Tuesday, 23 September 2008 08:45

Five star rated songs

These are songs that are currently rated 5 stars on my MP3 player:

If you have Spotify (download it, it's free and a very useful way of listening to music) you can listen to a playlist of these and other songs I like

You make loving fun, Fleetwood Mac

Why?

The album, Rumours, is a heartbroken classic and it should be in your collection.

This song from it is a really upbeat paeon to a lover. It has some of my favourite guitar playing, ever; subtle and restrained, but brilliant.  When the chorus comes round it is awash with harmonies.

Absolute joy.

Likely 5 star longevity: My lifetime.

 

Sawdust and diamonds, Joanna Newsom


Why?

It is mesmerising, magical, and poetic.  It has the power to conjure you away to some other world, as if pulling you through a mirror, or into some fine tapestry or oil painting.  I have never heard anything quite like it, the harp has the quality of a glistering, shimmering, gaily tripping stream, and her voice and words are so beautiful, evocative and fragile.

'I wanted to say: why the long face?
Sparrow, perch and play songs of long face
Burro, buck and bray songs of long face!
Sing: i will swallow your sadness and eat your cold clay
Just to lift your long face

And though it may be madness, I will take to the grave
Your precious longface
And though our bones they may break, and our souls separate
- why the long face?
And though our bodies recoil from the grip of the soil
- why the long face?'

Here is a link to a MP3

Likely five star longevity, a sparrow's lifetime.

Sweetness, Lloyd Cole and the commotions


Why?

The song drifts in with a pipe organ, then this perfect guitar picking over the top of it. Then Lloyd sings 'oh you're a precious little pearl - but tell me true have you ever had a care in the world?'.

I have loved this song since I was 14 and it has lost none of its beauty or merit in all those years. I think the guitar riff is a work of simple perfection, the lyrics are brilliant and poetic, the melody gorgeous and sweeping and it has a beautiful use of feedback for its solo.

Almost a perfect song, I would say.

Likely 5 star longevity: My lifetime.

 

Baby, we'll be fine, the National


Why?


This song drives out with stilted percussive drums, mesmerising guitar parts and louche but earnest, almost mumbled, delivery.


There is something poetic about the mundanity of the lyrics 'all night I lay on my pillow and prayed, for my boss to stop me in the hallway' and it has a sort of mesmeric urgency that is intertwined with delicacy and awkwardness.

'all we've got to do is be brave, and be kind'

See the National's website

Here is a blog link to an MP3 of the song, but buy the album Alligator - you will not regret it


Likely 5 star longevity: 23 years. It's been a 5 star favourite for three years already.

 

Oliver James, Fleet Foxes

Why?

I saw these people at the Hoxton Square bar and kitchen, I didn't know who they were but they looked like amiable hippies and were very genial on stage.

When the lead singer played this solo, there was an awed silence in the crowd, we were all blown away by it. And when he finished there was a moment of respectful hesitation and everyone applauded wildly, he look genuinely humbled and taken aback by the reaction.

This song is about a drowning, which is far from cheery, but the song is sweet and stirring.

Here is a blog link with some live recordings, including this song

Likely 5 star longevity: 2 months.

Read 4110 times
More in this category: « Bird heart redux Bird heart »

Contact me

You can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
connect on Facebook
or Linkedin
or twitter/michaelfredman