The time that it takes me to leave my door, ride the subway, and reach the school where I work is roughly 20 minutes, usually just enough time for me to enjoy five songs on my MP3 player set to shuffle. So the Morning Countdown will reveal what the songs were, and out of those, which one deserves to be crowned the Morning Champion.
Here are the songs that came up today (in the order that they played):
1) “L.A. Song” – Beth Hart
2) “Unbreak My Heart” – Toni Braxton
3) “Stay the Same” – Joe(y) McIntyre
4) “Landslide (Live Version)” – Tori Amos
5) “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson
There were only two real contenders, Tori & Kelly. The first three songs are all decent ballads, but they’re also sappy (and not the best way to perk yourself up for the coming day, especially “Unbreak My Heart”). Tori’s cover is killer, far, far, far better than the Dixie Chicks’ hit version. It’s bizarre how good Tori’s concert covers have been when you think of the big letdown Strange Little Girls (a covers album!) ended up being. I think the big concept (male rock songs reinterpreted from the feminine point of view) got in Tori’s way. Seriously, Tori, whom I still love, needs to forget about concepts and conceptualizations (I worry about the “vignettes” for her upcoming album) and just come up with 13-14 solid songs. Keep it simple, please, Tori.
The other contender is Kelly, who finally managed to shake me from my I-wish-I-was-still-in-bed agony. “Since U Been Gone” is as good a pop rock song as any in the last… well, ever really. It also marks the very moment when people stopped thinking of her as a TV creation and started taking her seriously. And to her great credit, she’s developed into a great pop artist: great voice, solid hooks, no posturing or poses necessary.
It’s that significance that gets the win for Kelly. As great as the “Landslide” cover is, it didn’t have any effect on how people viewed Tori. Everyone already knew Tori wasn’t to be messed with.
WINNER: “Since U Been Gone”