When I upgraded to my 160GB iPod Classic, I gave my old 120GB one to my wife, who is decidedly not as up on recent music as I am. She gave me a list of artists, albums, and songs that she wanted uploaded to her new device, and the list was relatively short. I was astounded, because there was so much more music her iPod would hold, and I felt it was my duty to help her out. So, in addition to the entire Beatles catalog, Sting and the Police, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Maroon 5, and Sade, I uploaded a few more artists I thought she might like, thinking she would thank me. Well, I was a little bit wrong.
It turns out she liked having only certain artists, and unlike me she wasn’t really up for listening and evaluating something new. So, after I un-synched the additional 30 artists I had placed on her iPod, I began to realize that it was okay. I don’t have to always be the great decider of what music gets played and when. There didn’t have to be some amazing revolution of new songs on my wife’s iPod. What made her happy were the songs and artists she already knew and loved. That was okay for her, and that would have to be alright for me too. I made my peace with it. Then I grabbed my iPod, plugged in my headphones, and put it on shuffle:
1. On the Outside – Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow has some really good b-sides, and this is one of them. “Standing on the outside, looking in…”
2. Animal Instinct (Live in Stockholm) – The Cranberries
Many people think The Cranberries stopped recording music after “Zombie” but that is entirely untrue. Animal Instinct comes from their fourth album, Bury the Hatchet, which is a great album in its own right. On their Greatest Hits compilation, they included this live version of the song.
3. Gold Rush – Snoop Dogg
This was back when G-funk ruled the west coast, and when Snoop was still calling himself a Dogg instead of a Lion.
4. Wildflower – Sheryl Crow
You know, there are some times when I honesty think that shuffle isn’t a true shuffle at all, like when two songs by the same artist show up back to back, or when someone like Sheryl Crow shows up more than once on a small section of the shuffle list, like in this case. This song is even better than the first, though, slow like a ballad.
5. Baby Don’t Sweat – The Cribs
I found The Cribs while I was over in Stratford, the place of Shakespeare’s birth. I was at an HMV music store and I asked the clerk what was popular in England at the time. After I dismissed his selection of Coldplay, he offered me The Cribs, and I was blown away. This song is from their third record.
6. Beautiful Calm Driving – Sia
This song was on Sia’s second album, what I call her transition album, from sweet, plaintive music to dance diva. This song is solidly in the middle.
7. Hold Onto Your Heart – Tina Parol
This song was featured on the “When in Rome” soundtrack, a movie that sounded like it was going to be stupid, but was surprisingly sweet, if a bit quirky. And the music in the film was amazing, too, featuring Snow Patrol and Jason Mraz. Hold Onto Your Heart was understated, but one of the best songs on the soundtrack.
8. Hello (Basico Mix) – Poe
Poe really needs to release a new album. “Hello” is one of my favorite songs from her, and an amazing video too.
9. Division – Moby
Moby goes all ambient on this one.
10. Gloomy Sunday (Live) – Sarah McLachlan
See, she sings more songs than just the one on the dog commercial. This one is on her rarities album, and sounds perfect live.
11. Diamond Road – Sheryl Crow
Three of her songs on one shuffle mix. Yeah, I don’t think it’s really shuffling these songs.
12. Brotha – Jill Scott
Jill Scott is also from Philadelphia, so I feel a kinship with her. And she’s a poet. Not like every songwriter is a poet, but like a real poet, even without the music. This poem set to music is from her first album, and I recommend every single one of her five albums.
13. Stop (Extended Remix) – Spice Girls
The song that stopped their run of number one songs, this one was the opposite of ironic. The remix is dance-worthy, though.
14. Treacherous (Original Demo Recording) – Taylor Swift
This version is very sweet, mostly just Taylor’s voice, which is perfect. It’s on the Target extended version of her album, Red.
15. AM/FM Sound – Matt & Kim
Just listen to this song. Matt & Kim are the most underrated act.
16. Secrets – Snoop Dogg
This is one of the aforementioned Snoop Dogg classics, even though it was only released about four years ago. It reminds me of “Signs,” another one of those songs with a pounding beat that almost makes you forget the swearing in the lyrics.
17. A Forest – The Cure
18. Thriller – Michael Jackson
This song always makes me think of the video when Michael says, “I’m not like other guys.” In fact, I really love the video version of the song, but this one was on the greatest hits compilation. It still gives me chills, though, when Vincent Price cackles at the end.