Well, I fell off the scheduling wagon in a bad way, didn’t I? Oh well, better late than never I suppose. As always, let’s start with a few honorable mentions.
“Beyond the Stars” by Oh Snap It’s Luke!
Besides having one of the best artist names in history, songwriter Lucas Hogg knows how to make, in his words, “fun music for fun people.” His music is electro-pop, undeniably catchy and undoubtedly danceable. This is easily my favorite song by him.
“Making Me Nervous” by Brad Sucks
Another awesome name for another awesome artist. In stark contrast to his moniker, Brad Turcotte is able to combine his low, off-key and atonal vocal stylings with well-developed electronic hooks meshed perfectly with more traditional instruments. I highly recommend checking him out if you’ve never heard of him.
“I Had You Wrong” by Love You Long Time
I decided to make this edition of the honorable mentions all electro-pop, since I had to strongly resist the temptation to populate the list with such songs. Anyway, this song is the same drill as above. Great beat, and a great song to dance to. Honestly, this one would have made my list if it weren’t for the random outro, which lasts far too long and detracts from the overall feel of the song. Oh, and this is yet another of my favorite group names.
Now, on to the list.
15. “When the Doves Cry” by Prince
Much like “Funkytown” this is a song that has fallen quite a bit in my mind recently. Once my unquestioned #2 favorite, it now finds itself far down the list. But, again like “Funkytown” it’s not so much that I like it any less than I used to, I mean, how could I not like a work from the most hip Jehovah’s Witness in recent memory?
This song is amazing. The guitar, the beat, even Prince’s vocals all come together to create a perfect love song. I’m not the biggest fan of Prince’s voice, since a lot of time it sounds like he’s constantly doing the high end of vocal warm ups in a choir class.
But here his vocals are a bit more subdued, and even when he does reach his highest, most grating levels, it seems to fit the tenor of the song. It’s a song of longing, of heartbreak, and you can almost hear the emotion in Prince’s voice, an emotion that is almost oxymoronic when compared to the upbeat tempo.
All in all, it’s great. Definitely my favorite Prince work.
14. “All There Is” by Bad Religion
Bad Religion is one of my all-time favorite groups, and definitely in the running for my favorite punk group of all time. The thing I like the most about them is how they are able to so effectively and completely break the mold of traditional punk music, eschewing overly simplistic lyrics…
Mindless guitar thrashing in lieu of more complex melodies…
Or a lucky set of circumstances that have led to a band becoming incredibly overrated with time.
This song best represents what makes Bad Religion so good. The melody is distinctly punkish, but has several intricacies, including a slowed portion near the end that is easily my favorite part of the song. The lyrics are great, the vocals fitting, and the overall offering is simply fantastic. Despite the band’s name, this song is anything but bad.
13. “Ghost ‘N Stuff” (Hard Intro Version) by Deadmau5
Those of you who have hung out with me, or worked anywhere close to me at the Daily Wildcat, probably know this song. There was a period where I listened to it almost constantly, or at least several times a day. While the original version is great, and easily deserving of a spot on this list, the “Hard Intro” version, which features a narration taken from the film “The Brain from Planet Arous” takes this song to a whole new level.
There’s not much else I can say about this song. It’s techno at its very best. My only critique is that this song has nothing to do with ghosts. Or stuff, for that matter.
12. “Overkill” by Men at Work
There are several reasons this song appeals to me. First, the song is superficially about not being able to sleep which is something I have intimate experience with.
This song is one of the most well-constructed I’ve ever heard. Every single aspect of it comes together perfectly. The low-tuned guitar, Colin Hay’s vocals, and even the mournful sound of the trumpet gives the song an incredible melancholy feel that suits the gloomy lyrics perfectly.
I know there are some people who prefer the acoustic version (otherwise known as the “Scrubs” version) of this song better, but I honestly can’t see why. Then again, I’ve never felt that somebody diluting a song down to an acoustic guitar and whining into a microphone makes a song any more powerful or deep.
Bottom line, this song is awesome. Especially when considering some of the other offerings from the Men at Work.
11. “Feeling This” by blink-182
Blink-182 has been one of my favorite bands for as long as I can remember. One of the first songs I downloaded off Napster (back when it was free and a computer got Internet from a hole in the wall) was “All the Small Things.” I was immediately hooked.
But for the longest time, I didn’t know what my favorite song by Blink-182 was. “All the Small Things” is classic, “Dammit” is turn of the millennium punk incarnate. But it’s when I finally got to see Blink-182 in concert a few months ago that I realized how much I loved this song.
The call and response vocals, the up and down melodic structure, the incredible drum backing from Travis Barker. It all coalesces into a song that is so much greater than the sum of its parts that it’s kind of stunning. But I won’t drag this out. You know the band, you probably know the song, and so there’s nothing else I can really say about it. It’s fantastic, and I love it.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of my top 25 favorite songs of all time.