Sunday, December 30, 2007

Favorite Songs from 2007: #6

Lists have become super-sized. No one is content with just 10 any more. It has to be 20, 50, 100. Blame it on my generation's belief that they don't have to choose. They can have it all. I am guilty of it, too, so this year I have resolved to make choices. My lists will be kept to ten regardless of how painful it will be to leave off some deserving choices. Heck, I won't even mention the runners-up. Ten and I'm sticking to it. We start with songs.

"Thrash Unreal" by Against Me!

Album: New Wave

Punk may have seen more relevant days, but one listen to Against Me's "Thrash Unreal" is proof that there is still life blood coursing through the genre. Against Me's sound is less coarse and tidier than that of past punk legends, but they are no mere pop punk fakes. Good Charlotte they are not. Against Me's brand of punk is catchy as heck but it is also clever and smart.

The immediate hook of "Thrash Unreal" is its infectious "bah bah bah" chorus, an anthemic statement of wayward liberation. If there is a musical expression for youthful rebellion, Against Me has found it in the chorus. What makes "Thrash Unreal" an even greater song, worth more than just a catchy chorus, is its compelling depiction of a woman grown way past the maximum age for youthful indulgence. Rather than make it a sad song about a sad prodigal daughter, though, Against Me imbues the story with a defiant spirit. "No mother ever dreams that they're daughter is gonna grow up to be a junkie," growls lead singer Tom Gabel,"No mother ever dreams that they're daughter is gonna grow up to sleep alone." The song does not glorify its subject's debauchery but the song marvels at a life lived on the edge and the energy it requires to do so. As it says, "Some people just aren't the type for marriage and family." "Thrash Unreal," its pleasures many and too damn irresistible, exemplifies the allure of the rock and roll lifestyle. Who can refuse a hit when it's this damn good?

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