Posted on Leave a comment

Coldplay – Fix You

Fix You is a song by British alternative rock band Coldplay from their third album X&Y. With all the members writing the track, one can’t help but be amazed at how great this band really is.

The song begins in a hushed up electronic organ music accompanied by lead singer Chris Martin’s smooth voice. Combined with heartfelt lyrics, the song is reminiscent of a comforting lullaby that is both sad yet comforting. It slowly gains momentum and by the refrain part, you could almost feel your heart beating along with it.

Martin maintains a soft and whispering voice all throughout the ballad except for the refrain. The lyrics are carefully and tenderly sung that one can’t help but listen closely and be swept away by the emotions.

The message of the song is clear: it’s about bringing comfort to a grief-stricken soul. It’s so optimistic yet so sullen at the same time. Fix You can well be a song worthy of becoming on your Last Song Syndrome List not only because it’s an actual good song but it’s a meaningful one at that.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Lyrics like this do not come very often, where cheese is forgiven so long as it is sincere and not sickening. Coldplay has proven time and again that they are not only a good band but an intelligent one too. The words and the music were well thought of and give audiences the chills just by listening to it. People definitely agreed as the song successfully rose in the charts right after its 2005 debut. Peaking at #4 in the UK Billboard Charts in 2005, it has become a staple in the music charts worldwide.

Coldplay’s Fix Me is a soothing and emotional track that has that enduring character making it the perfect comfort song during one of those hopeless days.

Posted on Leave a comment

Guns N Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine

In an age of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Glee one can’t help but miss the good old times when you don’t have to cringe when you hear a song. It’s hard to believe that you have to dig up old songs just to listen to something not just good but great.

When feeling especially bombarded with nonsense, one of my go-to pick-me-up song is Guns N Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine. It’s hard to believe that it has been more than two decades since this masterpiece was aired and up until now, it still has the same effect on people. Well, to most people.

Who knew that this magnificent song started out as lead guitarist Slash just messing around and fiddling with his instrument and Axl Rose getting inspired into writing about his lady love Erin Everly. It is even said that penning down this unforgettable song took only minutes to finish. The band saw it as filler and certainly didn’t expect it to be the band’s first and only number one single in the US.

But fate and fans clearly had different idea and the song is now a part of Rock n Metal History.

Posted on Leave a comment

Rockstar – Nickelback

I remember the first time I heard this song I actually liked it. I liked the way Chad Kroger growled the entire time. I liked that the lyrics was so transparent, so honest, and so simple. The way you did not need to lean so near to the radio to understand the lyrics. Heck, you can even sing the entire song after listening to it once.

However, I remember the Rockstar being so famous that it seemed it beat out Celine Dion’s Titanic song in the overplayed division. I found myself changing radio stations every minute just to make it stop. Sadly it did not work. Being subjected to the song changed people’s opinions, and finally realized that it was one of the most awful songs Nickelback ever made.

Despite that fact, Rockstar’s mainstream success was undeniable. After getting modest reception when initially released with the band’s fifth album All the Right Reasons, the song was re-released in 2007 it reached charts that it didn’t before like Pop 100 Airplay. In the UK, it reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart and #1 in the UK Official Download chart. Thus, Rockstar was deemed Nickelback’s most successful single in the UK.

In the end people gave up and acknowledged that despite being awful, nobody could stop it from becoming an all-time favorite guilty pleasure.

Posted on Leave a comment

Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer

We all have that one song from our teenage years that, when heard after a more than decade, still gives us the same feeling. Livin on a Prayer is such a song. It’s hard to believe that lead singer Bon Jovi was even apprehensive in including it in their second album Slippery When Wet. So imagine the group’s surprise when the song, not only became such a hit it that it was #1 on both Hot Mainstream Rock Chart and Billboard Hot 100, it also became the band’s signature song.

Penned by band mates Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, this iconic song tells the story of a couple named Tommy and Gina. It successfully articulates their financial and relationship struggles that majority of people can easily relate to seeing it was in the 80’s when the US and most of the world were experiencing economic troubles.

Bon Jovi’s trademark song was released in 1986, but maintained its popularity and survived until the 20th century. In fact, Livin’ on a Prayer endured such success that in 2006, it placed #1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s. And finally, Livin’ on a Prayer was # 46 in the All Time Rock Songs for the 50th Anniversary of Billboard Hot 100.

Today, years after the group disbanded, Livin on a Prayer still continues to make people rock on.

Posted on Leave a comment

Muse – Madness

Critics who claim that English alternative rock band Muse has already jumped the shark probably haven’t heard the latest single, entitled Madness, yet. The song is classic Muse, not in the sense that it sounds like their old songs, instead it continues the band’s practice of taking several mismatched genres and blending them all together to produce a unique, infectious song that can still be categorized as rock.

Much like the mental condition, Madness starts out slow, with steady beat from the drum machine that brings to mind early 90s slow dance hits from George Michael or Mick Hucknall.

At first listen, you may keep thinking that you’re hearing the song’s intro, waiting for the overdriven guitars, the thumping bass, and the pounding drums to kick in, but you’ll be waiting a long time because the slow groove doesn’t change until you get to the third of the song – that’s when the smooth guitar solo kicks in and it crescendos into a wall of guitars, punctuated by lead singer Matthew Bellamy’s powerful voice.

Even if Muse really did jump the shark (with their 2012 Olympics song, Survival, being the most likely culprit), Madness proves that the band can turn around and tame the shark instead, that they’re still the same Muse they still belong to the upper rungs of the British alternative rock scene.

Posted on Leave a comment

Metallica – Enter Sandman

Most music critics point to Metallica’s album Load as the point in the band’s career when they “sold out”, due to the band’s decision to depart from Heavy Metal both in their image and their songs, but rabid fans and purists will point to the Black Album, particularly one of its singles – Enter Sandman – as the point where Metallica “sold out”.

Of course, the claim that Metallica turned their backs on heavy metal during the Black Album is harsh and a bit of an overreaction. The album and its songs still belong to the heavy metal genre. The only difference is that the songs are a bit more radio-friendly and commercially viable, and that’s not a bad thing at all – Enter Sandman on its own brought Heavy, Speed, and Death Metal to the attention of music lovers who would not have checked the genres out if Hetfield and the gang didn’t dangle a softer brand of Metal in their faces.

That’s not to say that Enter Sandman is soft. It features angular chord progressions, thumping basslines, growling vocals, and featured a heavily overdubbed rhythm guitar track that features Hetfield playing and recording the same riff three times in order to create a sound he describes as “wall of guitars.”

Many fans of metal’s heavier, rougher acts (such as Metallica’s earlier material) were introduced to it via Enter Sandman. If you’re looking for a jumping off point for the genre, or just want to be reminded of the time when Metallica managed to toe the fine line between commercial and niche metal, you should check out Enter Sandman.

Posted on Leave a comment

Green Day – Oh Love

Originally played at a ‘secret show’ by Green day last October 28, 2011, the song Oh Love eventually became part of the band’s ninth studio album ¡Uno!, which was released last July 16, 2012 via Reprise Records, with an EP of the song being released a month later.

Oh Love is notable as it brings back certain sonic elements from Green Day’s early roots as a pop punk band, with some parts of the song sounding like it could have come from their debut album Dookie. Over all, the song seems to be a blending of the various styles that Green Day has adopted throughout their 3 decade career as it mixes their early pop punk style with their more recent power pop songs, along with the heavy alternative rock that they exhibited during the mid 90s.

Critical reception of the song is a bit mixed, with some critics praising it for its tone and polished musical style, with some welcoming Green Day’s return to their early sonic roots. Those who panned Oh Love complained of the song being average compared to Green Day’s previous releases. Both sides don’t really cancel each other out, so whether you’ll like Oh Love or not depends on how much you miss Green Day’s early sound. If you welcome the nostalgia, you’re going to love –er- Oh Love, but if you expected a forward progression in the band’s sound, you’ll probably be underwhelmed.

Posted on Leave a comment

Kansas – Carry on Wayward Son

Carry on Wayward Son was originally written and recorded by progressive rock band Kansas for their 1976 album Leftoverture, managing to reach the top 11 of the Billboard pop singles chart, and giving the band their first top 40 hit.

Carry on Wayward Son has already been certified Gold by the RIAA, but the single they certified is actually a shorter version, clocking in at a mere 3:26 compared to the album version’s hefty 5:26. Arguably their most famous song, Carry on Wayward Son is featured on every single official Kansas compilation album, such as The Kansas Boxed Set, and The Best of Kansas, On the Other Side, The Ultimate Kansas, Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection.

Similar to most of the rock hits from the 70s, Carry on Wayward Son sort of cruised the charts for a while – never climbing to the top, but never fading out completely – but it recently experienced a resurgence after being featured on the hit rhythm-based videogames Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Afterwards, it experienced another major resurgence when the videogames were featured in the hit animated comedy series, South Park, with the characters playing Carry on Wayward Son’s recognizable riff and bridge, with varying degrees of skill and success.

Posted on Leave a comment

U2 – With or Without You

These days, Bono is pretty much treated like a joke due to his overzealous humanitarian efforts and the way in which he uses his clout for high profile activities that don’t really have anything to do with his or his band’s music. One key thing about this is that he has so much clout and influence because somewhere in Bono’s past, behind the charity concerts, the meetings with world leaders, and the didactic speeches, is the Bono of U2, who wrote and sang some of the most memorable songs in the world. The same Bono who co-wrote With or Without You.

The third track from U2’s 1987 album The Joshua Tree, With or Without You is the quintessential U2 song, being the group’s most successful single of all time, as well as their first number one hit in both Canada and the United States.

With or Without You is basically a troubled love song, with Bono’s lyrics symbolizing his conflicting feelings regarding his double life as a musician and a domestic man. It features one of the most recognizable riffs courtesy of U2 guitarist The Edge’s prototype Infinite Guitar, and is U2’s most frequently covered song.

With or Without You is currently ranked 132 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

Posted on Leave a comment

Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

Originally written by American alternative rock band the Goo Goo Dolls for the 1998 film City of Angels’ official soundtrack, it’s hard to pin down whether the song became such a massive hit due to the influence of the Meg Ryan/Nicolas Cage film or if the film became such a rousing success because of the song and its music video. It could have gone either way, but there’s no denying that Iris has contributed greatly to the Goo Goo dolls success, so much so that they even included the song on their sixth album, Dizzy Up the Girl.

Contrary to the Goo Goo Dolls’ trademark distorted guitar driven rock, Iris is heavily driven by mandolin, violins, and cellos, which blends with the distorted, overdubbed guitars and the steady drum beat in order to create an grand, epic feel to the song, punctuated by lead singer Johnny Rzeznik’s distinctively hoarse vocal stylings and the memorable lyrics.

The name in the title, Iris, was never really mentioned in the lyrics of the song, with Rzeznik explaining that he just thought of the title while flipping through an issue of Billboard Magazine, reading an article about country singer Iris DeMent, and deciding to use her name as the title because he felt it was “a nice name.”