Hitfix goes to the Grammys: Let’s rock a little

01.29.09 9 years ago

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jim Ross

Today, I’m feeling a little cranky and just want to turn the volume up to 11 and rock out a little so I’m looking at Best Rock Song.

Here are the nominees (You know the drill by now. The award goes to the songwriter. The artist’s name is in parentheses):

“Girls In Their Summer Clothes,” Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)

“House Of Cards,” Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, Philip Selway & Thom Yorke, songwriters (Radiohead)

“I Will Possess Your Heart,” Benjamin Gibbard, Nicholas Harmer, Jason McGerr & Christopher Walla, songwriters (Death Cab For Cutie)

“Sex On Fire,” Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)

“Violet Hill,” Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters (Coldplay)

The Scoop: Well, I’m not going to take care of my rock fix after all. Most of these songs are mid-tempo swellers as opposed to balls-to-the wall rockers. (It’s actually a trend in the rock categories. Note to self: examine where all the rock songs have actually gone-I want something with teeth!)

“I don’t want to be your friend, I just want to be your lover,” Thom Yorke declares in the atmospheric “House of Cards.” Like many Radiohead songs, it’s one of those mesmerizing, hypnotic tunes that makes me wish I did drugs… or could take a nap. I mean that in the nicest, most flattering way.

Two of the songs in this category are two of my favorite tunes of the past two years: Springsteen’s “Girls in their Summer Clothes” is one of the poppiest songs he’s ever done and he’s plain-out singing on it. That’s not something he does that often. The song builds and swells in a homage to Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.” It’s gorgeous. The other is Death Cab’s “I Will Possess Your Heart.” I love the whole idea of the song: I’m going to come in and take you over. There’s no room for discussion. That’s just the way it is.

“Violet Hill” was the first single from Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” ( I’m too lazy to type the rest of the title). Good song, but far from their best. The title track, which is far superior, is up for record and song of the year. “Violet Hill” doesn’t wear particularly well.

I’m a little stumped by Kings of Leon. I keep trying to like them and maybe I just haven’t spent enough time with them. Oddly, even though the album has sold only respectably here, it is a massive seller in the U.K.: it was the second top-selling album of the year there. What do the Brits know that I don’t? Hmmmmm. Anyway, I’ve tried to get into “Sex on Fire” and I just can’t. The lyrics are so sexy and hot (and not just because your sex is on fire), but the music doesn’t match that passion. The music should be pounding. The music for this should be like “Candy’s Room”-something undeniable and driving and it’s not.

Winner: Radiohead, “House of Cards”

Check out more of Melinda’s Grammy predictions:

HitFix goes to the Grammys: Best Country Song

HitFix goes to the Grammys: Best Female R&B Vocal

HitFix goes to the Grammys: Best Male Pop Vocal

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