Monday, July 10, 2023

This Year: 1997

"This Year" is a series of weekly posts, each about one song from one year of my life. See the introduction for more.

I write a lot about lyrics in this series of posts. About meaning and thoughts and ideas. I intellectualize things constantly: I know that.

But music is often about the sound. Maybe, most of the time, for most people, entirely about the sound.

And this one is all sound, all overwhelming wall of fuzzy guitars and driving backbeat. It's a song that always makes me turn up the volume, a song that needs to overwhelm. The lyrics don't really matter.

For 1997, my favorite song is Boys Better by The Dandy Warhols.

Oh, it has lyrics. There may even be some kind of story there, though I doubt it. It seems to be pretty straightforward: this girl bleached her hair, making her some kind of man-eating siren. So you gotta watch out for her. It might be a metaphor, it might be literal. Who cares?

It starts quiet, swirling, ominous. For me, that's the signal to turn this up loud before the guitar distortion hits about about the twenty second mark, to let it build and wash over me.

And then the vocals start: chanting, another brick in the wall of sound, just as important as any other piece of that wall.

It runs four and a half minutes: long enough to overwhelm, not too long to overstay its welcome. Play it loud, maybe hit repeat once or twice, and emerge refreshed.

And girls you better beware

Boys, you better. you better

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