So, we listened to Coldplay's new single, "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" for the first time and, try as we might, we just can't hate it. Now, it's not great. One could argue that it only barely crosses the line into "good" territory. It sounds like Chris Martin locked himself in a room and listened to nothing but Passion Pit for two months while the rest of the band kept right on listening to U2.
But still, it's hard to hate a song this upbeat, this relentlessly positive, this... fun. Fucking hell, Coldplay have released a fun song. Those are words we never thought we'd type after first hearing the soundtrack to a self-drowning that was Parachutes.
What is hateable, however, is the title. Oh, but that is a bad title. Even people who used to be in emo bands with song titles like "Razors In the Soul of Wartime In Winter's Bleeding" are thinking it's a bit over the top. What does it even mean? And what does it have to do with a song this damned happy?
We don't really care, so don't bother answering. What we've done for your amusement is, we've hunted down songs better than the new Coldplay song - we don't even want to type that title a second time - with titles that are actually worse. Difficulty level: NO COUNTRY SONGS! As always, leave your suggestions for good songs with bad titles that we missed in the comments section.
Le Tigre, "Eau d'Bedroom Dancing"
Just too hipster-cutesy for us, plus it's a cliche. Eau d'(Fill in the blank) is a comedy device as old as the saying "as old as the hills." For instance, a cologne released by The Jersey Shore's The Situation would be called something like "Eau d'Obstinant Goomba" or some such thing.
Then the cutesy bit starts. What is "bedroom dancing?" Is it putting on a song you love and then dancing around alone in your bedroom where no one can see how bad your moves are, not that we've ever done such a thing? If that's it, why does it have an odor? Is it a euphemism for sex? Because that is one childish euphemism.
Perhaps we're overthinking this. "Overthinking Shitty Titles," that's what you could call this list. The song isn't bad, though, even if it is a little monotonous.
Spoon, "The Beast and Dragon, Adored"
We love Spoon, but what is this? Either write a Zeppelin-style Tolkein homage or don't. The first lyric is the title, and then nothing more about beasts or dragons for the rest of the song. It's a metaphor, of course. But it's not a particularly good one, as it fails completely to tie back in to the rest of the song.
The song itself, however, is a wonderful sort of post-psychedelia Beatles-inspired piano stomp, an excellent album opener.
The Mountain Goats, "Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod?"
It pains us to put this one on the list, because goofy shit like this is a big part of why we have such a massive man-crush on John Darnielle. But when we tried to get a friend of ours to listen to this album, after having told him it was our favorite album of 2005, his eyes went straight to this track title and he gave us one of those incredulous looks before demanding to know just what the hell we were trying to get him to listen to.
So then we had to tell him to quit being such a sheltered little pansy and listen to something a little strange for once in his life, for Chrissakes. Then he yelled at us for yelling at him, and then we shoved him, and he shoved us back, and then there was a lot of punching and bleeding.
Point is, this weird-ass song title is the reason Rocks Off spent two months in county. Turns out if you literally try to jam a CD down someone's throat, it counts as aggravated assault. The song, of course, is gorgeous and filled with dueling bitterness and hope, like every other song on this amazing album.
Who would have thought a band whose name is nigh-unpronounceable - and don't give us that "Chik Chik Chik" shit, that's not what "!!!" says - would have titled one of their songs something asinine? We really think the Beatles' "I Am the Walrus" could do without this kind of dubious homage, even if it is attached to a very, very catchy dance-rock jam.
In summary, Rocks Off stubbornly pronounces the band's name as "Exclamation Point Exclamation Point Exclamation Point" to this day, and you should too.
Tori Amos, "In the Springtime of His Voodoo"
Come on, Tori. This is a little much, even for you. Rocks Off's all-time favorite flame-haired space cadet (sorry, Gillian Anderson; it was close) is well-known for her out-there lyrics and song titles, but this one takes the cake. Well... actually, the cake would be taken years later by a song from her middling 2005 album The Beekeeper, a song called "The Power of Orange Knickers."
Horrible title, yes. Worse than this one by far, but here's the thing: that song sucks. "In the Springtime of His Voodoo" is actually really good, so that's the one we went with. If you haven't heard that album (Boys For Pele), go listen to it right this second. You're like 15 years late. Go go go go go.
The Killers, "Bling (Confessions of a King)"
This song was on The Killers' second album, widely known as "The Beginning of the Decline." Still, there are enough good songs on it to make it worth listening to, including this one. Yep, it's actually one of the better songs on the album, but the title kills us every time.
Why not just "Confessions of a King?" Why throw in "Bling?" In 2006, for God's sakes?You can't attempt to paint an album-long portrait of Bruce Cougar Mellensteen-style small-town Americana and then put the word "bling" anywhere near it.
Moody Blues, "Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon?)"
This song title is irritating for numerous reasons. First: NO ONE REALLY SEEMS TO KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IT'S CALLED. On the original LP, a concept album called Days of Future Passed - well of COURSE it came out in 1967 - the song is simply titled "The Afternoon." Ah, but the song was split into two parts: one called "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" and one called "(Evening) Time to Get Away."
As was common practice back in the days when bands were simply too high to not turn in songs over eight minutes long, the first half was snipped and marketed as a single. The single was alternately called "Tuesday Afternoon," "Forever Afternoon," or some combination thereof. Our least favorite is the one presented above.
"Tuesday Afternoon" is a fine title on its own, but then immediately dovetails into pretentious bullshit when you tack on "Forever Afternoon," with the final question mark being exactly the kind of ambiguous "ohhh, that's so DEEP, maaaan!" touch of overkill that just makes you want to club a hippie into unconsciousness with his own bong.
The song is terrific, though. It's just the right balance between poppy and experimental that makes us happy on the rare occasion that one of our local Houston deejays actually plays it on the radio, shortly before being seized and liquidated by jackbooted Clear Channel/Cumulus thugs for not playing "Nights In White Satin" yet again.
Remember: Leave your suggestions in the comments.
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