Song of the Day #5,258: ‘1492’ – Counting Crows

Today’s random selection has the distinction of being my least favorite Counting Crows song. The opening track of the band’s fifth album, 2008’s Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, ‘1492’ is a loud and graceless rock song that lacks the nuance and melodicism of the band’s usual output.

Following four stellar albums released between 1992 and 2002, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings was the Crows’ first miss. A concept album featuring one side of rockers and one side of acoustic ballads, the collection produced only a couple of memorable tracks.

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Song of the Day #5,238: ‘Beachball’ – R.E.M.

The Random iTunes Fairy has been eavesdropping again, serving up a song related to my recent listening habits.

I’ve been working my way through the entire R.E.M. discography in order, as I suggested I would back in September. And I just recently finished the band’s 2001 album Reveal, on which today’s random selection appears.

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Song of the Day #5,237: ‘Baby Hold On’ – The Chicks

The 2006 album Taking the Long Way was The Chicks’ first following the fallout over lead singer Natalie Maines’ criticism over then-president George W. Bush. Though they had been blacklisted by country radio and received death threats from angry idiots, they ended up recording one of the best-received records of their career.

The album went double-platinum, a far cry from three previous albums that sold three to five times as many copies but still impressive. And it won five Grammys, including Album, Song and Record of the Year. They might have lost a ton of fans, but they gained a ton more.

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Song of the Day #5,231: ‘Kimberly’ – Patti Smith

‘Kimberly’ is a song from Patti Smith’s 1975 debut album, Horses. It is about a time Smith held her baby sister, Kimberly, in her arms during a lightning storm at her family’s New Jersey home.

The song has lots of great detail, unsurprising given Smith’s talents as both a poet and memoirist, and a melody that The Smiths later interpolated for their song ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.’

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Song of the Day #5,230: ‘Him’ – Lily Allen

Here’s a track from Lily Allen’s sophomore album, 2009’s It’s Not Me, It’s You. ‘Him’ finds the Catholic-raised Allen wondering how much of an active role God plays in human life, if indeed a God exists.

In the late 00s, on this album and her debut, Alright, Still, Allen delivered cheeky modern pop with humor and style. She seemed to be kicking off a promising career.

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