Hey there. It’s playlist sharing time. Take a look at the songs I’ve put together for you this week-
If you’re already listening to the first track of the playlist before you read this, great track to start off with right? If you haven’t looked into it yet, the track is Hanging Around by Counting Crows. Now I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this one before, somewhere; but if you haven’t, I’m glad to have made your acquaintance with it.
Hanging Around is the Counting Crows’ biggest hit so far. They’re a great band, lot’s of loud fun energetic music, great vocals and generally a talented bunch of musicians. You probably know their song Accidentally In Love from Shrek 2.
What I like best about the track Hanging Around is how experimental it sounds. The song in fact has been experimented with by the band, with regard to recording techniques used. You can’t really call it a melodic piece of music. It’s.. abstract. Yeah, that’s just the word for this song.
A really good listen. I could listen to this song over 4 times a day.
This being my ninth playlist, I’ve sort of got an idea on how to make a playlist interesting. I think the key is to keep the playlist very random. No patterns, say soft to loud and heavy, or genre-wise listing. So what I do is I give you contrasting music. The second track for today is Everything I Own by Bread.
If you don’t know this band or their music, Bread wrote a lot of folk rock and soft rock between the 60s and 90s. Most of their music is really nice to listen to. A lot of their songs that I’ve heard happen to be love songs.
I like the general tone that all their songs take. You’d think happy hopeful music would sound really annoyingly happy all the time, but no. Bread doesn’t do that. The blend they create between major and minor chords is really nice and is what makes their music stand out to me. The lyrics are impressive and always beautifully written as well.
Really simple music here, but it’s a pleasant listen.
I decided to give you some blues right now. I’ve chosen Jeff Beck with Brush With The Blues.
I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about Jeff Beck. I’ve heard quite a few of his tracks and have concluded that he is an impressive guitarist. Unique and stands out in his own way. His style reaches a broad range of genres like Blues rock, Instrumental rock, Hard rock, Progressive rock and Jazz fusion.
He was ranked 5th in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and the magazine, upon whose cover Beck has appeared three times, has described him as “one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock”.
I’m obviously not doing the man justice by giving you one of his least impressive tracks, but see, that’s not the point here. I share good music. And I was listening to this the other day and decided to share it nonetheless because it’s great to listen to, especially while you’re working.
Today’s fourth song is a song suggested by a blog follower. It’s a collaboration by three of India’s most popular and talented musicians, Agnee, Parikrama and Shilpa Rao. The song is called I Believe. I’ll tell you a little about all three musicians.
Agnee is a rock band from West India. Their style of music is a beautiful blend of Classical rock, Pop, Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, with traces of Folk, Jazz and Funk. (The term “agnee” in Sanskrit means “fire”).
Parikrama is a 90s Rock and Blues band from Delhi, in Central India. The band has been around since the 90s. Very impressive music by the band actually. There are about 10 members in Parikrama, all very talented. They boast of great fusion rock and blues, between Indian classical instruments and conventionals like guitars, drums and keyboards. I simply dig the lead vocalist Nitin Malik’s voice. It’s got clarity and such power. (“Parikrama” in Sanskrit means “orbital revolutions”).
The song I Believe, has a story. I just read it, but I’m not going to get into the detail. If you’re interested though, here’s the link to it: https://www.facebook.com/notes/agnee/the-story-behind-i-believe/10150443167598552. The song got popular on the show The Dewarists, but was actually written much before.
This track takes two very identifiable pieces. It starts off slow, and soft. The fusion between Rock and Classical Indian is so beautifully captured between both bands, sort of like a question-response session between Parikrama and Agnee up until two minutes into the song. You can feel the song building gracefully and perfectly, Nitin Malik bringing in just the right amount of power into the build up. The second piece to this song, somewhere around two and a half minutes, sees Shilpa Rao taking the lead, and she sounds amazing! There’s a really nice fusion between Hindustani vocals and Conventional Western Rock here that you shouldn’t miss paying attention to. Towards the end of this piece of the song, there’s the chorus again, and sung with such vibrance, Shilpa Rao backing the lead vocals so beautifully. There’s a really well executed guitar solo by Sonam Sherpa, lead guitarist of Parikrama, backed by some really impressive drumming as well by the band’s drummer Srijan Mahajan. The bass line to the song is very impressive too. Very carnatic and western at the same time. Towards the end of that guitarist-drummer moment you hear the riff again, and you can feel the song being brought back to the very beginning. I love how this song ends. It’s just the perfect way to end a song in my opinion. Thought provoking, simple, and it reminds you of what the song really was about in the first place; what it started off as.
I’m not a really big fan of Ozzy Osborne, but there are a few songs I really like listening to. This one with Lita Ford is one of them. It’s called Close Your Eyes.
This song is actually by Lita Ford from her third album Lita, and features Ozzy Osborne. It’s an 80s album, and you can easily tell that. There’s not a lot of technical wow on the song but what really impresses me is Lita Ford’s voice. That lady can sing! Such raw power and control and such a brilliant sounding voice, I think this song would have done well without Ozzy Osborne in it as well.
The sixth song on this playlist is something that might test your patience. You might not like it, but here’s me being wishful.
Unlike a lot of Nine Inch Nails music, this one is very slow. Call it an experiment. The song is about self-infliction and pain, and as disturbing as that is, the song is beautiful. It captures and conveys perfectly. The lyrics are depressingly apt and real. The darkness and gloom in the music is scarily honest. Trent Reznor has a hauntingly captivating and conveying voice. You can actually feel the darkness of the song in his voice.
The song, despite its slow and soft nature, is alarming and disturbing at times. It takes about 20 minutes to actually start, (there’s a low hum in the beginning that gradually gets evident), so be patient with it. There’s about a minute and a half of just noise at the end as well, this one loud. Easy to mistake it for a technical error but it isn’t.
I had first heard the Johnny Cash cover of this song that also got quite popular, on the movie Columbiana. I liked the Cash version too.
I think an amazing thing about Keane is the unique tune that all their songs take. They start off quite predictably and normally but then there’s this really beautiful twist to the song, usually building to the chorus, and then the chorus itself. That’s exactly what happens with Bedshaped. You hear this pleasant verse that starts off, positive vibes all around, and then less than a minute and a half into the song, lead vocalist Tom Chaplin so gently but effectively takes the song into this aggressive tone. You can feel so much emotion in his so smooth sounding voice. The chorus on this song is what captures me entirely. It’s simply exquisite. The little link between the very minor sounding chorus and back to major verse is soothing and pleasant.
There’s not a lot of technical greats on any of Keane’s music, but the music is always perfect. Simplicity and beauty in a perfect delicate mix, which is why I thought Bedshaped was a perfect way to close a playlist.
That’s all for today folks. I know I shared 7 instead of just 5 again, but I just had too many songs I wanted to put into these playlists.
Keep the song suggestions and comments coming. I’ll be back with another playlist in a week. Until then.