12 Songs for Each Kind of Breakup

Because music will always be there for you.

12. The resilient breakup song: “You Have Killed Me” by Morrissey

Kicking the list off with Mr. Misery himself, Morrissey. He has a song for every kind of heartbreak: unrequited love, loneliness, revenge, remorse, and accepting the inevitable.

“You Have Killed Me” is a straight forward breakup track about when you’ve been hurt so badly you feel as if you’ve been stabbed through the heart, but somehow you still find a way to walk around and continue with on.

Relatable lyric: As I live and breathe/You have killed me/Yet I walk around somehow/But you have killed me

11. The ‘stuck in denial’ breakup song: “I Don’t Want to Get Over You” by The Magnetic Fields

69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields is an album that consists of, well, 69 love songs. Some of the tracks are romantic, others sweet, and many endearing. Then there are songs about heartbreak, including this gem.

Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt’s sweet realism and honesty portrays the fragility of a recently ended communion.

Relatable lyric: I could leave this agony behind/ Which is just what I’d do/ If I wanted to/ But I don’t want to get over you

10. The apologetic breakup song: “So Sorry” by Fiest

When you’ve been the destructive one in the relationship, driving the other person away. The realizations of your actions are too late. You plead for things to be better and admit your faults. When you’re willing to try to make things work out “forreal, this time,” that’s what this song is about.

Leslie Feist’s delicate voice and sincerest admissions on this track portray someone who is genuinely regretful.

Relatable lyric: Two words I always think/ Oh after you’ve gone/ When I realize I was acting all wrong

9. The intoxicated breakup song: “The Poison” by Pedro the Lion

David Bazan of Pedro the Lion creates imagery with his lyrics that personify his dilemmas.”The Poison” is about the coping mechanism of drinking after the relationship ends, and the result is relatably chilling.

Relatable lyric: But now it’s over/ and I can’t stay sober

8. The jaded breakup song: “Landfill” by Daughter

Ever been with somebody who neglected you? Someone who mistreated you? inconsiderate? Selfish? Well, this one is for you.

Relatable lyric: Leave me at the altar/ Knowing all the things you just escaped

7. The ‘fed up’ break up song: “No Children” by The Mountain Goats

For when you’re feeling trapped, and when you’re so far down in the hole that you’ll never get out. You continue on for some reason, but it keeps getting worse until the resentment festers to the point of disrepair. And the feelings are mutual.

Relatable lyric: And I’d hope that if I found the strength to walk out/ You’d stay the hell out of my way

6. The revenge breakup song: “For What Reason” by Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie are known for writing a good song about heartbreak. Lyricist Ben Gibbard has always had a knack for writing about the things you were never able to put into words.

“For What Reason” is the bloodthirsty revenge breakup song. The good memories are gone and have been replaced with cynicism and resentment. The deceit you encountered make the relationship irreparable.

Relatable lyric: Brace yourself: I’m bent with bitterness. I can’t foresee.

5. The ‘I still can’t live without you’ breakup: “The Spells” by Mrs. Magician

The catchy melody will trick you, but this is not a happy song. This track is about how difficult it is to deal with the aftermath of the breakup. When you physically feel sick and you can’t imagine your life without that person.

Relatable lyric: Prescribe me some pills to mend my heart/Or to stop it completely

4. The ‘fuck you’ breakup song: “Super Rat” by Honeyblood

Basically, fuck you. You deserved this.

Relatable lyric: And I knew you were bad all along/But still I swam in to welcoming jaws

3. The breakup song about acceptance: “Your Ex Lover is Dead” by Stars

When you give yourself to someone, and you have nothing left to say. The relationship can’t be saved. You acknowledge that there was a thing in the past that didn’t work out. You’re not the same person you used to be.

Relatable lyric: There’s one thing I want to say, so I’ll be brave/You were what I wanted/I gave what I gave/I’m not sorry I met you/I’m not sorry it’s over/I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save

2. The unavoidable breakup song: “Apart” by The Cure

When your feelings evaporate and you begin to drift apart. Each person in the relationship wish the other one would do something, or say what they desperately want to hear, but they don’t say anything. Instead you wait and hope it happens, but it never does. Your love is gone, and you haven’t bridged the gap.

Relatable lyric: How did we get this far apart?/I thought this love would last forever

1. The gratified breakup song: “Better Off Without You” by Summer Camp

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. You were proactive and realized that breakups happen for a reason, and you know that everything is going to be okay.

Relatable lyric: I used to miss you all the time/ But now I think you’re not so fine

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The Best and Worst of Death Cab for Cutie

I was 12 years old when I heard Death Cab for Cutie for the first time. Soon they became my band. They were the first concert I ever went to on my own, I would write Death Cab lyrics on my notebooks, and had an inappropriate obsession with Ben Gibbard.

It’s been over 10 years and many bands have come in and out of my life, but I’ll always have a soft spot for my first band,  Death Cab for Cutie.

8. Codes and Keys

Image result for codes and keys death cab for cutie

Even the most casual Death Cab for Cutie listener will know that the band thrives when it comes to heartbreak. Codes and Keys was released in the midst of Gibbard’s now defunct marriage to quirky “it girl,” actress Zooey Deschanel. Codes and Keys results as a collection of 11 lackluster and overly sentimental tracks about being in love and finding yourself.

Codes and Keys opens with “Home is a Fire” – a song that has potential but never builds up and hits a stalemate. A well-fitting theme for the rest of the album. The title track “Codes and Keys” shines with it’s backing orchestra, and protruding drum lines, as Gibbard gently sings “we are alive” in the chorus. The high point came and went by the second track.

A series of snooze fest’s come and go, while “Doors Unlocked and Open” teases us with interesting instrumentation and a solid chorus. This preceding arguably one of the most overrated Death Cab songs of all time “You are a Tourist.” Piano ballad “Unobstructed Views” appears as a failed attempt to recapture the beauty of their 2004 hit “Transatlanticsm”

The closing track “Stay Young, Go Dancing” was clearly inspired by his newlywed Deschanel. It’s overly affectionate lyrical content, reeking of sunshine, is entirely skippable.

Death Cab for Cutie are known for their guitar heavy compositions, and they departure that theme with Codes and Keys. While I admire them for focusing on keyboards and a string section, Codes and Keys just could not get it right.

Best Track: Codes and Keys

Worst Track: You are a Tourist

7. Narrow Stairs

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If Codes and Keys was Death Cab’s love album, this one was their version of Pablo Picasso’s Black Period.  Gibbard has later admitted that there’s a level of “self-loathing” in Narrow Stairs and that he’s a bit “embarrassed” of it now.

The opening track “Bixby Canyon Bridge” starts off with guitarist Chris Walla’s tremolo picking technique, while Gibbard vulnerably sings about his time at a cabin in Big Sur, California. The location not only in which this album was recorded recorded, but incoincidently  the location of Gibbard’s biggest literary influence once lived, Jack Kerouac.

“Your New Twin Sized Bed” and Beatles knock-off “You Can Do Better Than Me” are perfect examples of the emotional torture Gibbard felt at this time period in his life. They are songs about defeat yet coming to terms with the state of things.

Narrow Stairs is all over the place. The first single “I Will Possess Your Heart” is reminiscent of a 1970’s  jam band, while “Talking Bird” is a sweet throwback to a song you’d hear at a 1950’s prom.  “Cath” feeling like a 1990’s power pop band, Narrow Stairs can’t quite find it’s identity.

Best track: Bixby Canyon Bridge

Worst track: Pity and Fear

6. Kintsugi

Image result for kintsugi death cab

Sometimes love disappears without explanation and this is the case Gibbard poses in what I like to call Death Cab for Cutie’s “divorce album” Kintsugi. 

Kintsugi is Death Cab for Cutie’s most recent release, after 4 long years of nothing. A lot happened in that time, Ben Gibbard  went on a reunion tour with his iconic band The Postal Service, founding guitarist and producer Chris Walla left the band to pursue other musical projects, Gibbard released a solo album, bassist Nick Harmer became a father, and of course: The Divorce.

“How could something so fair be so cruel?” Gibbard asks in the chorus of “Black Sun,” the first single off Kintsugi. A question posed clearer than daylight. While the album opener “No Room in Frame” deceptive melodic jangling will trick you into thinking it’s a happy song, lyrically, it will break your heart.

“Kintsugi”is a Japanese art form that consists of repairing broken pottery and creating something new from it, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. “Little Wanderer” stands out as it’s airy guitar swoops you into the woes of a long distance relationship, whilst Gibbard sips some tea in “Ingenue,” a track about a young actress whose brightest years are behind her.

Overall, Kintsugi’s intimacy and vulnerability save it from the lackluster and uninspiring arrangements.

Best track: No Room in Frame

Worst track: Hold No Guns

5. Plans

In 2004 indie darlings Death Cab for Cutie did the unfathomable: they left their longtime independent record label Barsuk, and signed to the major label Atlantic Records.

The controversial move ignited outrage with their hardcore fan base. They were called sellouts and some purists event decided to boycott the band entirely. Death Cab achieved their first main stream success with their previous music release Transatlanticism, and the record offers flew in. Death Cab stated the major label would still give them creative freedom and they encouraged fans to download their music for free online to discourage the corporate economics of a major label.

Despite Death Cab claiming “they would not change” after their record label move, Plans, was definitely different than their previous work – but that was not necessarily a bad thing.

Plans is a collection of finely polished, easily palatable, radio friendly tunes. Opener “Marching Bands of Manhattan” understated guitar work paired with Gibbard’s vulnerability prove to be effective.

Piano heavy tracks such as “Differen’t Names for the Same Thing,” “Brothers on a Hotel Bed,” and “What Sarah Said” are beautifully cohesive and imaginative.  The groovy bassline of “Summer Skin” lingers as Gibbard reminisces of his adolescence.

The best thing about Plans is that there is a song for everyone. Death Cab will be eternally forced to play “Crooked Teeth,” “Soul Meets Body,” and “I’ll Follow you Into the Dark” for the rest of their musical careers due to their popularity. Yet, these are the songs that are the most unauthentically Death Cab.

Best track: Marching Bands of Manhattan

Worst track: Crooked Teeth

4. Something About Airplanes

Death Cab for Cutie were in their early 20’s when their debut record Something About Airplanes was released. Despite their young age, this album was years ahead of it’s time. Clearly influenced with a “Pacific Northwest Sound” like bands Modest Mouse and Sleater-Kinney before them, Something About Airplanes has a distinct influence, but is unique enough to stand on it’s own.

Something About Airplanes grittiness and lo-fi vibes set the precedent for what’s to come in their later musical achievements. Gibbard’s soft voice is complimentary coupled with the distorted guitars blaring in tracks like “Bend to Squares” and “Fake Frowns.”

Although they have strayed for glossier and more radio palatable sound in recent years, Something About Airplanes demonstrates where the band originated and how far they’ve come.

Best track: President of What?

Worst track: Sleep Spent

3. Transatlanticism

Every true Death Cab for Cutie fan will always have a soft spot for this modern day classic. Transatlanticsm is what catapulted them into the mainstream vernacular and for good reason.

It’s fitting that this album begins with a track called “The New Year” considering this record is the one that brought Death Cab their new era of fans, thanks to Seth Cohen of “The O.C.” and MySpace.com.

Ben Gibbard will always be a story teller first and a songwriter second and that has never been clearer than the narratives that unfold in Transatlanticism.  “Title and Registration” is a perfect example as Gibbard eloquently relates a traffic stop to an old relationship. The hypnotic guitar riff and simplistic drum track are imperative highlights to this record.

The title track “Transatlanticsm” is an eight minute long masterpiece, as Gibbard declares “I need you so much closer to his long distance paramour. While “Tiny Vessels” tells an opposite story in which he is pretty much being an asshole to the subject.

Transatlicism’s diversity makes this an easy listen every time. “We Looked Like Giants” long instrumental give’s the record some needed grittiness, whilst “A Lack of Color” is simple and bare. It’s all we need.

Best track: Title and Registration

Worst track: Expo ’86

2. The Photo Album

The Photo Album is Death Cab for Cutie’s third studio album. By this time, they have grown as a band, they’ve carved out their quintessential sound, and they’re not going anywhere.

What makes Death Cab unique is their ability to juxtapose catchy melodies with morose lyrical content and The Photo Album makes no exception. This album is progressive and guitar heavy yet it still contains sweet elements.

“I loved you Guinevere,” Gibbard proclaims breakup song “We Laugh Indoors,” as the distorted guitars and cloudy microphones. In “Why’d You Want to Live Here,” the band begrudgingly visits Los Angeles and describes it’s flaws. Gibbard revisits the topic of Los Angeles in “Ghost of Beverley Drive” on their 2015 album Kintsugi.

The Photo Album is a quintessential road trip album. From the opening track, to it’s romantic closer “Cony Island.” It’s an album you want to pop into the CD player with nothing but the road ahead of you.

Best track: A Movie Script Ending

Worst track: Information Travels Faster

1. We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes

There are many milestones that come along with growing older. You grow apart from old friends, everyone you know starts to get married and have kids, and there’s the first big break up. And that’s what We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes is about.

The album opener “Title Track,” a nostalgic song about questionable decisions and wish fulfillment. Gibbard runs into an old acquaintance at a party and a one night stand ensues. The song starts off distorted and far off but after the first verse, it clears up. A production choice that seems fitting.

Throughout We Have the Facts.. Gibbard is in pursuance of a relationship with the woman from song one. By the second track, “Employment Pages,” they have settled in a quaint relationship and the mundanities of everyday life. In “For What Reason” Gibbard finds out she cheated on him. “This will be the last you hear from me.” he threatens as the guitars jangle in this bloodthirsty song about heartbreak and revenge.

Up next? Gibbard hits the road in “Lowell, MA” AND “405,” Another reference to Jack Kerouac.

The highlight of We Have the Facts hits during “Company Calls” and “Company Calls Epilogue.” In the first of the series, Gibbard receives an invitation to his ex-flames wedding. By the “Epilogue” he crashes the wedding, a reference to another huge influence of Ben Gibbards, “The Graduate.”

“Company Calls Epilogue” is arguably the best song in Death Cab for Cutie’s catalogue. It’s vulnerable and Gibbard’s angst is relatable. During the last chorus, Gibbard is left alone with an acoustic guitar. It’s naked and will give you all the feels.

We Have the Facts is everything album needs to be. It’s versatile, unique, and has a story to tell. Which is what Death Cab for Cutie does best.

Best track: Company Calls Epilogue

It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN: The Best 10 Radiohead Songs of All Time

This is the final part of my continuing rollout of the best 50 Radiohead songs. For Part 1, click here. Part 2, here. Part 3, here. Part 4, here.

This is it. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. The best 10 Radiohead songs.

Leggo!

Continue reading “It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN: The Best 10 Radiohead Songs of All Time”

Top 50 Radiohead Songs: Songs 50-41

This is part of my continued rollout of the Top 50 Radiohead songs. For Parts 2, click here.

As promised yesterday, on this here blog, today I will begin presenting the 50 best Radiohead songs.

If you want to know what the methodology was to determine what these best 50 songs are, don’t click on the previous link because you won’t find it there. Instead rely on the fact that all of these rankings were determined by me in the highly precise “Do I like this song better than this song?” method.

Comprising the first batch of my rollout are songs 50-41. These songs consist mainly of songs from the OK Computer era all the way up to the 2016 release of A Moon Shaped Pool. You’ll find the odd song or two before OK Computer but a good batch of these are b-sides to the 1997 highly acclaimed, and until 4 weeks ago supremely despised by me, OK Computer.

That is the sort of methodology that has gotten me to blog about music on a blog read by 5 people, baby!

Without further delay, let us begin.

Continue reading “Top 50 Radiohead Songs: Songs 50-41”

Erick Presents: The Top 50 Radiohead Songs

That’s right folks. It is time to present the best 50 Radiohead determined by your one and only trusty source for all things music and life, me. It’s been a long minute since I have last written anything. As a matter of fact, it’s been so long a minute that my last post on this here blog is actually a review of A Moon Shaped Pool, the Radiohead album that was released in early June of this year of 2016. That is why I figured there’d be no better way to get back into the swing of things than by writing another Radiohead related article because, at this point, ideas are incredibly difficult to come by at my place.

The roll down will be presented every day with a batch of 10 songs over the course of the next 5 days. Rollouts are just better when they’re suspenseful.

The rules are fairly simple. All songs must have been released on an official Radiohead release and it has to have the Radiohead moniker attached with it. So that means no “Big Boots,” “Follow Me Around” or really tinny and monotonous Thom Yorke solo projects. This will include everything released up to, and including, A Moon Shaped Pool, which basically leaves us with every release by Radiohead ever.

Stay tuned for more coming soon!

Of Montreal – “It’s Different for Girls”

Last week psychedelic pop band of Montreal released the first single off their upcoming album Innocence Reaches set to be released August 12 via Polyvinyl Records.

The single “It’s Different for Girls” is a hypnotic dance medley that feature’s a groovy rhythm and brightly glistening synths.

But most importantly, it’s a thoughtful song about gender norms, sexism, and the objectifications that women have grown accustomed to. 

Enjoy:

David Bazan – Blanco

“If I’m not losing sleep, I’m probably over it,proclaims indie rock crooner David Bazan in the opening lines of his third solo album Blanco. 

Bazan has spent the last few years playing living room shows across America, performing songs from his extensive back catalogue. Finally, he stopped touring and recorded Blanco, a reflection of his life on tour.

Bazan has a reputation for being cynical in his perspectives, but he emerges with beautiful insights only the most observant find. As the lead singer of the now defunct indie rock band Pedro the Lion, Bazan candidly touched on topics of God, alcoholism, death, political corruption, infidelity, and eventually losing faith in God. His lyrics echo sentiments with a level of intimacy that is relatable on a profound level.

In Blanco, Bazan is reaching an existential crisis.

In the whimsical first track “Both Hands” Bazan repeats “both hands over my eyes” in the chorus, an avoidance mechanism we are all familiar with. He laments his heavy thoughts, but sets them aside to deal with the issues right in front of him. His distorted vocals accompanied with the hypnotic synthesizers construct a formula that sets the tone for the rest of the record.

The second track “Oblivion” mirrors the notion of avoidance. Over a quirky keyboard melody and provocative drum sample, Bazan says that “now is not the time for second thoughts” as he reflects on the man he has been.

Blanco sets itself apart from the usual Bazan fare. Opposed to distorted guitars and down tempo melodies, Bazan set out to make his version of an electronic record. Synthesizers, memorizing choruses, drum samples, and reverb-y vocals make up Blanco, and it is a refreshing change of pace.

The instrumental counterparts of “With You” are reminiscent of a 1980s new wave single, but don’t let the upbeat inflection fool you. “I might have found someone true/ But I turn around/ my life’s half over/ And I’m with you.” When I listen to this song I interpret it as a love song, regardless of the unfavorable imagery. That despite your flaws, I’m with you. Bazan’s unconventional flare for romanticizing the weaknesses of relationships are an example of his craftsmanship as a lyrcisist.

Reverting back to his acoustic roots “Little Landslide” is a thoughtful song about reflection. “Over Again” depicts the repetition of everyday life and the notion of being stuck. Despite the powerful lyrics, unfortunately the song falls flat.

The dreamy closing track “Little Motor” ends things on a triumphant note, “every day you wake up alive/ little motor behind your eyes”  it’s the understanding that life goes on.

Bazan has proven himself a master storyteller through his songs, and he continues to do so in Blanco. The album is reflective and requires a patient ear, but the payoff makes it worth while.

Blanco: B+