Category Archives: 1001 Songs Challenge

1001 Songs Challenge: Day Eighty-Four

So my Nana flew to the UK today to be with her brother. I am thinking this week is going to be a very rough, very stressful week…which either means I will feel like shying away from this challenge or that I will immerse myself in it more than ever (like, filming more videos and writing more than one post a night). I don’t know how this is going to go…Good gracious.

1. River of Deceit – Mad Season

To say I love the guitar on this track would be a bit of an understatement. I adore it. In fact, I really enjoy the overall vibe and tone of the song in general. There is a soft edge to it that is so mainstream nineties, but in a way that gives it a unique character. I can imagine listening to this while walking around a town, or even driving along the coast. It has such a breezy sound to it that doesn’t seem to match its strangely dark title.

2. Dear Mama – 2Pac

The first time I can remember hearing this song, I was a sophomore in high school. My English 2 Honors teacher played it for us. She was a big 2Pac fan. In all truth, the narrative strength of this song is what makes it a classic. 2Pac tells his mother’s story and also illustrates aspects of his life; he essentially penned a song of gratitude for his mother, and the sacrifices she made for him, with a mixture of autobiography.

3. The Bomb! ( These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) – The Bucketheads

Boppy, typical, 90’s-electronic-dance music. All these dance songs with the same beats make me feel like I have woken up in a club, not my room in the America that exists in the summer of 2014. I think I am just growing bored with these songs that all sound the same.

4. Guilty by Association – Joe Henry and Madonna

I was surprised to see such a softness associated with Madonna. I really enjoyed this track for its simplicity, and even for the fact that Joe Henry really is allowed to shine and it is Madonna’s harmonies that are utilized, not having her step into the spotlight (as per usual). It is a shake-up that was both a pleasant surprise and beautiful to hear.

5. A irmandade das estrelas – Carlos Nunez

The guitar on this track is stunning. I cannot imagine being able to resist this. I am a sucker for a beautiful guitar tune, and this is it for me. It’s a unique musical track for certain, seemingly blending as much European/Spanish flair into one instrumental as possible. For me, it seems to paint images of striking dancing left and right.

6. Brooklyn’s Finest – Jay-Z ft. The Notorious BIG

No thank you. Just no. I know people will be all pissy that I’m not a huge Jay-Z fan (although I love the Linkin Park/Jay-Z crossover album), but I really don’t like this.  I am not a prude about language or violence, but a lot of the language on this is volatile. I’m sorry, I don’t care if he’s black, white, neon green, or orange, if “nigga/nigger” is a bad word to the rest of the world, it should not be said. To use it on a song is not appropriate to me. If it has such a negative connotation, why would you want to refer to yourself/your friends as one? It’s nonsensical. (…allow the political/personal bashing to begin…NOW.)

7. Novacaine For The Soul – Eels

I really wasn’t sure where this was going. There is a monotone sound to the vocals, offset by the light sound of the music. However, the vocals soon step it up, thank goodness, becoming a good track to listen to. Lyrically, this is a great 90’s song; even just the line, “Jesus and his lawyer are coming back…” GENIUS.

8. Ready Or Not – Fugees

I love this. Lauryn Hill’s soulful vocals mixed with clever lyrics delivered by an articulate rapper…perfection. Lauryn Hill also surprised me with her rapping skill. She is good. Seriously, how can anyone not enjoy this song?

9. Firestarter – Prodigy

Repetitive, and pretty boring. It sounds like part of a soundtrack for a really bad sci-fi movie.

10. Professional Widow (Arman’s Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix) – Tori Amos

Well, Tori Amos is a legend, but I’m pretty sure I would have been happier listening to the original rather than a remix. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good remix as much as the next person, but there’s only so many I can cope with before I get bored. Thankfully, Tori Amos has an entertaining quality to her vocal stylings that makes this a little less painful.

 

As Sunday comes to an end, I am ridiculously grateful to crawl into my bed, although I know there will be very little time to sleep. Back to the usual grind tomorrow, and I cannot wait to train and clear my head. What songs do you like to listen to when you work out?

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Eighty-Three

So much for a relaxing/catch-up-playing weekend. This morning, my family received a phone call from family in the UK to inform us that one of my uncles, who is in hospital, is not doing well. Suddenly, it’s like someone hit the fast-forward button on the weekend, leaving us to work to find a balance. To attempt to clear my head, I decided I would get today’s playlist out of the way.

 

1. Common People – Pulp

This is very 80s…and a little cheesy. It’s not an awful song, it’s just doesn’t seem very well-written, although it does touch upon the feelings most people have about life and the responsibilities they have to live with.

2. Where The Wild Roses Grow – Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue

These are the last two people I had ever expected to hear a duet from. I’m still not sure if I enjoyed it or not. It’s a very Lady Of Shallot-esque narrative, with a definite theatrical tone to it. Minogue’s vocals are a lot more melodic than Cave’s, as is probably expected. However, when placed together, it’s even more of a dramatic contrast.

3. Insomnia – Faithless

Definitely a strange “dance” instrumental if I’ve ever heard one, although it sounds as though many dance hits since have played off of this one. The vocals, that seem to randomly appear, are strangely delivered, not necessarily spoken/rapped or even sang. I don’t know how I feel about this one. I don’t feel like it’s all that enjoyable for me.

4. Scream – Michael & Janet Jackson

The siblings decide to do a duet, and it went down well. I know this to be a favorite of many of my 90s-tune loving friends. Both Jackson’s had a futuristic/spacey quality to their work at the time, so it’s not like they didn’t blend together well. Their vocals are both strong, working in conjunction as opposed to competing. It helps that the lyrics are ridiculously catchy.

5. Hell Is Round The Corner – Tricky

I have honestly never heard this before and my first impression is performance art, like from the film She’s All That (“be silent, be still…”). It’s actually quite clever, and doesn’t make me want to shut it off, which is always a pretty good thing.

6. Born Slippy Nuxx – Underworld

For a dance track, this is surprisingly good. I was pleased to find that I liked it. It is a bit…scatterbrained, to say the least, but it is still well done. The beats are good, the vocals are distorted, but not in a way that is annoying, and it’s an intriguing listen.

7. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette

Angsty, narrative, and powerful; Morissette is a woman’s woman, willing to scream and sing the things most women would shy away from saying. “You Oughta Know” is one of the most aggressive, catchy tracks I can think of. However, I hate knowing that it’s about Uncle Joey from Full House [insert sad and disturbed face here].

8. Back For Good – Take That

Melodic, heartfelt, and gorgeous. Anyone that knows me knows I love Take That, just because I’ve always been exposed to their music. This is one of their classic tracks that I could listen to all day every day. The vocal range showcased is brilliant, especially when you add in the group vocals that echo each sentiment.

9. Stupid Girl – Garbage

The only song titled “Stupid Girl” I can ever remember hearing is Pink’s version, although once this started playing, I immediately recognized it. The vocals are filled with attitude and there is a classic rock vibe to the song with a worldly quality brought on by the 80s and 90s pop culture. I really do enjoy this song though. I think I might have to download this one.

10. Miss Sarajevo – Passengers

There are plenty of high quality vocals to enjoy on this song, especially when they are delivering clever lyrics, as such. This is a talent-packed single, with the musical skills of U2, Brian Eno, and Luciano Paverotti melding together very well.

 

Even though Saturday has not been easy so far, it was nice to listen to a playlist and take my mind off of everything, even it was only for forty-five minutes to an hour. How do you keep your mind busy when you’re upset? Let me know in the comments below!

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Eighty-Two

It’s Friday! Thank goodness! Like our first song, I am singing “Hallelujah” because maybe I can catch up on some sleep and work this weekend!

 

1. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

A classic. We all know this one, most likely because of the movie Shrek, but we all know it. Along with being melodically stunning, there is something so powerful about this track that it tends to stop listeners immediately. It might be the rise in Buckley’s voice as the song continues, or it might be the sheer anguish expressed, but it truly is a gorgeous song.

2. Red Right Hand – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

When this first started, I wasn’t sure how to feel. If I’m honest, I felt like it was overly put-on, like a bad attempt at being theatrical. It really just wasn’t something I enjoyed.

3. Sabotage – Beastie Boys

Now here is something I am familiar with: The Beastie Boys. The lyrics, delivered via shouting vocals, will probably stop most people dead in their tracks, as they are so aggressive, but even if I have to admit, this is a great song to listen to when you’re mad or working out; anything with a bit of angst is, if I’m honest. And, of course, who can forget the amazing bass solo?

4. The Most Beautiful Girl In The World – Prince

A love song that honestly feels a bit rooted in the 80s for its sound effects, there is still a timeless feel to it. The love ballad never goes out of style, let’s be honest. I feel as though Bruno Mars may have been inspired by this on more than one occasion. Prince’s falsetto vocals match the music beautifully, and definitely make the song stand out.

5. Sour Times – Portishead

One again, starts off a bit theatrical, but on this track, there is something to be said, especially as it moves more into cinematic than theatrical. The vocals are somewhat haunting, with a style that is hard to ignore. With the espionage-esque sound, the music video was only accurate (depicting a spy-themed storyline).

6. Army of Me – Bjork (HALFWAY THROUGH THE NINETIES)

I have definitely heard this before, not that I ever could have picked it out by name. It would seem we continue on with spy-film music. The cinematic style of this song really does add to it. The slow, deliberate tone of the track sets a pace to the song that adds an eerie quality.

7. Champagne Supernova – Oasis

Oasis, whatever your opinion of the band members, is a talented group. Each song they produce seems to be a hit. In more ways than one, there is a soothing quality about this song, and I think it might have to do with its pensive tone. It sounds a lot like the sequel to “Wonderwall” to me.

8. The Fever – Garth Brooks

Ah, finally. A country song. It feels like it’s been forever since this book mentioned country music at all. It was fine to hear some strings with a western flair. If you haven’t heard this song before, you will soon realize it’s catchy as hell. Garth Brooks is just a very lively performer.

9. Kung Fu – Ash

This sounds more like punk of the 80s than anything I could imagine coming from the 90s. However, I can hear the Green Day influence ever so slight. It actually wasn’t too bad. The title makes it sound a lot worse than it is.

10. 1979 – The Smashing Pumpkins

Here is another 90’s band I’ve always quite liked. There is a moody quality to this track, but it’s got a soul to it; a story. It sums up being a teenager so well. This is the song you listen to when you drive around town late at night with the people who make up your small world; trying to come up with something remotely rebellious and fun to do in a small and boring town.

 

Tonight really featured more of the type of music I would typically listen to. There was a cinematic approach, in my opinion, to most of these. My brain is always on film, but tonight’s soundtrack certainly had me wondering where these songs would fit in a movie. Which song you could se in one of your favorite films? If the song has been in a movie, which one?

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Eighty-One

I’m actually really excited about today’s playlist. Granted, this could be because I see some 90’s favorites on the list, but I digress. Today was a busy day made only more stressful when I checked my emails. Don’t you hate when that happens? I’m half waiting for people to pop out of my computer screen with tasks for me to do…like a digital Hunger Games.

Anywho, before I scare myself imaging me doing flips with my laptop and shooting articles out like arrows, I’ll get onto the playlist.

1. Doll Parts- Hole

I’ve never really been huge on Hole or Courtney Love, but I must admit, this is a song I’ve got a soft spot for. It’s edgy and has a dark, melancholy tone to it that makes it stand out to me. It captures the feeling of rejection and insecurity perfectly.

2. 7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour ft. Neneh Cherry

The introduction to this song had me thinking of a 90s/early 2000s spy film, for some bizarre reason. Overall, the track is beautiful. There is a depth to the lyrics “a child […] doesn’t know the tone of skin…” It certainly seems to illustrate a more equalized view of race and sexuality than songs from the past.

3. Live Forever – Oasis

Ah, another good group from Manchester. Oasis is iconic…although “Wonderwall” is normally the track that comes to mind when Oasis is mentioned. While they do have an alternative-rock sound, there is something that seems to scream pop-punk about Oasis…It might be, in my opinion, Noel Gallagher’s vocals. I’m not 100% sure. This is, like most of their tracks, pretty catchy, and has a deeper meaning. I think that might be the theme of today’s playlist: looking beyond the surface.

4. Cut Your Hair – Pavement

I really like this one, maybe just for it’s boppy “Oooh ooh”s at the very beginning. It just goes to show that songs that appear to be about mundane things (like haircuts) can have a different meaning or at least be entertaining to listen to.

5. All Apologies – Nirvana

Anyone that knows me knows I adore Nirvana. I have a love of their iconic grunge style and well-written lyrics. Kurt Cobain has a set of pipes that are so distinguished, I dare say I could pick them out of a blind playlist playing all the songs at once. I love this song as well. Attitude isn’t in it; grunge is epitomized.

6. Hurt – Nine Inch Nails

Could this be the beginning of “emo” as we know it? Nine Inch Nails have this ability to sound tough even when being a bit more “vulnerable.” I believe that to be a very enviable skill that is perfectly showcased on this track, especially when the beat kicks in a bit stronger, the vocals become a bit more certain, and the overall sound just becomes louder, if not fearless.

7. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden

This has a bit of a…trippy sound, to begin. It is a very familiar song, because anyone who likes 90s music knows of Soundgarden. I love how strong the vocals are; they contrast perfectly with the gentle instrumental.

8. Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots

A perfect road trip song? Sign me up! With a classic rock vibe, this is an entrancing song that almost comes across like an autobiography. I could honestly listen to this on repeat with no qualms. The urge to get in a car and just drive until the car runs out of gas is tempting.

9. Waterfalls – TLC

A classic 90’s tune! Who doesn’t love this song? The lyrics are powerful, touching on the AIDS epidemic and social issues left and right. Not only is it very well written, but it’s catchy as hell. TLC were talented as hell. I can happily listen to them all day…as can THIS guy, obviously:

10. Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos

Another classic, Tori Amos has stunning vocals. She has a soulful power that she seems to demonstrate with ease in “Cornflake Girl.” The more I listen to this song, the more I love it.

 

Well, my Internet may hate me, as it is now playing up and going super slow. For now, I will sign off, but be prepared for Day 82!

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Eighty

Only 20 days to go! Nineteen if you already count today! Is it wrong that I’m kind of excited about that? Like every day, I am hopeful that the playlist will be good. Not sure if that will help though, as I have a song stuck in my head like nobody’s business. We play a ton of different music in the gym, but one song that I can’t seem to get out of my head today is “Knock You Out” by Bingo Players. What a catchy song!

1. Cannonball – The Breeders

Edgy is the name of the game, both with sound and band name. There is something so badass to this song; heavy bass, vocals packed with attitude, and so much more. This is very difficult to resist. The chorus also has a poppy-melodic feel to it that adds to the versatility of the song.

2. C.R.E.A.M. – Wu-Tang Clan

Whenever I think of Wu-Tang Clan, I always think of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s song “Can’t Hold Us” (“That’s what you get when Wu-Tang raise you!”). I am not a great lover of hip-hop, but I must admit, I really enjoyed this track. It’s got a certain edge to it that makes it easy to see why Wu-Tang Clan was so influential.

3. Because of The Night – 10,000 Maniacs

 This is perfection. Beautiful instrumentals, lyrics that are spot on, and vocals that continually left me in awe. With a timeless style and drama, it’s hard not to fall in love with this one. It’s definitely another favorite for me!

4. Ching soortukchulerining yryzy – Huun-Huur-Tu

 I honestly was not sure of this one when I initially sat down to listen to it. The title alone made me a bit nervous. However, I was intrigued. I am still somewhat intrigued by what power it had to make me stomp my feet to the beat.

5. It Ain’t Hard To Tell – Nas

The hip hop is definitely strong on today’s playlist, as I’m sure it was in the 90s. This rap-tacular song was surprisingly good to listen to, with fast, clever lyrics that had me listening closely from the first verse to the last.

6. Inner City Life – Goldie presents Metalheads

 I froze when this song started, not sure if I liked its space-age instrumental. When the vocals kicked in, I decided I did quite enjoy it. Who doesn’t like powerful vocals? When the beat kicks in, the song hits a new level of enjoyment, further solidifying my opinion.

7. End of a Century – Blur

The song of couples in a rut who just don’t go out or do anything fun anymore. It’s a wonderfully cynical tune…which, of course, means I could listen to it all day! I feel like I knew this was a song from the UK before I even heard the vocals, which just adds to my amusement with the song.

8. Connection – Elastica

 Bass heavy, somewhat punk (if not more grunge-pop), there is something about this that makes it a classic to listen to. It’s so nineties. I liked the clap-happy beat as well. Something about a song with a good rhythm just makes it a lot more fun to listen to.

9. Confide In Me – Kylie Minogue

When I think Kylie Minogue, I always think of my mom playing the albums. She definitely has a great vocal ability, in all fairness. There is something somewhat haunting about this track, with a great instrumental that Minogue’s vocals seem to blend seamlessly with. 

10. Your Ghost – Kristin Hersh ft. Michael Stripe

 Excuse the pun, but this is truly haunting. There is something melancholy about this acoustic tune that brings in a lush instrumental and vocal harmonies. I will probably end up listening to this a lot, just because it does have such a musical prowess, as well as poetic lyrics.

 

 As much as I’ve loved today’s playlist, I have a bit of a headache now, and am desperate for sleep, so I am happy to say that Day 80 is over!

Before I go, I want to ask you: What song is stuck in your head right now?

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Seventy-Nine

Today is just a “get everything done as soon as possible” day, if I’m honest. In saying that, most days are of the nature in my life.

Anyway, let’s get further into the 90s! Hopefully today’s playlist consists of some interesting tunes.

1. La solitudine – Laura Pausini

“The Loneliness” (as it is in English) is a great Italian ballad. Laura Pasini’s vocals are stunning, but they really shine with the well-rounded instrumental. Coming off as quite a timeless song, it would be hard to say what decade it were from if I didn’t already know it was from 1993. I was happy to find that the playlist started out with such a quality song.

2. Rumba Argelina – Radio Tarifa

To be quite truthful, I wasn’t sure about this one at first. The introduction made me freeze, as I just wasn’t sure what was coming. However, I found that I loved the blending of the Spanish flamenco flair and Arabic culture. It’s a surprise, for sure, in the way that it is unexpectedly powerful.

3. Loser – Beck

This is one of those 90s songs we all know, but, for me, I’ve never really been able to decide if I like it or not. The lyrics are definitely clever, but it’s the monotonous sound that has me hesitating. I  still can’t make my mind up about it. How about you guys?

4. French Disco – Stereolab

The fast pace of this song definitely has me interested in it, and not wanting to shut it off. The guitar, more than anything, fascinates me on this track. The vocals are different, exploring ranges with ease, and feeling very natural. It certainly has a Euro-feel to it, if that makes any sense.

5. Into Dust – Mazzy Star

Softer than its predecessor (above), I find this to be quite soothing and something beautiful to listen to, almost like a “Falling Slowly” of sorts. There’s a poetic tone to the lyrics, something almost romantic in a sound that can only be described as melancholy, but somewhat hopeful. I could honestly listen to this on repeat without even thinking about it. It’s beautiful. Well done, 90s!

6. Rid of Me – PJ Harvey

Carrying a bit more of an obvious edge than the stunning track I just listened to, “Rid of Me” has a stomp-your-feet, clap-your-hands vibe. PJ Harvey’s vocals are raspy and full of attitude and theatrics. Granted, this song is slightly repetitive, but there is still something about it that makes you want to listen. It is so 90s, I almost can’t believe it, especially when the grunge-rock guitar and beat come pounding in full force.

7. Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen

This sounds so bad, but this is honestly one of the only Springsteen songs I’ve enjoyed from day one. There was no acquired taste to be developed for this one. Whenever I hear it, I am immediately transported back to AP Psychology, watching the Tom Hanks/Denzel Washington film, Philadelphia, trying to grasp the concept of the effects of isolation, and the “fear” that comes with ignorance. This song will always have a profound effect on me, and if you listen to the lyrics, there is something about it that seems to tell the story of a person who is defeated, but not fighting his fate, much like the film’s premise.

8. Laid – James

I probably shouldn’t like this…but I do. It’s such a lightly delivered song, with a far more aggressive content. Granted, the premise is a relationship that seems to be more based on sex and obsession, and very little understanding. It’s definitely a crazy song…and so much fun to listen to; a new, not-so-guilty-pleasure.

9. Open Up – Leftfield-Lydon

In typical 90’s fashion, another dance track headed my way. To be quite honest, it’s catchy, but there initially doesn’t appear to have much of a depth to it. However, the more I listen, the more intricate the lyrics seem to become.

10. Possession – Sarah McLachlan

Every time I see Sarah McLachlan’s name or picture, I don’t think about her voice or her songs at all. I just think of the ASPCA ads. The ones they show where the animals look like they’re crying? You all know which ones I’m talking about! However, listening to this reminds me what a great artist she is. Her vocals are spectacular. I cannot fault this song at all. More of this, for sure!

 

Getting the 1001 Songs Challenge done a bit earlier today proved to make life a little bit easier, and also probably allowed me to enjoy each track a little bit more because I wasn’t falling asleep. I also notice more and more connections with modern music.

What songs are you noticing from today’s artist that sound like ones of the past?

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Seventy-Eight

Manic Monday is nothing. Melancholy Monday is easy to defeat. Monotonous Monday is a far larger dragon…and alliteration is a great language device, but onto the music!

I think I know maybe two songs on today’s list by name, so this should be an all-together entertaining, if not educational, playlist.

1. Inkanyezi Nezazi – Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Amazingly, I  have heard this one before. I haven’t the faintest idea what is being sang, but I know this tune. The collective vocals are enough to stop you dead. They are INCREDIBLE.

2. Sodade – Cesaria Evora

I am used to seeing the world “sodade” spelled “saudade,” but no matter how you spell it, the longing that one word can bring to life is as achingly real as ever. The emotion of this song, when blended with the stunningly played guitar, is powerful and beautiful. This is definitely a new favorite of mine.

3. Remedy – The Black Crowes

“Remedy” is not typically where my mind goes when I think of The Black Crowes, but it is definitely a track that stands out in their discography. The instrumental has a classic-rock feel that really illuminates the edge in the vocals. The lyrics also seem to feature a double-entendre that is both entertaining and somewhat fascinating.

4. No Rain – Blind Melon

Well, I may not know this tune by name alone, but I definitely know it by sound! Distorted vocals, strangely ambiguous, if not trippy, lyrics…it sounds like a song from the 70s, but is a great 90s track. We should all at least know the first verse and chords from the many car commercials that have featured this song.

5. Walk – Pantera

90’s metal in the way that only the 90s can do metal. It’s aggressive, both instrumentally and lyrically, but I can also hear where grunge may have made an impression. This wasn’t a favorite of mine, but that’s just because I’m very particular about my metal/screamo/hardcore songs. I do like the vocal ability demonstrated though.

6. Real Love – Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige has stunning, soulful vocals that you would have to be crazy not respect, if not downright adore. This is a classic. The beat, the lyrics, and, of course, Blige’s vocals, make this song timeless.

7. Deep Cover – Dr. Dre introducing Snoop Doggy Dogg

It’s hard to imagine a world without Snoop Dog (or is he Lion now?). This has become somewhat of a hip-hop standard to most avid listeners today. I’m not sure how to judge it, as I don’t listen to a lot of rap and/or hip-hop in my average day.

8. Out of Space – The Prodigy

Strange, seemingly pointless noises, almost like a Gameboy on the fritz. Then this reggae style kicks in, and I felt a bit thrown for a loop. It wasn’t that bad, though it’s not the type I’d personally want to hear on a regular basis. Just not my cup of tea.

9. Didi – Khaled

Even though I might not understand all of it, I loved the fusion of a more traditional sound with typical 90s beats. This is definitely a unique track, with a strange way of commanding attention.

10. Animal Nitrate – Suede

Despite coming out in the 90s, this has a strong 80s edge to it. The one thing that stands out to me:  the fantastic guitar playing. Every song should have guitar playing that makes you freeze. Very well done.

 

As Monday comes to a close (and so do my eyes), I am happier than ever to realize that the 90s seem to be flying on by. Only twenty-two days left on this challenge!

So, my question of the day is: how do you ward off Monotonous Mondays? Let me know by commenting below or tweeting/posting on Instagram using #1001SongsPS and #MonotonousMondays.

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Seventy-Seven

Nothing like a good Sunday. Mine was pretty decent, at least…even if I did get caught in the rain. I went out today and got some new sneakers from Nike, which I’m super excited about it, as well as some Under Armor gear. However, the heavens fully opened when I was leaving and I got DRENCHED. Then I came home, got ready for the movies, and went out to see Tammy, which was great, by the way.

But anyway, enough about the 21st century. Let’s get back to the last decade of the 20th!

1. Move Any Mountain–Progen 91 – The Shamen

In my honest opinion, I feel as though this band wasn’t sure what genre they were aiming for, if they had a target in mind at all. Don’t get me wrong, the song was lyrically impressive enough to be enjoyable, but the instrumental wasn’t really my cup of tea. But the message of the song was good; definitely empowering.

2. How I Could Just Kill a Man – Cypress Hill

Hip-hop all the way, although it does incorporate an edgier guitar. I must admit, I was slightly impressed by the seamless blending of two tones. The chorus isn’t very well done, but I won’t harp on about that.

3. Cop Killer – Body Count

Very aggressive, especially in reference to the police. While I understand the aggression towards officers who used discrimination as a means of deciding who was guilty and who was innocent, I wasn’t remotely amused by how violent this song was. I would understand if it was a matter of survival, but killing/violence is just not something I condone.

4. Pretend We’re Dead – L7

With a grunge/punk attitude, the introduction alone makes a strong selling point. The vocals may not seem that strong, but there is a Joan Jett-feel to them. It’s pretty catchy, at least.

5. My Drug Buddy – Lemonheads

What a great 90’s song. It really is a classic, if you think about it. The vocals are great, especially when both the female and male vocals harmonize during the chorus. I could honestly just keep playing this.

6. Shake Your Head – Was (Not Was)

I’m starting to think the 90s were more dance-music obsessed than I had ever thought. I daresay the 90s could hold their own with the recent “dance music” craze. It’s not bad, it just sounds like something I’d expect to hear in an older gym. When the lyrics kick in, I’m surprised to hear some solid vocals that definitely hold their own. I definitely started to enjoy it more when the vocals kicked in.

7. Motorcycle Emptiness – Manic Street Preachers

The more alternative-rock style of this track is more my style than the previous track. I just love the instrumentation and how it perfectly frames the strong vocals and lyrics. This is catchy and amped up in a way that, while very 90s, carries a modern feel to it.

8. Creep – Radiohead

This is a classic. I love this song. Not loving “Creep” would be like not loving koala bears or something; it would just be bizarre. There is such a unique, demanding presence to the track; every line seems to pull you in.

9. Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine

I’m not sure if I love this because it has a rock-rap crossover feel, or if I don’t really want to listen to it. In all fairness, I feel like this may have ignited a bit of the trend we see now in rock music, but it’s also the type where you have to be in the mood for a track like this.

10. Connected – Stereo MC’s

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this one, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it. It was a boppy, clever song that I enjoyed both musically and, despite its repetitiveness, the lyrics.

 

Well, after the eventful Sunday I’ve had, it was nice to chill out and listen to some music. Now to gear up for Monday. What songs do you jam out to on rainy Sundays? I normally go to softer music during storms, especially if they have a nice guitar solo.

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Seventy-Five

Happy Fourth of July! I have attempted to squeeze this in as early in the morning as possible so that I will have time for the Independence Day festivities. I cannot wait for my turkey burger and my cheat dish of mac and cheese!

1. 1952 – Vincent Black Lightening

With a simple guitar melody, descriptive lyrics, and a purely beautiful sound, this is an easy track to fall in love with. In many ways, I can see this playing during the opening credits of a film, just for it’s perfect quality.

2. Balada conducatorolui – Taraf de Haidouks

Unusual to start, but still mesmerizing. It had something eery and theatrical about it (probably the grating sound of strings being pulled). The haunting quality it possesses makes it even more theatrical and intriguing. This stopped me in my tracks for sure.

3. Calling All Angels – Jane Siberry with K.D. Lang

The listing of all the saints at the beginning freaked me out a bit at first, sounding like a very strange chant. However, this is a soothing, pretty tune, with beautiful vocals and poetic lyrics. It has such a nineties sound to it as well, if that makes any sense. I love the harmonies featured on the chorus; stunningly put together.

4. I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt

Soulful, stunning, and raw. You’ve never heard emotion like what is expressed in each line of this song. I remember hearing this version and George Michael’s version as a kid and being completely mesmerized by how soulful it was. This is an artist being as vulnerable as they can be; wearing their heart on their sleeve. Bonnie Raitt’s vocals are perfection on this song and are only further empowered by the presence of the piano. I remember having a friend in the third grade who confided in me that she would love to audition for the talent show, but wasn’t sure she could do it. When I asked if I could hear her sing, this was the song she collected, and, jeez, if she couldn’t belt out some notes.

5. Jesus Built My Hotrod – Ministry

Very loud, nonsensical, and a bit “in-your-face.” Not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I don’t think I could personally listen to this happily all the time. I think I would soon get very fed up, although the guitar playing is epic.

6. No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne is so eloquent when he sings, it’s a bit unnerving. He also has this attitude that is kind of inspiring. I wish I could kick that much ass when I sang, seriously.

7. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

One of my favorite songs of all time. I love Nirvana. The fabulous grunge band that they were, they captured teenage angst in a bottle and managed to sell it. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” reminds me of walking through the hallways with my earbuds in, blasting this song whenever something was ticking me off. I think this song may have made everyone feel like dancing or like a total badass.

8. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

If this doesn’t make you want to go and watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air, you are crazy. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince are a 90s staple. While this track comes across as pretty simple, it’s a fun listen. Great track for July 4th, that’s for sure.

9. Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers

I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Every time I listen to them, I just think of taking my personal training course last year. This was played a lot. The pace of the song makes you want to listen in general. I dare you guys to try and keep up.

10. One – U2

Classic U2 song, although I’m sure basically every song they’ve had has become a classic. Most people know their music pretty well…and I seem to know a lot of people who have an obsession with Bono’s voice. I love the melancholy tune of this song, especially as it’s mixed with a rock and roll vibe to it that immediately makes my head go to the nineties anyway.

 

So as we celebrate America’s independence, let’s listen to a nice mix of artists from around the world…like I’ve done this morning. This playlist has gotten me ready for the day, that’s for sure. What are you doing today?

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Seventy-Two

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Ten at a time, we seem to be moving at a decent pace. I must admit, tonight I am a bit short on time and energy, but when I commit to a challenge, I try my hardest to make sure that I stick to it. Here’s hoping tonight’s playlist is worth the exhaustion!

 

1. Me Myself and I – De La Soul

I honestly didn’t think I would like this, but it is catchy as hell. With a happy, upbeat rhythm, witty lyrics, and an old-school vibe, it was kind of hard to resist. It helps that the video is vivid and entertaining:

2. Epic – Faith No More

This is such a bizarre song. However, there is something about the chorus, I don’t know if it’s the bitingly harsh lyrics or the melodic vocals, but I actually found this song fun to listen to. It’s a great track with all the power of a rock anthem, but the dramatics are taken down a notch, I guess, like watching a play instead of a musical.

3. Like a Prayer – Madonna

A classic Madonna tune. I’ve always enjoyed this track. It’s a little bit theatrical and very melodic and catchy. Madonna’s voice sounds wonderful on this song. Added bonus: the video was super controversial.

4. W.F.L. (Think About The Future) – Happy Mondays

Seriously. Go Manchester. The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Oasis, The 1975…Look at the music scene there. Brilliant. The introduction to this song is so catchy and good. I love it! Each line is like poetry, and when accompanied by the music, just makes for a very good song.

5. Getting Away With It – Electronic

Don’t ask me how, but you can tell the clever mind of Johnny Marr had something to do with this song. This was a song I used to love hearing on the radio as a kid. The lyrics are great, but it’s something about the chorus that really makes it for me. It might be the vocal melody, it might be the words themselves, but this song is perfection.

6. Monkey Gone To Heaven – Pixies

Even though I like the Pixies, I admit, the title of this song made my heart drop. Would it be awful? Of course, once I pressed play, I realized the song was really well done and just a great addition to the band’s discography, but, initially, I froze. I love the lush arrangement; piano, guitar, a string section, and the contrasting loud-soft vibe…I love this. More, please!

7. Can’t Be Sure – The Sundays

Moody, haunting, and surprisingly happy, “Can’t Be Sure” is such a great track, and I can’t understand why it isn’t played consistently on 80’s radio stations. I love how there is finally a Brit band with attitude that is fronted by a female. Thank goodness!

8. Lullaby – The Cure

Anything by The Cure is usually up there on “Really Well Done.” Strangely eery, if not damn right creepy, this song is also brilliant, in a way that only a track by The Cure can be. You have to hear it to understand…

9. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

Who doesn’t know and love this song? It truly is a classic. I could listen to this all day. The chorus is perfection, and so catchy…as Tom Cruise already proved:

10. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor

Prince had already put this on the map, but Sinead O’Connor took this to a whole new level. It is a love song, more than anything else. There is an inflection in O’Connor’s vocals that make it that much more powerful, in my opinion.

 

Okay…does this mean I can sleep now?

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