Friday, August 6, 2010

The "Cool" Songs

A couple of months ago, I posted a series on my favorite songs of all time with the stories behind each of them. Those were truly my twenty favorite songs of all time.

But no one really mentions their favorite songs when asked, "What are you favorite songs?" No, because those answers and follow-up conversations are too awkward and uncomfortable. Everyone has a set of, say, five or so songs they name-check in conversation as being their favorites because it's easier and others will respect you more. They still love them, but they're not the real top tier. Don't pretend you don't. You may do it with albums or artists instead of songs, but it's the same concept. What follows are my five so-called "cool" songs.

"Folds in Your Hands," Passion Pit
I absolutely love this track. A lot more than most Passion Pit, actually, which usually strikes me as heavily overproduced (don't waste your time telling me that's the point, I've heard it before). It's infectious, fun, well-written, and interestingly and conservatively produced. An iPod playlist staple.

"Alone Apart," The Swell Season
I've profiled The Swell Season and this song in particular before, and "Falling Slowly" is actually my favorite song from the duo, but this one is just so soul-stirring and touching I can't help but feel really connected every time I listen to it. Markéta Irglová's voice is stirring.

"Citizen," Broken Bells
Another duo with a far superior song ("The High Road") but with another that I often prefer simply for sheer musical quality from time to time. The transitions from melodic sing-a-long to moody, introspective ballad are beautiful. And "Call on a bright star/Or play your hand as idiots" might be one of the most gorgeously rendered couplets in any modern song I've ever heard.

"In The Waiting Line," Zero 7
An indie take on a siren song, the vocal is so sensuous and seductive that the lyrics almost become obsolete. Closer examination of those lyrics, however, reveal an aching, meticulously constructed tune that few people have in their iTunes libraries, but more should.

"That's Why You're Beautiful," Beyoncé
Oh, you didn't really think you'd escape a music-based post on this blog without a little Sasha Fierce, did you? The resident R&B diva has several catchy songs in her repertoire, but this lilting ballad about a lover's beauty through time is, quite honestly, her best. It might not be just one of my "cool" songs, it might be my favorite song of hers overall.

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