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01.15.07 Things I Dislike About Sputnikmusic01.07.07 Songs To Turn You On
08.21.06 10 Artists You Should Know

Songs To Turn You On the artists that perform them, of course. What were you thinking?
1 Circle Takes the Square
In The Nervous Light of Sunday

If ever a chaotic mess of spastic screaming and erratic riffage could be called catchy, the term could most easily be applied to this song. This is the song that essentially turned me on to Circle Takes the Square (Non-Objective Portrait of Karma was the bait, but In the Nervous Light of Sunday was definitely the hook). Somewhere between the beautiful harmonization of pitifully manic whines with some quite lovely female vocals, and the screaming of "All I ever asked was for a clean break!" acting as the consummation of the entire song, it becomes apparent that this song is no less than miraculous.
2 Envy
Angel's Curse

Perhaps one of the most charming things about Envy is their subtle change in styles throughout their career. It's subtle, but when one listens close enough, it's monumental. The introductory track to Envy's EP, Angel's Curse Whispered in the Edge of Despair, the successor to From Here to Eternity and predecessor to All the Footprints You've Ever Left and the Fear Expecting Ahead marks a most ingenious transition between styles, with the roughness and pure conviction borrowing from groundwork set in "From Here to Eternity", and the more melodic arrangement paving the way for the later, more emotionally driven works.
3 Saetia
Notres Langues Nous Trompent

A Retrospective kicks in balls out. This particular arrangement is a particularly great way to save time with Saetia. If you don't like the first song, you more than likely will not like Saetia. Few songs can be so concisely decisive and convicting as "Notres Langues Nous Trompet" is. In only about two minutes and thirty seconds, it takes you on the schizophrenic journey that the rest of the album does in depth so well later on.
4 HORSE the Band
The Immense Defecation of the Buntaluffigus

Are you the type who hates a traditional structure? Do you cringe at the thought of taking more than a couple of minutes to get a feel for something? Do you have multiple personalities, and if so, do any of them dress up like elves, prance around with a sword, invade dungeons, and bust into random people's houses to take their stuff without permission? What does this have to do with HORSE the Band? Nothing, really. This is just a really awesome song, and if you don't like it, well, you still might like HORSE the Band. However, no HORSE the Band album is truly complete without lyrics ambiguously hinting toward the excretion of fecal matter, paired along side the dungeon theme to the original Zelda game for NES.
5 The Mars Volta
Day of the Baphomets

I'll admit, alone, this song will probably not turn you on the The Mars Volta at all. But when it's taken in the entire context of Amputechture, it just might do that for you. Why? Even if you can't stand the rest of Amputechture (just what kind of man might you be?), "Day of the Baphomets" contains one of the most--if not the most--exciting piece of music The Mars Volta has to offer. At around seven minutes and nine seconds into the song, the album (as well as I) climaxes. Crank the volume. Pump the bass. Kick your grandma. Whatever it takes to fully enjoy and appreciate this shift in the song, just do it. I can't stress enough how awesome this fraction of a second it takes for the song to transition truly is. Don't believe me? Experience it for yourself.
6 Vanessa Carlton
San Francisco

Sure, I could be cliche and tell you to listen to "A Thousand Miles" to get turned on Vanessa Carlton (and I could tell you to look at Vanessa Carlton to get turned on, but that's a different story), but that's a given. Dig deeper. Vanessa Carlton isn't just a one-trick pony, and "San Francisco" really shows this. I particularly like the way she invokes such beautiful imagery with both her lyrics and her music. And her girlish voice, as hideous as it might play out in other scenarios, fits so perfectly here. The dynamics in the songs shift in a very subtle way, but, just like Envy, this subtlety is monumental.
7 X-Japan
Art of Life

I'm lying a bit here. When you listen to "Art of Life", you probably won't get turned on to X-Japan like you might with any of the other aforementioned artists, but does it really matter? At about twenty-nine minutes in length, it'll feel like you've heard X-Japan's entire discography. No, not just for its sheer length, but rather for its eclecticism. "Art of Life" takes its listener on a musical journey in a way that none of the aforementioned songs can even hope to. No true explanation is needed here, as its reputation precedes it in nearly all cases, but if you haven't heard it yet, you really owe it to yourself to give this song a listen. It's by far one of the best near half hours you'll ever spend your life on, besides maybe reruns of Simpsons episodes from its golden era. Take your pick.
8 Henry Mancini
Moon River

Really, when it comes to the greatness of Henry Mancini, I find myself at ends between two of his masterpieces: "Days of Wine and Roses", and "Moon River". So why "Moon River"? The mood of Mancini's chorus just has this certain tinge that sets the song over the edge, into greatness. Beyond greatness, really, as everything Henry Mancini ever did can and shall be considered great. If anyone ever has managed to attain the level of pure awesomeness that Henry Mancini has, it definitely can only be one person...
9 Nobuo Uematsu
Final Fantasy VII Main Theme

How cliched and just plain wrong is it to label Nobuo Uematsu a god in terms of composition? Well, give His piano rendition of the main theme to Final Fantasy VII a listen, and you'll see what I mean. Anyone who has ever spent countless hours scurrying about the three dimensional world of Cloud Strife has no doubt been subject to the awesomeness of the synthetically arranged version of this theme, but Nobuo's piano arrangement surpasses it in every respect possible. The mechanical instrumentation is taken out, and is replaced by Nobuo's pure connection to His instrument. Every note sings in its lifting yet overtly melancholy fashion. Nobuo is truly a god.
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