Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Songs for the Weak

"Girlfriend (Japanese Version)" by Avril Lavigne
Of all the versions of this song (there's even one in Mandarin), this one's the most successful. The chorus achieves the manic happiness of J-Pop, not bad for a sullen Canadian girl who recently took on the surname "Whibley." The German version is also interesting: teen pop never sounded so fascist. At first I chalked up all the versions to globalization, which for some reason we still think of as a phenomenon of the '90s, but then I remembered that Johnny Cash sang a German version of "Ring Of Fire," and Toni Basil did a Spanish one of "Mickey" (that last one is essential, by the way.)

[Available on iTunes]

"Obama" by Amigos de Obama
Go to AmigosDeObama.com - NOW. "Como se llama? Obama!" Even better would have been what my co-worker thought: that Barack Obama recorded a reggaeton song to court the Hispanic vote. Maybe in 2012.

[Available at www.amigosdeobama.com]

"Traffic Jam" by Stephen Marley
It's too late (or, depending on your perspective, early) for this song to be my summer jam -- I've played it out already, though I have trouble believing that radio stations haven't. It's eminently sing-alongable. My summerjamz last year were "A Sweet Summer's Night On Hammer Hill" by Jens Lekman and "We Be Burnin" by Sean Paul -- it's nice to know that this year's still up for grabs.

[Available on iTunes]

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