I don’t think I would be able to whittle down to one favorite of anything — book, movie, ice cream flavor … OK, ice cream flavor is easy,* but everything else is tough because it depends on my mood.
My top contenders were:
1. “Someday I’ll Find You,” by Shola Ama and Craig Armstrong. I had never heard the original when I borrowed CPOS’ Noël Coward tribute disc, but this was the first song and I was in love from the first listen. (The rest of the disc, not so much.) Click the image below to see the video on YouTube. (Someone in Greece recorded a broadcast on MTV Base (which is, essentially, Africa’s MTV.)
2. “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer. One day my sister Tina, who worked in her high school radio station, accidentally brought home the 12-inch single — 8:15 of Giorgio Moroder synthesizers and Donna Summer cooing. Sorry, Sentinel High School — a sticky-fingered fourth-grader delightedly added it to his burgeoning record collection and made sure it never left his possession again. Decades later, when Madonna was touring in support of Confessions on a Dance Floor, I had decided not to go because I figured the ticket prices would be extravagant. Then I read that she opened the tour with a mash-up of “Future Lover” (which borrows its synthesizer bassline from “I Feel Love”) and “IFL.” Oh, crap, I remember thinking. Now I HAVE to go.
3. But it was time to give logic a chance: I started by checking which artists had the most tracks in my iTunes library. Not surprisingly for a pop lover who came of age in the ’80s, Erasure, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys and Prince all have more than a screen’s worth of selections (Madonna and PSB have more than two screens’ worth), along with The Beatles, Enigma (really?!), Everything But the Girl, Goldfrapp, Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue (no surprise), Lightning Seeds, Macy Gray, Moby, Nada Surf, Robyn and Sugababes. Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Fleetwood Mac and Sade all came close.
But I decided that “Protection” by Massive Attack topped any of those? Thanks to guest artist and co-writer Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl, the track has a sense of melancholy even though the lyrics are borderline-love song. It’s got the atmospheric moodiness I love about mid-’90s Massive Attack. It’ll let you wallow in a bad mood (“She’s doing so much harm, she’s doing so much damage / that you don’t want to get involved, you tell her she can manage”) or, if you let it, will assuage a foul temper (“I’ll stand in front of you / I’ll take the force of the blow”). If I hear it, it’s certain that I’ll spend the rest of the day melodically murmuring the lyrics under my breath. I could hear it every day for the rest of my life and never get sick of it. Thus, the winner.
* Vanilla, of course. (Real vanilla, not French vanilla.)
|WHAT SAM WORE: 2-10-11|
|The shirt: Long-sleeved waffle-weave crewneck, on clearance for $17 at Abercrombie & Fitch.|
|The pants: Slim straight jeans from Lucky Brand, Chandler Fashion Center.|
|The shoes: Jack Purcell sneakers by John Varvatos for Converse, from Nordstrom Rack.|