5 Things: “Wonderwall” by Oasis

5 Things I Love About “Wonderwall” by Oasis…

1. Liam’s non-dynamic vocal – he sounds like a bratty three year old in a grown man’s body, but it wouldn’t sound right otherwise. Even complete knuckleheads are born to do something great.
2. The cello…in my mind, it makes this the definitive recording of the song, even above the Ryan Adams version, but it manages to lurk in the background rather than stealing center stage from Noel’s genius acoustic patterns.
3. Somewhere in Europe, there is a college dropout with an acoustic guitar covering this song in a touristy, open air setting.
4. The utterly ubiquitous and gloriously ambiguous refrain: “And all the roads we have to walk are winding/And all the lights that lead us there are blinding.” It’s always true, but somehow, it manages to defy cliche…
5. It’s a masterpiece of impressionist pop songwriting. Fifteen years on, and it’s still anybody’s guess what a “wonderwall” is, yet we all sing it like we know.

Tracks of the Decade: “The Weather” by Built to Spill

“The Weather”
by Built to Spill
from ANCIENT MELODIES FOR THE FUTURE
In light of the legions of alterna-rock heroes struggling to re-invent themselves in the last ten years, Doug Martsch comes off like indie’s grumpy old man. Of the three records his outfit Built to Spill released this decade, it can be argued that he REGRESSED artistically, but in my humble opinion, he simply found what he was great at and continued doing it. Take “The Weather” as Exhibit A. The sort of dreamy acoustic strummer that might have figured as a closer for The Smiths or The Replacements in their heydays, it’s a stunning and swoon-inducing achievement. It reaches back to early in the band’s catalog, when songs like “Fling” and “Car” hinted at Martsch’s considerable melodic and lyrical gifts, applying the same cosmologic instrumentation as the band’s other great slow-burner, “Else.” Still, “The Weather” stands out as the song that might one day make some director millions as the inspiration for the nostalgic teen coming-of-age comedy THE WEATHER. It’s Hughes-worthy, this song, something truly special in the vein of a “Wonderwall.”

DougMartschWEB-1The Weather
by Built to Spill
from ANCIENT MELODIES FOR THE FUTURE

In light of the legions of alterna-rock heroes struggling to re-invent themselves in the last ten years, Doug Martsch comes off like indie’s grumpy old man. Of the three records his outfit Built to Spill released this decade, it can be argued that he REGRESSED artistically, but in my humble opinion, he simply found what he was great at and continued doing it. Take “The Weather” as Exhibit A. The sort of dreamy acoustic strummer that might have figured as a closer for The Smiths or The Replacements in their heydays, it’s a stunning and swoon-inducing achievement. It reaches back to early in the band’s catalog, when songs like “Fling” and “Car” hinted at Martsch’s considerable melodic and lyrical gifts, applying the same cosmologic instrumentation as the band’s other great slow-burner, “Else.” Still, “The Weather” stands out as the song that might one day make some director millions as the inspiration for the nostalgic teen coming-of-age comedy THE WEATHER. It’s Hughes-worthy, this song, something truly special in the vein of a “Wonderwall.”

What makes this song great in your opinion?