Here we have it folks…the Beatles classic that essentially invented the raucous, brutal sounds of what would become Heavy Metal. Apparently inspired by the language of a bullshit review spewing hyperbole over the Who’s “I Can See For Miles” (McCartney took it as a challenge to write something that actually matched the critic’s description), this song has some well-known historical issues with people reading unpleasant (to say the least) meanings into it, but to be fair, if you write a song about a fairground slide that sounds like Satan having an orgasm, people are inevitably going to get a little confused. In any case, no rock song in history had come anywhere near this close to Heavy Metal before, and it remains a crucial milestone of the genre’s development and an absolutely amazing song in its own right. If by some bizarre chance you haven’t heard it, go listen to it. Right now.
Archives for June 2014
This is much better than Lambert’s last hit, “Somethin’ Bad”, but it’s oddly sentimental and inoffensive for the edgy, daring Country firebrand whose nickname is ‘The Pink Pistol’. I mean, when you see a Miranda Lambert song titled “Automatic”, the first place your mind goes is not a soft, nostalgic ballad about the downside of technological progress. And unlike “The House That Built Me”, it doesn’t really capture the naked emotional honesty that characterizes her work either. And while it’s certainly a very pretty song, the lyrics are a kind of neo-Luddite yearning for a return to the exact level of technological sophistication that Lambert grew up with, such as cassette tapes and stick shifts, which when you think about it is kind of arbitrary, even hypocritical. In today’s country scene of meatheaded party anthems, I suppose it’s above average, but I can’t help but feel Lambert is capable of better than this.
Verdict: All right, I guess, but still somewhat disappointing.
As cheesy as most of Journey’s output was, this one song is a stone-cold classic that practically defined the Eighties, and this was one of the rare times when a Glee performance of an actual old-school classic arguably managed to genuinely surpass the original recording. There’s a reason why this song became the show’s signature number, and why, in the depths of desperation in Season 5, one of their attempted solutions was basically “Let’s have Lea Michele record “Don’t Stop Believin’” again”. And say what you will about cheap tactics, but even that version was still an amazing performance of a great song.
Sugarland’s Love on the Inside album contained some of the band’s most depressing songs, such as “Already Gone”, “Joey”, and “Very Last Country Song”, but it also had a couple of humorous novelty items just to provide some emotional variety, and this was the most notable of them. Not only is this song genuinely funny, and not only do the lyrics really do a good job of capturing the arbitrary little frustrations of life, but it has one of Sugarland’s very best melodies, which helps turn this otherwise lightweight novelty track into something genuinely memorable.
Don’t get me wrong…Bruce Springsteen is one of the greatest songwriters in the history of rock, and he fully earned his legendary status. But this song is from what was widely considered the worst album of his career, and like most of the material from that album, it’s a bland, sludgy power ballad that sounds more like a bad post-Grunge or Pop-Country artist trying to sound like Springsteen than the real thing.
This song sounded like a godsend on paper…a legit country artist famous for her songwriting prowess working with a powerhouse voice with tendency to be let down by her usual material, in an era of Country Music so soaked in testosterone that a duet between two of its best-known female performers seemed like an antidote to all its woes. But the actual result was an embarrassing catastrophe that sounded more like a bad imitation of mediocre Eighties hard rock styles than a country song. This is Lambert’s first bad single to date, but frankly, even Underwood’s usual stuff is generally better than this.