You know the song will be catchy and clever. Nothing loud or discordant. It will feature strong pop vocals by either Ed Robertson or (especially) Steven Page. The musicianship will be solid if not exceptional. It will probably be good for a laugh, or in other instances, could even choke you up a bit.
Every time I hear Jimmy Buffett’s Songs You Know By Heart, I wonder why I don’t play it far more often. As much as I dislike the idea of greatest hits albums, I can’t help but feel that this particular collection is one of the best records I own.
I’ve heard other Jimmy Buffett songs over the years, either online or on the Sirius/XM Margaritaville station, but nothing that’s flipped my lid the way these 13 songs do.
Death Cab For Cutie’s 2003 album Transatlanticism is a record I’m sure I’d love if I took the time to listen. It is a melancholy break-up album that has received wide critical acclaim — exactly my cup of tea.
I’m not sure why I haven’t taken the time to get to know it. Probably just an accident of timing, which kept it out of my rotation when it first came out and then saw it filed away and overshadowed by a decade and a half of new musical discoveries.
Such is the case with My Flame Burns Blue, a 2006 live release featuring Costello performing with the 52-member Metropole Orkest, a jazz-pop orchestra based in the Netherlands. They played previously unreleased compositions as well as reimagined versions of Costello’s older work.
You don’t hear songs from The Princess and the Frog in those Disney “greatest moments” medleys. The dominant musicals of the hand-drawn era are The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Aladdin.
But for my money, Randy Newman’s songs and score for The Princess and the Frog are as sublime as any of those classics.
That’s because the film gave Newman the opportunity to fully mine his beloved New Orleans jazz, with enough crowd-pleasing Disney sheen to make it go down easy for all ages.
But I do own his 2012 debut album The World from the Side of the Moon and I can attest to the fact that its first three tracks, at least, are very good.
I own two versions of the song, one by Bob Dylan on his 1992 album of folk covers Good As I Been To You, and this one by Bruce Springsteen, which appeared on his 2006 album We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions.