The Two-Minute Man, Episode 19: Painful New Age Edition

Look at those dashing young lads. Clearly, dedicated followers of fashion.

A couple of themes run through 2MM this week. There's "You (something) Me," which accounts for the titles of three of the 10 songs. Then there's horrible new age dross that account for the bottom two slots. I was already planning to bring an end to Two-Minute Man after next week's 20th edition and the bottom two songs have made me extremely comfortable with that decision.

1. "You Really Got Me" - The Kinks
Two out of three weeks on top for the Kinks. Just imagine if they ever played "Waterloo Sunset" or "Big Sky."

2. "You Wreck Me" - Tom Petty
This marks the seventh Petty appearance and the seventh different song. Petty's so refreshing with his less-is-more approach. No need to get all high school diary with your lyrics. "You wreck me baby/ You break me in two/ But you move me, honey/ Yes you do," says it all, doesn't it?

3. "Losing My Religion" - R.E.M.
I bet you could have gotten some pretty good laughs from Stipe, Buck and Mills if you told them back in 1982 that in about 10 years they would have a Billboard top 5 single which is built on a mandolin riff.

4. "People Are People" - Depeche Mode
Now here's a band I would like to see at Virgin Festival.

5. "Beautiful Day" - U2
The new song of choice for uplifting sports montages. Pairs well with "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," long the choice for not-as-uplifting sports montages.

6. "You Can't Count on Me" - Counting Crows
Wrong, Adam Duritz. We can count on you. To provide with the same marginally clever folk-rock song you've been re-writing for the past 15 years. Also, Rolling Stone almost hit the Crow trifecta recently. Headlines from two recent issues:
"How the Counting Crows leader battled depression and his critics -- and made his best album in a decade."
"Seven years since their last album, the Black Crowes are back, better -- and still brawling."
I wonder who Sheryl Crow ticked off to get left out of the love-fest?

7. "Sing Along" - Virginia Coalition
If Counting Crows are just a bit too edgy for you, Virginia Coalition should be right up your alley.

8. "Synchronicity II" - The Police
Hearing this song, watching the video and reading the Wikipedia entry only makes me think that my irrational hatred of the Police is extremely rational. Sting, what a complete, utter twerp.

12,492. "Sadness (Part 1)" - Enigma
The song that kickstarted the great Gregorian chant craze of the early '90s.

12, 493. "Desert Rose" - Sting
Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!

By David Malitz |  April 4, 2008; 5:17 PM ET Two-Minute Man
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Aww come on, the Police at least rank higher than Adam Durwitz. I'd rank the song higher than Beautiful Day to. That one is badly overplayed.

Posted by: EricS | April 4, 2008 7:32 PM

I agree with EricS -- the Road Warrioresque video for "Synchronicity II" is cheesy but the song is certainly better than the lite-rock tripe at 6 and 7.

Posted by: Jimbo | April 5, 2008 11:13 AM

Malitz, you may have found some way to rationalize your Police-hate, but it still isn't nearly as rational as my irrational hatred of Depeche Mode.

"Beautiful Day" has been blunted by overexposure, sure, but it's a great song. I lament its association with sports montages; the memory of U2's halftime show (and the ESPN promos that used "Bad," "Until the End of the World," and maybe some other U2 classics) still mortifies me, six years later.

It's hard to remember now, after umpteen trillion airings of "Beautiful Day," what a relief it was to hear that tune in the late summer of 2000, when it seemed U2 might never return from their five-year mission to turn themselves into Kiss. The Edge was the Edge again. Bono had reconnected with his upper register. Eno/Lanois were back behind the boards. And it's got a great bridge!

Now that U2 have spent the ensuing decade fussily making likable but unadventurous music, my feelings on their Stones-post-Some Girls-like return to form are mixed. But in 2000, "Beautiful Day" rocked. Still does, just not at Nationals Stadium.

Posted by: Chris Klimek | April 6, 2008 1:02 PM

I don't follow why the Wikipedia entry rationalizes your hatred of the Cops or makes Sting a twerp. So the dude put a lot of thought in to his lyrics. God knows it might make 95% of the crap on the radio listenable if others did too.

Posted by: Bill | April 6, 2008 9:35 PM

Sting bites.

Posted by: Ben W | April 7, 2008 9:11 AM

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