Friday, November 2, 2007

A low imagination day: Some top fives

Right off the bat, I’m going to steal the idea for this post from Courtney over at Malfeasance, who in turn got the suggestion from good ol’ Julie. I had fun reading Courtney’s top fives, so here are some of my own. This could take a while, though, because I take my own opinions pretty seriously, as some of you know all too well.

Top Five Songs
5. "Livin’ on a Prayer," by Bon Jovi. Simplistic? Yes. Formulaic? You betcha. Embarrassingly bad hair, to this day? Yeah, no shit, but this song hits the sweet spot, nonetheless. Surprised?
4. "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns," by Mother Love Bone. Loads of history and one of the many, many songs that remind me of my brother (who passed along to me his excellent musical taste), and also another hard-rockin’ song that’ll never get old.
3. "Alive," by Pearl Jam. On the morning bus ride to Simpson Middle School, I would queue up this song on my yellow Walkman Sport and hit play as we went past the under-construction-Publix at Sandy Plains so it would finish just as we were pulling in to the school parking lot, every single day.
2. "Where is my Mind?," by the Pixies. Number two proved really difficult, so I’ll just go with this one. The acoustic guitar on this could just go on forever and, in fact, it does on the menu screen of one of their DVDs.
1. "Just Like Heaven," by The Cure. This song just grabs me every time. I think if the opening bass line was on an eternal loop inside my head, I wouldn’t mind. It’s the perfect song.

Top Five Albums (the songs already took me 45 minutes, so here goes)
5. "Aenima," by Tool. Tool is unbelievable. I don’t know exactly what a time signature is, but Tool uses different ones than everybody else and it hits me right in the gut. This album appeals very much to my "fuck it all" side, as well.
4. "Dirt," by Alice in Chains. AIC created something completely new here. I don’t know musical terms, but I think it’s the constant shift back and forth from a minor to a major chord that does it. Only with time have I realized how strong this album is. Very dark and very awesome.
3. "The Joshua Tree," by U2. Not even a complete brainwashing could remove this from my top five. It will always be there. The first three songs alone would make it one of the best recordings ever. The whole thing marries straight-up blues-based rock-n-roll with an utterly unique and timeless sound. Actually, Edge’s guitars on this still sound like they’re from the future.
2. "Ten," by Pearl Jam. It’s amazing how many bands’ best work is their debut album. Not a weak song in the lot and it perhaps moved my adolescent mind more than any other aural experience.
1. "Born to Run," by Bruce Springsteen. I could have put three different songs from this album on the above list, but find it hard to think of any one of them away from the others. Many recording artists strive to create albums with a unifying theme and mood, but none of them have topped Born to Run. I don’t even listen to anything else by Springsteen. Just this.

This took me an hour, so I better save some more for another day. It’s going to be a long month.


Courtney said...

Hmm, I'm surprised by a few of these. I didn't know you were such a big fan of "Just Like Heaven," for example. And we have two of the same top 5 albums in common! I thought you'd try to be different from me, because that's what you do.

Damn, I do like "Where is My Mind?" more than "Debaser." But I didn't think of it earlier.

Chris said...

I've got to admit: we would have a hard time taking a road trip together, without one of us wanting to smash the other's CDs into bits that is. I'm not sure why I've always hated Springsteen so much -- I just have. Maybe I should give him a chance. I do respect and appreciate some of the themes of his songs and that he doesn't just sing about love/sex and drugs like 90 percent of the rock musicians out there. But I guess I just don't enjoy his style of music or vocals. That goes for Bon Jovi, too. I had my fill of cheesy 80s music/TV/pop culture by about 1982, and I don't want anymore. That's right: I was already a jaded bastard at age 2.

I do, however, enjoy some occasional U2 and what little Pearl Jam I hear on the radio. But, in this hypothetical roadtrip, you would probably get sick of the major prevalence of acoustic guitar in pretty much everything I like to listen to. (Acoustic piano is an acceptable, even desirable substitute, but not many musicians feature it. Norah Jones is probably the best popular musician doing it right now -- and props to her for it.) Now that I think of it, I'm not sure my preference for mild-manner folksy songs supports my earlier theory of being too jaded for 80s music.

Meh. I like what I like.