This Morning Countdown actually took place a little after midnight early Sunday morning as I took a taxi downtown. It’s been a tough week for me, as I’ve mentioned, and I really, really needed to unwind. How, you may ask. Well, let me just say it’s sometimes nice to feel some weight on you.
Anyway, here’s the list!
1) Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones
2) What’s Up? – 4 Non Blondes
3) Glamorous – Fergie
4) Hero Takes a Fall – The Bangles
5) Flightless Bird – Iron & Wine
Things kicked up with Jesus Jones, and although the song definitely has its moments, it’s just more repetitive than anything else. I would bet that the title phrase is repeated at least 50 times throughout the song, and that’s just way, way too many (EDIT: I actually just went back and checked. To my shock, “right here, right now” is repeated only eight times!).
I actually let out a little groan when “What’s Up?” began (I think the taxi driver gave me a funny look). It’s not a BAD song per se, but it’s just so overly dramatic to the point of being obnoxious. But as I quickly remembered, it’s also insanely catchy, and it’s impossible not to feel your heart move faster when the singer–who now writes songs for people like Pink and Celine Dion–starts howling, “And I said, hey-yay-yay, HEY-YAY-YAYYYY.”
After the 90’s rock flashback of the first two songs, we jumped back into present times as personified by Fergie, who I see as a modern-day, hip-hop version of Taylor Dayne. She’s more subtle and softer than usual on “Glamorous,” which works well here. It almost makes up for that “London Bridge” piece of crap she started her solo career with.
We’re decade-jumping furiously here, as we return to the 80’s when a young girl rock group was just starting out, following the heels of the Go-Go’s. That group was the Bangles, which became quite popular thanks to some tight pop rock tunes–like “Hero Takes a Fall”–and to one hot-as-hell member known as Susanna Hoffs. My brother had the biggest crush on her, and I remember him having a huge poster of Susanna in the room we shared (appropriately, the Bangles would later score with a song called “In Your Room”). Susanna was actually pretty talented as well, perfecting a coy-but-sexy-and-deadpan-all-at-once vocal style that was addictive right up to the point she decided to ditch the other Bangles and go solo.
The last song on our countdown comes from indie band extraordinnaire Iron & Wine, with an ode to plaintative longing, “Flightless Bird.” You may remember it from the prom scene in the “Twilight” movie, which is where I first heard it. The songs works perfectly in the context of the movie, which I have to admit, I really, really liked. It was ridiculous in parts, like that whole stupid baseball game scene, but the dynamic between the girl and her vampire crush cast some seriously intense dark voodoo romance magic. Perhaps, it shouldn’t be surprising, because love always carries with it a sense of fear (fear of loving, fear of being rejected, fear of losing the one you love, etc.), and the whole vampiric element is the perfect metaphor to draw that out. And the fragile beauty of “Flightless Bird” illustrates it with every vulnerable, longing note. And in that taxi driving into the unknown in the early morning hours, I closed my eyes and soaked it all in. It won me over all over again, and it also wins this Morning Countdown.
WINNER: Flightless Bird – Iron & Wine (2nd: 4 Non Blondes)