Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Matty's Playlist EPs vol. 7

'Flaming Red' - Patty Griffin (Flaming Red): This is the title, and opening, track on the album and it rocks like a mother. Known for her folkie-acoustic singer-songwriter fare as well as her incredibly powerful voice, with Flaming Red Griffin served notice that she was read to rock and duly unleashed this two minute cannonball. Loud guitars, killer blues harp, and the little songstress' voice throws down with attitude as the rhythm section drives it forward. Smokin'.

'The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine' - Spoon (Gimme Fiction): The artist formerly known as James Kingsley (he now prefers to be known by the symbol ∅) got me hooked on this album, by Metacritic's top artist of the last decade. And I love this song and it's incredibly catchy; it gets stuck in my head for days on end because it's so funky, off-kilter, and cool. And it contains one of my favourite lyrics ever, where the expected lines are reversed: "He makes love to the duke/He swordfights the queen/He steals the whole show with his last dying scene." I dare you not to think this song is totally awesome. Even writing this, I've listened to it four times in a row.

'Elsewhere' - Sarah McLachlan (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy): This album is a pretty big part of my growing up, as my stepfather was on to Sarah McLachlan with the release of her first album, Touch, in 1988. To me, Fumbling was where it all came together and it is still her best album by a landslide. I have always found this song and its harmonies to be incredibly haunting; it is still my favourite Sarah McLachlan song, though not one of her more well-known tracks. Unfortunately her music has grown increasingly less adventurous and more generic, though I never dislike it.

'Slowly, Now' - Sleeping At Last (Ghosts): Warning: if you don't like shimmery, epic sounding, Britrock-esque songs with plaintive vocals (including stunning harmonies) and melodies that unselfconsciously reach for the heavens, you will not like this song. If you do like songs like that, you're in luck. Sleeping At Last have changed far more into a lush, chamber-pop outfit recently (witness their Yearbook project), but on their major label debut, Ghosts, they cranked up the big guitars, huge hooks and anthemic vocals, all encased in fantastic production that didn't detract from the music (as Allmusic noted, they sounded like big fans of Unforgettable Fire-era U2). I fell in the love with the big chorus and its killer harmonies. Ryan O'Neal knows how to belt it, that's for sure, and I think it's a fitting ending to my 7th playlist EP!

Listen to this playlist here.

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