Middle 8: October 19, 2011

A departure from the repetitive verse-chorus-verse of your typical Top 10s, The Vinyl Recliner presents our inaugural Middle 8 countdown…

Ben Folds FiveTell Me What I Did
One of three new recordings done by Ben Folds Five for Folds’ retrospective of his career with and without Five, “Tell Me What I Did” is most like early BFF, with a raucous riff and clever lyrics (both written by bassist Robert Sledge).

Sleeping At Last Noble Aim
The indie rock band wrapped up it’s 12-EP Yearbook project with September, which includes the autumnal and inspiring “Noble Aim,” with sweet harmonies by Katie Herzig.

ColdplayDon’t Let it Break Your Heart
Though much of the press continues to dwell on the public’s love/hate relationship with Coldplay, they remain dynamic masters of their art and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” is a great example of the mixture of creative sonics and big melodies the band has been delivering successfully for years.

Death Cab for CutieStay Young, Go Dancing
Certainly one of Death Cab’s most positive songs, the coda to their latest album is getting some play thanks to a rather syrupy video. But alas, the song remains a wonderful ditty for a muse who just happens to be everywhere right now on Fox.

The JayhawksTouch the Stars
A somber bonus track on the deluxe edition of the Jayhawk’s reunion record, the yearning “Touch the Stars” is a perfect song for a brisk night and if you can manage it, a harvest moon hanging in the sky.

David FordPour a Little Poison
Ford pays musical homage to America in a song that is lyrically based on America’s disregard of him as a “whiney little English boy singing the blues.” The singer-songwriter shelves the blues on this raucous stomp.

 

DecemberistsCalamity Song
The Decemberists summon the type of R.E.M. that even R.E.M. doesn’t do anymore, appropriately with Peter Buck playing vintage R.E.M. licks and Stipe-like cryptic lyrics of impending doom.

DoloreanCountry Clutter
Though released at the dawn of 2011, I’ve only just discovered this song in my Internet travels. The beautiful arrangement and harmonies are juxtaposed with lyrics of a lover finally broken free from a painful relationship. Heartbreak is the best muse.

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