02.09.09 My Top Ten RIGHT NOW
1. John Cameron Mitchell “Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
I cannot think of any other song that I immediately gravitate toward for the explanation of the overwhelming concept of love. Taken from the pages of The Symposium, this origin story starts as Greek myth and moves to the modern notion of finding the elusive other half. Add to that a rock anthem worthy melody and a beautiful animation (see link above) and you have movie and music magic.
2. Alice Smith “Love Endeavor” from For Lovers, Dreamers & Me
This is a fantastic upbeat song all about having a crush that you just want to see happen, acknowledging that the love wont last forever, that you don’t really want to sort out the feelings, but it’s better to share a night of satisfactory fun. As she says, “Say yes or say goodbye.” Add to that emotion Smith’s vocal prowess, cymbal heavy backing and ending with an abundantly sing-able chorus of La-La-Las, you’ve got yourself one excellent “love” song.
3. Travis “The Humpty Dumpty Love Song” from The Invisible Band
Starting with an odd scratchy beat, this song slowly evolves into a lush guitar and string laden anthem, substituting a cracked Humpty Dumpty for a broken heart, the only glue being the love lost that could put it back together again. This is a perfect fresh wound break-up song, combining that strong desire for the past love, the knowledge that it’s over and the overwhelming sense that you’ll never be quite right again.
4. Finley Quaye “Your Love Gets Sweeter” from Much More Than Much Love
This Brit’s reggae love song demonstrates unbridled happiness that is absolutely infectious. Refreshing in many ways, this song makes no excuses for its emotional simplicity, but in lovely contrast is the verses proclaiming how the sentiment can grow from teenage puppy-love to being just as desirable if not more, being older and looking back at the beginning. I think the world could use a little bit more thinking like that these days.
5. A Girl Called Eddy “Love Actually” from Somebody Hurt You
Originally written for the movie of the same title, this slow swung guitar song captures a character that fails left and right, but finds that love actually is the one thing he or she can do. But why let it stay simple, Erin Moran adds a layer of intrigue by breaking open the song with the admission that there is always a hurdle in admitting to the feelings of the heart. Now seriously, could this song have been any more perfect for that film?
6. Sam Phillips “Love Is Everywhere I Go” from Fan Dance
From the queen of melancholy vocals, this guitar heavy simple beauty captures a wonderful moment of being faced with actually opening up to love, having another person seeking it in you, and you finally letting it happen. It’s a unique song, as all her work is, and holds a soft spot if for nothing else than being prominently featured on Gilmore Girls years ago.
7. Cat Power “Where Is My Love” from The Greatest
This song is an absolute heartbreaker. Cat Power’s voice soars over strings and a piano, wistfully singing the title question. There’s really not much to say about this, it’s all about the auditory experience, so do yourself a favor and click the link above.
8. Rickie Lee Jones “It Must Be Love” from The Magazine
Jones’ howling voice is perfect for this cooler than cool song filled with constant guitar, thumping drums, as she howls, “it must be love.” The song tackles seeing that undeniably attractive person looking just slightly down that you are compelled to find out what’s bothering them and fix it. It’s the need to fix that must be love, even when you know it’s probably better just to leave it alone.
9. Eel “Ugly Love” from Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
Opening with the simplest of piano chords, this nearly cabaret tune is a haunting story song about a blind date, told from the uglier side of things. The ugly one dreams of a place where his ability for true love doesn’t get blinded by his hideous appearance. The simple melody and stripped down production allows Mark Everett’s husky vocal to shine through. Not your usual V-day song, but a feeling we all have every now and then when faced with the realities of dating and relationships.
10. Doris Day “Everybody Loves a Lover”
This is ridiculous late ‘50s pop from beginning to end and thus it is a sheer delight, bringing forth that Pollyanna vibe so closely related to Day’s work. Just listen to those snapping fingers, that ridiculous repeated bass, and those male backing vocals (the epitome of white boy doo-wop) that boost Day’s perfect voice to the front of the track. And you certainly can’t complain about her singing the second verse as a duet with herself. Happiness throughout that you can just see being played over a montage of a new couple in that honeymoon phase of things.