Song of the Day #4,386: ‘2020’ – Ben Folds

Always nice to hear new music from Ben Folds, whose last album (a half-instrumental collaboration with chamber ensemble yMusic) came out five years ago, and whose last traditional album was released five years before that.

Folds’ new song, ‘2020,’ was inspired (if that’s the right word) by the crazy combination of disasters visited upon the United States this year. Here’s hoping he has more new material on the way.

[Verse 1]
New Year’s Eve, don’t it seem
Like decades ago?
Back in 2019
Back when life was slow

[Chorus]
Now it’s June, we’re just halfway done
2020, hey, are we having fun?
How many years will we try
To cram into one?

[Verse 2]
We thought we’d be living 1918 again
But we messed that up so bad
God had to toss 1930 in

[Chorus]
As the sun rose on 1968 this morning
A tweet from the john
Please let’s not add the Civil War
How many years will we cram into one?

[Bridge]
Oh boy
How much more will she take?
Boys, hope you enjoy
Your beautiful tax break

[Instrumental]

[Chorus]
We’re not repeating history, just the parts that sucked
2020, what the actual fuck?
Pray we get through, but hey, don’t hold your breath
‘Cause there’s plenty left to wreck
We got six months left

[Outro]
How many years
How many years will we try
How many years will we try
To cram into one?

Song of the Day #4,385: ‘March March’ – The Chicks

I’m off for a week with my family, vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina. While traveling during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t advised, I think we’re actually safer outside of my home state of Florida, where cases are skyrocketing and the idiot governor has his head in the sand.

This week I’ll feature five new releases from a wide range of artists, offering just a few words about each.

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Song of the Day #4,384: ‘Night Still Comes’ – Neko Case

‘Night Still Comes’ was an early single release from Neko Case’s 2013 album, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You. That title is certainly a mouthful.

This is a quintessential Neko Case song. It’s atmospheric, haunting and gorgeous, and its lyrics are evocative but largely inscrutable. The online commentary I’ve found seems to agree that the song is about Case’s battle with depression.

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Song of the Day #4,383: ‘That La, La, La’ – Rihanna

Here’s a track from Rihanna’s 2005 debut album, Music of the Sun. With the exception of lead single ‘Pon De Replay,’ this is a largely forgettable album, a weak mix of reggae and dance beats and uninspired performances.

Rihanna stepped up her game a year later with her sophomore release, A Girl Like Me, then really struck gold with 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad. She is a great example of an artist whose evolution happened in real time, release by release. She dropped seven albums during the first eight years of her recording career, each building on the last musically and thematically.

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Song of the Day #4,382: ‘Big Time Sensuality’ – Bjork

My final 1993 selection comes from an artist I’ve tried to like without much success. Bjork last made a Decades appearance with her 2001 album Vespertine, an avant-garde sonic experiment that did nothing for me.

Back in 1993, Bjork released her debut album, called (appropriately enough) Debut. This was her first solo effort following a stint with the band The Sugarcubes. The band’s music was more conventional than her muse, prompting her to branch off on her own.

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