Here are the second five songs in the Now I’ve Heard Everything Best Songs of 2014 list; you’ll find the first part here.
Lydia Loveless – Really Want to See You: Like Jenny Lewis‘ She’s Not Me (See Part 1 of The Best Songs of 2014 here), this song is a conversation between the singer and a former lover. But unlike Jenny, Lydia is not rueful; here she cajoles, even demands, that her ex leave his marriage and come back, even if she was a bitch before. I know of no one who conveys emotion – here pure anguish – like Lydia does. I know that other reviewers gravitate to other songs on Somewhere Else (the album this song comes from), but to me this is THE song on that record.
Misty Boyce – The Life: Although The Life, the new album from Misty Boyce, will not be issued until January, this, the title track, was released as a single in November. Here, Misty continues her move towards more of a rock sound, this time mostly drenched in keyboards. Misty has a pretty expansive vocal range, and she show much of it here. Add a very catchy melody and you have this winner of a song.
Puss n Boots – GTO: I fell in love with this song years ago, the first time I heard it live, back when Puss n Boots was playing stealth shows under assumed names. Sasha Dobson‘s strong and stunning vocal performance here is as good as any one I’ve ever heard live. And the secret sauce on this track is the arrangement the band put together – the original doesn’t sound nearly as good as this does.
Ryan Adams – Gimme Something Good: The first song of Ryan’s self titled album is a straight ahead rocker with a bit of a Tom Petty feel. It’s also straight ahead Ryan Adams; this time he’s producing himself (with an assist from Mike Viola), so there’s no one to filter Ryan. And what that has led to is something good!
Sad Bastards of Brooklyn – Here Comes A Regular: Charlene McPherson and Mo Goldner, The Sad Bastards of Brooklyn, take this tale by The Replacements of a dissolute, somewhat self aware alcoholic and give it a stark voice and acoustic guitar treatment. The spare arrangement, set by Eric Roscoe Ambel‘s right on the money production, makes sure that the bleak lyrics will sear you.