Before Damon Albarn’s solo career, even before Gorillaz, there was Blur, the popular English band that helped to revolutionize the “Britpop” movement. They gained notoriety in the 90’s through a feud with fellow Britpop band Oasis (but Liam and Noel Gallagher are jerks, #teamblur is the way to go). As a lover of all things British, it was only natural that I got really really into Blur during high school. (I have been known to say that my one regret in life was that I wasn’t born earlier to be able to experience Blur in their 90’s prime). While Blur never really gained the popularity in America that they had in the UK (and that they so rightfully deserved!), they were still large contributors to the indie rock movement both within Britain and around the world. Thus, here is my personal (biased) opinion of the 10 best Blur songs…
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about France. For those of you who do not know, I studied abroad there last year, so naturally I adore all things French. Though I am a bit biased, I believe the French music scene is undervalued outside of Europe. While everyone has heard of Edith Piaf, few Americans know any modern French artists. It’s true that most of them do not get a lot of air time in the U.S., so I thought I would show you all a few of my favorites.
Without further ado, here’s a list of French songs you need to listen to right away:
Tous Les Mêmes – Stromae
Stromae is not actually French; he is Belgian. However, he is really popular artist in France and Europe in general. No francophone artist list would be complete without him. On a personal note, I cannot emphasize how much I love his music. His album Racine Carrée (translation: Square Root) is one of my favorite albums ever. Stromae’s songs are easy to dance to, yet his lyrics are quite serious. Each song tackles a social issue. Tous Les Mêmes, for example, describes the expectations of men and women regarding relationships. One lyric “les hommes sont tous les mêmes” translates to “men are all the same”. This is an especially cool video because Stromae plays both a man and woman. How many American rappers have you seen dress in drag?
Many of us owe our first musical experiences to good ol’ mom and dad. Every generation has its musical highs and lows, but sometimes there comes along an artist that seems to transcend time. This list is dedicated to those universally appreciated artists. Here we have the top ten most popular artists that our parents taught us to love.
10. The Grateful Dead
You’ve heard “I’m Yours” and “I Won’t Give Up,” and maybe you even remember “The Remedy,” but my guess is most of you reading this haven’t truly come to appreciate the musical prowess of Jason Mraz—and trust me, you need it in your life. Exploring Mraz’s lesser-known tracks is the best way to hone an understanding and admiration for his touching, idiosyncratic lyrics and tremendous vocal range.
The gaping hole in your soul shall be no more—I’ve compiled a playlist of 15 songs that will fill the void you didn’t know was there and change the way you think of Jason Mraz, the world, and perhaps even yourself. Most of the featured tracks are recordings of live performances, because Jason Mraz’s music is best experienced live. Since I can’t give you all tickets to his show tonight in Australia, I’m giving you the next best thing. Enjoy!