Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Valentine's Grinch Strikes Back

(EDIT: I'm starting to get used to having to re-up deleted posts because of mystery inclusion of songs that some phantom overseer does not like promoting. Sigh, ah well i'm guessing YouTube it is then)

Thought i'd do the kissing thing to throw you all off into thinking i was gonna let Valentine's slide without any sort of acerbic comment. Well, you were wrong, since i spent another Valentine's Day loveless and alone (awww) and instead put together, in the tradition of last year, another biting Anti-Valentine's playlist. Enjoy

AMR's Anti-Valentine's Mixtape '09

Razorlight - Who Needs Love
A deceptively jaunty opening to our mix and while Jonny Borrell's lyrics are (unsurprisingly) inconsistent, it still manages to capture a bit of rebellious attitude along with a sense of yearning.
sample lyric:
Who needs the disappointment of a telephone call/not I

Franz Ferdinand - Cheating On You
The Glaswegian four-piece find themselves barreling through infidelity like it ain't no thing. The choppy guitars and driving rhythm hammer the point home in that tight modern way that the Ferdinand seem to do oh so well.
sample lyric: I'm cheating on you, yeah/You're cheating on me

My Chemical Romance - I Don't Love You

Emo balladry, a bit of a guilty pleasure i must admit, but it sees them in weepy mode as opposed to angry "i'll die and it's all your fault" mode, besides My Chem always had more depth than they were given credit for.
sample lyric: When you go would you have the guts to say/'I don't love you like i loved you yesterday'?

VAST - Winter In My Heart
As frosty as its title suggests and providing more emo than our previous entry for sure, with Jon Crosby's excellent production and string arrangements it gives the track a stirling poignance.
sample lyric: I need a summer but the summer's come and gone/I need a summer but it's winter in my heart

The Mountain Goats - No Children
It's probably meant to be a little ironic, but this is a deeply uncomfortable listen in its bitter honesty. Hoping for the mightiest of train wrecks in the ending of a relationship in a stripped-back, happy-go-lucky ditty
sample lyric: I hope it stays dark forever/I hope the worst isn't over
And I hope you blink before I do/And I hope I never get sober

Def Leppard - Love Bites
You can always rely on some hair metal to produce heart bruised power ballads like no-one else, and who better than Def Leppard?
sample lyric:
When you make love/do you look in the mirror?/Who do you think of?/Does he look like me?

Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

That opening is a stone cold killer riff. Lee Roth mocks all macho, while brothers Van Halen rock us off of romance like it's going out of style. For those who missed the point, they're talkin' 'bout sex.
sample lyric:
You know youre semi-good lookin/and on the streets again

Pet Shop Boys - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
Let's be honest, we've all been there at one point or another. Whether we've been the giver or receiver on the phone late at night. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have crafted that low-point into sheer pop perfection.
sample lyric:
You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (you can't beat that chorus)

Spiritualized - Broken Heart
From its funereal tone and grand orchestral arrangement, the feling of heartbreak is palpable, awash with a tide of regret and pain. It's as beautiful as it is tragic.
sample lyric:
And Im wasted all the time/Ive gotta drink you right off of my mind/
Ive been told that this will heal given time/Lord I have a broken heart

TV On The Radio - Don't Love You
Despite Tunde Adebimpe's soulful croon, it's hard to hide the cutting lyrics. Juxtaposed with a laconic croon and some droning experimentation, it's a meditative groove that's fuelled by quiet anger.
sample lyric:
Now i can't trust your lover's tongue/Except to tease and taunt

Kanye West - Love Lockdown
Now I know i've ripped into Kanye's break-up album before (a reminder), but i stand by the fact that this hypnotic R&B cut is still the highpoint of the album. Basically because he doesn't get caught up in his own self-pity enough to let the music groove.
sample lyric:
How many times i tell ya/'fore it finally got through/you lose/you lose

Friendly Fires - Lovesick
Just because you've had a gutful of valentine's and all the commercial schmaltz that goes with it doesn't mean you can't have a funky gutful. Friendly Fires are quickly becoming one of my new favourite bands, here's just another reason why.
sample lyric:
Cold hearts/hold the world in your hands

Ladyhawke - Love Don't Live Here Anymore
Over her usual bed of 80's influenced soundscapes, Ladyhawke whiles away her lonely hours to a lost relationship. Much like Friendly Fires it's as danceable as it is sad.
sample lyric:
Love love love is always so unsure/But bleeding hearts have always known no law

Bright Eyes - Lover I Don't Have To Love
Conor Oberst's an insightful little bugger, at the ripe of age of 22, he released this paean to lust. Articulately demonstrating how sometimes trying to simplify things, by skipping the romance for the pay-off, can only make things worse.
sample lyric: Your hands on me/Pressing hard against your jeans/Your tongue in my mouth/ trying to keep the words from coming out/You didn't care to know who else may have been you before

Stars - One More Night (Your Ex-Lover Remains Dead)
The spiritual sequel to the equally excellent Your Ex-Lover Is Dead, i think it perfectly captures the spirit of Anti-Valentine's. That love's not all roses, chocolates and cute teddy-bear cards, that love can sometimes lead to people doing horrible things to each other.
sample lyric: The entire second verse sung with restrained menace:
He starts with her back cause that's what he sees
When she's breaking his heart she still fucks like a tease
Release to the sky, look him straight in the eye
and tell him that now, that you wish he would die
you'll never touch him again so get what you can
leaving him empty just because he's a man
so good when it ends, they'll never be friends
one more night, that's all they can spend

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