We’re preparing to roll out our selections for best albums of 2013 so far next week, so I thought I’d take this week to share songs from three albums that didn’t make my personal top five. While all three will be appearing in the feature on other writers’ lists, these records didn’t quite live up to my expectations, for one reason or another. Despite that, these three songs are some of my favorite released this year, and they feature some tremendous vocalists. If you like the following tracks, definitely check out the rest of the albums they come from – even though they weren’t quite my cup of tea, there’s a pretty fair chance they’ll be up your alley.
1. “Fall In Love” – Bad Rabbits
This song is a big part of why I had such high expectations for American Love, despite how lackluster the other singles sounded in comparison. Though it’s not quite as energetic as the Stick Up Kids EP or the band’s live show might have foreshadowed, “Fall In Love” is every bit as soulful as you’d hope. The instrumentation is intricate, with layers of synths and guitars providing a dense sound that doesn’t get weighed down one bit by how much is happening. The drums hit surprisingly hard, and Dua Boakye’s voice expresses all of the qualities that made me fall in love with this band in the first place. If you’ve never listened to Bad Rabbits before, this is the song I’d recommend starting with; it’s quickly become my favorite they’ve ever released.
2. “Still Into You” – Paramore
Full disclosure: “Still Into You” is the only song from Paramore’s self-titled record that I consistently go back and listen to. There’s nothing necessarily bad about the rest of the album, but there’s absolutely nothing that catches my attention as much as this song does. I don’t think that anyone needs to be reminded that Hayley Williams can sing, but still she shatters all expectations with the power and emotion of her voice in the bridge, interrupting the poppiness of the rest of the song with a few measures of something absolutely real. The interplay of the two guitar lines in the verses goes perfectly with the melody, and there are some nice drum fills throughout the track. Plus, that chorus. I might not “get” the rest of this record, but this song is among my favorite in the band’s discography.
3. “The Golden State” – City & Colour
The Hurry And The Harm is still taking its time to grow on me and might end up on my year-end lists, but my first few listens didn’t catch my ear very strongly. Aside from the singles, “The Golden State” was the only track to truly grip me the first time around. This is the sort of song that’s perfect for anyone who was a fan of Sometimes and Bring Me Your Love, while the rest of the record has a little more variety in the vein of Little Hell. A throwback to the classic City & Colour sound, this one is driven entirely by acoustic guitar and Dallas Green’s soothing voice. Opining on the lacking allure of California, the lyrics are easy for me to relate to, while the guitar parts meander about, rooted down by the simple bass and drum parts. It’s definitely calming, and perfect for relaxing in the sun, even if its lyrics wouldn’t indicate that quality.