Day 2: Your least favorite song
I could spend days counting off songs from artists I may have been subjected to on pop radio, the dregs of overproduced, synthesized droning without a hint of an actual musical instrument detectable. But I’m going to take the high road and not be a total jerk. I’m going to pick a song from a band I like, from an album I own on compact disc. Listening to rock radio in the 1990s, there were few songs that would make me change the station more readily than Live’s “All Over You.”
This song… oh, this song. It starts out strong, though terribly generic: sudden blaring guitar chords and steady, crashing drums. Has potential, though hard to guess where it might go. But just when you think lead singer Ed Kowalczyk will start belting out some arena-grade anthem, the instrumentals drop to a tinkling hush and everything goes to hell. The “verses” (we’ll get to the reason for the quotes in a minute) sound like Ed either chugged a few too many beers or just got back from dental surgery with a mouth full of Novocain. Then, when the ear-blistering guitar-drums combo kicks back up to 11 for the chorus, Ed’s vocals swing wildly between drunken ranting, nasal shrieks, and guttural barks. Granted, Ed’s known for a rather unique approach to alt-rock vocals, but he applies his trademark screeches and grunts with much better success elsewhere on the album Throwing Copper and some of Live’s other records. Getting back to those “verses,” how about those lyrics, or rather, the lack thereof? Ever hear Weird Al Yankovic’s George Harrison parody, “(This Song’s Just) Six Words Long”? I think one of the only good qualities of this song is its loud/soft dynamic, but that’s hardly enough to redeem it.
In my ears, there’s remarkably little that’s interesting about this song, which is shocking because without it as track #7, I might argue that the rest of Throwing Copper is an underrated alternative rock masterpiece. I mean, “Selling the Drama,” “I Alone,” “Iris,” “Lightning Crashes,” “White, Discussion?” (No, that comma is not a typo.) Even the rest of the non-radio-played songs are pretty kick-ass. But I don’t know that I’ll ever understand how “All Over You” got such heavy airplay, or why no one in the studio thought it might benefit the album to “forget” to hit the “record” button for that session. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to duck out before you click that video below.