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Asher
09-01-2003, 23:34:34
Sort of what Snapcase has asked for. I'll do my best to summarize what I look for in music and tell you some of my favorite songs and why.

I'm not interested in the people's comments about how these songs suck, or why you think they're a Velvet Underground ripoff, or anything else like that. I know the songs are hardly hip or cool, but neither am I, so it's rather fitting.

----

I like songs with soul. They need to be about something, meaningful. They need to have good lyrics. They need to have good melodies that fit well with the purpose of the song. They need to have powerful vocals delivered with emotion, drive.

The better songs have many great melodies going at once, so when you listen to the song you can pick up on just one section of the song and concentrate on it and it can feel like a totally different song.

Above all, I need to be able to relate to it.

It's easier for me to show by example, so I'm going to show some of my favorite songs and why.
Matchbox 20 - Hang (from Yourself or Someone Like You)
She grabs her magazines
She packs her things and she goes
She leaves the pictures hanging on the wall, she burns all her notes
and she knows,
she's been here too few years
To feel this old

He smokes his cigarette, he stays outside 'till it's gone
If anybody ever had a heart, he wouldn't be alone
He knows,
she's been here too few years,
to be gone

And we always say, it would be good to go away, someday
But if there's nothing there to make things change
If it's the same for you, I'll just hang

The trouble, understand, is she got reasons; he don't
Funny how he couldn't see at all, 'til she grabbed up her coat
And she goes, she's been here too few years
to take it all in stride
But still it's much too long,
to let hurt go (you let her go)
And we always say, it would be good to go away, someday
But if there's nothing there to make things change
If it's the same for you, I'll just hang
The same for you
I'll always hang
Well I always say, it would be good to go away
But if things don't work out like we think
And there's nothing there to ease this ache
But if there's nothing there to make things change
If it's the same for you, I'll just hang
It's a song about being a spectator of a trouble relationship involving the girl you love but you can't bring yourself to do anything about it. You watch from afar, a spectator. I relate to this. Then it's combined with awesome vocals, perfectly fitting the song and a very mellow mood.

Matchbox 20 - Long Day (from Yourself or Someone Like You again -- I just love that album)
It's sitting by the overcoat,
The second shelf, the note she wrote
That I can't bring myself to throw away
And also
Reach she said for no one else but you,
'Cause you won't turn away
When someone else is gone

I'm sorry 'bout the attitude
I need to give when I'm with you
But no one else would take this shit from me
And I'm so
Terrified of no one else but me
I'm here all the time
I won't go away
It's me, yeah I can't get myself to go away
It's me, and I can't get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn't feel this way

[chorus]

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It's been a long day, always ain't that right
And no Lord your hand won't stop it
Just keep you trembling
It's been a long day, always ain't that right

Well I'm surprised that you'd believe
In any thing that comes from me
I didn't hear from you or from someone else
And you're so
Set in life man, a pisser they're waiting
Too damn bad you get so far so fast
So what, so long

(chorus)

It's me, yeah and I can't get myself to go away
It's me, yeah and I can't get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn't feel this way [chorus]

This one is far more obvious. This became the soundtrack for my life many years ago, because it was so straightforward and perfectly expressed how I felt at the world.

In addition to this album version, there's two other brilliant versions that are quite a bit different: the Acoustic one (two acoustic guitars dueling throughout the song) and the Live Extended one which is nearly eight minutes long with new tunes and choruses and verses, and a 30 second cover of David Bowie's "Fame" brilliantly intertwined in the middle.

Matchbox 20 - Push (guess which album it's from :rolleyes: )
She said I don't know if I've ever been good enough
I'm a little bit rusty, and I think my head is caving in
And I don't know if I've ever been really loved
By a hand that's touched me, well I feel like something's
Gonna give
And I'm a little bit angry, well

This ain't over, no not here, not while I still need you
Around
You don't owe me, we might change
Yeah we just might feel good

[chorus]

I wanna push you around, I will, I will
I wanna push you down, I will, I will
I wanna take you for granted, I wanna take you for granted
I will

She said I don't know why you ever would lie to me
Like I'm a little untrusting when I think that the truth is
Gonna hurt ya
And I don't know why you couldn't just stay with me
You couldn't stand to be near me
When my face don't seem to want to shine
Cuz it's a little bit dirty well

Don't just stand there, say nice things to me
I've been cheated I've been wronged, and you
You don't know me, I can't change
I won't do anything at all

[chorus]

Oh but don't bowl me over
Just wait a minute well it kinda fell apart, things get so
Crazy, crazy
Don't rush this baby, don't rush this baby

[chorus]
Most people don't get what the song's about. The feminists threw eggs at the band because they thought it was promoting violence against women (:rolleyes: ) and everyone else thought it was a song about teenage angst.

It's about emotional abuse from a girlfriend (written from her perspective). There's a lot of anger in the song, but the great thing about it is how the anger comes in and pulls back quickly many times. A quiet-loud type thing, almost.

I could post the rest of the songs on Yourself or Someone Like You too, but I think people get the point. That album is an absolute goldmine for me and the 12 million other people who bought the album, because it's written in such a way that so many people can relate to it so easy. And there's a lot of variety on the record, really catch tunes and powerful vocals. My personal favorite album of all time.

But to be somewhat different, I'll do one last song by a different artist:
Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
And I'd give up forever to touch you
Cuz I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
Cuz sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight

And I don't want the world to see me
Cuz I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah, you'd bleed just to know you're alive

And I don't want the world to see me
Cuz I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
Cuz I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
Cuz I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
See a pattern? Easy for me to relate to. On top of that, there's many layers to the song that are all quite excellent, including an orchestra backing and a great crescendo.

So now that this post is needlessly long and probably really boring, I'm going to bail out. It was admittedly harder than I thought to express why I like the songs I like, and I take shit from a lot of people for it, but I love them and in the end that's what matters.

MattHiggs
10-01-2003, 01:14:00
Downloaded some of the Matchbox 20 songs, I think I'm going to cry :cry:

Sean
10-01-2003, 01:30:05
I agree; they are rather cynical and dull.

Asher
10-01-2003, 01:30:24
British people don't like them, I think the biggest hit they had there was Push which peaked at #36 on the charts. :beer:

Australians, Kiwis, Canadians, and Americans are huge markets for them though.

Asher
10-01-2003, 01:32:11
Originally posted by Sean
I agree; they are rather cynical and dull.
Cynical? How can a band which names their albums things like "More Than You Think You Are" be cynical? :)

Dull I can live with, a lot of people find a lot of the songs dull. *shrugs*

Sean
10-01-2003, 01:34:09
Cynical perhaps wasn’t the right word, but I meant artistically rather than emotionally cynical.

Asher
10-01-2003, 01:35:28
Artistically cynical? How does that work?

MattHiggs
10-01-2003, 01:40:38
I really like Hang. Push is very good lyrically(sp?), but I don't particularly relate to the song which is quite important. Guess I've never been messed around by a girl before. :)

MattHiggs
10-01-2003, 01:40:59
*Still downloading Long day. I hate Kazaa.

Sean
10-01-2003, 01:42:21
In the jaded or calculating sense, unwilling to push themselves. I am tired, so this is not a good time to explain what I meant by that.

Sean
10-01-2003, 01:43:55
Higgsy: use SoulSeek (http://www.slsk.org/).

MattHiggs
10-01-2003, 01:45:22
Ok :)

Asher
10-01-2003, 01:48:20
Originally posted by Sean
In the jaded or calculating sense, unwilling to push themselves. I am tired, so this is not a good time to explain what I meant by that.
Not to be picky but I don't really get that either.

Mad Season (2nd album) had trumpets & horns, latin-esque beats in some songs, 68-piece orchestras in others, lots of piano work, etc.
More Than You Think You Are (3rd album) has more of a rootsy rock n' roll feel to it, but still adds things like sitars to it and different beats (Disease has almost a disco feel to it).

Outside of the band, Thomas writes songs for Willie Nelson, Santana, etc.

I think they push themselves too hard. In fact, their 2nd album was so different from the first that many people didn't like it...

Koshko
10-01-2003, 07:53:45
Well I like a couple of thier songs I guess ...

Debaser
10-01-2003, 13:45:44
Originally posted by Asher
Not to be picky but I don't really get that either.

I think what Sean means (and I apologise if I'm wrong) is that they have found a formula that works and they stick to it. They don't ever really take risks. They pander to their existing (admitidly massive) audience rather than stretch themselves.

Debaser
10-01-2003, 13:55:47
Shit didn't see that other post.

You said "Mad Season (2nd album) had trumpets & horns, latin-esque beats in some songs, 68-piece orchestras in others, lots of piano work, etc."

I believe this is called Second Album Syndrome. Your first album has done really well and your record company has given you a bigger budget for recording but you've been touring for the past 18 months so you haven't written any good new songs. What do you do? Call in the 68 piece orchestra to pad things out! Rent a horn section to make it look like you've progressed musically. How many other bands second albums are just like this? Loads.

"More Than You Think You Are (3rd album) has more of a rootsy rock n' roll feel to it"

3rd Album syndrome, take it back to basics, remember what you loved about music in the first place blah blah blah....

"but still adds things like sitars to it and different beats (Disease has almost a disco feel to it)."

Desperation.

Funkodrom
10-01-2003, 13:58:35
Finch in Kerrang this week. They saw someone with a Finch tattoo. One of Finch in response to the question "what do you think about people with Finch tattoos?"

"They're gonna be really bummed when they hear the crappy second album."

:lol:

PosterBoy
10-01-2003, 17:21:31
Am I the only Brit to like MB20 and GOO GOo dolls?
Asher I guess you like Counting Crows

Debaser
10-01-2003, 17:28:44
Goo Goo Dolls used to do a pretty cool cover of I Don't wanna Know by Fleetwood Mac, and Iris is not too bad, but aside from that they are a little bland. I used to listen to loads of bands like Soul Asylum and Buffalo Tom, and I guess eventually I just got bored with that kind of music.

It all sounds a bit too much like the Dawsons Creek soundtrack to me now.

PosterBoy
10-01-2003, 17:56:59
Goo Goo dolls started out a little more like Husker du, but they got a little more mainstream.
I like that kind of music every now and again, i own a couple MB20 albums a goo goo dolls album ,3 Wallflowers albums, actully I own quite alot of this type of music.

Funkodrom
10-01-2003, 18:55:10
You loser.

Asher
10-01-2003, 21:20:46
Originally posted by Debaser
I think what Sean means (and I apologise if I'm wrong) is that they have found a formula that works and they stick to it. They don't ever really take risks. They pander to their existing (admitidly massive) audience rather than stretch themselves.
So what does he want, exactly?
They've went from post-grunge to soft-rock/adult contemporary to retro-rock from album to album, tried different instruments and song types while still staying in the rock genre at least partially (side note, I don't know if other cities are like this, but nearly every radiostation plays them here -- from Top 40 to Rock to Adult Contemporary, and even the Country station :confused: , although the AC station plays mostly If You're Gone type stuff, and Country more stuff like Push).

Does he want them to switch to metal, or what? :)

Asher
10-01-2003, 21:22:20
Originally posted by PosterBoy
Am I the only Brit to like MB20 and GOO GOo dolls?
Asher I guess you like Counting Crows
They're pretty good, I don't own an album of theirs though.

I think I know all the words to songs like Mr. Jones though. :gasmaske:

Debaser
11-01-2003, 01:37:33
Originally posted by Asher
So what does he want, exactly?
They've went from post-grunge to soft-rock/adult contemporary to retro-rock from album to album, tried different instruments and song types while still staying in the rock genre at least partially (side note, I don't know if other cities are like this, but nearly every radiostation plays them here -- from Top 40 to Rock to Adult Contemporary, and even the Country station :confused: , although the AC station plays mostly If You're Gone type stuff, and Country more stuff like Push).

Does he want them to switch to metal, or what? :)

I don't mean to sound rude, but this is the most bullshit thing I've ever read in my life. "They've went from post-grunge to soft-rock/adult contemporary to retro-rock from album to album". What the fuck are you talking about? What kind of genre is "soft-rock/adult contemporary"? "Retro-rock"? All these genres are just names made up by record compay marketing departments to make the same old shit sound new and exciting. Bland, unoffensive chart rock. Just like a more country Nickleback. I've got nothing against Matchbox 20 as a band, and if you like them then great, all power to you, but don't go thinking they are any more than just a huge commercial enterprise churning out exactly what they know will sell in massive amounts. Your side note; why the confused smilie? They are the Eagles of the 90's. Populist genre crossing, chart friendly, idiotproof, no thought needed, sing-along, pseudo-intelligent pop hits. They are Hero by Enrique Englasias for teenagers. If they were a TV show they would be like a bittersweet Friends, or possibly Dawsons Creek. They are just easy-to-digest throw-away songs for the masses. Nothing more, nothing less.

Asher
11-01-2003, 01:54:25
Originally posted by Debaser
I don't mean to sound rude, but this is the most bullshit thing I've ever read in my life.
I just don't think you understand it very well. :)

"They've went from post-grunge to soft-rock/adult contemporary to retro-rock from album to album". What the fuck are you talking about? What kind of genre is "soft-rock/adult contemporary"?
It's stuff that could be played on an Adult Contemporary station. See: "If You're Gone", "Bed of Lies". Typically ballads, have a very soft-rock feel to them and are typically about love.

"Retro-rock"?
Songs that have a distinctive 60s and 70s feel to them. See: "All I Need", "The Difference", "Unwell"

All these genres are just names made up by record compay marketing departments to make the same old shit sound new and exciting. Bland, unoffensive chart rock.
But the record company didn't make those up, I did. ;)
There is quite a different feel from album to album. It's still mostly in the same genre, but there's a big spectrum in the "rock" genre that is covered.

Just like a more country Nickleback. I've got nothing against Matchbox 20 as a band, and if you like them then great, all power to you, but don't go thinking they are any more than just a huge commercial enterprise churning out exactly what they know will sell in massive amounts.
Perhaps you should do some research into the band before talking about them like that.

First, the band has existed since ~1992. Rob Thomas was homeless for two years in the early 90s, they spent four years doing nonstop touring and writing as a band called "Tabitha's Secret" and released two brilliant but completely non-popular albums in that time ("Don't Play With Matches", and "Live") that probably sold about 2,000 copies each initially. They didn't care, they loved making music, and they just did what they want. Fortunately for them, in 1996-1999, their style of music hit it big with popculture and they went from selling 2,000 records to twelve million in a couple years.

Thomas still says in interviews that he doesn't care if the albums bomb, he writes because he likes to write and he always will.

To say they're just a huge commercial enterprise churning out exactly what they know will sell massive amounts is a dismissive claim I've heard all too many times before by people who don't get the band. They insist since they've had huge commercial success it's suddenly a commercial entity.

Hell, the guy who produced their first two albums as MB20, Matt Serletic, is the head of a totally different label than MB20 is on, but has a specific clause in his contract that he's allowed to continue producing for MB20.

It's about the music for them, it's always been about the music for them. Sometimes their music will be really popular, sometimes it won't. Their latest album probably won't sell very well at all because it's not what's very popular in terms of style right now, but it's still awesome.

They are the Eagles of the 90's. Populist genre crossing, chart friendly, idiotproof, no thought needed, sing-along, pseudo-intelligent pop hits. They are Hero by Enrique Englasias for teenagers. If they were a TV show they would be like a bittersweet Friends, or possibly Dawsons Creek. They are just easy-to-digest throw-away songs for the masses. Nothing more, nothing less.
Something just screamed at me "elitist" again. :sleep:

Just because millions of people can connect with the songs and buy the albums doesn't degrade their quality and ability, and I think that's something you're directly implying there.

They're great songs written with emotion, performed with emotion, complete with catchy hooks and great melodies.

But as you said, they're "chart friendly" -- they're not out there screaming "motherfuck the police" or promoting child pornography. God forbid somebody write a song about people and make it chart friendly, ruins a good song doesn't it...

Asher
12-01-2003, 01:27:51
To the tune of Bent (I've got it on VHS too ;) )

Well it seems like yesterday
My debut CD took off
But before long, the critics slammed me
For making crappy soft-grunge rock

We're played nonstop on rock stations
It became more than one could stand
People got sick of my music
They said our songs are lame and bland

Well I don't care how much we're hated
So blow me and then
Go blow me again

If you don't like me, get bent
I don't care if you hate me
If you hate Matchbox Twenty
So keep dissing me then
'Cause I have said what I meant
If you don't like me, get bent

If you don't like me, then bite me
I invite you to get lost
I'm the one with all the money
I'm a rock star and you're not

We're overplayed and overrated
But we keep getting hits
So we don't give a shit

If you don't like me, get bent
I don't care if you hate me
'Cause I've got my Grammies
So keep dissing me then
'Cause I have said what I meant
If you don't like me, get bent

Start dissing me
I'll sit back and laugh
I'm the one selling CD's
Start dissing me
Keep dissing me
I don't care 'cause I'm still raking it in

*instrumental*

(spoken) Dude, I hate this band! Change the station!

Our songs are Grammy-nominated
So blow me and then
Go blow me again

If you don't like it, get bent
I don't care if you hate me
If you can't stand Matchbox Twenty
Keep dissing me then
'Cause I have said what I meant
If you don't like me, dickweed
Then I know what you need
Hell, I'll say it again

If you don't like it, get bent
I don't care if you hate me
Just look at my Grammies
Yeah, keep dissing me then
'Cause I have said what I meant
If you don't like me

...get bent.

Funkodrom
12-01-2003, 12:48:29
Those lyrics from get bent are really gay.

Mightytree
12-01-2003, 12:51:04
I still have no clue who Matchbox 20 are. Never heard of them ...

Provost Harrison
12-01-2003, 13:19:38
Originally posted by Funkodrom
Those lyrics from get bent are really gay.

So they are 'bent'? :D

Debaser
12-01-2003, 13:20:39
Is that really a song by them? Jesus, they're even worse than I thought.

Asher
12-01-2003, 20:06:09
No, of course not, they're from a parody show.