Song of the Day: Our Lady Peace — Clumsy

I got an email from SRC this morning that Our Lady Peace’s Clumsy was being released on vinyl, and I have fond memories of programming my shower CD player to play a few specific singles in high school, so I thought I’d give the whole album a spin on Spotify to see if it was worth picking up.

The short answer to that question is “not really,” but I just listened to the title track for the first time in many years, and it remains the highlight of an otherwise workmanlike album. During the last bridge to the chorus, I even timed the little syncopated pause before the last chorus kicks in perfectly, speaking to the sheer number of times I’ve listened to the song.

As I’ve written about before, I mostly consume music in the context of albums, so it’s with great shame that I admit that this wasn’t really the case until midway through high school when I started seriously buying music (nearly all of my disposable income was poured into buying albums, some of which I’d never even heard before) and listening to albums front-to-back. It began to bug me when friends would throw on an album, skip to a couple of singles, and then move on to the next, and before I knew it, I was the anachronistic full-album-listener I am today.

In any case, it was not my intention to have my first SotD in many months coincide with Throwback Thursday, but here we are. I think part of why I like “Clumsy” so much has to do with the way it builds. It starts off with little bits of piano before transitioning into the first verse, which is still stripped down until the first bridge into the chorus, at which point everything comes together. From there, it keeps charging forward until after the interlude, at which point everything backs off to create the aforementioned pause before the last chorus. It’s not particularly fancy, but it does a good job of building some drama to tell its story of trying to shrug off hang-ups and past mistakes.

Song of the Day: The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

I told you I’m bad at this.

Despite having done nothing with this blog for a solid few weeks, instead of posting anything substantial, I’m once again just posting a song that I think people should like. That said, today’s song could be seen as a statement about my blog itself. Maybe I’ll start posting more often. Maybe I’ll throw in some real content, and not just a constant stream of songs. Maybe someone will actually read this.

Anyway, today’s song comes from The Hold Steady’s 2008 album of the same name, and is aptly named. Craig Finn’s not-quite-just-talking-but-also-not-really-singing vocals take a little bit of getting used to, but ultimately makes perfect sense for a band so focused on telling stories and creating an ongoing narrative.