Song of the Day #4,153: ‘Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands’ – Elliott Smith

This is the penultimate song on Elliott Smith’s great 1998 album, XO, and stylistically it’s a nice microcosm of the album.

XO was the album where Smith started broadening his musical palette from his lo-fi beginnings. Similarly, ‘Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands’ starts in a quiet, acoustic style before blowing up at its midpoint into a fully orchestrated coda.

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Song of the Day #4,152: ‘Delayed Devotion’ – Duffy

Here’s a Random Weekend selection from the “Whatever Happened To…” file.

The Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy released her celebrated debut album, Rockferry, in 2008, with her throwback style prompting comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Dusty Springfield. The album won a Grammy for Best Pop Album and sold more copies than any other record in the UK that year (it was fourth worldwide).

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Song of the Day #4,146: ‘Outta Mind (Outta Sight)’ – Wilco

Here’s a track from Wilco’s sophomore album, 1996’s Being There. This two-disc album was the alt-country band’s first foray into the more experimental sounds for which they would receive widespread acclaim in later years.

A double album loosely based on the relationship between musicians and their fans, Being There features some straightforward bops alongside fascinating sonic detours.

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Song of the Day #4,145: ‘Country Road’ – James Taylor

‘Country Road’ appeared on James Taylor’s great 1970 album Sweet Baby James. It was inspired by the area surrounding a Massachusetts hospital where Taylor sought treatment for depression.

‘Country Road’ reached the top 40 at #37, while the album’s first single, ‘Fire and Rain,’ made it all the way to #3. The album was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy but lost to Simon & Garfunkel’s final studio release, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

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Song of the Day #4,139: ‘Colors’ – Halsey

‘Colors’ is the third single from Halsey’s debut album Badlands, released in 2015. Since then Halsey has become a pretty big deal, releasing nine Top 20 singles, five of which reached the Top 10 and two of which hit #1.

My older daughter has been on the Halsey train since before this album dropped. I’m half a fan through osmosis, though I’ve never really been grabbed enough by her music to listen to either of her albums all the way through.

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Song of the Day #4,138: ‘Half a Mile Away’ – Billy Joel

The Random iTunes Fairy has been peeking in on the weekday conversation, as she is wont to do.

Just the other day I proposed a theme week on Billy Joel songs that would make good fodder for a Netflix anthology show. And she serves up ‘Half a Mile Away,’ a very strong candidate. With street smart characters like Little Geo and Angelina circling our restless narrator, this song could make for a great little New York-set character sketch.

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Song of the Day #4,132: ‘Take Me to the River’ – Talking Heads

This cover of Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River’ was the top single from Talking Heads’ 1978 sophomore album More Songs About Buildings and Food (I love that title!).

The song hit #26 on the singles chart, making it their third best performer ever, behind ‘Burning Down the House’ and ‘Wild Wild Life.’ The band also released a terrific live version of ‘Take Me to the River’ on their 1984 concert album/movie Stop Making Sense.

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