Thursday, June 12, 2008

Urgh!: A Music War

19. Tom Cochrane - Life Is A Highway (1992)
(File under: The Theory Of Alternating Decades: The '70s & '90s)

Or, as I like to call it, "This Song Is A Shitty Metaphor". Even granting that the titular phrase might sound good when sung (though not by this fool), the second half of the line - "I Want to ride it all night long" - makes absolutely no sense whatso-motherfucking-ever. Perhaps it's because my gift for interpreting symbolism sucks the proverbial fat one - for instance, I thought Moby-Dick was just a boring yarn about some neurotic blue collar schmoe assigning all kinds of unrealistic motives to a frigging whale - but I have yet to hear anyone offer a plausible explanation as to what "ride" is supposed to signify in this instance (though, to be fair, I haven't really brought it up much in conversation). And even discounting this glaring example of lazy lyric writing (and it's by no means the only offender here), why would you only want to "ride it" for one night? Am I to deduce from this that you desire to be dead in the morning? Because I can get behind you on that one. In fact, I wished you were dead about two bars into this steaming lump of festering songcraft.

It begins, as required by the laws of Junior High Poetry Writing, with "Life's like a road that you travel on", not so egregious itself I suppose, until it is followed (foreshadowing the chorus) by the idiotic non sequitur "When there's one day here and the next day gone". How exactly is that like a road, Tom? I think you're confusing space and time, no doubt a result of your extensive readings of Superstring Theory. Or perhaps you're merely functionally retarded. This is then followed by "Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand". What the bloody fuck? Is this guy banana crackers? I can't tell if he's talking about traveling with a carnival freakshow or taking a whiz in a ditch. Can't say as I much care, either.

I could go on, but really, what's the point? The guy crams as many unrelated cliches into his lyrics as fellow Canadian Bryan Adams (and when you consider those two, Loverboy, Triumph and Celine Dion, doesn't it seem we'd have pretty good cause for startinga war of aggression with our neighbors to the north? If only they weren't so maddeningly polite), and he manages to convey them in a voice even more annoyingly generic than that douchebag.

What about the music, you ask? Your basic run-of-the-mill late 80s/early 90s corporate shit rock, played with what people who know more about horrible music than I do would likely describe as a "boogie" beat. Just think second-rate bar-band Van Halen (which is at least 4 different insults in one phrase) and you get the picture. Or, if you're feeling particularly masochistic, just download the thing. But don't blame me when it lodges itself into your brain, forever rendering that particular section of your memory useless for recording more important information, such as who played Flo on Alice or what you ate for dinner last Tuesday.

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