iTunes and I


By way of making the most of the 5091 tracks in my All Music playlist, here’s ten of them, with my opinions and the reasons they’re in my collection. Sort of a “Laura by Notes” sidebar, I suppose. Songs, in the best tradition of blog music lists, selected by the shuffle feature.

Westlife, “Flying Without Wings”

Yes, I am just that cool. This is off a CD that I made to specifically to record onto tape to play in the minibus on the way to events when I was fifteen and in the rowing squad. The whole team liked Westlife, though of course we all claimed it was an ironic fondness.

Kasabian, “Ovary Stripe”

I quite like Kasabian-type music for background music when I’m not specifically trying to relax. It’s the way all their songs blend into one homogenous keyboard mass, I think. I couldn’t pick this particular track out of a police line-up.

Damien Rice, “Cannonball”

One of those songs that was on the radio all.the.time when I was a teenager and still listened to the radio, and so I know all the words and can sing along in my hammiest overwrought fashion. Come to think of it, this could make a good karaoke song – I should start looking for it in song lists.

Grand Drive, “Firefly”

I have no idea who Grand Drive are (come to think of it, it’s been so long since I paid attention to what was current in music that they might be huge, whoever they are. Or one- (or no-) hit wonders. It doesn’t really matter). This song originally came off an obscure compilation album that I borrowed from my friend C, who in turn bought it at the local cheap music shop for a fiver. But it has this quite upbeat backing with what sounds like unusual percussion, and a tune that’s fun to sing, and the lyrics are sort of sweet and vaguely uplifting, so it’s become one of my favourite tracks.

Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth, “One Short Day”

I’m not a big fan of musicals, but I did actually really enjoy Wicked, despite never having even seen The Wizard of Oz
(I know, childhood fail). This song falls into the category of ‘songs to belt out in my best imitation of someone with musical talent, preferably when I’m alone in my flat’. And Kristen Chenoweth gets extra credit for having been in The West Wing as well.

The Enemy, “This Song”

I haven’t even played this song yet. Every time I go home, I load all my brothers’ CDs into iTunes, to see if there’s anything there I like. Saves me from having to follow what’s going on in the world of new music. From the sound of it, The Enemy are another British identikit indie band with lots of guitars and a rousing chorus. I have a weakness for identikit indie bands, so they can stay in the mix.

These New Puritans, “En Papier 2”

Ditto, I’m afraid. This one appears to be less than a minute of electronic fumbling and indecipherable lyrics. Probably belongs in an hour-long mix, being sampled and resampled until it’s unrecognisable.

Flanders & Swann, “The Gnu Song”

If I ever have children, I’m bringing them up to know all the words to the complete works of Flanders & Swann. Some of their more political songs are hopelessly dated (given that they were written in the 1950s, that’s not entirely surprising), but most are still unabashedly fun. I got the entire works to cheer me up during a difficult time as a student, and got a bit of a reputation for singing them while drunk. Amongst my improv group, it was generally held that the singing voice was the last thing to go as one got progressively drunker, after enunciation of words, and probably basic motor functions. I do feel sorry for our neighbours.

Coldplay, “Don’t Panic”

I was a big fan of Coldplay when they first came out. This is off the first album, which is probably their weakest. It’s still on here for sentimental value, and general background music.

Eric Clapton, “Layla (acoustic version)”

It’s a great song. No more explanation needed.

If I was organised, I’d sort my music collection into playlists. But I quite like the Radio Laura effect I get from just putting the whole thing on shuffle. I’m pretty certain that I’m the only person in the world who likes all these songs. It makes me feel special.


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