December 2nd, 2009


Music question that is very random:

How possible is it for a song to be both melodic and angry?

I'm asking because tonight I got reminded of my initial reactions to the song "Push" by Matchbox Twenty. Those reactions are tied into one issue I'll address first, which is how our feelings on a song are affected by how people we're close to react to them. I was dating Alicia when I first heard Matchbox Twenty (back when they were Matchbox 20, and yep, I've been pedantic like this all night). She immediately disliked the song. Guess what? I wound up not liking it either. On the other hand, before I'd met Alicia I'd already been exposed to Sheryl Crow, and I liked her stuff, and when it turned out that Alicia also didn't like Crow, that didn't affect my opinion of Crow because I'd already formed my opinion.

But I'll probably never be that big on Matchbox Twenty or Rob Thomas (my Rob Thomas is the guy who created the show Cupid starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall, but I digress (but still, that show? NOT A SINGLE BAD EPISODE (true))), and Rob Thomas the lead guy in Matchbox Twenty seems like a good guy, so this is not a knock on him. But this is the knock on the song:

The lead character in the song is singing about wanting to "push around" his significant other because that significant other is pushing him around. It's a dysfunctional relationship and at some level he's sick of it, but isn't strong enough to stop it or otherwise change it. But the song about it? Almost too pretty. Almost too melodic. Eventually I realized, I wanted the song "Push" to be angrier. I didn't want it to skirt so close to that bit in the chorus of "Love Will Keep Us Together" by The Captain and Tennille ("Well, I will! I will! I will! I will! Iiiiiiii willllll..." (Huh. I like that song (and I really like how it's used at the start of the film Get Over It (okay I'm really digressing)))).

And that helped form my feelings about the guy and his work. I do kind of like Matchbox Twenty's "How Far We've Come," but for associative reasons: major DJ in my life Don Geronimo played it at the start of his final episode of The Don & Mike Show. (The last song he played: The Beatles's "In My Life.")

So this makes me want to ask: what songs come to your minds that manage to be both angry and melodic? Don't feel the need to be exhaustive. I'm probably forgetting gigantic blocks of songs that fit that criterion. Still, this makes me wonder what comes to your minds.