Here is the tracklisting for episode 5 of An A-Z of Great Tracks, broadcast January 29th on 8Radio.com and due for repeat on Saturday 1st February 2014 from 10-11am.
Week 5 of the show, and I continue to rediscover gems, great and small, that I had all but forgotten.
This week’s surprise for me in my own library was “Adult Education” from Hall & Oates, a track much played on Caroline back in the mid-80s, but which I would swear I have never heard on the radio since. I’ve never been able to quite decide if the lyrics of this little piece represent wordplay of the best kind, or simple frat boy humour: “teachers don’t know how to deal with the student body” but either way, this is a slice of pure 80s, a throwback to a more innocent age, and a gem at that.
JJ Cale “After Midnight” another little piece of audio bliss for me too.
Next week, we come to a word that takes us into rich musical territory.
Writing yesterday about the differences between how election ads and songs are regulated (or not) in the USA compared to Ireland, I mentioned the musician Gerry Stanek, who has brought out a great and very funny track “I’m In Love With A Girl Named Sarah Palin” done in country balled style.
At the time of writing, I only really listened to the track itself, but have since gone back to Gerry’s myspace page to sample his other material, which is well worth a listen.
It’s hard to classify him exactly, as he lies somewhere between country and indie rock, and each song is quite different in style from the last.
“Gravity” is nice, “It Ain’t For Me” is quite catchy, but my personal favourite is “They Know My Name” which mixes resigned and downbeat lyrics with 70s sounding backing to produce a song which is suitably plaintive without being over emotive.
A lucky musical discovery for me when I was surfing for a news fix!
Ida Maria’s song I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked has been around for a few weeks now, and shows no signs of growing stale. I’ve heard a few other tracks from the debut album, and must sit down and listen to the whole thing soon.
The song is catchy, but what I really like is the attention to detail in the lyrics.
Ida’s singing helps reinforce the image of the protagonist of the song as a little flakey, but it’s the unbalanced lyric in the chorus that really seals the deal.
“I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked”
The line catches you out, because you expect her to follow from the preceeding like by liking herself much better when she herself is naked. The fact it is still about him being naked changes it from a general appreciation of nakedness or fun, to a signal of her discomfort with social as opposed to sexual intercourse – the latter is a situation she can cope with, so his nakedness puts her back in the comfort zone.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I like the lyrical device in any case.
It reminds me of another “unbalanced lyric” in a song by Canadian artist Amanda Marshall, in the song I Believe In You. Marshall sings about how “I Believe In You” and then demands in return that “You Believe In You” when we might have expected the reciprocation to be that “you believe in me“.
It highlights the unselfish nature of the love being offered in the song, and again catches my attention as a great lyrical hook.