SOTD

Bjork It's Oh So Quiet SOTD

“It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk

Day 2 of June’s Song of the Day theme – Women in Music in the ’90s – features one of the most danceable, addictive, theatrical, feel-good songs from the ’90s, “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk. “It’s Oh So Quiet” is tied with “Army of Me” as my go-to Björk track, tied for favorite, a tune that will always put me in a better mood. Always.

The song is track 4 from Björk’s 1995 album, Post, her second solo release. Something new that I learned about the song today is that it’s a cover. I’d always assumed it was an original. But no, it was Betty Hutton who recorded and released the catchy tune in 1951 as the B-Side to her single, “Murder, He Says”. But that isn’t the original either. Betty’s is a version of a German song, “Und jetzt ist es still”, performed by Horst Winter in 1948, with music composed by the Austrian composer, Hans Lang, and lyrics by Erich Meder. The English lyrics were written by Bert Reisfeld. A French title, “Tout est tranquille”, was performed in 1949 by Ginette Garcin and the Jacques Hélian Orchestra. (from Wikipedia)

Damn, this song has made its way all over the world. I think it’s time to have a listen, don’t you think? Let’s start with Today’s Song of the Day, Björk’s 1995 version.

“It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk
from the album, Post (1995)
Song of the Day

“The sky caves in.
The devil cuts loose.
You blow blow blow blow your fuse.
When you’ve fallen in love.”

Listening to “It’s So Quiet” this early Sunday morning I immediately remember a local bar my friends and I used to go to, in the mid-90s, that had this very cool jukebox (oh how I love jukeboxes). This was one of my favorites to play. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was always part of my rotation when I slid my money in to pick a handful of songs.

Bjork SOTD LD

It also reminds me of an apartment I had, my stereo in the living room, this song blasting out of the speakers while I danced around, bouncing up and down to the loud and soft (shhhh) intervals of “It’s Oh So Quiet”.

I’m getting that urge to dance around my living room right now, but I’m trying to “quiet” the desire and keep on writing. I mean, really, how can you not want to dance to this?

“It’s Oh So Quiet” became Björk’s biggest hit in the UK. It led to the Icelander’s subsequent single releases “Hyperballad” and “Possibly Maybe” also reaching the UK Top 20. Björk later virtually disowned the song by not including it on her 2002 greatest hits album. It is thought that Björk was disappointed that her most popular song is an unusual cover done in a style totally different to anything else she has recorded.

Bjork sotd lyriquediscorde

Björk was quoted as saying this about the song, in Record Collector, August 2002:

“It was sort of a joke really. It was a song Guy Sigsworth used to play on the bus when we were touring. Ever since I almost regret doing it because I wanted to put so much importance on making new music. So many people are doing old music and you’ve even got new bands doing old music. If I put something out in this world, it would be the courage to go ahead and invent things, so it’s ironic ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ became my biggest song. The best bit was the video.” (from Björk.com)

The music video (see above) was directed by Spike Jonze and was inspired by musicals of the ’40s-’60s, notably the 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Björk was ill with a fever and could only speak in a whisper during the shoot. (from Songfacts)

Let’s have a listen to Betty Hutton’s 1951 version now:

What do you think? Björk’s version is definitely a loyal cover of the high energy, musical-style tune.

Björk Song of the Day LD

I hit play on Björk’s take on the song again, and I inhale those feelings of listening to it back in 1995. I was 26. I remember really feeling this song, singing it with that glow and shine that usually accompany that first falling for someone feeling.

I’m reminded, too, that this was the year I’d see Björk play live for the first time. She played it then. My friend and I danced around in the crowd, my head spinning in that drunk and a little delirious kind of way.

Do you have any specific memories attached to “It’s Oh So Quiet”?

Let’s end today’s trip back to 1995 by going back to the 40’s, with the actual original.

“Und jetzt ist es still” by Horst Winter

Wait. I changed my mind. Let’s end instead with Björk performing the song live. Okay?

“It’s Oh So Quiet” (live, 1995) by Björk

Sarah McLachlan Song of the Day

“Good Enough” by Sarah McLachlan

Hello June, it’s so nice to see you. For this month I thought I’d have a Song of the Day theme. I’m going to be doing a theme for each Summer month this year, and who knows, if it goes well maybe I’ll do one every month moving forward. For June, the Song of the Day theme is Women from the ’90s. Think Lilith Fair. Think Riot Grrl. Think girl groups and R&B. Think alternative and indie and folk.

I was definitely all about women in music in the ’90s. The majority of my music collection were women artists. I went to every year of Lilith Fair, blasted Riot Grrl music from my car stereo, fell in love with Tori, Fiona, Liz, Courtney, PJ…and so many more.

Sarah McLachlan was one of those fell in love in the ’90s artists. I remember sitting on the hardwood floor of my second-floor apartment listening to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, my baby daughter asleep in the infant seat next to me. I remember taking that album with me when I left a chapter of my life behind. Playing it over and over, picking new favorite tracks to put into mixtapes that I gave to friends, or hope to be lovers.

“Good Enough” was, and still is, one of my favorites from the album. It speaks so much to the woman I was then. 1994. Me at 25. Struggling with shaky self-esteem, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted, a young mom who was clumsy at love, but who loved regardless. A huge music fan, but really, when haven’t I been? I wanted to feel “Good Enough”. I usually didn’t, but I wanted to. And I was drawn to people who made me feel a little bit that way. Not the best way to get self-esteem, from other people and from outside of myself, but it is definitely who I was at 25.

“Good Enough” by Sarah McLachlan
from the album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1994)
Song of the Day – Women of the ’90s

“I never would have opened up,
but you seemed so real to me.
After all the bullshit I’ve heard,
it’s refreshing not to see –
I don’t have to pretend,
she doesn’t expect it from me.”

“Good Enough” spoke to me at the time because of the relationship I was in. I felt lost and alone, hurt, and damaged in ways that would have a long-lasting impact.

I was in a crumbling, dysfunctional, emotionally abusive relationship at the time this album came out. Luckily for me, I met people, friends, as well as someone who would end up being one of the great loves of my life, who helped me see my way through it, and helped restore some of my damaged self-esteem. They helped me feel “Good Enough“, even though, as I wrote above, I should have worked on figuring that out for myself. Life is hard. Being in your twenties is hard. Love is hard. Growing up (if we ever really do) is hard, too. Very hard. And I was certainly struggling with it.

I still struggle with it. A lot. And I still spend many days (and nights) feeling not “Good Enough”.

Slowbrew album

I remember a year after Fumbling Towards Ecstasy came out I stumbled on this incredible compilation CD that had two tracks from FTE on it, one of them being “Good Enough”. Slowbrew: Music for a Cafe Culture became a quick favorite of mine. I knew and loved every song on it. I used to play it almost daily, in 1995. This was definitely a cafe culture era for me. I spent most nights at The Winged Heart, walking distance from that apartment where I first listened to Sarah.

Sarah SOTD

A few years after Fumbling Towards Ecstasy I would see Sarah sing “Good Enough” live, at the first Lilith Fair (and at the two that would follow). I remember standing there with a friend, crying my eyes out, as I sang-a-long. I was crying because it still felt relevant and true, and I was crying because I knew how far I’d come from who I was the first time I’d heard it.

I’m crying today, listening and singing-a-long to it, for those exact reasons.

“Good Enough” (live) by Sarah McLachlan

Jenny Lewis Song of the Day

“The Voyager” by Jenny Lewis

Last tracks and title tracks. I’ve always had a fascination for both, as well as first tracks. Back when I lived in albums. Lying on my bedroom floor, or in the living room of the house I grew up in, big headphones on, or leaning up close to giant speakers. This was before I made mixtapes. This was when I lay album covers out in front of me, sliding the inner sleeve out, devouring liner notes and lyric sheets, taking in each in every song the way they were meant to be heard. Like reading a book from page one to the last.

It wasn’t all that long until grabbing favorite tracks and putting them with others became a thing. I suppose its what radio play was. Singles and top lists. DJ favorites. I spent hours and hours with my fingers poised and ready on the play, pause, and record buttons, in the quest for the perfect mix. I still do it. Weekly, sometimes more than weekly. Except now its search and drag into place. The ease of finding music, and making the perfect playlist is a blessing, but also a curse.

How often do we listen to an album from its start-to-finish? I try to pride myself on doing just that, but I don’t do it as often as that young girl me did back in the ’70s. Music was a voyage of discovery, and it took time. A lot of it. It was worth it though. Those albums from back then, start-to-finish, are among my all-time favorites.

Jenny Lewis The Voyager

The Voyager, the album, is one of those recent albums I’ve listened to in that old start-to-finish way, many times over. I’ve played it, along with Jenny’s other two albums, and a few Rilo Kiley ones, in that album-love kind of way ever since getting a hold of each one. I only wish I had actual albums of each (someday).

Jenny Lewis Lyriquediscorde

What is it about Jenny Lewis that has me enamored with each album in its entirety? I know it lies in the songwriting, as much as it lies in her voice and the music itself. I know here love/hate relationship regarding Los Angeles plays a part, too, as well as her take on being a woman in this world. Each album feels like a voyage in itself, and each song resonates with me on different levels, frequencies, and emotions.

“The Voyager” by Jenny Lewis
from the album, The Voyager (2014)
Song of the Day

“By the time I got your letter,
I lost my mind.
I was trippin’.
“When you gettin’ better?”
It’s a jagged line.
Nothin’ lasts forever,
when you travel time
I’ve been sippin’ that Kool-Aid at the cosmos.”

Time travel has been a lifetime love of mine. The fascination that goes beyond my gypsy soul who loves road trips and traveling, whether planned or spontaneous. The notion of traveling time also hits on my obsessions/fixations on the past. It may fuel my anxieties, or be part and parcel to them, and I may strive to be in the moment with all my mindfulness endeavors, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find myself often looking back.

Maybe if I could travel time I would lose my mind. Maybe that kind of kool-aid would do me in more than any possible addiction or self-destructive choice ever could. Would I get lost somewhere in a portal from one time to the next? Would I choose to voyage, never wanting to come back? Would I find myself stuck in a loop of trying to recreate, and do better, the same moments over and over? Or would I simply shoot through the cosmos, landing at certain music events, time periods, moments of art and experience that are not my own?

Maybe it’s a blessing that I don’t have access to time travel. That my voyages are limited, though I’d certainly like there to be more. I am itching for an adventure, even if just one of the weekend afternoon variety.

“The Voyager (live) by Jenny Lewis

Sam Cooke Song of the Day

“You Send Me” by Sam Cooke

The first song I heard today was a track from one of my all-time favorite musical voices, Sam Cooke. “You Send Me”, today’s Song of the Day, was written and recorded by Sam Cooke. Historically, though, the song has been credited to Sam’s younger brother, L.C. Sam gave the writer credit to L.C. because at the time he did not want his own publisher to profit from the song.

Sam Cooke YSM SOTD

Sam’s transition from gospel to secular pop was complete when he penned “You Send Me.” Already a star in the gospel world as a member of the legendary Soul Stirrers, Sam really hit it big in 1957 on this, his first single under his own name (his first pop song, “Lovable,” was released under a pseudonym) — a number one smash for Keen Records, selling roughly two million copies.

Though he had been released from his Soul Stirrers contract with Specialty Records, the company nevertheless filed a lawsuit for royalties, claiming that the newly crowned superstar singer wrote and recorded the song while still under the company’s contract. Sam defended himself by claiming that the song was written by his brother, Charles L.C. Cooke (see above).

Sam had also hoped that L.C. would record and release “You Send Me”. It was meant to be a gospel track. A demo in that vein was recorded by Sam in 1955, but it was later, in 1957, that the classic track would be recorded, and then released that year as a single.  It was released as the “B” side to the track “Summertime”. But radio DJ’s preferred the “B”, and with that “You Send Me” went on to be the hit, staying in the #1 spot for two consecutive weeks in December of 1957.

 

“You Send Me” by Sam Cooke
released as a B-Side to the “Summertime” single (1957)
Song of the Day

“At first I thought it was infatuation,
but, woo, it’s lasted so long.
Now I find myself wanting,
to marry you and take you home.”

“You Send Me” is said to be the catalyst to Sam Cooke’s fame. The same year as the single’s release, Sam had been living in his producer’s apartment. But, after the single sold more than 1.5 million copies, Sam became a musical someone.

As was common practice in the 1950s, though, when it was unusual for hits in the black R&B market to crossover to the Pop charts, a cover version of “You Send Me” aimed at the Pop charts was cut by the white singer Teresa Brewer and released in October 1957.

“You Send Me” by Teresa Brewer

Symptomatic of the changing music scene, Cooke’s original was able to repeat its #1 R&B chart performance in the Pop field, eclipsing Brewer’s version. However, Brewer’s version of “You Send Me” reached as high as  #8, representing a strong improvement over her five prior single releases, although “You Send Me” would prove to be Brewer’s final Top 20 hit. (from Wikipedia)

Sam Cooke You Send Me

Since “You Send Me”‘s 1957 release, the song has become a landmark record of the soul genre, which Cooke helped create.

It was named as one of the 500 most important rock and roll recordings by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2005, Rolling Stone magazine listed Sam’s original version of “You Send Me” one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time (#115).

“You Send Me” has been covered by many artists. My personal favorite cover is by Aretha Franklin, released on her 1968 album, Aretha Now!

“You Send Me” by Aretha Franklin

Do you have a favorite cover of “You Send Me”? Do you have any other favorite Sam Cooke covers?

Lizzo Truth Hurts Song of the Day

“Truth Hurts” by Lizzo

I’ve been buzzing about Lizzo since I heard her song “Juice”. I knew she was one to watch/listen to, and I’ve been doing just that – watching and listening to her. Watching the Netflix movie Someone Great last week I heard another Lizzo track, her new single “Truth Hurts”. I have been playing it off-and-on ever since.

“Truth Hurts” by Lizzo
Song of the Day

“Why men great ’til they gotta be great?
Woo.
I just took a DNA test,
turns out I’m 100% that bitch,
even when I’m crying crazy.
Yeah, I got boy problems,
that’s the human in me.
Bling bling,
then I solve ’em,
that’s the goddess in me.”

The track inspired me to make a walking playlist for myself, and a second playlist for when I re-sign-up for the gym (when I can afford it again) because this song makes me want to move. It also has me singing-a-long loudly, while feeling all the empowerment the lyrics are full of. This is one of those songs that I want to blast loudly while hanging out with my best girlfriends. This song is meant for “dancing it out” with a best friend (think Cristina and Meredith dancing it out, early “Grey’s Anatomy”). It’s too bad that most of my best girlfriends live so far away.

original

For now, I’m going to shut my office door, press play, and turn the volume up. I may have to dance it out myself.

Influenced by Houston rap, gospel soul, and experimentalists like ANOHNI and Missy Elliott, Lizzo is a musical acrobat. The singer-rapper writes songs that, in equal measure, balance her unique sonic interests and lyrics that tackle womanhood and identity. (from Pitchfork)

Lizzo Truth Hurts

Lizzo, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson, is the founding member of indie hip-hop groups The Chalice, Grrrl Prty, The Clerb, Ellypseas, and Absynthe. She released her debut album, Lizzobangers, in 2013. Her second in 2015, called Big Grrrl Small World, and her most recent, Cuz I Love You, released this year.

“Truth Hurts” is her latest single, which is already making me want another new album.

Pete Yorn Just Another Song of the Day

“Just Another” by Pete Yorn

“Just Another” is track 3 off of Pete Yorn’s debut album, musicforthemorningafter, one of my favorite songs off of one of my favorite albums.

I woke up early this Monday morning with it singing in my ears, the song a leftover from a dream I was having, I think. Though it’s all so hazy in that not quite remembered way that dreams sometimes are. No matter the contents or context though, the tune seemed to be vying to be today’s Song of the Day.

So I’m obliging (and singing-a-long).

“Just Another” by Pete Yorn
from the album, musicforthemorningafter (2001)
Song of the Day

“You were lying wide awake in the garden,
trying to get over your stardom,
and I could never see you depart us
and you’re my baby.
You’re just another girl.”

PY SOTD

To me, “Just Another” has always been about taking someone off a pedestal to really love them. The song, to me, captures that moment when the initial rush of attraction passes and two people come together and see each other a more realistically. That place where I think true love begins. I also sometimes picture a story where someone “out of reach” lets down his/her guard to connect with another, like Daisy and Jay Gatsby (“The Great Gatsby”), if they both weren’t so awful – or maybe despite it.

The song also reminds me of a short story I wrote about a record who falls in love with the girl who owns it.

musicforthemorningafter pete yorn

“Just Another” (live) by Pete Yorn

Stay tuned later today for a Pete Yorn lyriquediscorde favorites playlist, and the story about the album who fell in love with a girl, inspired by this song, and the album, musicforthemorningafter.

Kate Bush Hounds of Love SOTD

“Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush

This week has been rough. Beyond rough really. I’ve needed to conjure up all the strength and music and coffee that I could to get up and get through it. Today was especially hard to get up and get through it. I woke up wanting to stay under the covers, to call in sick to everything, to hibernate. But, there is too much going on with everything, so I had to get up and get through it. As Tori Amos says in “Caught a Light Sneeze”, “I need a big loan from the girl zone”. So, today is going to be nothing but music from my favorite musical girl zone, starting with today’s Song of the Day, “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush.

“Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush
from the album, Hounds of Love(1985)
Song of the Day

“Now hounds of love are hunting.
I’ve always been a coward.
And, I don’t know what’s good for me.
Here I go.
It’s coming for me through the trees.
Help me, someone.
Help me please.”

Kate Bush Song of the Day

Hounds of Love” is a song written, produced and performed by Kate Bush. It is the title track and the 3rd single released from her #1 1985 album Hounds of Love. The single was released in February of 1986 and reached #18 on the UK Singles Chart.

It was one of the first Kate Bush songs I heard, right after “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”. After I heard both I ran to my local record store and bought the album, becoming a fan almost instantly. I’ve never faltered in my love for Kate’s unique sound and songwriting and presentation. Though I sometimes forget my love for her, it is always there.

The song is about being afraid to fall in love; in the song, this feeling is compared to being chased by a pack of hounds. The music video (directed by Bush herself) was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film The 39 Steps and Hitchcock also features in the video (a nod to the director’s famous cameo appearances in his movies). (from Wikipedia)

The song itself was inspired in part by an old black and white movie which was sort of a cult classic in Kate’s family titled Night Of The Demon. The movie was about demons who hid waiting in trees – the song’s opening line (in a male voice) “It’s coming! It’s in the trees!” is taken directly from the movie. (from Songfacts)

Fear is a big part of my anxiety right now. Fear of failure, of potential loss, of issues that may not be able to reconcile, and fear of vulnerability. So, this song is poignant and relevant, and I am turning it up FULL BLAST and singing-a-long in an attempt to get up, get through it, and throw my fears “into the lake”.

“Hounds of Love” (live) by Kate Bush

Thanks, Kate Bush. I need this song today.

Peter Murphy Song of the Day

“A Strange Kind of Love” by Peter Murphy

1989 was a tricky year. 20 years old. The aftermath of 19 still fresh on my insides, and outsides. I was living life like there was no tomorrow while carrying scars from all my yesterdays, ones that were recent, and ones from my childhood. I wasn’t jaded though. Not yet. Maybe I should have been.

I am becoming so jaded now.

Today’s Song of the Day is from 1989. I listen and feel that self again. I’m envious of how hopeful she was, despite all the things that had happened. I’m envious at how much she believed in the future, in love, and in understanding. At least I still have the music she had. I’m grateful for that. And that I keep myself open for more music. Always more music.

But, for today, I’m looking backward. Pulling a song from 20-year old me’s collection. One of her favorites.

“A Strange Kind of Love (Version 1)” by Peter Murphy
from the album, Deep (1989)
Song of the Day

“This is no terror ground,
or place for the rage,
no broken hearts,
whitewash lies.
Just a taste for the truth,
perfect taste choice and meaning.
A look into your eyes.”

Peter Murphy SOTD

I was up most of the night last night in conversation with myself. My emotions have been so raw lately. My self-esteem at the lowest its been since my late 20’s. Anxiety and fear holding most of the cards, insecurity and doubt and deep sadness holding the rest of the deck. I know I need to make some major changes, but I don’t know how to anymore. So, for now, I’m putting my walls back up. I have to do something. I can’t survive like this. And I see the damage it’s causing all around me.

When people who you love, who say they love you, look at you so differently, have so little patience, and so much anger and disdain, well you know it’s not good. When you fight more than not fight, when things change too fast, too soon, well you know it’s not good. And when your children worry about you, openly, and say you are different, that you aren’t doing the things you used to, that you always seem so unhappy, well you know it’s not good.

PM SOTD

For now, the walls come up and I shut down. At least until I feel okay again, that I can trust being open again, that I can keep my emotions in better check again.

If I don’t do this I will get sick again. I already am headed that way, and I won’t let that happen again.

And, if I don’t do it I will drown in tears.

I can’t cry anymore.

I just can’t.

So walls, while I try to rebuild, sort out what I need to do, and heal. Walls and music.

Always music.

“A Strange Kind of Love” (live) by Peter Murphy

Belly "Red" Song of the Day

“Red” by Belly

“Red” is the 3rd track off of Belly’s 2nd album, King, which was released in 1995. Though I “came of age”, so to speak, in the ’80s, it’s the ’90s that feel more like my coming of age soundtrack. Maybe that’s because I was in my 20’s in the ’90s, and that was the decade of the biggest changes in my life. I changed a lot. I grew a lot. I fell a lot. I got back up a lot. And, I loved the music – a lot.

“Red” by Belly
from the album, King (1995)
Song of the Day

“Red, you look tired,
you look older than your mother.
Where should I not touch?
What should I not kiss?
Where does it hurt?”

Belly SOTD

It was the decade of women in music for me. I was a Lilith Girl, a riot grrrl, a goth girl, and a huge fangirl of the plethora of fantastic females in music at the time. I’d discovered Tanya Donelly during her stint in Throwing Muses, but it was Belly that really got me getting her. It was Belly that made me a lifelong Tanya-fan.

I’ve written quite a bit about Belly’s first album, Star. I wrote a feature on the album even. I’ve written about many songs from that album, too. This morning I was realizing that I’d not delved into King much at Lyriquediscore, despite the fact that the album, and the tracks within, were a big part of my life in 1995, and beyond.

Belly Red 1995

One of the first songs I heard today was “Red”, today’s Song of the Day, which got me thinking about the album King, the band Belly, and who I was in those mid-90’s days.

I was 26. I had a 3-year-old daughter and a failed marriage. I was working at a record store and failing at relationships. My heart was flung across the states to an almost island town, but the rest of me was still in a small Orange County suburb trying hard to grow up and get my shit together.

My childhood scars had a life of their own. I hadn’t done much healing. I felt so much older than my young years. All my worst habits were baring their teeth at the world, and I was hurting so much more than I ever let on. But, I was also writing. I was listening to so much music. And, I was surviving. Even at the worst of it, I was still surviving.

Belly Song of the Day LD

I spent a lot of time by the ocean. I spent a lot of time at record stores. I spent a lot of time not sleeping and smoking Marlboro Lights. I spent a lot of time watching movies and writing in lined-composition books. I spent most days in baby doll dresses, crushed velvet, and granny-boots.

I may have sucked at love, but I had great friends. We went to shows together. We went to movies. We took day trips with my daughter in the backseat. We obsessed over TV shows like “My So-Called Life:” and “Twin Peaks”. We climbed up in lifeguard towers at night to confide in each other. We fell in love with bands and record albums, with drinking too much and not eating enough, and sometimes with each other.

I listen to “Red” and the thing that hits me the most is mood swings in the song. They remind me of myself, in 1995. My moods ever-changing, fueled by chemicals and an eating disorder, by so much music, and not enough sleep. I was dramatic. I was emotional. I was a whirling dervish of movement. I was wired and tired and lit on fire most days. I was a beautiful wreck of a girl-trying-to-be-a-woman. I felt a lot like this song sounds.

“Red” (live, 1995) by Belly

Liz Phair Extraordinary Song of the Day

“Extraordinary” by Liz Phair

Extraordinary” was the 2nd single off of Liz Phair’s 4th studio album, which was self-titled. Today’s Song of the Day, “Extraordinary”, was released as a single in January of 2004.

“Extraordinary” by Liz Phair
from the album, Liz Phair (2003)
Song of the Day

“I am extraordinary,
if you’d ever get to know me.
I am extraordinary,
I am just your ordinary,
average everyday sane psycho –
Supergoddess.
Average everyday sane psycho.”

Liz Phair SOTD

An underrated song from an even more underrated album. Liz Phair is so much more than the alt-goddess-groundbreaker-indie-icon of 1993’s Exile In Guyville (even though that Liz is pretty fantastic, too).

I remember her 2003 self-titled album coming out and people dissing it for being “too pop” and/or not “edgy” enough. Putting Liz in a box that she was supposed to never grow out of, expand from, or travel away from. Thing is, yes, there is a lot of pop-sensibilities going on in 2003’s Liz Phair, but there always was. Dig deeper. Take in the lyrics. To me, songs like “Extraordinary” are groundbreaking, too.

LP SOTD

Here are some takes on “Extraordinary” via Wikipedia:

The song garnered mixed reviews from music critics, who were dissatisfied with her attempt to go mainstream. Slate’s Mim Udovitch said that Phair sounds “bogus,” while PopMatters called the song “sickeningly effervescent.”

Some critics were more complimentary towards the song, however. Chuck Klosterman, writing for Spin, praised the song’s “authenticity,” while Allmusic noted that it was one of its parent album’s highlights. Michael Paoletta of Billboard called the song “ultra-catchy” and “oh-so-buoyant”.

Thank you, Chuck Klosterman (always love him). I agree re: the song’s authenticity. And yes, it is catchy and buoyant, and that heavy guitar riff at the beginning is everything. Also, I adore the lyric “I am just your ordinary average everyday sane psycho super goddess”.

To me, that is giving the finger to society who tries to put women in a box, make them one thing, keep them in some forever aspirational pedestal that no one can balance on. Society does it the most to women in the spotlight, be it film, fashion, or music. I love that she’s breaking molds again, singing about taking the trash out and obsessing over someone she’s crushing on. Ordinary and psycho like the best of us.

“Extraordinary” (live) by Liz Phair

What do you think of “Extraordinary”?

Liz SOTD

 

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