I put the ol’ iRiver on shuffle and post the first five songs that come up.
Bob Dylan – Most of the Time: This is one of my favorite Dylan songs of all time (though it doesn’t sound anything like my other favorite Dylan songs). It’s sad and melancholic and all those other sorrowful words that sum up break-ups. The words are almost painful to hear as Dylan sputters them out almost aggresively, suggesting the very irony of his own words. Regardless of the relatively ‘recentness’ in contrast to his complete discography, it was the first album to do relatively well on charts after a series of born-again Christian gospel records that comprised the 80s. But it’s Dylan, so you know…you won’t regret downloading it.
Piotr Rubik – Please Don’t Go: Yeah, sorry, this shuffle is getting depressing with another break-up song, but you know. Whatevs. Rubik is a successful Polish pop singer with almost flawless English. This song has another mopey feel to it, complete with violins and angst-ridden lyrics (“Please don’t go! Please don’t go!”).
Bon Jovi – Let It Rock: From the band’s highest-selling album, enjoy the opening track of Slippery When Wet, “Let It Rock.” It pretty much sounds like classic early Bon Jovi, you know, a rock-organ intro and predominantly electric guitar riffs. I’ve never really been a huge Bon Jovi fan, but this album is alright.
Placebo – Daddy Cool: Placebo is known for doing plenty of official cover songs, notably “Running Up That Hill,” the almost transcedently awesome cover of Kate Bush’s 80s synth track which made a huge hit in 2006 after being featured in an episode of The OC. Honestly, I can’t choose which song is better, they’re both so musically opposite, yet complement the lyrics both ways. “Daddy Cool” is a rock rendition of an old disco number by group Boney M., one of the many disco groups I was subjected to as a child, having a mother whose favorite performing group used to be ABBA. I was shocked that Placebo would pick such a (semi) obscure disco song to re-do and I was pleasanty surprised to find it used a few of the original vocals, simply placing more rhythm guitars and wasn’t all too bad (more accessible than the original, anyway).
SMAP – $10: SMAP is one of Japan’s all-time most popular boy bands. Of course, the word “boy band” means something different to the Japanese; sure it’s a group made up of boys who sing pop songs and dance, and are made up of the “cute” one, the “quiet” one, etc…but aside from their lack of vocal skills, the group is quite talented in other ways. The boys have been around for almost two decades, making their debut in 1991, and have since gone on to host an exceptionally popular show, SMAPxSMAP that features guest celebrities (both Japanese and American) whom they cook for. They also perform songs, compete in competitions and have short comedy sketches. Each member has gone on to pursue relatively successful solo projects, either in music or TV/movies. This song is a notable early single released in 1994 that was recently resurrected as a duet with Japanese pop queen Ayumi Hamasaki on a recent episode (it was quite comical hearing Hamasaki warble “I want you lady” in English, probably unaware of what she was actually saying).