like a ghost.

7. "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, but performed by Rufus Wainright, from the "Shrek" soundtrack. Sooo sad, this one. I know some people prefer the Jeff Buckley version, but for me, Rufus sounds just like I imagine angels sound like. Rufus does pathetic so well, it's ridiculous. Best lyric: maybe there's a God above/ but all I ever learned from love/ was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

6. "Burn" by Ray Lamontagne, from the album "Trouble." Oh, Ray. What are we going to do with you? You're a tortured soul, indeed, AND you're a native son from Maine. What's not to like? There are sooo many sad songs to pick from his repertoire, and if you've ever seen him perform live you probably knew you were in the presence of greatness. I picked "Burn" because it's so raw. Like sushi in sad song form. Best lyric: oh, so kiss him again/ just to prove to me that you can/ and I will stand here and burn in my skin.

5. "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen, performed acoustically by Pete Yorn, from the B-Sides to the album "Music for the Morning After." Don't laugh. If you wrote down the lyrics to this song and could erase the tune from your mind to just focus on the words you would see how very sad this song is. Pete Yorn's version is so lonely and frustrated and haunting. If you've ever seen the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's," where she describes what it's like to have the "Mean Reds," THAT is what I think of when I hear this version of "Dancing in the Dark." Best lyric: I ain't nothing but tired/ and I'm just tired and bored with myself/hey baby I could use just a little help.

4. "Another One Goes By," by The Walkmen, from the album "A Hundred Miles Off." Sounds like Dylan, but no, it's Hamilton Leithauser from the Walkmen, I assure you. The guy in this song totally needs a hug. Best lyric: sometimes when I walk outside I see it standing right in front of me/ silhouette of something sweet and so bright.

3. "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing," by Jack Johnson, from the album "In Between Dreams." Jack Johnson usually writes happy stuff, but this one is sad and frustrated and lovely. Jack, I didn't know you had it in you, but good job. Mahalo! Best lyric: keep playing your part/ but it's not my scene/ want this plot to twist/ I've had enough mystery.

2. "My Sexual Life," by Everclear, from the album "Sparkle and Fade." This song's title is a little misleading, but the lyrics are the most desperate I've ever heard. I just like them, what can I say? For me, they hit the spot and make me eversad. Best lyric: you always say you want a simple life/ you and me both know that you are a liar/ you always say you want a simple life/ hey, hearing you talk just makes me tired.

which brings us to the number one sad song in Rhea's little list of lonely:

1. "Aint No Love," by David Gray, from the album "Life in Slow Motion." David Gray was put on this planet to make gorgeous, haunting music and hands down, my favorite song of his is this little gem from his latest album. His voice is like an instrument and it's infused with emotion like a good cup of tea. I want David Gray to sit outside my window in a giant birdcage so he can sing this for me whenever I want to have a good cry. It's a short song, sweet and low, and I'll be the first one to confess that I have absolutely NO idea what it's about. Maybe that's why I like it, though: It's so open to interpretation. This song has it all: the chilly, poetic lyrics and the howl of David's voice that is at once soothing and arresting. The whole song is so short and deliberate, it could be a nursery rhyme. But do yourself a favor and don't EVER watch a David Gray video: I don't know who's responsible for those things, but they are consistently HIDEOUS. Best lyric: give me your ecstasy I'll feel it/ open window and I'll steal it/ baby like it's heaven sent

So, this is the mood I'm in tonight: enjoying the sad songs. What does that mean about me? I dunno. I'm sure there are some excellent songs out there that got left off the list. How about you: what are your favorite sad songs???

Alright, must go and cry myself to sleep now...

Just Kidding!!!




Erin said...

Good list! I want a "Rhea Mix" sometime. Would that be possible? :)

Liz said...

What about The River by Springsteen. Yowza

(I'd like that mix too)

Liz said...

What about The River by Springsteen. Yowza

(I'd like that mix too)

Liz said...

What about The River by Springsteen. Yowza

(I'd like that mix too)

Rhea Butler said...

I'll totally hook you up: the "extended version" even...
Liz, you get the mix three times!!!

Unknown said...

Totally Fire and Rain by James Taylor. I can't hear that song without sobbing now.