Thursday, October 08, 2009

I'm running out of ways to make you see

Every now and then, a hit song comes along that you hate. Not the sort of song that you'll almost absentmindedly flip away from on a radio station in hopes of finding something better, or even the sort of song you complain about--I'm talking about those songs that make you angry in a violent visceral way, the ones you'll do anything you can avoid in any facet of life and that everyone around you either avoids when you're nearby or plays just to torture you.

...and every now and then, the artist who created that song you can't stand goes and makes a song you like. You try to fight it at first--after all, this isn't just an act who you were previously indifferent to; this is an act who engaged in nothing less than torture for several years while radio worked its horrific offspring out of its system--but then a few cracks appear. One moment, you let the song continue to play when you hear it on the radio, so long as no one who knows of your previous dislike for that artist is around, and the next you're buying it off of iTunes, playing it of your own volition.

At least two-thirds of the time, this new song you've taken to doesn't do nearly as well as the hit you hated, which feeds into that (admittedly ridiculous) vicious self-righteous cycle you've created in your mind. It's too late now, though--you like the song now, and there's no going back.

Over the past season or so, I've fallen for a couple of songs by acts whose previous hits I avoided at all costs. The latest is Snow Patrol's "Just Say Yes." Sure, slow as the tempo is, the synth backing intermeshed with the group's more typical pop-rock sound gives it a more dynamic feel which probably automatically gave it a better chance of winning me over, but I think there's more to it than that; there's just something about the song that seems inherently comforting, that gently picks you up when you've fallen down (and that demands all the cheesy analogies you can think of).

Apparently the band originally gave it to Nicole Scherzinger to use on her eventually canceled solo album, which is amusing me to no end.

Why do I love Colbie Caillat's latest single, "Fallin' For You," when I couldn't stand "Bubbly"? I'm chalking it up to that mysterious and fallback-ish explanation called "melody," but if you really pushed me for a reason, knowing full well the explanation I concocted in my head probably wouldn't be anywhere near the real one, I might start talking about how "Fallin' For You" is much smoother, much more full in sound. The video notwithstanding, "Fallin' For You" has a genuine but not overbearing sweetness to its acoustic-guitar-singer-songwriter-meets-mainstream-producer sound.

Oh well. At least, after a blip (his really pretty fantastic cover of "Freefallin'"), John Mayer has returned to releasing singles I can hate in peace.


D'luv said...

I was surprised to hear that Snow Patrol was already releasing a greatest hits this November! I know they've only had three major label albums, so perhaps this will include older material from their three indie albums? Guess I should look at the track listing.

And I recall your vitriol for Colbie's "Bubbly" two years ago!

Poster Girl said...

Is that what "Just Say Yes" is from? I should do some research before posts. I'm still not forgiving Colbie for "Bubbly"--this is just getting her a restrictive probation.