pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by

For this week’s Friday Feedback, I want Songs That Tire You After The First Forty-Five Seconds:

My top picks:

Enter Sandman – Metallica. That mildly dissonant riff, followed by the pounding drums after a few measures, really ramps up my adrenaline. Then the song becomes, well, the foundation of every metal song for the next 20 years, and I lose interest. Bonus points: James Hetfield may be a cool motherfucker, but in this video he’s everything that’s wrong with the 80s. “Say a prayer / just for once / or I’ll tow your truck / from the Arby’s parking lotttttt-TA!”

Sweet Child of Mine – Guns ‘n Roses. Really? Can you get that excited to hear Axl Rose sing? Really? Admit it – this song coasts off of enthusiasm after Slash rocks us all the way out in the first minute. It never really reaches those heights again until the “Where do we go-wo” part near the end.

Hot’lanta – Allman Brothers Band. Starts off really strong, then descends into the unidentifiable mish-mash of every jam session. Better than the Grateful Dead, at least.

Now that I’ve made my half-assed attempts at music criticism, I’d like to hear yours. What songs never live up to the promise of their first few seconds? List a song that’s not even worth downloading off iTunes so long as there’s a free sample. Take your shot.

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17 Responses

  1. My Sharona, by the Knack. After the first “my-eye-eye-eye-eye WOO!” there’s really nothing else, except 6 more minutes of the same.

  2. A good friend of mine got palpably disgusted every time the guitar solo / bridge came on. “It starts off so great,” he said, “then we get this perfectly generic, high-school band crap.”

  3. I just can’t get on that bandwagon; I love Sweet Child of Mine.

    I would also posit that you are actually looking for songs that tire you after forty five seconds but don’t start out tiring you. Because otherwise, you’re just looking for tiresome songs.

    – your friendly local analyst

  4. You’re right – that is the thing I want.

  5. “The Denial Twist” by the White Stripes declines sharply after the first verse.

    “I Wanna Be Adored” by the Stone Roses is good for about a minute and a half – before there’s any singing.

  6. I agree about “Sweet Child O’ Mine” but would like to state for the record that it’s not that I don’t love the whole song, it’s just that the beginning is SO GOOD that the rest pales in comparison.

    I say the same for “Fascination Street” by The Cure. The bass groove at the beginning is so awesomely creepy that the rest of the song is almost unnecessary.

  7. Using the same approach Rachel took above, I’d go with Janet Jackson’s “If.” I dig the song as a whole, but LOVE the intro.

  8. I know I’m showing my age, but I can’t be down with you on Enter Sandman because 20 years ago, before every other metal song sounded just like it, that was some hot shit.

    My vote for the category is every Chemical Brothers song ever made.

  9. Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones. That intro is so perfect, and it’s all downhill from there.

  10. I may have to say every song by Iron & Wine. It’s not such a rocking song, but a lot of time I think, “Hey, Iron & Wine is pretty good, I’ll listen to them!” and then about 20 seconds later I remember that every song sounds the same and I get antsy for rap music.

    I would also like to nominate Magic Carpet Ride for the song that puts me into a coma, but then I wake up again for the awesome riff again at the end.

  11. Oh, come on! Sweet Child o’ Mine features some of the greatest rock bass guitar playing of the 80s and 90s, possibly only topped by Duff himself on “You Could Be Mine.” Furthermore, it features that positively Zombies-esque break in the middle of a song Aerosmith *wishes* they could have written. While the end drags a bit, it’s a long long time before I’m tired of that song.

  12. @hawver: Sir, I think you’re forgetting about the super-awesome stylings of my girl Merry Clayton at the end of “Gimme Shelter”.

  13. i’d say that’s true for every metallica song ever. god i hate metallica. and led zepplin.

    seriously, after thirty seconds or so, just shut it already, you’re wrecking it.

    also, most fatboy slim. though i admit when it came out i thought it was SO COOL. but i heard it on the radio the other day and was like “…and?”

  14. Steph – As cool as the video for “Weapon of Choice” is, I keep waiting for that drum loop in the beginning to resolve into the actual song.

  15. @rachel: Ma’am , those vocal stylings are in face excellent, but wading through 4 minutes of wankery is too high a burden to bear.

  16. Also, WAIT A MINUTE SWEET CHILD OF MINE IS FUCKING AWESOME.

  17. I’m not sure if it fits your criteria exactly, but I find the Elton John songs I’ve heard to be great, but greatly repetitive. He gets a great groove going, but there never seems to be any breakstrain or soloing. Sort of like what someone said above about “My Sharona.”

    John was too early for techno, that would have been his metier. I can’t judge groups like Chem. Bros. by the same criteria. They do a lot within their genre.

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