Song of the Day #3,189: ‘That’s What I Like’ – Bruno Mars

At #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 this week is Bruno Mars with ‘That’s What I Like,’ the second single from 24K Magic.

I like this song better than the album’s title track, which aimed for ‘Uptown Funk’ status but fell short. This one is sweeter and catchier. It has a hell of a cool video, too.

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Song of the Day #3,188: ‘Shape Of You’ – Ed Sheeran

Back by popular demand, here’s the latest segment of ‘what the kids are listening to.’ Two weeks of Billboard’s Hot 100, and another chance to decide if the current state if pop music signals the decline of Western civilization.

Holding strong at #1 is Ed Sheeran’s smash hit ‘Shape Of You.’ This is the song’s eighth week in the top spot, and seventh in a row. It’s also Sheeran’s first ever #1 hit, after landing four other songs in the top ten.

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Song of the Day #3,187: ‘Clean Money’ – Elvis Costello

‘Clean Money’ is an outtake from Elvis Costello’s album Armed Forces. It was later reworked with portions of its lyrics ending up in the song ‘Love For Tender,’ the lead-off track of his next album, Get Happy!!.

In this form, the song was at one point the opening track of Armed Forces, as Costello explains in the voluminous liner notes of the deluxe edition.

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Song of the Day #3,186: ‘Port of Morrow’ – The Shins

The Random iTunes Dairy has been reading the blog again. How else can we explain today’s “random” selection from The Shins’ album Port of Morrow just two days after I sang its praises?

This is the title track and the album’s final song, and it has a much more ethereal quality than the rest of the record. James Mercer sings in a falsetto reminiscent of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

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Song of the Day #3,185: ‘Love’ – Lana Del Rey

I never expected to like Lana Del Rey as much as I do. I originally thought of her as little more than a curiosity, a pretty face focused on style over substance who flamed out hilariously on Saturday Night Live.

But high critical praise for her 2014 album Ultraviolence prompted me to buy it, and I was blown away by the lush instrumentation, sneakily passionate vocals and nuanced lyrics. I promptly bought her earlier releases and found them equally compelling.

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Song of the Day #3,184: ‘Name For You’ – The Shins

A few years ago I counted down my favorite albums of the decade so far and The Shins’ Port of Morrow took the #1 spot. I’ll have to revisit that exercise as the end of the 00’s gets closer, and when I do, I’m confident that album will remain at or near the top.

Five years after Port of Morrow‘s release, The Shins have finally released a new album, Heartworms. Will it give its predecessor some competition on that list?

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Song of the Day #3,183: ‘Goose Snow Cone’ – Aimee Mann

I’ve waited five long years since the last solo Aimee Mann album. She released an album with Ted Leo in 2014 under the moniker The Both, which was fine, but not the same. I’m stoked.

Even better, Mann told Rolling Stone that the new record, titled Mental Illness, promises to be her “saddest, slowest, most acoustic, if-they’re-all-waltzes-so-be-it-record.” That, my friends, is melancholy music to my ears.

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