Friday, April 11, 2014

Top Cool Out Songs of 2013

If I haven’t done my taxes, it’s still 2013, right?? I love great, upbeat songs to energize a lackluster workout, to promote car dancing on a long drive and to help celebrate good times. On the flippity flip, I love a good cool out song to help me chill out when I’m feeling stressed, to enjoy peaceful times around Le Maison Maves and to really connect with my inner sexy. Cool out songs are not just sappy ballads. In fact, many of my favorite Cool Out songs of all time will contain a hard rocking bit and some slamming guitars. Cool outs can either touch my heart OR my soul and this soul needs to be chill. I know a song is a contender for the Top Cool Out when I want to turn down the lights, throw some shades on and just deeply feel. This was a down year overall of music, but I was still easily able to find 10 excellent cool out songs for you to experience.

Cool out songs are typically better audio-only and through speakers that will block out the rest of the world. That isn’t the best way to share these with you here. I suggest you make yourself a Spotify playlist of these songs, throw on some imitation Beats headphones (because please don’t spend $200 on headphones!), close your eyes and enjoy the next 45 minutes.

Here's a few versions of this song in addition to clicking the link in the title. 

Fave Lyric: So many to choose from! Here are 3…

                 The opener: “I want God to come and take me home, because I’m all alone in this crowd.”

                The chorus: “Does anyone get this right? I feel no love.”

                “I survived. I speak. I breathe. I’m alive. Hooray. “

I’ve already expounded my love for this song in the Big Sexy Top 20 of 2013 in its place of a most excellent quartet of songs on the Big Sexy Album of the 2013 (Spoiler Alert!), ...Like Clockwork.  I knew Elton John made an appearance on Like Clockwork. After hearing the piano introduction to this song which was preceded by a very Elton note-hum (from Sixty Years On from his Live in Australia album that I loved), I was sure this was it. It wasn't. After a while the piano is joined by a My Guitar Gently Weeps guitar. I love the lyrics. I love the anguish. He is so miserable. He has overcome a death defying experience, but he doesn't seem too happy to have made it because all of his demons have also survived. I’m not sure why I love the lyrics so much, because I don’t relate to it. I think it is because the music and the delivery of the lyrics has transported me to a place where I can feel his pain.

Fave Lyric: Again, so many to choose just one...

“I don’t know why I put up with this shit. You won’t put out and Zip City’s so far away.”

“Keep your drawers on girl, it ain’t worth the fight. By the time you drop them I’ll be gone and you will be right where they fall the rest of your life. “

“You’re only 15 girl, you ain’t got no secretary, and ‘for granted’s’ a mighty big word for a country girl like you. I think that’s just your daddy talking.”

As with the top songs of the year, I may have already discussed them by now. DBT was my band of the summer, but this Cool Out song from over a decade ago still sticks with me as a proto-typical cool out song. It’s another song that tells a story. It is about a teenager coming to grips with growing away from his younger girlfriend. You can tell he is ready to move on and not just from her but from his teenaged behavior. He is tired of the long drive to see her, her daddy and the pressures he is feeling just to be with her not just actual but also implied.

Fave lyric: I’m already fighting me, so what’s another one?

I love Jack White. I can’t believe this 2011 song slipped by me until this year. I heard it first on the radio, of all places. (Who listens to the radio anymore??) I was shocked to hear he had a new album coming out. Nope. Just him singing on a Danger Mouse release. I only think of Danger Mouse as a super producer and the skinny half of Gnarls Barkley. Jack White actually features on three songs on this album, but this song is the keeper. I wish I could un-hear the others. Well, they are not that bad, but I’m not surprised I haven’t heard those. This has an excellent slow jam.

The link is from a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live. Here is the link to the official video: 

Fave lyric: Davy says that I look taller. I keep feeling smaller and smaller.

I love emotional lyrics. If there is a singer today that speaks more to things in my mind, heart and soul, it very well might be Matt Berninger. I am very much looking forward to their doc, Mistaken for Strangers. Here is the awesome trailer. It gives me goose bumps. I love this band so much.  It looks to be a lot more about a relationship between brothers that live in very different worlds and not just a concert film.

Back to this song… As with most The National albums, I need to hear them multiple times and even read the lyrics before I can really get into it and Trouble Will Find Me was no different. After hearing it dozens of times, I can say that I think it the album is phenomenal. I know they are just not accessible to people at first or second listen, but give them an extended chance and maybe they can reach you.

This is not a simple love song, as the title and video suggest and repeated chorus would make you think. The National cannot do videos because the songs mean too much. This song brings tears to my eyes when I relate it to my sweet, oldest son. This song is about a boy who has always struggled a bit to be successful but he is “good and grounded”. He has left home, presumably to college. As he is growing up he is feeling more and more overwhelmed by life. He is coming home to see his girlfriend that he left behind. He needs her because he doesn’t feel that he can be himself with his family or the friends he hangs with. He wants to recapture that safe and happy place in his life where his heart is at home. I hope this isn’t how he goes for my boy. Maybe it was how I felt and I’m projecting it on him. Maybe I need some help.

This is a bad audio recording of this song. Find it on Spotify.

Toadies are one of my long-time favorite bands, but no one knows much of them despite their enormous one-hit status in the early 90s. They take a long time between albums but rarely disappoint, even when Vaden Todd Lewis goes off and does stuff with other people and calls them Burden Brothers. Beside You is an excellent track that would find itself at home on any of their albums. Unfortunately, much in the way Pearl Jam and Kings of Leon put out good but not great albums this year, Toadies did the same. Sadly, the only video I can find gives you a bad audio recording of the song. Find it on Spotify and rock out with you sunglasses on.

Can you believe my bank QOTSA covered this???

Fave lyric: It’s 3 in the morning, and I’m trying to change your mind. Left you multiple missed called and to my message you reply, “Why’d you only call me when you’re high?”

This has a great bass and drum line. And a very simple question being posed to our narrator. Cheeky! Our narrator would like to have a late night relationship with his paramour, but she doesn’t want to just be a booty call.  Simple and funny.

Fave lyric: You can cry and I won’
t go. You can scream and I won’t go. Every man that you know would’ve run at the word go.

With an evocative title like Porno, you might think this would have some racy lyrics and 70’s style bass. It is quite the opposite. It does have a cool vibe to it. I think the song is about a man telling his love that he will stay with her through the bad times and any warts she may have now that really know each other. Whereas other immature men would have only treated her like a man would treat a woman in a porno until the woman is sick of it.

Fave lyrics: 1. I’ll go to college and I’ll learn some big words and I’ll talk REAL LOUD. Goddamn right I’ll be heard.

2. I still love her. Loved her more when she used to be sober and I was kinder.

Another old song. I cannot believe that I keep finding old songs from one of my favorite bands. I’ve been into Modest Mouse for years now, but I wasn’t on to them until they achieved some popularity. They were already indie giants by then.

It is a pretty negative song that starts with apostles selling out Jesus for new sandals and moves to angels selling your soul for a set of new wings. Then in modern times, colleges selling education to people that they don’t need and finishes very personal with the narrator finally learning to come clean and be himself to his lover, but now she has been ruined by his previous “selling” of himself and being a jerk. Everything sucks!

Pearl Jam is aging well. Even though I wasn’t wild about this album, they can still rock and they can still hit on a great cool out song. On this album, the ballad Sirens has gotten some run, but I much prefer the slow drums and creeky winds on this song about live passing you by.

Since I don’t like to re-use artists, I am going to split # 10 among two of my favorite albums of the year that already hit this list. Wonderful song about waking from a comma but being changed. The whole first verse is my favorite lyric – “Calling all Comas: Prisoner on the loose. Description: A spitting image of me with heart-shaped hole where the hope runs out.” This song builds into a bit of a rocking crescendo, which I love in my cool out songs.

Fave lyric – Don’t tell anyone I’m here. I brought Tylenol and Beer

This song about friends with benefits is as typical from The National, sorrowful. His lover is so awesome when they are together but she is toxic. They can’t have a real relationship. He is surprised she keeps asking him over and thinks she should have someone closer to her to help her through her problems. He’s just a quick fix “Tylenol and Beer”. He swears that “This is the Last Time” he is coming over. You get the feeling he is trying to convince himself and he will be back over next time she’s high at 3 in the morning. I love the ending. It is crashing and passionate when he is swearing that he won’t be vacant anymore.  Then there is a little almost pillow talk where he confesses he is in trouble. 

No comments: