Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Anti-Valentines Day Mixtape.

Many ‘lovers’ will be celebrating valentines with mountains of flowers, soppy hallmark cards and overpriced jewellery. Many more will be lying around moaning about commercialism, crying into pillows, or getting raucously drunk and whining about how foolish the whole event seems to be. Unless something dramatically changes in the next few days, I will definitely be in the latter category. How sad, right?

Well, it got me thinking. What is the perfect mixtape for someone who might not be the most happy chappy come the 14th of February? I guess the tunes don’t have to explicitly on the subject of Valentines day, just about subjects not usually associated with romantic love or lust, perhaps tunes about the disillusionment that is inherent with broken relationships. Some might suggest digging around the Magnetic Field’s ‘69 Love Songs’ compendium and that is, I think, a great place to start (despite the fact that they are songs about love songs, many of them deal with falling out of love).

For what its worth, here are a few songs that I think would be a great addition to any such mix.

1. The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Want To Get Over You

I envy Stephin Merritt. I don’t know how he writes lyrics of such good quality. They are just too clever. They are just too correct. It almost annoys me. This song has some brilliant lyrics that divinely sum up the yearning that inevitably follows being dumped. For example, ‘I should just take a sleeping pill and sleep at will and not have to go through, what I go through. I guess I should take a prozac right and smile all night, at somebody new’, and so forth. Love this song, and it is probably in my top five Magnetic Fields songs that ever graced the cassette deck.

2. The Cure – In Between Days

This is definitely my favourite Cure song. I think it has one of the strongest intros to a pop song ever composed. When that closed high-hat snaps in, well, I feel the urge to go mental. Anyway, you can see by the lyrical content that it concerns some kind of relationship breakdown complete with the denial and regret cycles that so often occur with relationship breakdowns. For instance, the lyrics ‘Go on, Go on, just walk away’ at the beginning of the song, followed then by a later stanza that counteract the earlier lyrics 'Come back, Come back, Don’t walk away'. Perhaps I’m getting slightly too deep here, but I’d thought I’d just highlight these small aspects of what is a great pop tune. Who knew that such depressing subjects could be so dance-able?

3. Burt Bacharach / Hal David - I’ll Never Fall in Love Again

What a tune! This classic pop number involves itself with all the alleged traps of falling in love, for example, 'What do you get when you kiss a girl? You get enough germs to catch pneumonia'. Hal David, you got that spot on. I’ve avoided kissing girls for this EXACT reason. Pretty much a great tune to take the edge off falling in love. Yeah that’s right; this song gives love (and Valentines Day) THE BIRD!

4. Billy Bragg - Valentines Day is Over

Admittedly, I do not know this song all that well having only really listened to it on a handful of occasions. However, I believe it warrants being on my list for the title alone. The lyrics pretty much consist of Billy Bragg giving some sage like advice to men on how to treat their woman, with the consequences if they are not up to scratch. Not the best Bragg song, in my own humble opinion, but certainly one of the most relevant to this blogpost

....And I almost can’t resist....

5. Genesis - In Too Deep

OK, I’ve already discussed my Phil Collins obsession before on this very blog, so you simply must allow me this guilty pleasure. It is a bit of a cheesy 80s ballad, but come on, that chorus section just weeps smoothness. Apparently a song about Phil Collins and his ability to deal with relationship. Many of Collins’s tunes deal with this issue. It also seems that the guy has a legion of wives with matching divorce certificates. Perhaps he just marries women, breaks up with them, so as to manufacture a string of pop hits about the experience. Sounds like this is his method. Hrm, anyway, yes the song. Suitable for an Anti-Valentines day mixtape. Marginal at best, but I’ve quickly run out of ideas.

...*edit* I almost forgot....

6. Roy Orbison - Crying

Bah, how could I forget this song. This really should be my number one. I love Roy, and if I was a homosexual and a necrophiliac, I'd probably dig him up and make love to him. This is my favourite song of his, and it is probably the most suitable for this anti-valentines day mixtape list. Could you really argue with its brilliance?

Happy Valentines Day (losers:P)!

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