Musical Reviewsday

Musical Reviewsday

As promised last month – I’m going to make my musical reviewsday a fairly regular thing. The only trouble is that iTunes’s charts are pretty rubbish. The two genres I reviewed last month are pretty much unchanged. I find this very strange – 4 or 5 weeks have passed and people are still buying what they were buying back then? Anyway – that ruled out re-reviewing Alternative or Comedy music. As I’m currently in the middle of a week of looooong days, commuting into London each day for a training course, and I’m also suffering from a particularly annoying cough, I’m only going to pick one genre to review, and it’s gotta be
Rock. Even though I could very easily go to sleep right now and a bit of high-octane rock music sounds to be the opposite of what I want… That said, a quick sweep of the eyes over the US and UK rock charts suggests there may be something awry with their genre-classifications. But we’ll get to that…

Let’s get on with it, eh?

10 – Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm
We appear to be starting in the nineties… No, wait, youtube says 2001, so it’s only 12 years old. Gawd, this is TEN years old… But yeah, anyone who was a teenager in the early 2000s will know this punk-rock offering; it’s catchy, it’s designed to be played loudly, there’s a guitar solo in the middle and a chimp in the video; what more could you ask for?!? I can’t believe there aren’t any newer rock songs to keep this out of the top ten, but I’m not complaining. At least it’s rock.

9 – Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
I love this song, but I don’t think I’d call it rock. Pop, maybe. Yeah, the pointy-faced John Rzeznik has a gravelly voice and there are guitars and drums, but really is this rock? I really do love the song though. For a long time it was my mobile phone ringtone (now it’s Back In Black, unless you’re special and have a different tune assigned to you…) and so whenever I hear it I am reminded of my old ringtone.
Again, though, it’s an old song. 2006. To be number 9 in the Rock charts on the evening of the 23rd April 2013 is a little bit odd. I’m growing slightly mistrustful of iTunes and their chartability.

8 – The Man Who Can’t Be Moved – The Script
Well, this is more modern… ish… 2008 – so not by much. As with Iris I’m half tempted to put it in pop rather than rock. It’s strange to look at a video of a pre-Voice Danny-from-the-Script. I think I would’ve liked them better ten years ago. Now I like the occasional song (Hall of Fame’s great for a sunny car drive) but their ballads, this one included, strike me as a bit whiny. I think I overdid the boyband ballads when I was a wee teeniebopper and I’m over them now. Maybe I’ll go full circle one day and be a crooning woman of her fifties, listening to Westlife and reminiscing about the good ol’ days, but for now Danny and his fellow Scripters aren’t really my cup of tea.

7 – I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons
This is Alternative. This is not Rock. I’m stamping my foot on this one. Of course that might be because I’m keeping time in the traditional folksy manner… I do love this song; from the furious banjo-ing to the simple-yet-lovely chorus. It’s bright (a lot of the Mumford & Sons songs have a tendency to err toward the solemn) and just brings a smile to my face, and I love that. I also like it because Mumford and Sons are one of the few bands I can listen to and say, sagely, ‘I’ve seen them live,’ as if that elevates me to the next level of fan status. Even though I only bought their latest album, Babel, last week when it’s been out for month already. Doesn’t matter that I was late; I saw them live once!

6 – God is Dead? – Black Sabbath
Something new… and it’s by Black Sabbath… I could not have predicted this chart, even if I’d had weeks to sit and think about what would be in the rock charts. It’s a proper old-fashioned rock song – it’s almost nine minutes long, and the first minute of that is introduction! I only know one Black Sabbath song – the same one I’m guessing most of you know, but it took no time at all to recognise the dulcet tones of one Mr Ozzy Osbourne once the singing started. It’s ok, I guess; would fit on any 70s/80s rock compilation album. At least it’s a rock song, I guess – can’t complain about this one being too pop or too alternative!!!

5 – Flame-Out! – Paul Weller
As with Black Sabbath, here’s someone else more commonly found on TOTP2’s late night replays, and yet the song is so new only half of it is on the youtube page of its singer, Paul Weller. It’s ok, I guess – not really my sort of thing; the vocals aren’t fab, and I’m not really that desperate to hear anything else from the upcoming album.

4 – Better Together – Jack Johnson
Meanwhile, back in the world of Should-Have-Been-On-the-Alternative-Chart…In-2005. It’s a looooovely song, it’s just not what I’d geared myself up for. In fact this whole chart just seems to be a random collection of songs which really don’t fit together. I remember the Alternative lot from last time being very much of that genre. The comedy too, although the definition of ‘comedy’ seemed to be ‘from youtube’ rather than anything broader.

3 – Don’t Save Me – Haim
I’ve heard the name ‘Haim’, but had never listened to the female trio until now. I’m pleasantly surprised, although that might be because they’re the first thing I’ve heard this evening which I would class as modern group playing a rock song! That said, I could imagine this playing over a John Hughes movie… The undertones and the repetitive chorus are a little bit 80s…

2 – Low – Sleeping with Sirens
And THIS is what I was expecting of this particular chart – the fast-paced, angsty, angry rock music of this modern age. I was imagining I would find 30 Seconds to Mars, My Chemical Romance, Bullet for My Valentine and bands of that ilk – not this confused collection of tracks… As for the song – it’s ok; hasn’t changed my world, but I wasn’t driven to turn it off… Meh, I guess is the right term.

1 – Falling – Haim
Back to our 80s-esque trio of long-haired girl-types for the number one entry. This offering also sounds like it could have been released 30 years ago; I can see my younger self finding it on an old compilation cd and dancing round the lounge to it. The video for this song is particularly odd – again I want to suggest it’s a little dated.

At the end of this foray into ‘rock’, I’m really rather confused. I don’t know what iTunes classes as Rock, and I don’t know who’s buying these songs… Nothing makes sense to me. Maybe it’s the tiredness talking, or maybe this IS what the modern rock fan listens to. It’s been an interesting journey through this chart – not as inspiring as the Alternative chart, not as amusing as the Comedy chart. Rock sort of feels like the chart time forgot.

I think I need a lie down…


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Charli
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 22:35:46

    HAIM, who are you and where have you been all my life, you ridiculous band, you? I LOVE them. In this weird mix of faux!rock they stand out to me, although I’d say they seem pretty seventies to me.

    I really enjoyed last months Musical review and I have enjoyed this one, too. Excellent list making and reviews; definitely something I’ll really look forward to next month. No pressure…!


    • Alison
      Apr 24, 2013 @ 09:10:45

      I don’t think I really get Haim, be they seventies (appearance definitely) or eighties (what they sounded like to my ears)… I just can’t really imagine myself listening to them – they’re just not enough, and I don’t know how to word that better.
      The problem I had last night was that I thought I would like rock, because I quite like a lot of things I would call current rock music, but it transpires I have no idea where they would fit in iTunes’ seriously screwed up classification system. I mean, seriously – Mumford & Sons are alternative, right? That’s where they should live… May have to find a new genre-chart-provider for next month’s!


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