Play This More Often is a series of essays meant to highlight songs that deserve more attention and appreciation, all in the humble opinion of this music listener of course. Some of them may be neglected by the public at large, some not taken seriously enough by music writers or some plainly overlooked because of their obscurity. Whatever the case, suggestions via the comments from you are always welcomed.
1) Eminem – ‘Till I Collapse
If you’re ever in doubt on which tune to start your work-out playlist with, look no further. ‘Till I Collapse is one of the best get-you-pumped-up songs, with a level of energy and confidence that Eminem would rarely ever match again. In fact, the 3rd verse here is among my favourites of his whole career, a monster of twisted, woven rhymes that’ll make your head spin by just reading them, let alone hearing them being spit with such a flow. Props must be given to Nate Dogg as well for his memorable, smoke-drenched hook.
2) Ramones – The KKK Took My Baby Away
Pleasant Dreams as an album has been criticized by many for abandoning the trademark chainsaw-guitar sound of the group in favor of a more polished-pop version. But as is the case with most great bands, you can find essential Ramones songs even on their lesser albums; songs that manage to retain what made fans love about the band in the first place. The most proud representative here is The KKK Took My Baby Away, a pop-rocker that’s catchy because of its memorable chorus and verses melodies, and funny because of the story behind it – Johnny steals Joey’s girlfriend, then Joey writes a song about that while also mocking Johnny’s right-wing views.
3) Simon & Garfunkel – For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
With For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her, Simon & Garfunkel abandon the conventional verse-chorus-verse structure and instead present the song as a continuous build-up. The imagery is vivid, the voice delivering it angelic and the strumming accompanying it gentle. Then we get to the climax and it’s so powerful in its simplicity – all the protagonist is saying is literally “I love you”, but the effect it creates is just as impressive as the final section of Bridge over Troubled Water.
4) The White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself
Originally a #3 hit for Dusty Springfield, I find I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself of equal importance for The White Stripes. The reason? It showcases both the rocking and the balladry side of the band. Vulnerable lead vocal? Checked. Guitar breaks that are nearly metallic in their heaviness? Checked. Overshadowed by the fact that it’s on the album that also features the band’s most famous song? You bet.
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