Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Next Best Happy Song of All Time

A great happy song is a rare prize. Frankly, it's easier to write lyrics with angst and ennui and discontent because that is the natural process of creativity, to take that which is ugly and make something beautiful out of it. My first pick for Best Happy Song of All Time is, of course, Brian Wilson's "Good Vibrations."

Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse is not a likely candidate to write happy songs. A hard-drinking melancholic with a bad temper, Brock has been churning out the minor-key masterpieces for more than a decade now. He and his band just added quintessential English art guitarist Johnny Marr of Smiths fame to the lineup and are now touring behind their new album "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank."

This 2004 work from "Good News for People Who Love Bad News," was the first hit single from that epochal album. Even with the great lyrics, something about this song "Float On" speaks profoundly about the transitory nature of the human condition. Even, or especially, those moments of unexpected joy float on past us faster than we can apprehend them.

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