Tag Archives: album

Travelin’ Man: A Trilogy of Related Brandi Carlile Songs

2 Nov

The song, “This Time Tomorrow” on the new album, ‘In These Silent Days’ is quiet and a bit inconspicuous. But I noticed a theme running through Brandi’s catalogue: This song compares well with “Closer to You” and also to “Wherever is Your Heart” off Firewatcher’s Daughter. It’s (all 3, really are) a song from the perspective of a person that travels a lot, and is very busy. But in all three songs, the narrator says their heart is always with their love back at home (GF? wife? the subject may change over time). And that narrator looks forward to physically being with their partner again. I’m going to awkwardly refer to whoever the primary perspective in the song as “narrator” because I’m not certain who this story belongs to. All 3 seem to write a lot of the music, and maybe it’s the combined experience of Brandi, Phil, and Tim. I haven’t seen interviews or other info that tells which one might be talking for sure.

Closer to You (the first written of these 3 similar sentiments):

I’m staring out at endless rows of green
There are miles of hay like I have never seen
Just when you think you’ve had enough and
your dreams come true
I just want to be closer to you

My mind wanders through all that I’ve been hiding from
I tried not to let you down
Now I wonder if I’ve been doin’ something wrong
Help me get my feet back on the ground

Tomorrow I’ll be lying under you
With a heart of gold and arms to fall into
I know that there might come a day
where my life is through
But I just want to be closer to you

My mind wanders through all that I’ve been hiding from
I tried not to let you down
Now I wonder if I’ve been doin’ something wrong
Help me get my feet back on the ground

Someday we might learn to tell the truth
We might even find the fountains of our youth
We all needed something real we all need proof
I just want to be closer to you
I only want to be closer to you

The tone of this song is excited, almost wonderous at these novel sights. And when the narrator gets fatigued of all the travel–all their dreams (of adventure? money? fame? musical growth?) come true. They will press on with the travel over the long term. The writer of this song thinks maybe they’re going about the relationship, career, and/or life wrong, The final verse conveys a searching for something higher-and alludes to a spiritual crises. Even so, the narrator has the tangible in their mate. And knows their loved one will be there to ground them when they get back home. It is indicated that the narrator KNOWS this person with golden heart will be there. There’s no doubt.



In Wherever is Your Heart, written early on in relationships, it’s decidedly upbeat and hopeful:

I think it’s time we found a way back home
You lose so many things you love as you grow
I missed the days when I was just a kid
My fear became my shadow, I swear it did

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

You made me feel like I was always falling
Always falling down without a place to land
Somewhere in the distance I heard you calling
Oh it hurts so bad to let go of your hand

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Even when you’re high, you can get low
Even with your friends you love, you’re still alone
We always find the darkest place to go
God forgive our minds, we were born to roam

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind
There’s a road that’s long and winding, it hollers home
I’m calling home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home



Or, might I say, the song of the song is upbeat and gives an optimistic vibe, and the chorus is true to that sentiment. This 2nd song says no matter how far apart geographically the two partners are, they both take solace in the fact that their hearts are together. They don’t need to be physically together to feel and know the love they share. BUT the verses betray a darkness in the narrator. They lost things/people as they aged, and reminisce about a simpler time of when they were a child. Now, they feel fear nearly always. The falling verse that’s next directly ties back to the plane metaphor in “You and Me on the Rock” and tells of that broken foundation that comprises this person. The narrator tells that even with this beautiful sentiment of loving and spiritually being with your lover, even when separate, their mind still fights. The mind is still lonesome amongst friends, sad during happy times, aberrant from the happy chorus.

Which brings us back to this current song, You and Me on the Rock:

When the fire inside that burns
So bright begins to grow faded
It can be hard to see the ground on which you stand
Though you may not be afraid of walkin’ in the darkness
You will feel like a stranger in this land

You can try to carve a faith out of your own
But a broken spirit may dry out the bone
And the edges of the night may cause you sorrow
You know I may not be around this time tomorrow
But I’ll always be with you
Yeah, I’ll always be with you

When the hope that you hold tightly to has all but vanished
And there are no words of comfort to be found
You will know what it means to be lost and without love
May you fight to kill that deafening sound

But our holy dreams of yesterday aren’t gone
They still haunt us like the ghosts of Babylon
And the breakin’ of the day might bring you sorrow
You know I may not be around this time tomorrow
But I’ll always be with you
I’ll always be with you

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh

repeats

Now the person at home doesn’t have a golden heart, but that bright fire faded. They can’t even find the ground, and aren’t the stable force they were in “Closer to You” anymore. Instead of coming home to comfort, the narrator feels like a stranger. Carving faith is more laborious than how easily it came in the first 2 songs… What is the exact same in all the songs, is the narrator will always be with this other person in spirit when they travel, just as before. The next verse gets at the heart of this entire album again. The lyrics reiterate that love has all but vanished, yet the narrator grasps tightly to whatever is left of it. The person left at home, no longer has words of comfort as mentioned in the prior songs, which makes the narrator feel even more lost than they already felt.

I like the new album, but it’s a bleak story. And this trilogy of songs shows the trajectory of a traveling person with a broken foundation who found, and then lost, love and now lives in a codependent state. ‘In These Silent Days’ tells the same story of the catalogue, just in a more condensed form.

PS- I think I’m going to do a few of these similar song postings, as I heard a lot of pairs and triplet songs while going through the album.

Dave Matthews Band Studio (Only!) Songs Ranked

3 May

Here is another ranking list.  You can check out my methodology here (I’ve done them all the same way):

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11721&action=final

I want to really emphasize that I judged the list purely on the merits of the studio version, to the exclusion of any live version, or knowledge of the live version.  They are ranked as if these versions are the only ones that exist–because I KNOW the live versions are so much better/more exciting/longer jams/medleys/etc!  But it would take a lifetime to listen to every version of every live.  So the album songs are ranked as-is.

Also, I’m trying something new with the formatting.  I took each post it and posted them as they were written, which is best song in that particular category to worst song in that group.  And like Memento, I did the big reveal by putting the post it categories worst to best.  Got it?  Groups are worst at the top of this post to best at the bottom.  But within each category/group the songs are listed best to worst.

So here we go:

SKIPs  (best to worst)
Let You Down (C) =M
Christmas Song (RTT)=M
Say Goodbye (C) =S
That Girl is You (CT) =S (terrible singing)
Dreaming Tree (BtCS) =S (long & boring)
Cry Freedom (C) =S
Captain (BS) =S
Pay for What You Get (UtTaD) =S
#34 (UtTaD) =S
Pantala Naga Pampa (BtCS) =S
Grux (BW) = S (very short)
#35 (BW) =S

MEH (Best to worst)
Dreams of Our Fathers (E) =M
Lying in the Hands of God-live (BW) =M
When I’m Weary (CT) =M
Out of My Hands (SU) =M
Busted Stuff (BS) =M
Belly Full (AftW) =M (short)

Kit Kat Jam (BS) =M
Dreamgirl (SU) =M
The Song that Jane Likes (RTT) =M
The Song that Jane Likes-acoustic (UtTaD) =M
Pay for What You Get (RTT)=N
Baby Blue (BW) =M

OK/NEUTRAL 3rd group (best to worst)
Here On Out (CT) =N
Virginia in the Rain (CT) =N
Sleep to Dream Her (E) =N
American Baby (SU) =N
Lover Lay Down (UtTaD) =N
Black and Blue Bird (CT) =G
Old Dirt Hill (Bring that Beat Back) (SU) =N
I’ll Back You Up (RTT)=N
bkdbdkd (CT) =N
Stay (Wasting Time) (BtCS) = N (Lovely Ladies turned me off the band)

OK/NEUTRAL 2nd/middle grouping (best to worst)
Idea of You (CT) =N
Come On Come On (CT) =N
Lying in the Hands of God (BW) =N
Granny (UtTaD) =N
Proudest Monkey (C) =N
Beach Ball-Live (BW) =N
Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd (SU) =N
Steady as We Go (SU) =N
Fool to Think (E) =N
What You Are (E) =N

OK/NEUTRAL 1st/top of list (best to worst)
Mercy-Live (AftW) =N
Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin) (CT) =N
The Riff AftW) =N
One Sweet World (RTT) =N
Smooth Rider (SU) =N
Dancing Nancies-acoustic (UtTaD) =N
Seek Up (RTT)=N
Gaucho (AftW) =N (awesome, but hate the kids singing)
Minarets (RTT)=N
So Right (E) =N
Sweet-live (AftW) =Gr
If I Had It All (E) =N

low good (2nd half of good list, best to worst)
Typical Situation (RTT)=G
Mercy (AftW) =Gr
You Might Die Trying (SU) =Gr
Everybody Wake Up (SU) =G
Raven (BS) =G
Satellite (RTT) =G
Snow Outside (AftW) =Gr
Where Are You Going (BS) =G
The Space Between (E) =G
Typical Situtation (UtTaD) =G
Digging a Ditch (BS) =G
Pig (BtCS) =G
Stand Up (For It) (SU) =G
Dive In (BW) =G
#41 (C) =G
You Never Know (BS) =G

Med Good (middle list of the goods, best to worst)
Drunken Soldier (AftW) =G
Satellite (UtTaD) =G
If Only (AftW) =G
Sweet (AftW) =A
The Best of What’s Around (UtTaD) =G
Grey Street (BS) =G
Broken Things (AftW) =G
Spoon (BtCS) =Gr (bango!)
Angel (E) =G
Again and Again (CT) =Gr
Can’t Stop (CT) =G

High Good (top of Good list, best to worst)
Ants Marching (RTT) =G
Time Bomb (BW) =Gr (singing passionately!)
Squirm (BW) =G
Funny the Way It Is (BW) =G
Grace is Gone (BS) =G
So Much to Say (C) =Gr
Shake Me Like a Monkey (BW) = G
Drive in Drive Out (C) =Gr
When the World Ends (E) =Gr
Shake Me Like a Monkey-live (BW) =Gr
Gaucho-Live (AftW) =G (the baseline!)
She (CT) =G (sounds like Lifehouse)
Rhyme & Reason (UtTaD) =G
Halloween (BtCS) =G (I’m too concerned about wrecked voice to enjoy this song)
Rooftop (AftW) =G
Belly Belly Nice (AftW) =G
Everyday (E) =Gr

Lower Awesome (bottom of Awesome list, best to worst)
Don’t Drink the Water (BtCS) =A
Too Much (C) =A (funky guitar, fast guitar, overindugence)
Time Bomb-Live (BW) =A (guitar solo! Passionate singing!)
Lie in Our Graves (C) =A (violin-centric)
Louisana Bayou (SU) =A
Jimi Thing (UtTaD) =A
You and Me-live (BW) =A
Hunger for the Great Light (SU) =A
I Did It (E) =A
Hello Again (SU) =A
Bartender (BS) =A
The Last Stop (BtCS) =A
What Would You Say (UtTaD) =A (Blues Traveler!)
Come Tomorrow (CT) =A (Brandi)
Recently (RTT) (interlude) =A (good hoe-down)
Mother Father (E) =A (guitar!)
Tripping Billies (RTT) =A
Spaceman (BW) =A
Seven (BW) =A
Crash into Me (C) =A
Do You Remember (CT) =A

Top AWESOME (these are the best of the STUDIO songs, best to worst)
Two Step (C) =A
Ants Marching (UtTaD) =A
The Stone (BtCS) =A (Epic!)
Crush (BtCS) =A (this is my all-time favorite, but the live versions, not this studio one)
Alligator Pie-Live (BW) =A
Alligator Pie (BW) =A
Warehouse (UtTaD) =A
Big Eyed Fish (BS) =A
Tripping Billies (C) =A
Repunzel (BtCS) =A
Dancing Nancies (UtTaD) =A
Why I Am (BW) =A
You and Me (BW) =A

Taylor Swift’s Catalogue Ranked by Kit10Phish (final)

14 Mar

I ranked all album songs from least favorite to my very most delightful favorite of all the songs!

How I made this list:

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11721&action=edit

and check out the many (not final) lists for more description

(numbers) are the album/era

(C)atchy, (D)etailed story, (G)aylor references, (I)nstrumentals, (L)yrical complexity, very high/low (N)otes, (P)roduction stands out in a good way, (S)entimental

Skips
Last Place Song:
Superman (3)

Soon You’ll Get Better (7)
(best skip) Epiphany (8)

Mehs
3 boring:
A Perfectly Good Heart (1): I, N
(best boring-meh) The Archer (7): G, L

Mehs
2 Personally Dislike:
The Lakes (8): G, L, N, P
End Game (6): C, G, L, P (terrible feat!)
(best disliked meh) Coney Island (9): G, L, N (terrible feat!)

Mehs
1 Exactly Meh:
It’s Nice to Have a Friend (7); D, G, L (Ambiguity bothers me; weird production)
The Other Side of the Door (2): I, L, N
A Place in This World (1): I, N
Right Where You Left Me (9): C, G, L, N (repetitive)
(best exactly meh) The Outside (1): I, N (weak)

OK3 = nearly meh (final)
OK-3B BOTTOM OF LIST:
Tell Me Why (2): C, I, N = 3b (thin voice & a bit generic lyrically)
Sad, Beautiful, Tragic (4): C = 3B (both blah and bummer)
Superstar (2); D = 3B (zzzzzz)
I Almost Do (4); C = 3 (too needy/pathetic/un-feminist. Yet catchy)
(best OK-bottom of nearly meh) Jump Than Fall (2): C, I = 3B

OK3 = nearly meh (final)
OK-3A = TOP OF LIST:
The Other Side of the Door (2); C, I, L, N = 3A
Innocent (3): C, I, N = 3A
Last Kiss (3): C, D, N = 3A
The Best Day (2): C, D, = 3A
(best nearly meh) Fearless (2); C, I, N = 3a

OK2 = exactly neutral
OK-2B = BOTTOM OF LIST:
Peace (8): C, D, G, L = 2b (hate pulsing; lyrics condescending(?))
Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince (7); C, D, G, L, N = 2b (don’t care for HS/politics mixing & end chant is too much. But lots of good one-liners)
I Wish You Would (5): C, G = 2A
It’s Time to Go (9): C, D, G, L, N = 2B
Illicit Affairs (8); C, D, G, L = 2B
August (8); C, G, L = 2B
(best OK-bottom of exactly neutral) A Place in the World (1): C, I, N = 2B

OK2 = exactly neutral
OK-2A = TOP OF LIST:
The Way I Loved You (2): C, D, I, N = 2A
False God (7): C, G, L = 2A
Breathe (2): C, G(?), L = 2A
Dorthea (9): C, D, G, L, N = 2A
Happiness (9): C, D, L = 2A
Seven (8); C, D, G, L, N = 2a
(best of OK-exactly neutral) Long Live (3): C, D, I, N = 2A

OK1 = almost good
OK-1B= BOTTOM OF LIST:
Mary’s Song (oh my my) (1): C, D, I, N = 1B
This Love (5): C, G, L, N, P = 1b
I Think He Knows (7): C, G, L, P = 1b
(best OK-bottom of almost good) London Boy; C, D, L, P = 1b

OK1 = almost good
OK-1A= TOP OF LIST:
New Romantics (5): C, D, G, L, N, P = 1A
Hey Stephen (2): C, D = C2
Call It What You Want (6); C, G, L, P = 1A
Tied Together w/a Smile (1): C, D, I, N = C2 (less repetition, some more notes & instrumentals
Gorgeous (6): C, D, L, N, P = 1A
King of My Heart (6): C, L, N, P = 1A (ENDING)
Change (2); C, I (@ END!), N = 1A
Back to December-acoustic (3): C, D, I, N, S = 1A
(best OK-almost good) Cornelia Street (7); C, D, G, L, N = 1A

Good c = almost OK
Gc2 = bottom of category:
State of Grace-acoustic (4): C, L = C2
Begin Again (4): D, I, L = C2
The Last Time (4): C, I = C2 (weird collaboration)
(best Good-bottom of almost OK) Cold as You (1): I, N = C2

Good c = almost OK
Gc1 = top of category:
22 (4): C = c1
Untouchable (2): C, I, N = C1
Come in w/the Rain (2): C, I = C1
All Too Well (4): D, I, L, N = C1 (almost a powwow beat; and yup I did rank it this low)
Starlight (4); C, I = C1
(best Good-almost OK) Sparks Fly (3); C, I = C1

Good b= exactly good
Gb2 = bottom of category:
If this was a Movie (3): C, D, I, N = B2
Never Grow Up (3): C, D, I, N = B2 (problematic sentiment)
’tis the damn Season (9): C, D, L, B2
You are in Love (5): C, N = B2
Stay Beautiful (1): C, I, N = B2
Treacherous-demo (4): C, G(!), L = B2
Cardigan (8): C, D, G, L = B2
Red-demo (4): C = B2
The Last Great American Dynasty (8): C, D = B2
How You Get the Girl (5): C, D, G = B2
(best Good-bottom of exactly good) White Horse (2): D, I, N = B2

Good b= exactly good
Gb1 = top of category:
Everything has Changed (4); C, N = B1
Holy Ground (4): C, D, G, L = B1
This is Me Trying (8): C, I, L(!) = B1
Afterglow (7): C, P = B1
Treacherous (4): C, G(!), L =B1
Daylight (7): C, G, L, N = b1
Come Back…Be Here (4): C, N = B1
Mirrorball (8): C, G, L = B1
I’m Only Me When I’m w/You (1): C, I(!) = b1
Forever & Always-piano (2): C, I, N = B1
The Lucky One (4): C, D, N, = B1
(best Good-exactly good) Fifteen (2): C, D, I = B1

Good a= almost awesome
Ga2 = bottom of category:
This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (6): a2
Welcome to New York (5): C, D, G, N, P = A2
Me! (7): C, G, I, N = A2 (yup, I ranked it this high–it grew on me)
Wildest Dreams (5): C, N, S = A2 (sexy)
Delicate (6): C, D, G, L, P = A2
So It Goes…(6): C, G, P, L, N = A2 (sexy lines)
Mine-pop (3): D, I, N = A2
Clean (5): C, G, L, P = A2
Tim McGraw (1): C, D, G, I, N = A2
Champagne Problems (9): C (bridge), D, G, L = A2a
(best Good-bottom of almost awesome) Betty (8): C, D, I, G, L = A2a (catchy, & swelling instrumentals)

Good a= almost awesome
Ga1 = top of category:
Mine (3): C, D, I, N = A1
Haunted-acoustic (3): C, I, N, P = A1
Getaway Car (6): C, D, G, P = A1
Death by a Thousand Cuts (7): C, D, G, L, = A1b
Gold Rush (9): C, G, L = A1b
tolerate it (9): G, I, L = A1
Cruel Summer (7): C, G, L, N = A1b
Red (4): C, I, L, P = A1
New Year’s Day (6): C, D, I, N =A1
Cowboy Like Me (9): C, D, G, I, L = A1
willow (9): C, G, L, N = A1 (so effing catchy!)
Dress (6): C, G, L = A1 (SEXY)
Haunted (3): C, I (!), N, P = A1a
Teardrops On My Guitar-RADIO (1): C, I, L, N = A1 (sounds almost the same to me)
(best Good-almost awesome) Teardrops On My Guitar-POP (1): C, I, L, N = A1 (more beat & echo)

Awesome- 3 BETTER THAN GOOD:
All You had to do was Stay (5): C, N = 3
Evermore (9): C, L, N = 3
Stay, Stay, Stay (4): C, D, S = 3
Bad Blood (6): C, N = 3
The Moment I Knew (4): D, N = 3
(best Awesome-better than good) Ours (3); C, L, N = 3

Awesome-2 SOLID AWESOME
2b = bottom of list:
You Belong w/Me (2); C, D, I, N, S = 2b
I Forgot that You Existed (7); C = 2b
Girl at Home (4): C, N = 2b
Our Song (1): C, D, I =2b
Paper Rings (7): C, D, G, P = 2b
No Body, No Crime (9): C, D, L (pronoun/subject) = 2a
Closure (9); C, G, L, P = 2b
The 1 (8): C, D, G, L = 2b
Wonderland (5); C, G, L, N, P = 2b
(best Awesome-bottom of solid awesome) Ivy (9); C, G, L = 2b

Awesome-2 SOLID AWESOME
2a = top of list:
my tears ricochet (8): D, L, P = 2a
Mad Women (8): C, L, N = 2a
Out of the Woods (5): D (bridge), G, L = 2a (is this car crash real? who and when? major gay closet vibes)
The Man (7): C, G, L = 2a
Invisible String (8); C, D, L = 2A
You Need to Calm Down (7): C, G, S = 2a (the 3 things being compared aren’t related? enthusiastic!)
Back to December (3): C, D, S(!) = 2a
Blank Space (5): C, G, L, N = 2a
(best of Awesome-solid awesome) I Knew You Were Trouble (4); C, N, P = 2a (subtle-moag)

Awesome-1 ELITE
1b= bottom of list:
Love Story (2-TV): C, D, I, N = 1a (same except staccato reme-o & fa-ding)
Love Story (2): C, D, I, N = 1a (her 1st crowd favorite, but rom-com effect w/princess stuff & severe heteronormativity)
Dear John (3); C, D, L, N = 2a
Enchanted (3): C, D(!), I, N, S = 1b
Better Than Revenge (3): C, D, I(!), N, S = 1B (sounds like Paramore; problematic mean-girl stuff, but it was a time)
Exile (8): C, G, I, L, N = 1b
Dancing with Our Hands Tied (6): C, G, L, N, P = 1b
Marjorie (9); C, G, L, P, S = 1b (I love the sentiment more than the song. Intense memories of my Grandma, thanks Taylor, for that)
(best of awesome- bottom of elite) Long Story Short (9): C, G, L, P = 1b

Awesome-1 ELITE
1a = top of list:
Style (5): C, G, I, L, N, P = 1a (who is she talking about, what car crash is referenced, is it real?)
Lover (7): C, G, L, S = 1a
Shake It Off (5): C, N = 1a (love the sentiment, & catchiest of ever!)
I Did Something Bad (6): C, N, P = 1a (moag is the star here)
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (4): C, I, P = 1a
Look What You Made Me Do (6): C, P = 1a (exciting like several songs w/in 1 song, I don’t trust nobody bridge)
The Story of Us (3): C, I, S = 1a ( like the next chapter, the end)
Picture to Burn (1): C, I, S = 1a
Shoulda Said No (1): C, I, N, S(!) = 1a
…Ready for It? (6); C, G, N, P = 1a (sexy sounds & moag)
(4th best song) I Know Places (5): C, G, L, N, P = 1a

–and the top 3 songs in the entire catalogue (in my opinion):
*Don’t Blame Me (6): C, G, L, N(!), P = 1a (that moag! She sings her ASS off! Probably the best, barring sentimental favorites)

You’re Not Sorry (2): C, I, N, S(!) = 1a

(My #1 song) Mean (3): C, L, S(!) =1a (after all the listening I learned sentimental really does trump every other characteristic.)

Indigo Girls: Neutral/OK Songs (not final)

2 Mar

These are the songs that aren’t meh or skip, but also aren’t great enough to make the goods. They’re A-OK. I split it into 3 parts: OA which are nearly good, OB = exactly neutral, and OC which are just above a meh. Then, I split the 3 groups into top of that list (1) and bottom of that list (2)–just to make it a bit more manageable. The songs within each group aren’t in order quite yet.

IG OK
OA
1

Bitterroot (BY): C =OA1
Compromise (CoNS): C, I, L, N, P = OA1
Ghost (LwtUoCSO): I, L, N = OA1
Ghost of the Gang (PatBB); C, L, P = OA1
In the Bleak Midwinter (HHD): I, N = OA1
Pendulum Swinger-live (DOD): C, L, P = OA1
Prince of Darkness (SDtBD): C, N, P, S = OA1
Rise Up (AtWLI): C = OA1
Three County Highway (DOD): L, S = OA1
Three Hits-live (RoP): C, I, L, P = OA1
Virginia Woolf (LwtUoCSO): C, I, L, N = OA1
War Rugs (BQS): C, I, L, P = OA1 (instruments!)
We Get to Feel it All (BQS); C, I, L, N = OA1
What are You Like (SDtBD); C, I, L = OA1

It was tough narrowing down each group, and it took many, many listens to get the Awesomes, goods, neutrals, mehs, and actually the skips were easy bc you know what you don’t like. And these just weren’t as good as the good-list. But it’s VERY close!

IG OK
OA
2

Caramia (SotS): C, I, L, N = OA2
Come On Home (LwtUoCSO): C, I, L, N = OA2
Crazy Game (SF): C, N = oa2
Don’t Give that Girl a Gun (SotS): C, L, N, P = OA2
Fleet of Hope (PatBB): C, L = OA2
Share the Moon (BQS): C, I, L = OA2
She’s Saving Me (BY); L, N, S = OA2

IG OK
OB
1

Digging for Your Dream-acoustic (PatBB): C, L, P = OB1
Dirt and Dead Ends (PatBB): L, N, P =ob1
Driver Education-acoustic (PatBB); C, L, P = OB1
Fly Away-acoustic (DOD): L, N =OB1

I pretty much like all these songs a lot, but picked better versions of each to rank higher.


I’ll Be Home for Christmass (HHD); N, S = OB1
Sister (CoNS): L = (too quiet) = OB1
Sugar Tongue-acoustic (PatBB): C, L = OB1
Virginia Woolf (1200); C, L, N = OB1

IG OK
OB
2

Center Stage-live (ST): C, L, P = OB2 (little off-key)
Come On Home (SDtBD): C, L = ob2
Cordova (SDtBD): C, L = OB2
Everything in it’s Own Time (SotS): C, I, L, P = OB2

These are good songs, and in any other catalogue would be ranked that way. But relative to the other good songs, they just don’t hold up as well.


Fishtails (OLD): L, N, P = OB2
Ghost-live (1200): L, N = OB2
Look Long (LL): C, L, N, P = OB2
Soon be to Nothing (CoNS); C, L =ob2
Virginia Woolf (RoP): C, L = OB2

IG OK
OC
1

All That We Let In (AtWLI): C, L = OC1
Fly Away (DOD): C, L, N, P = OC1
If I Don’t Leave Here Now (OLD): N = OC1


Language or the Kiss (1200): L, N = OC1
Power of Two (SO); L = OC1

The fans love these 2, but I find them overrated. I just find them OK, no matter how many times I listen.

IG OK
OC
2

Findly, Ohio 1968 (OLD); L, P = OC2
Language or the Kiss (SO); L = OC2
Closer to Fine (LwtUoCSO): C, I, L, P = OC2 (Emily sounds out of breath; slow)
Hey Kind Friend (SotS): I, L = OC2
Love Will Come to You-live (RoP): L = OC2
Mystery (SO): L, N = OC2
Texas was Clean (OLD): L = oc2

Taylor Swift MEHs (early draft)

1 Mar

This list is not final, and it’s not really in order either.  I made it after the 3rd listen of each song, so there’s been a lot of jostling since then.  But it’s a snapshot in time for the songs that weren’t quite a skip, but were below neutral/OK.

I think I published the skips list without indicating the key:

(numbers) are the album/era

(C)atchy, (D)etailed story, (G)aylor references, (I)nstrumentals, (L)yrical complexity, very high/low (N)otes, (P)roduction stands out in a good way, (S)entimental

Dancing w/Our Hands Tied (6): C, G, L, N, P (Ambiguity bothers me)

Maybe it’s not quite a meh after all, but I am mad at this song.  I want this song to directly say who the subject is, and what is happening.  I find it unfulfilling when the interpretations can be 180 degrees apart.

Tis the Damn Season (9): C, D, G
King of My Heart (6): C, G, N, P
The Outside (1): I, N (weak)

I’m ranking both Taylor Swift’s catalogue and the Indigo Girls simultaneously. And after so many listens to both I noticed something about a few of Taylor Swift’s songs (b/c she wrote them second). I have this theory that young Taylor listened to the Indigo Girls at some point, and a few of their themes might have inspired her:

Fugitive: Song by Indigo Girls (Amy Elizabeth Ray, specifically)

I’m harboring a fugitive, a defector of a kind / And she lives in my soul and drinks of my wine / And I’d give my last breath to keep us alive / Are they coming for us with cameras or guns? / We don’t know which but we gotta run / And you say, “This is not what I bargained for” So hide yourself / For me / All for me / We swore to ourselves we’d go to the end of the world / But I got caught up in the whirl and the twirl of it all / A day in the sun dancing alone / Baby, I’m so sorry / Now it’s coming to you the lessons I’ve learned / Won’t do you any good you’ve got to get burned / Well the curse and the blessing they’re one in the same / Baby, it’s all such a treacherous gain / Hide yourself from me / I said hide yourself from me / All for meOoh! / Ooh! I stood without clothes danced in the sand / I was aching with freedom kissing the damned / I said remember this as how it should be / Oh baby, I said it’s all in our hands / Got to learn to respect what we don’t understand / We are fortunate ones, fortunate ones, I swear / Hide yourself for me / I will hide myself for you / All for you / All for you / I will myself for you / All for you / I stood without clothes I danced in the sand / I was aching with freedom kissing the damned / I said remember this as how it should be

This song brings to mind pretty much Taylor’s whole M.O. of writing about secret love and love that society won’t like. Specific songs I thought of are Out of the Woods, I Know Places and the next meh song on my list:

Treacherous (4): G, L

I like the anxiety and definite closeted vibes going on in the song.  I like the hints that something LGBT is happening here.  But I wish there was more of a hook or something so latch on to.  This one is usually over before I know it.


Right Where You Left Me (9): C, G, L, N (repetitive)
State of Grace (5): C, G, N (weak)
Call It What You Want (6): C, G, L, P (Ambiguity bothers me)
A Place in This World (1): I, N


The Other Side of the Door (2): I, L, N

I think this song has potential.  And I’d love to hear an updated twist on it, or see a newer song that evolves from this, but is better.


It’s Nice to Have a Friend (7); D, G, L (Ambiguity bothers me; weird production)

What. the. fuck is going on in the production of this song?  It’s Englishy, it’s like hunting brass, it is weird.  Just like this friendship-love going on and then there is hand holding.  Which I find non-platonic, but it’s pretty subtle so it just makes the song weird instead of gay…

–Personally Dislike:
Coney Island (9): G, L, N (terrible feat!)
End Game (6): C, G, L, P (terrible feat!)

God dammit!  Why does Taylor always work with these men who bring their own style rather than blending with hers?  It totally ruins songs!  It sounds baaad, and odd within even a very diverse catalogue such as Taylor’s.  Actually, there’s one exception–I do really like the “Lover” remix, but that douche is (internally?) homophobic, so I will not give that streaming clicks to support him in any way.

The Lakes (8): G, L, N, P

This song is pretentious with the analog distortion and it sounds old and kinda British in a ‘high school forcing you to slog through Chaucer’ kind of way.  It evokes poetry analysis nightmares, and I don’t like the forced association to Oat Milk.

–Boring:
The Archer (7): G, L
A Perfectly Good Heart (1): I, N

These aren’t quite skips, but I don’t really like them all that much.  Archer would be better if something more was going on.  Don’t kill the vibe, but do make it punchier.  It’s just zzzzzzzz.

Indigo Girls: The MEHs

27 Feb

You know when you’re listening to your playlist and you just kinda tune out?  And like 10 min later you’re like, what songs just played, I don’t even know.  The funny thing is that it’s not an anomaly (usually, unless you had to focus hard on work, or actually got distracted doing something) these songs are just meh.  Even in trying to re-listen several times to rank these, my mind would wander.  I listened to this set the very most bc of tuning out.  You know what you don’t like pretty readily, you know what you love, and even the songs that aren’t quite love, but really good.  But the neutral to meh are the most difficult to decipher.  So here are the below neutral/OK and above skip songs:

Meh (in order)

-Strange Fire (1200):  C, I, L, P

-Come On Home (AtWLI):  C, L

It’s a nice little song, and fits perfectly with the vibe of the All That We Let In album.  But as a stand alone song–It’s just meh.

-Dead Man’s Hill (1200):  N, P

-Able to Sing (BQS):  C, N

-Mystery (LwtUoCSO): I, N

-Neuvose Senorita (BY):  L, P

-Cordova (AtWLI):  C, L, N, P

I like the Latin-X (is this the proper term now?) flair in these two, but I guess I’d like a little more going on.  Maybe live, or with the orchestra or something would be better.

-Mistletoe (HHD):  C, L

-John (BQS):  L, N, P

I like the sentiment, and it tells a detailed story, but *yawn*

-Peace Child (HHD):  C, L, N

-There’s Still My Joy (HHD):  L, N

-Cedar Tree (RoP):  I, N, U (bag pipe sounding)

-Power of Two (LwtUoCSO):  I, L, N

-Power of Two (1200):  L, N

I know, this is a travesty–this is a fan-favorite.  But yup, I think it’s over-rated.  I just can’t get into it.

-Andy (CoNS):  L, N

-When We Were Writers (LL):  N

P.S. Spotify ranked this my very top listened to song in 2020.  Which is…  I just tuned out EVERY damn time I tried to rank it.  This song is pretty much the ultimate definition of meh.

-Mystery (1200):  L, N

Taylor Swift Skips

26 Feb

Let’s be real:  Taylor Swifts skips are still OK songs.  Nothing she does is bad.  OK, maybe that lazy, repetitive voting song, but she had good intentions with it, like maybe some people voted when they heard her encouraging it.  But the following songs would be OK to other artists.  It’s just that Taylor has set the bar so high that these are the couple weaker ones.  PS–I normally don’t care for Christmas music, as it’s nothing but stale covers, so I did not bother listening to that early cookie-cutter Christmas album.  Maybe if she does an original holiday album, I’ll add it to the rankings later.

Epiphany (8)

As you’ve heard me say before, I think this song was thrown on the album at the last minute to speak to current events.  And I think it’s bad writing, from a normally genius-level song-writer.  It especially bothers me that Taylor didn’t delve into one topic, or cover three subjects more superficially.  There is a rule of threes for a reason.  So it doesn’t make it on to my playlists.

Soon You’ll Get Better (7)

This song is a totally different story.  It’s a good, good song, and has backing from one of my favorite groups-The Chicks!  The lyrics are relatable, and personal, and universal.  What a brave topic to cover, than can resonate with every single person at some point.  But it’s a bummer.  A FUCKING bummer to listen to.  I don’t wanna be bee-bopping around to Shake it Off then have this mood-killer come up.  So it’s a skip.  Until I need it, that is…

Superman (3)

I never look at song credits, but did Taylor even write this one?  It’s not on-brand at all.  It’s too light and superficial, and meh.  I think it’s really weak, and it seems like it was curated to be radio-friendly more than written to evoke feelings, or convey a story, or symbolize anything.  Not my fave.

Taylor Swift Album Ranking Based On Song Ranking

24 Feb

1989

50% Awesome; 31.3% Good; 18.8% OK; Meh; Skip out of 16

Speak Now

40% Awesome; 35% Good; 20% OK; Meh; 5% Skip out of 20

Evermore

35.3% Awesome; 35.3% Good; 17.6% OK; 11.8% Meh; Skip out of 17

Reputation

33.3% Awesome; 40% Good; 20% OK; 6.7% Meh; Skip out of 15

folklore

29.4% Awesome; 29.4% Good; 29.4% OK; 5.9% Meh; 5.9% Skip out of 17

Lover

27.8% Awesome; 27.8% Good; 27.8% OK; 11.1% Meh; 5.6% Skip out of 18

Red

20.8% Awesome; 58.3% Good; 8.3% OK; 4.2% Meh; Skip out of 24

self-titled

20% Awesome; 46.7% Good; 20% OK; 13.3% Meh; Skip out of 15

Fearless

16.7% Awesome; 33.3% Good; 50% OK; Meh; Skip out of 18

Evermore (December 2020) by Taylor Swift Song Ranking

23 Feb

35.3% Awesome; 35.3% Good; 17.6% OK; 11.8% Meh; Skip out of 17

6 Awesome

No Body No Crime

Ivy

Long Story Short

Marjorie

Closure

Evermore

I like this album because TS is showing a lot of gay here. The writing is better than the music for the most part, but it does encourage multiple listens to dig in to the content. Double-meanings are becoming Taylor’s specialty, and I love trying to decode the songs.

6 Good

Willow (ambiguous)

Champagne Problems

Gold Rush

Tis the Damn Season

Tolerate It

Cowboy Like Me

3 OK

Happiness

Dorthea

It’s Time to Go

2 Meh

Coney Island (The National Ruins It)

Right Where You Left Me

Skip

folklore (July 2020) by Taylor Swift Song Ranking

22 Feb

29.4% Awesome; 29.4% Good; 29.4% OK; 5.9% Meh; 5.9% Skip out of 17

5 Awesome

The 1

Exile

Tears Riccochet

Invisible String

Madwoman

Full disclosure–Dream Pop is not the genre for me. And don’t you dare call this “alternative” as it is absolutely not that. Alternative is my favorite genre, and this does not match the characteristics. Nor is it Indie, as the music still has a lot of production. Also, I don’t care for the era with the snaggle-hair, and weird un-matching clothes. I get that it’s quarentine–but even in lock-down is it asking to much to match?! What I can appreciate is the lyrical content. I like the coding, the complexity, the “plausible deniability” that makes up each twisted track. Even though I DO NOT like the vibe, the music does inspire me to analyze and write, which I find really cool.

5 Good

cardigan

The Last Great American Dynasty

Mirrorball

This is Me Trying

Betty

5 OK

August

Seven

Illicit Affairs (depressing)

Peace

Hoax

1 Meh

The Lakes (too pretentious)

1 Skip

Epiphany