I just want to put in a post-script to the SJW posts before we get into the playlist for this week. I feel like I might have come across as arguing with a “no true Scotsman” fallacy in regards to what SJWs want/don’t want. This would be especially hypocritical considering that I have written in the past that we should own up for the misdeeds of individuals in our group. I do condemn the bad things done by SJW-types and hopefully I got that across well enough in the two articles. It is also worth reiterating that “SJW” is not a term that the people it’s referring to have any control over. As a result, the “purest” forms of SJW (small minority who maybe actually do try to censor media and get games banned) get conflated with all stripes of social justice types as the term becomes more and more meaningless. Hopefully this makes things a little clearer, since it’s a rather annoyingly complicated situation.
First up this week is “Hurt” by Johnny Cash from the album American IV: The Man Comes Around. Within a day or two of me putting up “The Man Comes Around” on the playlist, I instantly regretted my “6 weeks” rule and wanted to include this song. It is absolutely fantastic, and one of the few songs that I know which is extremely highly regarded by everyone familiar with it. It is also just a really strange fit too – a Nine Inch Nails song covered by a 70 year old country and gospel singer? It works though, and brilliantly at that. Check it out and be sure to listen through all of American IV: it’s a fantastic album.
Secondly, we have “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins from the Tarzan soundtrack. I’ll admit, a pop hit is a bit of a weird choice for the IC2S Playlist, but we’re going with it. This came up in my MP3 player the other day when I put it on shuffle and it hit me with a wave of nostalgia. Ever since it came out, I have regarded Tarzan as my favourite Disney animated film. I watched it again a few years ago and it made me want to cry. Between the childhood nostaglia and the fact that it was resonating with me at a formulative time (I was in school and had moved out from home), it is just a really powerful film. I don’t know what it is about apes, but between this, King Kong and Planet of the Apes, many of my favourite movies have them involved in a major capacity. I’ve always loved this song as well, it was one of my favourite songs as a kid before I stumbled across hard rock music. I hope that its inclusion on the playlist awakens some nostalgia and good feelings in you as well.
It’s apocalypse-mania this week on the playlist. While last week’s selections were loosely/unintentionally-themed, this week it’s entirely intentional. We’re checking out a couple songs about the end of the world, because… well, I love depressing music and it doesn’t get much more depressing than this! Cheekiness aside, while I have written in the past many times about my distaste for the so-called “Biblical prophecies” concerning the end of the world, it is nevertheless a fascinating subject and steeped in some great imagery… perfect ingredients for a moody song.
First up this week we have “The Great Fear” by Impending Doom from their album There Will Be Violence (note that someone on Spotify screwed up and labelled it as “Walking Through Fire” – this is incorrect; each song has been shifted down 1 position, with the opening song being replaced by the closer). I know that there are some Impending Doom fans who think that the band’s first 2 albums were their best, but I couldn’t disagree more – they were basically unlistenable in my opinion. There Will Be Violence really marked the point where they evolved their sound and (let’s be honest) watered it down just enough to make it sound really appealing to more people. And I don’t mean that in a Dead Space 3-style “mass appeal” way – I mean that there is a handful of people who are interested in listening to loud, chaotic noise while what sounds like pig grunts are overlaid over it. However, more people will be interested if you reign in the music somewhat and replace the pig grunts with death growls and screams. Sure, a few people are going to be disappointed, but it’s hard to argue when the results are so strong and accessible to more people.
Anyway, while “The Great Fear” is yet another Christian metal song about the Rapture/Tribulation, it is a pretty great one. Impending Doom has a really great talent for creating catchy hooks in their songs which make you want to scream along. “The Great Fear” has many of these moments, particularly in the chorus and basically the entire latter-half of the song.
Secondly, I don’t think I’m overstating things by calling Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” from American IV: The Man Comes Around a modern classic. I imagine a lot of people first experienced it in the fantastic opening credits of Zach Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, but my aunt was actually the one who introduced me to it. I have a hard time saying that I’m a big fan of Johnny Cash because, honestly, a lot of his music really sucks. However, I’m as big a fan as anyone of a really good Johnny Cash song, and “The Man Comes Around” is definitely one of them.