Song of the Day #4,391: ‘Peggy Day’ – Bob Dylan

Here’s a sweet little throwaway track from Bob Dylan’s 1969 Nashville Skyline, possibly the most laid back album of his career.

Ironically, Dylan chose to release a gentle country album during one of the country’s most tumultuous eras. Whether it was a deliberate retreat from his protest singer roots or just where his muse happened to take him, it was as odd and unexpected as most of Dylan’s career moves.

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Song of the Day #4,390: ‘Barcelona’ – Rufus Wainwright

This beautiful track is a highlight from Rufus Wainwright’s self-titled debut album, released way back in 1998.

‘Barcelona’ is a dark, moody song about fear and the desire to escape. The lyrics are informed by Wainwright’s rape at age 14 in a London Park during a time when HIV was at its peak. The line “don’t want my rings to fall off my fingers” refers to the weight loss associated with the disease.

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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 #4,377: ‘Imagination’ – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is back this month with Rough and Rowdy Ways, his first collection of original material in eight years. I’ve listened to it just once so far, enough to know it’s a very strong collection.

Perhaps in honor of that new release, the Random iTunes Fairy decided to dip back into Dylan’s previous album, 2017’s Triplicate, a three-disc tour through the Great American Songbook, and Dylan’s third straight album spent covering standards.

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