Underrated Songs. Part II
Say It Ain't So, Joe
So here's one song that nobody knows from an artist that few people know. It has almost everything: that folky 70's vibe, strong emotion, melodic acoustic riffs, mood swings and goes in crescendo till it breaks ironicly in the final chorus. A perfect expression of the internal conflict brought by the realisation that your heroes and idols ain't such. If you've ever been disappointed by someone you believed in, you've found your song. “They're telling us lies, Joe; please, say it ain't so”. That is why I say it breaks ironicly in the end. A silent promise that breaks...
Don't Wanna Fight
The Alabama Shakes
The first time I heard this, I thought a dude was singing. Brittany Howard sings like a legend. The Alabama Shakes have managed to combine rock and that special something that only soul has with an alternative twist. With a catching chorus slightly reminiscent of the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive, but still an original piece on its own and its bluesy guitars, Don't Wanna Fight needs to be heard more often!
Soon We'll Be Found
Before Sia broke into the pop scene she was an indie artist and yes, we knew what her face looked like. This gem reminds us of what Chandelier might have sounded like without its straight-pop arrangements. All along, Sia's voice cracks, rasp and projection take us on an emotional journey and demonstrate uniqueness at its best. She is not only a great songwriter and singer, but an artist overall. Thank God she never gave away this song to anyone else. Additionally, the melody sounds like a lullaby trying to make you sleep, but one that you'd rather stay awake to, just so you can keep on listening.
A Step You Can't Take Back
Keira Knightley (from Begin Again)
Another song that builds in and builds in until it seems to explode. The arrangement is pretty and classic, the melody simple but memorable, the lyrics about someone who's almost had too much from life. It is one of those songs you can truly build a connection with. A song that successfully escapes the boring, naive and superficial, yet common words “I love you” “why don't you love me” so popular in music. The film is just alright if you are interested in the process of making music. The characters aren't that interesting, neither is the script and neither most of the other songs, but this one stands out. It sounds like one of those singer-songwriter gems that you want to show to your spiritual/intellectual friends.
The Last Time I Felt Like This
Johnny Mathis & Jane Olivor (from Same Time Next Year)
So, first of all, this song ain't corny, alright? Well, maybe just a little bit. It's about the realisation of falling in love again, when it seemed unlikely, I guess. Its piano-driven melody and nostalgic sound are as good and understated as the film the song is from: Same Time, Next Year. The film depicts how a married man and a married woman meet and connect instantly. Because they already have lives and families of their own, they decide to see each other once a year. Their smart and funny dialogue across the years is accompanied by this outstanding ballad.
Truly, it is her whole debut album that deserves another chance. Probably eclipsed by other soulful artists like Adele or Emeli Sandé, and the ackward (to some) fact that she participated in the X Factor, Rebecca's sound is smoky, classic and unique. The chorus in her song Backtrack is just as good as Rolling In The Deep's, except the production is a bit less raw and more poppy. The line “I don't mean to cry, it's just the smoke gets in my eyes” is a plus too. Also, check out the music in Nothing's Real But Love, Glitter & Gold and Too Good To Lose.