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AWOLNATION – Kill Your Heroes

kill-your-heroesAWOLNATION’s Kill Your Heroes is one of those songs that tend to get overlooked because people see the title, look at the genre, and write it off as just another one of those heavy, guitar-driven alternative rock full of juvenile hate and angst, but the truth is that it’s actually the opposite.

For starters, Kill Your Heroes is synth-pop, featuring minimalist production elements instead of distorted guitars and crash cymbal-happy arrangements. The overall sound of the song is danceable, upbeat, and catchy. That’s not to say that there’s no strong emotions present – vocalist Aaron Bruno manages to show how strong his voice can be with some parts straddling the fine line between singing and shouting, all the while remaining melodic enough to still be singable even if you have no intentions of shouting.

Another aspect of Kill Your Heroes that runs contrary to expectations is the lyrics and the underlying message. Instead of a fist-pumping call for listeners to murder someone, the “Kill Your Heroes” part is actually just a figurative advice to let go of idolatry, to stop putting other people on the pedestal  and instead try to reach heights on your own accord.

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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.

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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.

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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.