Morning Countdown #18 (8/16/09)

wgMy first week of being unemployed started off feeling awkward and peculiar, but it’s come to a nice end, and I declare myself officially in Vacation Mode. Seriously, I can feel my insides loosening up and starting to exhale for the first time in months (it’s actually hurting a bit when I do this; I hope I haven’t given myself an ulcer).

I played tennis today, and I handled the miserable heat considerably better than last week, which was a good sign. Unfortunately, my backhand still proved to be lost in outer space somewhere (and my forehand wasn’t a whole lot better), so I had to be satisfied losing in the quarterfinals of our league singles tournament (we have one every two months). I know my timing will come back with time, but mistiming shots time and time again didn’t allow me to have that good of a time. Ha!

Anyhow, on that (cheesy) note, on with the Countdown!:

1) Rescue Me – Angela Johnson: I heard this song randomly somewhere a few years back, and then I forgot the singer’s name, and I ended up looking for the song everywhere for a couple of months. I was very, very happy when I found it again. It’s a catchy, laid-back R&B tune that’s very good to bop your head to. Now if anyone can tell me the name of the alternative rock song they used to play on K-ROQ years ago with the chorus, “But you don’t send me messages,” my life will be musically complete.

2) If You Told Me That – Whitney Houston & George Michael: Now THERE’S a couple. Bet they would host some fun parties, at the very least. Okay, kidding aside, both Whitney (who could still hit high notes at this point) and George do the song proud vocally, and the lyrics–about two friends who consider making the transition to lovers–are relatable to many, I’m sure (not me personally, though; friends and lovers are like apples and oranges to me, if that makes any sense).

FF3) Almost Lover – Fine Frenzy: It’s a heartbreaker of a song lamenting a love that never had the chance to even start; what’s not to like? Besides, Fine Frenzy’s (terrible name by the way for such an understated band) vocals are just dreamy.

4) Don’t Say No – Patrick Wolf: Patrick clearly wants to be the male version of Bjork, building up elaborate sonic landscapes filled with beeps, grinding noises, and various other factory sounds. It’s all nice and good, but I wish he’d spend some more time with the meat and potatoes part of the song, namely the melody. Fortunately, “Don’t Say No” is one track where he manages to meld everything together to great effect.

5) All She Wants Is Everything – O.M.D.: You may remember this British duo as the minds behind “If You Leave,” the romantic backgroud music for Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy’s make-out session in “Pretty in Pink” (again, John Hughes, R.I.P.). But they’ve had a number of other standout electro-pop tunes (think early Depeche Mode), and this one’s a good example. As in “If You Leave,” the lead singer does a commendable job of 80’s pining and whining (this time about one selfish wench of a girl).

In the end, it’s another tough Countdown decision, but Fine Frenzy’s dreamy lament edges out Patrick Wolf’s industrial command for the win.

Winner: Almost Lover – Fine Frenzy

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