This will be a personal weekly Top Ten list of what I consider to be the best songs that I listened to the previous week. Most songs will be current, but there are no boundaries. I’ve already stated on this web site that I am obsessed with music. I am constantly hunting it down whether it’s online, on CD, from my personal collection, from a library (Yes, I think the library is a great source of music–especially for music that you aren’t sure about.), TV, or radio. Since most of these sources mostly emphasize new music, the odds are pretty good that most of the songs on this list will be new. But in my search, I don’t use any boundaries for the other sources. I am just looking for good music that I haven’t heard, or happened to forget about. Everyone, including myself, has forgotten way more great music than they can ever remember-even if they are also music fanatics.
Also, there will be no rules concerning songs on this list. A song can show up or drop off a number of times. This will be the most volatile of my lists. It all depends on how much music I am exposed to during the week and what I find interesting. On really obscure stuff, I will try to include the source, if I know it.
CMT viewers picked Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” as the song of the summer. Hey, great for them, but they weren’t aware of Jessica Dayle’s “Summertime,” which stays on top for a sixth straight week! She also has a second song on the countdown! There’s only five songs on her self-titled EP. That’s a pretty good ratio!
Top Ten Songs for the Week of September 2, 2012
1. Summertime—Jessica Dayle
2. Pontoon—Little Big Town
3. Maybe I’ll Fly—Barbara Lynn Doran
4. Tight Shoes—George Bedard (Original Single Version)
5. Louisiana 1927—Randy Newman
6. This Land Is Your Land—Elizabeth Mitchell
7. (Kissed You) Good Night—Gloriana
8. Over—Blake Shelton
9. Can’t Get a Job—Toby Redd
10. My Bet’s I’m a Fool—Jessica Dayle
1) “Summertime”—Jessica Dayle uses a metaphor about her partner that says Not even the sun’s kiss can compare to yours. That must be sooooome kiss, because I’ve been “kissed” by the sun many times before with sunburns to show for it, and one time, when I was a kid, it kissed me so hard that I suffered third degree burns and was unconscious for at least three days. In spite of that fact, summer is still my favorite season and I’m still buddies with the sun.
Right after that she doesn’t sing the line but says to herself—like Shania Twain sometimes does, So sweet and hits the “t” in sweet hard, just like Paul Simon used to do—particularly in his Simon & Garfunkel days. If you don’t believe me, listen to something like “America:” Toss me a cigarette/I think there’s one in my raincoat. Hard “t”s. Shania Twain and Simon & Garfunkel in the same line. Now that’s sweet!
2) “Pontoon”—Little Big Town keeps climbing again at 5 miles an hour! Will they continue to climb……………………
3) “Maybe I’ll Fly”—Barbara Lynn Doran takes us right to the edge of a cliff, as if we’re going to watch her take flight! Sounding like a young, confident Kathy Mattea, we want to believe that she’s going to make it because she’s willing to take that chance. Her song is so positive, there’s no doubt that she has to make it!
4) “Tight Shoes”—George Bedard holds on “tight” to the number four spot for another week!
5) “Louisiana 1927”—Randy Newman can’t sing, but that hasn’t kept him from writing and recording some of the most amazing songs in the past 40 years. In this musical history lesson that references a terrible flood that devastated New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and the Mississippi River in 1927, Newman even brings in Calvin Coolidge to insult someone who needs a shave. Unfortunately, the song parallels the Hurricane Katrina disaster and even the most recent Hurricane Isaac. The string arrangement is incredible, and more than compensates for his matter-of-fact narrative. The combination of the two creates so much feeling that it wouldn’t sound right unless Newman “sings” it. An incredible piece of music!
6) “This Land Is Your Land”—Woody Guthrie would have turned 100 this year and there are many great versions of his signature song. It’s almost impossible to find a bad version because it means different things to different people and everyone puts their own personal spin on it. I like this version for a number of reasons. First, it’s sung with children and Woody wrote a lot of songs for children. Second, musically, it’s very understated and the children aren’t emphasized. In other words, even though this version is geared towards kids, they’re not mixed up front. They are, then, the appropriate background singers. And finally, Elizabeth Mitchell’s vocal is perfect and crystal clear and features many verses that never get sung. This is a gem of a gem of a classic—something that is inherently in all Americans!
7) “(Kissed You) Good Night”—Well, surprisingly, Gloriana didn’t have enough to take the top spot, but it’s still a GREAT song!
8) “Over”—Blake Shelton will probably appear on the good list again, but it’s pretty much “over” this time around………………..
9) “Can’t Get a Job”—Some early 1980’s Detroit power pop—even though Toby Redd sound very much like they came from England. They wrote this song as the country was struggling through a huge recession and the band had a hand on the pulse of rough economic times. Unfortunately, every time the economy goes bad, the lines from “Can’t Get a Job” are as relevant as they were when they were written. But it’s a GREAT song!
10) “My Bet’s I’m a Fool”—A new entry from Jessica Dayle’s self-titled CD, but I like this song for different reasons than I do “Summertime.” Jessica really gets a chance to stretch out vocally on this one. The song is an uptempo country rocker about someone who “done her wrong” and how she dealt with it. She actually does some pretty good gymnastics with her voice that makes familiar territory sound new and different!