Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thoughts on 3 songs spanning 50 years

1957 - Frank Sinatra releases "Jingle Bells." Enjoying this during my morning commute, I reminded myself of why Sinatra's voice is so amazing. While he's routinely commended for making melodies sound "effortless," there's also a legitimate sense that he's mailing songs like this one in. It's actually a surprisingly sweet track for a ubiquitous song, but I couldn't help but think of Phil Hartman on "Saturday Night Live," booting "Duets" costars out of the recording booth within seconds of their arrival just so he could get the album done.

1991 - Naughty By Nature releases "O.P.P." I've enjoyed this song for 16 years, but only this month did I realize that the three-letter title is a play on the very song it samples -- "ABC" by the Jackson 5. The initials even rhyme. And to think I just enjoyed the song for its lyrical creativity, including one of my favorite lines of all time: "Arm me with harmony."

2007 - Finger Eleven releases "Paralyzer." For a ditty that iTunes declared 2007's top rock song, I liked it much better the first time when it was called "Take Me Out" and performed by Franz Ferdinand.