Saturday, November 07, 2009

BIBJ Playlist of the 2000s entry #47: Against All Odds by the Postal Service

The #1 single on iTunes is a song called “Fireflies” by something called Owl City. The first time I had heard of Owl City revolved around news of merchandising footie pajamas to adults (congrats on out-doing Weezer on embarrassing wearable fabric!) so naturally I expected terrible things. But I severely underestimated the overall shittiness of this garbage:

Ugh. What’s the worst thing about this charade? The nonsensically vapid lyrics? The ridiculously calculated visual affect of a kitsch-filled bedroom to artificially create nostalgia? Or the fact that EVERYTHING related to the melody, beats, and vocal affectation is wholesale stolen from the Postal Service (if the Postal Service were terrible at music). And for some reason this clown is UPSET by people continually bringing this up in interviews? Use your footie pajamas to hang yourself from that disco ball, you diaper faced plagiarist.  I hope you get beaten with a Speak & Spell.

Good Lord. If only someone could help me calm down from this intense rage burning through my bloodstream. Someone like…Phil Collins?

Look, everyone realizes that 98% of the Phil Collins catalogue is awful. But that other 2% is “In the Air Tonight” and “Against All Odds,” the latter of which served as a centerpiece for one of my favorite This American Life segments, and also may have served as a video inspiration for an earlier playlist entry.

The song itself is overbearingly earnest, but then again so are break-ups in general. The Postal Service cover features Gibbard handling the lyrics without any cynicism, but layered with less outright sadness and more wistfulness and mystery, the opening verse sounding like it's coming through AM radio.  The unintentionally hilarious video (edited from the movie "Wicker Park") only adds to the mystique.  Josh Harnett is a terrible actor even when he's doing nothing but staring!  Or caressing a phone!

The TV disappears but the IKEA furniture cart remains!  I wonder if the hipsters inside Debonair vanished too?

If recent history is any indication, we can probably expect an Owl City cover of "Sussudio" before too long. 

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