Frank’s Faves on Fridays

April 16, 2010

One of this blog’s regular readers* is an American chap called Frank (Hi, Frank!) who has been emailing me song suggestions in the hope that maybe one or two will get played here. I’ve been emailing him back with what I would call “mini-reviews” (Frank would probably call them “unhelpful comments”).

Frank’s already sent me quite a few songs for consideration (about four per email), and I was a little sad at the prospect of all those songs ending up languishing in my email program, never to be heard of again, so I had a brainwave: “Hey, Peter – why don’t you put the songs on the blog so that other people can hear them?” “OK – which ones?” “All of them!”.

So I am.

In an effort to put Frank’s avalanche of “Hey, you should play this on your blog” into some sort of order, I’ll be posting his suggestions once a week, and the songs will be presented as I received them (in batches).

Okey dokey, let’s get started on our journey into the world of Frank’s Faves on Fridays.

By the way, as these songs reflect Frank’s taste in music rather than mine, some of my comments may be less than complimentary. (Let the snark begin!) Nevertheless, I’m glad that Frank’s sending me these songs, because I’m unfamiliar with a lot of them and I love hearing stuff I haven’t heard before.

Here’s the first batch of songs Frank sent to me:

The Apples In Stereo – “The Rainbow” (2000)

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Nice and poppy. Although I think it’s blog-worthy, there may be another Apples In Stereo song I’d prefer to use. (However, I must admit that I have four Apples In Stereo albums and listened to them ages ago, but I don’t remember them at all.) One thing in “The Rainbow”‘s favour is that there’s a (possibly deliberate) musical coincidence in it: when they sing “just like the rainbow” (at 0:55) it sounds just like The Rolling Stones when they sing “she’s like a rainbow” in “She’s A Rainbow” (at 0:24 in this YouTube clip).

The Better Days – “Fascination” (2004)

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Enjoyable but slightly anonymous. To me, this song could have come from any number of American power pop bands (and it’s only American power pop bands that have those kind of vocals). When I went a-looking for information about The Better Days, they turned out to be a fairly elusive band. I eventually discovered that they’re still active but changed their name – they’re now called The Skies Of America. I also discovered that “Fascination” appeared on the soundtrack to the 2004 movie Eulogy, a film I know nothing about.

Billy Bremner – “I Get Enough” (1998)

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A bit too roots-rock for my liking I’m afraid.

Billy Goodrum – “The Way” (1998)

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That drum beat put me off immediately. Then the singing started and it put me off even more. Pass.

But thanks for the suggestions anyway, Frank. (At least I liked two of them.) On first hearing, the pick of the bunch for me was The Apples In Stereo track, but after listening to all four a few more times I think I now prefer the one by The Better Days. And I like the two Billy tracks even less than I did (especially Mr. Goodrum’s “The Way”).

But whether I like or dislike any of those songs is irrelevant. I’m hearing music I haven’t heard before. As far as I’m concerned, this is A Good Thing.

And that’s it for Frank’s Faves this week.

(*I really hope there’s more than one.)