Battle of the Songs VIII

1. Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream) vs. Snow ((Hey Oh)) (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – On the outside, both of these songs have a lot in common. They have very popular and recognizable guitar riffs that get very repetitive as the song wears on. They are both by bands highly respected in their respective era. And they’re both fairly overrated. The mood of the songs are entirely different though, as “Sunshine” promises a sun-drenched reuinion for two lovers. “Snow” deals more with waking up and realizing that you need something more to survive: “When I sit alone / Come get a little known / But I need more than myself this time”. I keep finding myself flip flopping between the two. On the one hand, there’s something lost in the years that have past since “Sunshine” came out. The unoriginality of the melodies become obvious around the three minute mark of the four minute song. “Snow” suffers from the same misfortune, but is a minute-and-a-half longer. Sunshine Of Your Love ends first and gets the win.

2. Under The Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers) vs. Over My Head (Cable Car) (The Fray) – Apparentally Anthony and the gang weren’t happy that they lost to Eric Clapton, so they decided to regroup and counterattack against an easier target: The Fray. The Fray is one of those bands that sound the same on every hit they produce. Some bands like AC/DC and Coldplay (I’ll never forgive myself for hating them, by the way) pull it off. Others like Nirvana and The Fray just barely manage to keep me interested. Nirvana shouldered the burden of carrying the entire grunge genre–what’s The Fray’s excuse? It doesn’t help that “Over” is up against arguably the greatest RHCP song of alltime; one that takes Kiedis’ melancholy lyrics and Fruciante’s slow-fast perfection and puts it on gorgeous museum-istic display for all to hear. “Under”‘s choir chorus in the last minute cement it’s place as one of the best 90’s songs. Period. Under the Bridge plows through the competition handily, redeeming RHCP for losing earlier in the blog.

3. Dead! (My Chemical Romance) vs. Alive With The Glory Of Love (Say Anything) – Whoa. This match-up turned out to be pretty epic after listening to the two of them a few times. Both get the blood pumping through your veins with insanely good lyrics and a myriad of rhythms. The pace changes in both songs are roller coasters full of emotion. At first glance I thought “Dead” was spiteful. “And when your heart stops beating / I’ll be here wondering / did you get what you deserve?” But in reality it’s a sick, twisted, love song on steroids. Which is exactly what “Alive” is. The two songs excellently utilize the “chant”. “Alive! / Alive! / Alive!” vs. “La la la laaa la!” The Holocaust background sort of works for “Alive” too. I mean I don’t really want to picture Anne Frank getting tapped under the floorboards of a Polish extermination camp, but I guess I could think of some worse things. Like Helen Keller getting tapped under the floorboards of a Polish extermination camp. By Danny Devito…. Wow, ok. Focus, Matt. Alive With The Glory Of Love scrapes by on the grounds that it’s a proven bowling song, and I like it more.

4. Cold As Ice (Foreigner) vs. Hot Blooded (Foreigner) – “Cold” is already 1-0 in Battle of the Songs, having previously conquered “Hotter Than Hell” by Kiss. Well let’s see how cocky Foreigner gets when they face off against…Foreigner! That’s right, folks, Foreigner’s sappy, kinda awkward hit from 1977 battles Foreigner’s sappy, kinda awkward hit from 1978! The difference lies in the lyrics: “You’re as cold as ice, you’re willing to sacrifice our love / “You want paradise, but someday you’ll pay the price, I know.” Alright, admittedly nothing special here, but it’s mediocre. I mean it’s certainly not “You dont have to read my mind, to know what I have in mind / Honey, you oughta know” how I feel about bands who rhyme a word with the same word! Also, in “Hot”, he calls the same groupie “child”, “mama”, “girl”, “honey”, and “baby.” Does Foreigner’s lyricist (whose name escapes me for good reason) just carry around a rolodex of uncomfortable nicknames for women? Cold As Ice gets butchered less in karaoke, too.

5. Mainstreet (Bob Seger) vs. Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty) – Another pair of similar sounding songs round out the blog. Seger sings his usual “good ol’ days” rhetoric, once again about some long-lost love he had when he still had his youthful innocence. This song’s long-lost love happens to be a stripper. Do silver bullets cure lycanthropy and STDs? Against Seger is Gerry Rafferty, a criminally underrated songwriter and the mastermind behind Stealer’s Wheel and “Stuck In The Middle With You”, which in turn, gives us that amazing Resevoir Dogs scene. “Baker Street” (along with Clarence Clemons) singlehandedly makes the saxophone a legitimate rock instrument, and the lyrics preach a message of tomorrow’s eternal hope that doesn’t get lost in the smoke. Baker Street gets the nod, and if you like what you hear, Foo Fighters put out a respectable cover that’s worth a listen.

Cheers.

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