Wednesday, April 25, 2007

a way to make you smile

I really, really wish I'd come up with this idea:

Pop Songs '07, a blog that will "write about every R.E.M. song, eventually." It's pure delight for longtime fans like myself, and I'm learning new insight into old favorites already.

For instance, I have always heard "At My Most Beautiful" as a stalker song. I thought Michael's gentle, soft delivery was deliberately ironic, as he's clearly wielding a knife right below the melody line. "Saving messages just to hear your voice"? CREEPY. "Count your eyelashes secretly"? CREEPY. "I know you're closed-eye watching me, listening"? Yeah, because he's going to KILL YOU.

...and yet. Blog author Matthew Perpetua views it nothing more than a beautiful love song, and at least two of the commenters played it AT THEIR WEDDINGS. To me, this is no different than playing "Every Breath You Take" (also prominently featured in my stalkersongs playlist). I re-read the lyrics, though, and taken at face value, there's absolutely nothing sinister there... except, yes, yes there is! I'm truly astonished.

And now I'm truly behind on my work, having spent an hour reading all the Pop Songs '07 back entries and thinking about my favorite R.E.M. songs (that will have to be a post for another day, I'm afraid). Back to work. Sigh.


Justin Rimbo said...

I'd like to know what the rest of the songs on your stalkersongs mixtape are.

Anonymous said...

I always really liked "At My Most Beautiful," probably one of my all-time favorite R.E.M. songs. I never really heard it as stalker-ish either, although I found many of the lines relatable. So perhaps I have just not come to terms with my own stalker-ish nature. Thank for setting me on the path of self-discovery.

Joe G said...

I know what you mean - but consider the most obvious counterpoint, that This One Goes Out To The One I Love is bitterly ironic.

"a simple prop has occupied my time..."

I found the song odd at first (so sickly sweet!) but eventually came to take it at face value. It's a sickly sweet, nauseatingly devoted story of a crush. Now, it may not be intended to be about healthy love - is beauty really the result when you obsess? - but it isn't stalkery to me.

Which is to say, I agree with brendan's prev. comment, maybe I don't fully recognize my own innate stalkerishness.

Regards, and thank you SO much for blogging this, I hadn't heard of Pop Songs '07 and I love it.