Song of the Day #4,271: ‘Women’s Prison’ – Loretta Lynn

This track from Loretta Lynn’s 2004 album Van Lear Rose is an excellent example of what makes that record so great.

Lynn paired with producer Jack White to deliver a collection of songs that expertly blended their styles: his hard-driving blues grunge, and the rootsy authenticity that makes her the matron saint of traditional country music.

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Song of the Day #4,265: ‘The Flirting Kind’ – Elvis Costello

This Elvis Costello track shows up on one of the reissues of his 1983 album Punch the Clock.

It’s a testament to the depth of Costello’s catalog that a song this good can end up as a forgotten B-side, and also that after months of Costello Weekends, plenty of Random Weekend appearances, and a bunch of other Song of the Day posts, I still have to much great material of his to mine.

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Song of the Day #4,264: ‘Crystal Ball’ – Pink

I started listening to Pink sometime in the late 2000s, when her latest album Funhouse was charting well and receiving a lot of critical acclaim.

I also enjoyed her next album, 2012’s The Truth About Love, but after that I stopped keeping up with her releases. She has dropped two studio albums since then that struggled to find an audience. Last year’s Hurts 2B Human hasn’t even cracked 100,000 U.S. sales, while most of her earlier releases were in the millions.

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Song of the Day #4,258: ‘Like Egypt Was’ – Michael Penn

This song appeared on Michael Penn’s 1997 Resigned, the singer-songwriter’s third album, and third great album at that.

Penn would release two more albums over the ensuing eight years and then hang up his pop music hat for good. Or at least it seems that way, 15 years later. Maybe Penn will surprise his once-devoted fans with a new album release one of these days. I won’t hold my breath.

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Song of the Day #4,257: ‘Beautiful People Beautiful Problems’ – Lana Del Rey w/ Stevie Nicks

This is the third Leap Day since I started my Song of the Day blog back in 2008. That was a leap year as well, but I started posting songs in July so February had already passed.

My previous two Leap Day posts surprisingly contain no mention of the date. In 2012, I featured The Shins’ ‘Saint Simon’ during a week of unrelated songs (I did a lot fewer theme weeks in the blog’s early days).

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Song of the Day #4,251: ‘Bled White’ – Elliott Smith

The Random iTunes Fairy chose an Elliott Smith song exactly one week ago, and now she’s back with another.

Hearing those songs back-to-back gives a great glimpse at how much Smith’s sound evolved over the three years between his acoustic self-titled 1995 album and XO, the expansive album featuring today’s SOTD. His Figure 8, released in 2000, went even further down a path of baroque instrumentation and production.

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Song of the Day #4,250: ‘The Great Unknown’ – Elvis Costello

I don’t have much to say about today’s song of the day, a cut from the album universally considered the worst of Elvis Costello’s career.

Costello’s 1984 Goodbye Cruel World was sandwiched between Imperial Bedroom and Punch the Clock on one side and King of America and Blood and Chocolate on the other, so it’s hard to begrudge the man one misstep in the midst of such greatness.

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