Music and The Perfect Pop Song

So far as I know, music hasn’t touched off any global conflicts, like politics or religion.
But it can lead to some rather heated discussions.
Because with music, everyone’s got an opinion. A favorite. An interest (how else do you explain Celine Dion or Britney Spears?)
Over at The Rob Report, TheRobRogers likes to blog from time to time about the perfect pop song.

“I was having a conversation with an old editor and the idea of the perfect song came up. You know, the idea that for the listener there are a handful of songs that don't have a wasted lyric, a missed note, nothing. They are perfect. It got me thinking about (some of) my perfect songs. And now I will share a few. Oh yes, sit back and enjoy. And don't worry, I'll update this thread frequently. Because I know every last one of you is eager, eager, eager to know what songs out there I consider perfect.”

Rob’s Perfect Pop Songs Volume 2 has been released, and since I commented, I snagged a copy. And while he completely ignored every single recommendation I gave him for the perfect pop song (hello, The Replacements), the disc is filled with good stuff, top to bottom.

The final lineup:
  1. "Saving Grace" -- Tom Petty
  2. "Sister Jack" -- Spoon
  3. "The Late Greats" -- Wilco
  4. "Back to the Party" -- The PushStars
  5. "Til Kingdom Come" -- Coldplay
  6. "Disappear" -- INXS
  7. "Collarbone" -- Fujiya & Miyagi
  8. "Talk Amongst Yourselves" -- Grand National
  9. "Black Magic" -- Jarvis
  10. "Feel Us Shaking" -- The Samples
  11. "No Ha Parado de Llover" -- Mana
  12. "Satellite" -- Guster
  13. "Waiting, Watching, Wishing" -- The PushStars
  14. "The Way We Get By" -- Spoon
  15. Bonus Track (hint: It’s U2)

I find that I really got behind Spoons and the PushStars. Especially the PushStars “Back to the Party.”
Here’s what TheRobRogers had to say:

“The Push Stars do two things very, very well. They write pop songs that sound at once familiar yet new and different. And they effortlessly blend melancholy sentiments with bright, happy-sounding songs -- melancholy without which the band's music would be unlistenable, syrupy messes. 'Back to the Party,' of course, is the perfect example. I love the song's opening line: 'Boy and girl, you're not the same any more.' It's like some throwback to those cheesy intro-to-puberty film strips you watched in elementary school. The tune itself is a love song, in a sense, that's upbeat, fun and dark around the edges, very cleverly making the point that the fear of following your heart just leads to regret.”

I find myself hitting the replay button on this song, just so I can get the lyrics down cold. For me, it’s the perfect song to sing along to, like Elvis Costello’s “Alison” or The Replacements “Can’t Hardly Wait” (which was my best recommendation for the perfect pop song).

And here are the lyrics for “Back to the Party:”

Boy and girl you're not the same anymore
The boy strolls in and makes the girl hold the door
She slipped me a party smile
That I could see thru
I got nothing to lose
Mary what's happening with you

So Mary said lets go get some fresh air
My eyes cut to him, she said "Don't worry he'd never care"
So we left that crowd behind and got lost in our lust
Shook off the dust
Mary what's happening to us?

In the middle of the pouring rain she said
"I'm going to leave him and he'll never see me again"
I said "but you never really know"
We didn't build this city, we didn't paint this town
Seems like we spend half our lives running around
Wanting somewhere else to go

Back to the party after an hour or two
Gone that long and the boy never knew
'Til he looked down and found grass stains on her knees
Now he's chasing me up the street!
Mary what's happening, happening to me?
What's happening, happening to me?

In the middle of the pouring rain she said
"I'm going to leave him and he'll never see me again"
I said "but you never really know"
We didn't build this city, we didn't paint this town
Seems like we spend half our lives standing around
Wanting somewhere else to go

Well I see your face
Put on the wrong way
If you want to leave this place
Walk home with me the long way

Boy and girl you're not the same anymore
Boy and girl you're not the same anymore
Boy and girl you're not the same anymore

Definitely worth checking out for yourself.

4 comments:

TheRobRogers said...

I feel warm all over.

And, Thom has made some great pop song suggestions on and off the Rob Report. Which means I should probably do a special Thom G edition in the next compilation of perfect pop songs.

ThomG said...

I fear that I couldn't actually call my compilation "perfect pop songs;" rather "ideal alternative/superlative sounds." I just don't see the likes of Social Distortion being "poppy." But that's just me. But I will give out CDs, just like TheRobRogers, if recruited to do such a compilation.

RachelRenae said...

Do such a compilation!

Stevo said...

I still have that Peter Bjorn whistlin' stuck in my head.