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Monday, March 26, 2007

Mr. Answer Knows it All (But Sometimes He Doesn’t Like the Answer)

When Mr. Answer sees that some woman is planning to dump her boyfriend, he can’t help but feel a little for the poor bastard. So, this recent search for “good song to tell a guy i dont need him anymore” left him feeling a little sad.

He still felt obligated to break out an answer, though. What songs would you use to (hopefully) kindly tell your former beloved that he isn’t so beloved anymore? Firstly, have you considered just calling the guy and using one of the standard break up lines? Something like “I still love you, but I’m not in love with you” or “I didn’t think that the thing you did with the poodle was going to bother me nearly as much as it did.” That little personal touch can really make the subsequent heartbreak much more poignant for the poor bastard.

Failing that, here’s a list of some songs that you can use to get your message across:

  1. MIke Johnson’s “I Don’t Love You” from the album I Feel Alright is more gentle than you might imagine, but it isn’t particularly subtle. Lead off with this on a mix CD for your ex-loved one, and he’ll probably get the message.
  2. “Blood on My Hands” from the Sundays is a sweet whisper of both “I’m Sorry” and “Goodbye” in one song and an utterly gorgeous song. It’s a shame that Harriet Wheeler and the bunch called it a day after three albums.
  3. You could also add in Mark Lanegan’s “House a Home”, although it would work better if you were a boy. Still, there will be no mistaking “and I’m not the one to make your house a home” as being a call for long term commitment.
  4. BB King’s “Thrill is Gone” is a brilliant choice especially if there was a little infidelity on his part. It’s celebratory anger in the best blues tradition. And it’s BB King, so, seriously, how can you go wrong?
  5. An odd choice would be a-ha’s “The Way We Talk” from East of the Sun, West of the Moon. A short, jazzy number with no resemblance at all to the pop of “Take on Me”, it’s a one sided conversation about a broken relationship. Perfect.
  6. Definitely add in Amy Mann’s “I Can’t Help You Anymore” from The Forgotten Arm--especially if the boy has anything resembling a substance abuse problem.
  7. Lastly, you might want to try “You Will Be Loved” by Death Cab for Cutie, a poppy slice of polite break up song that’s catchy as hell.

As an added bonus, here’s a few songs that he can listen to to make him feel worse. Or better. However you look at these things.

  1. Madeleine Peyroux’s take on Elliot Smith’s “Between the Bars”, which is one of the most melancholy songs I’ve ever heard.
  2. Mike Johnson gets a return appearance with “Turn Around"--just in case you want to string him along a little.
  3. “No One Knows” (especially, if you can find it, the live accoustic version from a Swedish radio show back in the ‘90s, but the album version will do the job, too) from Screaming Trees isn’t so much about a broken relationship as it is about creating a mood. On the live version, Mark Lanegan’s voice sounds so tired and lost that when he asks “Darling, what have I done wrong?” you’ll be guaranteed to have the ex in tears. Unless you tell him that you cheated on him, in which case he’ll be overwhelmed with crankiness. As a bonus, “Dollar Bill” from that same session would work like a charm, too.
  4. If you both happen to be of a certain age, you’d be doing him a serious wrong if you didn’t include Hall & Oates “She’s Gone”. Those under 30 might want to skip this one…
  5. Blood Group’s “Borrowed Tune” is a pretty, ambient bit of depression.
  6. If, on the other hand, anger is called for, Stabbing Westward’s “Lies” from Ungod might be his cup of poison. Caught between goth darkness and industrial noise, it’s a post-break up sing-along for who like their music loud.

Now, go forth and separate.

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