[ Song of the Week ] Devin Townsend Project – “Bend It Like Bender!”

From the album Addicted (2009)

A cheerful, Europop-inspired metal tune from Devin Townsend suitable to brighten any day. No, really. When I saw him play this in concert, he said it was inspired by the relentlessly happy sounding music by groups like Aqua.

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[ Song of the Week ] Pink Martini – “Que Sera Sera”

From the album Sympathique (1997)

“Que Sera Sera” is a pretty famous song, but this particular version has a unique place in my musical memories, and it’s fairly recent. Earlier this year I discovered the TV series Dead Like Me. The feature length pilot episode was particularly good, and near the end they use this song, and I’m 99% certain that it’s this version. It elevated the scene it was used in to something pretty special, and was part of what drew me into the series.

[ Song of the Week ] Genesis – “Dreaming While You Sleep”

From the album We Can’t Dance (1991)

For me, one of the highlights of the penultimate Genesis album is this atmospheric song with a dark lyric by Mike Rutherford. Once again, a great contrast is introduced when the real drums appear in the song, and the synth pads and progressions paint a suitably dark picture for the song’s subject matter.

[ Song of the Week ] Deee-Lite – “Call Me (Method-One Remix)”

From the album Sampladelic Relics & Dancefloor Oddities (1996)
Original version from Dewdrops in the Garden (1994)

Many wrote off Deee-Lite as a one-hit wonder of the 1990s. But go deeper into their catalog and you’ll find many great ’90s dance tracks. “Groove is in the Heart”, while a good song, isn’t even my favorite of theirs. They had three albums, each one different than the last. After Deee-Lite’s disbandment, a collection of remixes was released, which included this one of a song from their final album.

The sound of this one brings me right back to that time with its unmistakeable 1990s jungle sound (or drum & bass, if you prefer). Synth pads and percussion give me the impression of driving late at night in a brightly lit city.

[ Song of the Week ] Perfume – “Party Maker”

From the album LEVEL3 (2013)

Transcending what one typically expects from J-Pop, this is a song ready to get any dance club moving. Perfume is a group which has been around for nearly two decades! Unlike a traditional idol group where there’s a constant cycle of new members joining and older ones graduating, Perfume has had the same lineup the whole time. The girls started Perfume in the year 2000 as literal children around the ages of 11 or 12, and are now 30. (Putting them in their mid-20s when this song was recorded.)

For most of that time their music has been written and produced by Nakata Yasutaka, who also writes and produces for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. While KPP tends to be more quirky and bizarre, Perfume is more on the electronic side of things.

[ Song of the Week ] Genesis – “Keep It Dark”

From the album Abacab (1981)

A quirky and uplifting song with an equally quirky video. This is actually one of a few songs in the Genesis catalogue about aliens, in this case what happens to someone who has been abducted and brought to a peaceful utopia, but upon being returned to Earth, is unable to share the wonderful experiences they had in that other world.