Thursday, April 05, 2007

100 Doses: A Long Term Cure for American Idol, Part 4

The purpose.

I don’t know what ingredients build a great song, but I do have my opinions about some songs that I consider to be great. And, one by one, I’m going to share 100 of those songs. They won’t be in any particular order (and Mark Lanegan might be a little over-represented), but they will be accompanied by MP3s and the reasons that I think the songs are so brilliant.

Some of the songs will be familiar, although popularity is no quick gauge of virtue.

Think of this as a cure for American Idol. A group of songs that make up a hell of a playlist with songs that you’ll hate and songs that you’ll love and a little bit of musical exploration for the class. The only two rules are that the songs have to have a prominent vocal, can’t be a cover of another artist’s music, and that I think that they are so damned good that they are worth sharing.

The song.

Soulsavers – “Revival”

Instead of a downloadable mp3, this revival of a very irregular tradition brings you the music video for Soulsavers’ latest single, “Revival.” One of my favorite current songs, this is latter day gospel with some of the prettiest vocals you’ll hear this year. And, yes, for anyone keeping score, that’s Mark Lanegan singing.

It’s a passionate thing, but not overwrought; it’s phenomenally pretty without being fake. The rest of the album--sadly released only in Europe to this point--is just as good. It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land mixes dance beats, ambient sounds, rock, and a good deal more gospel. I might get around to writing a full review some time, but the upshot of a longer piece would be the same: if you get a chance you should buy what will probably be remembered as one of the better releases of the year.

For Lanegan fans it’s a must considering he sings on eight of the ten songs and had a hand in writing five of those. It isn’t a Lanegan solo album, but it seems to be more of a collaborative effort than the Isobel Campbell pairing, Ballad of the Broken Seas from March of last year.

So, when thoughts of Sanjaya are getting you down, it wouldn’t hurt to get a little Soulsavers into your ears. It might just save a life.

Previous Posts:
100 - Mark Lanegan - “Judas Touch”

99 - Dean Carter - “Jailhouse Rock”

98 - Chris Whitley - “Scrapyard Lullaby”


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