I’m driving my parents’ Chrysler Pacifica right now. This isn’t because my car is in the shop or anything like that – it’s actually kind of a funny story. The way I understand it, my brother (who has my truck right now) is waiting to buy the car my sister and her husband are driving right now. The hitch is that my sister’s mother-in-law is having a difficult time deciding which car she wants, at which point, the car she’s driving now will go to my sister and her husband. My brother was driving my father’s Jeep, but it was giving him trouble so he took it back, swapped out for my truck and because we’ve been going to the horse barn every day and frequently need to tag team, they loaned us their Pacifica for a while until I get my truck back. As it turns out, I can’t play my iPod in their Pacifica – there’s no adapter and I can’t even rock it old school like I do in my truck (by hooking up the iPod to a cassette tape adapter) because there’s no cassette tape player.
Because of this, I’ve been listening to A LOT of CDs. I actually burned MDNA to a disc so I could play it in there. But the CD I’ve truly discovered during this time is Saint Etienne’s Words And Music by Saint Etienne. The album is really all about appreciating all that pop music has to offer so it’s not surprising that it has clicked with me. At first, it didn’t really click with me, but the more I listen to it, the more it deserves a spot on the year-end best albums list. Nothing has a hope of toppling Marina & the Diamonds’ Electra Heart from the pole position, but this album is full of strong pop music. Only a couple songs make me reach for the “skip” button and more than one of them are vying for a spot on the Songs of the Year CD that I compile annually. The song “Tonight” which was on my songs of summer list, is all about the energy that goes with seeing your favorite band live and is the only shoe-in for the Songs of the Year CD.
I was putzing around tonight and I finally got around to watching the video for the follow up single “I’ve Got Your Music” which has been out since this summer. The band invited people to take small video clips holding their favorite music. My friend Robbie submitted a clip, but sadly, it wasn’t chosen. Still, the finished product was pretty awesome and really made me feel good watching it. Viva la vinyl! Also, apparently Rumours is a lot of people’s music.
There are so many good songs on the album – the jaunty “Heading for the Fair”, the sublime “DJ”, and even the mostly spoken word “Over the Border” are all really resonating with me right now. I’ve always kind of had a very love-hate relationship with Saint Etienne. The stuff of theirs that I trips my trigger REALLY trips my trigger, but then the songs that don’t are like plague. But mostly, they are pleasant and poppy enough to satisfy me most days of the week. I like to think of Sarah Cracknell as a modern-day Deborah Harry without the punk.
For those of you that are usually recipients of the Songs of the Year CD, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from this band.