Monthly Archives: May 2011

R.E.M.-“It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)-1987

With all the Doomsday predictions for tomorrow (May 21, 2011) I can think of no better way to spend my last moments on Earth than listening to Michael Stipe’s pleasantly haunting croons. Well ok. I can think of hundreds of ways to better spend my last moments on Earth but this is still a great song. It is classic R.E.M. and really shows their hard rock roots. We all know the “folky” R.E.M. with songs like “The One I Love”, “Everybody Hurts” and “Shiny Happy People” This is “rocky” R.E.M. and is my favorite R.E.M. song after “Orange Crush.”


Chris Brown-“Forever”-2008

We all know the self-proclaimed “Country boy from Tappahannock” could have had a bright career before he beat the hell out of Rihanna. Now he is nothing more than a bleached hair sideshow relegated to join entertainment industry titans like Verne Troyer and Brigitte Nielsen and share their fate of being spit down the reality tv pipes.

To take nothing away from the appeal he once enjoyed, “Forever” is actually an enjoyable piece. Sure it is heavily auto tuned and more machine than Darth Vader, but the lyrics are gentle and enchanting. A young man inviting a young woman to dance. No sexual overtones, no misogynistic lyrics. Simple, wholesome, entertaining.

Sadly, the allure of the song is lost by Chris Brown’s new image. Too bad,too-it could have been to this generation what Luther Vandross’s “Here and Now” was to the Gen X-ers.

Conway Twitty-” Hello Darlin’ “-1970

Before he became some fodder for non-sequitir on episodes of “Family Guy”, Conway Twitty recorded this song. If it had not been for the use of his work in the aforementioned show, I would not have discovered Conway Twitty.

I immediately downloaded the song and began singing it. His smoky but melodious voice so typical of earlier country songs makes this piece the type of song you want to listen to at the end of a day after your muscles are sore from walking around an amusement park, helping a friend move, or doing something equally strenuous. I know that the song discusses an encounter between former lovers, but there is something calming about Conway Twitty’s voice.

Annie Lennox-“Walking on Broken Glass”-1992

Annie Lennox’s voice really is a wonder of the world. She can carry a tune with the best and that deep, heavy tone always gives me goosebumps. This piece really is a taste of ’90’s pop and in the same category as Wilson-Philips, Kathy Troccoli, Amy Grant, and many similar artists of the same era.

However, while the above mentioned are fantastic artists, Annie Lennox really has them all beat. Her voice is simultaneously powerful and gentle, aggressive and beautiful, haunting and soothing, and booming and melodious. This is Annie Lennox’s best song as far as I’m concerned.

Cab Calloway-“Everybody Eats When They Come to My House”-1937

One of my favorite “Harlem Renaissance” era songs, this is a little slice of the ’30’s. It is a perfect recording and has that classic, “big band” feeling and, in my view, is a slice of Americana.