Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Playlist: 2014

I had a tradition on my first blog, What We Covet, of starting each new year off with a playlist of music I intend to take with me throughout the year. As with the previous lists, the songs were culled from my current collection. Most aren't recent, but they certainly sound good to me, and that's really the goal of any playlist I ever make. They come to you in no particular order. I hope you'll check them out, if you're not already familiar with them. Enjoy!

1) "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life," InDeep
The first I ever heard of this song, it was because Madonna had sampled it for use on her Sticky & Sweet Tour. I enjoy it not because of Madge, but because it speaks to something in all of us: the feeling we get when we're a little bit lost and need help pulling ourselves up.

2) "Personal Jesus," Depeche Mode
When Johnny Cash covered "Personal Jesus" on American IV, I started to realize that my strange attachment to Depeche Mode is not that unusual, after all. This is an interesting track in its original form, and Martin Gore swears it's about Elvis and Priscilla Presley, which adds another layer of intrigue. I'm a fan of the way DM draws on Bowie here, of course, and the way they were so often ahead of the curve.

3) "Love Is a Losing Game (Demo Version)," Amy Winehouse
While I've never been overly fond of Amy Winehouse, I do appreciate her vocal skill. The stripped version of "Love Is a Losing Game" is particularly effective and affecting, and I could listen to it many times in a row.

4) "Hot Knife," Fiona Apple
I'm what you might call a casual fan of Fiona Apple. I have all of her studio albums, but I don't follow her career and will likely never see her live. However. There is at least one song on each album that speaks to me as a female, a writer, and this is the track I love off of The Idler Wheel. The layering and consistent fervor are both incredible. I feel you on this one, Fiona. I feel you.

5) "Electric Feel," MGMT
MGMT is very hit-or-miss for me. Having said that, I am a huge devotee of "Kids" and "Electric Feel," both from Oracular Spectacular. "Electric Feel" is a song both for the car and the (chill) dance floor. I love listening to it when I walk to work.

6) "Venus," Lady Gaga
I hate to admit this, but I'm not much of a fan of ARTPOP as an album. There are, however, a few standout tracks, and this is one of them. The contrast between the verses, the bridge, and the chorus shows a certain amount of artistic growth, yet the song is still sing-along-able, and that's a feat in itself.

7) "Crazy in Love," Emeli Sandé
My brother took me to see The Great Gatsby for my birthday last year, and with the exception of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue appearing two years too early (the novel is set in 1922; the first part of Rhapsody wasn't released until 1924), the anachronistic soundtrack appeals to me. Sandé's take on Beyoncé's classic track goes well with both the theme of the novel adaptation and its setting.

8) "Wrecking Ball," Miley Cyrus
Haters to the left. For one thing, Cyrus is much better than you think she is, as we hear in this song. For another, YOU try being a Disney star. See how well it works out for you when you come of age and try to become your own person. Besides which, we've all been where she is in this song. Try to deny it.

I invite you all to make your own playlist for the coming year, and share it with me if you're feeling confessional!


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