Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

It’s the first First Day Of Coachella in three years and this edition’s festivalgoers can expect a just-added performance by Arcade Fire, a “surprise” performance by Justin Bieber, the final performances by Brockhampton, and the absence of Ye and COVID precautions. Plus tonight we’ll probably get the first performance of “Western Wind“? It was foretold:


Lee Chesnut
Score: 16 | Apr 8th

Peaking at #8 behind Mariah & Boyz II Men was “Wonderwall” by Oasis. Another 10 in my book, and Spotify’s most-streamed song of the 90s.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”
Score: 24 | Apr 13th

With Mariah Carey’s last solo number one, we got a joyful song about being really into someone (even though it’s not acted upon). Today, we get a song about being broken up with someone…but it also sounds joyful! Make of that what you will, but “Always Be My Baby” is still one of my favorite Mariah Carey songs and one I consider another one of her big signatures. The Daydream era just would not let up, and with the exception of the bland “One Sweet Day”, I have thoroughly enjoyed revisiting it.

ABMB just flows along nicely, in much the same way “Fantasy” does with Carey’s wordless vocalizations sprinkled in throughout. But, there’s a bit more bass to this one. I wouldn’t call it funky, per se, but it has enough presence to make one want to sway or dance along. It’s got a firmer, steadier beat going for it, whereas “Fantasy” is lighter than air. Yet, they both share that same irresistible quality that makes me admire the pop songcraft at work here. They’re among my all-time favorite Mariah Carey songs for a reason. They’re so infectious to where they’re nearly undeniable to me. I’d call them 90s classics.

Now, lyrically, you could argue the narrator is under a serious delusion: thinking her ex is coming back because that’s how strong their love is. Me personally, I prefer to go with the basic philosophy of why try again when it didn’t work the first time. But, that’s me being practical. No one ever said a giddy love song had to be practical–and ABMB is nothing but giddy! I know there’s a good chance it will get dinged for this reason, but I don’t mind it here. Besides, if we put this one on trial for sounding too “obsessive”, we’d have a whole laundry list of love songs to go through, too.

Then, I just love the multi-tracking on Mariah’s voice, this blending of lower raspier notes with her higher melismatic ones. It’s what factors into what I think is one of her most effective bridges. Ever. It just gets swooped up into a breezy yet subtle key change that I just absolutely loooove. Keep in mind, it’s already a fun song for me to listen to up to that point. But, that bridge-key change transition sends it into the stratosphere. It is glorious.

I think there could have been a slightly longer outro to take it home, but that’s the tiniest of nitpicks. Otherwise, I think it’s pretty much perfection. Indelible. Timeless. It’s barely been a week, but I’m giving Mariah another 10 for “Always Be My Baby”! Probably the last 10 I will give her for a while, but I’ll certainly savor it. And likely listen to it two more times before the end of the day. 😅

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”
Score: 22 | Apr 8th

y’all my login is sticking.

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments
Score: 25 | Apr 8th

I generally consider myself to be a big ol’ sap, and I just lost my dad about a month ago, so I should be an easy mark for a song like “One Sweet Day.” But the song left me cold in that stretch, between 1995 and 1996, when it beat the rest of the pop chart into submission, and it still leaves me cold today. I wish I could connect with “One Sweet Day,” but it’s never worked for me.

I’m a sap and a half, and during the months “One Sweet Day” dominated the charts I was preparing to move away from my home town, parents and sister and old friends for the first time in my life. And my grandmother, the dearest person on earth, had died in March and I was still deep in grief. But the song left me cold then and leaves me cold today. (Compare with what had happened in July, when NBC aired the farewell episode of Northern Exposure, my favorite show in that era. The last moments were scored to a song I had never heard, “Our Town” by Iris DeMent. By the time the credits rolled I was on the floor, crying so hysterically I woke both the baby and my husband.)

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”
Score: 23 | Apr 10th

The real casualty here is the downvote button which I am missing horribly for most of these replies.

Posted in: Kurt Loder Apologizes For Being A Dick To Jewel
Score: 24 | Apr 8th

My grandfather passed around midnight overnight today. Like Tom, I’m also a big squishy sap who in light of very recent events should dig into something like this. Also like Tom, this track does absolutely nothing for me. That Everything But the Girl track is an all-timer though.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”
Score: 22 | Apr 11th

not sure what the issue is here… that he wasn’t a better shot?

Posted in: Brooklyn’s Market Hotel Defends John Hinckley Jr. Booking
Score: 28 | Apr 13th

Been thinking lately…

I lived through this period of Mariah Carey chart supremacy, and somehow, at the time, I didn’t fully realize just how dominant she was. She really did make hitting number one look easy. But of course, it never has been easy, which speaks to her almost-unprecedented prowess and her wide appeal. 

In all candor, I think I’ve underestimated her popular music impact over the years. Don’t know why. But, perhaps her music seemed so thoroughly “pop” to me that I just didn’t give it its due. 

I’d never have come to any of this realization, but for Tom’s column. Following The Number Ones continues to be an epic learning experience for me!

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”
Score: 32 | Apr 11th

For my money, the Oscar should’ve gone to the late Fountains Of Wayne co-leader Adam Schlesinger, nominated for writing the genuinely awesome title song from That Thing You Do!, but Oscar voters never seem too worried about what I want.

Right on, Tom! Preach it! Great, great song and wonderful movie, probably one of my favorite music related movies of all time. Watched it last year for the first time in years, and it’s just as fun as it was when I saw it in the theater.

Any attention drawn to Adam Schlesinger is a good thing. One of the Covid deaths that hit me the hardest. Truly one of most clever and underrated songwriters out there.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Céline Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”
Score: 36 | Apr 8th

Our youngest daughter was born during the extraordinarily lengthy reign of “One Sweet Day”. More memorably for Mrs. Carto and me, the labor and birth also came during the worst ice storm we experienced during our 26 years living in northern Virginia. 

Our home was on a quite steep slope, which we literally had to slide down that night (of course it was late at night). We barely made our way to the hospital, about six driving miles away, passing numerous stranded vehicles on the way. The trip, which would normally have taken fifteen minutes, took us an hour and a half. I was white-knuckling it the whole way, and doing a lot of praying. In truth, Mrs. Carto was taking it all in stride better than I was.

When we finally got to the hospital, and were seen by the attending physician, it was the wee hours of the morning. The physician informed Mrs. Carto, “Oh, you’re not ready yet. Go home, and come back later today, when you’re a little further along.” We were gobsmacked. We said that there was no way we were getting back out on the ice-covered roads, and we threatened to noisily camp out in the hospital lobby the rest of the night. A nine-month-along pregnant woman and her nervous husband. We were promptly provided a room.

A few hours later, Mrs. Carto gave birth to a healthy, beautiful girl. It was one sweet day, after all.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”


Saint Nothing
Apr 8th

This will get lost if I post it in the regular place, so…

Wonderwall peaked at #2 and spent eleven weeks in the UK top ten, including at #7 in the Christmas chart. At #2 in that chart was… Wonderwall. In this case it was a cover by ironic lounge act the Mike Flowers Pops, which had been discovered by a BBC Radio 1 DJ who knowingly introduced it as the little known original version, and Noel Gallagher has said that he was resultantly questioned over its originality by a Sony executive. Lou Reed reputedly said the cover was “one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in my life”.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”

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