As I mentioned on Monday, Elmo gets six months of free satellite radio. And one of the most awesome channels on the free satellite radio is called First Wave, which is classic alternative music.* They play a lot of The Smiths and The Cure and many other bands that start with "The" (and also Duran Duran), along with a bunch of other songs from bands that were, like, one hit wonders.

And this week, I heard "Pure" by The Lightning Seeds.** Here it is:

This song is the epitome of new wave 80s alternative music. It sounds like Alphaville and the Pet Shop Boys and The Cure and OMD and every song from a John Hughes soundtrack ever. In other words, this song RULES.

I have a number of stories I could tell to narrate this song, but they're really all about longing and skater boys and dances, and they're probably best channeled into the stuff I write so that you can subject yourself to them voluntarily rather than being forced to endure them here in public. Let's just say that my love of boys with girl names may have resulted from a tragic encounter with a boy named Kelly at the winter dance in the North High School cafeteria where this song was played. MAYBE. I'm just saying.


* "Classic" alternative is music that was popular in the 80s. Alternative is a young genre. Very young. Incredibly, incredibly young. Much like myself.

** In a strange coincidence, I realized that I already had a song from The Lightning Seeds on my iPod, a song called "Change" from the Clueless soundtrack (which is one of the best movie soundtracks ever, FYI). It's also a very good song.


Now before you get mad at me, it's not a BAD song. I would argue that it's an OK song. It could be improved.

The biggest problem I hear with this song is that the chorus is really not very different from the verses. If you listen to the clip and jump to any point in the song, it sounds exactly the same as any other point in the song. There's no change, no buildup, nothing like that.

Does every song have to have a chorus that sounds different from the verse? No. But it helps. Otherwise, it's three minutes and twenty-seven seconds of the same sound over and over. Listeners like a little variety, a chorus they can sing along with, that sort of thing.

Again, not a bad tune. If they had called me and asked me to fix it, I could have made it better. Hee hee. Now, can I improve Lady Gaga's Bad Romance? Nope. Cheesy, catchy, hooky, just leave that as it is. Ra-ma, ra-ma-ma-ah. See, you're already humming it to yourself, aren't you?

You're exactly right, though, that this song has that new wave 80s sound down pat. Fun to know people are still doing this sort of thing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 1:22:00 PM EST  

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