The Unwell and Unwily
There have been about five or ten songs this year that I've listened to on repeat with that crazed and cultlike devotion known only to pop junkies. About a third of them were released this year, which makes 2005 a good year, no matter what partisans may say. My latest obsession - about which I will not write yet, other than to urge all readers to beg borrow or steal their way to a copy of it (iTunes'll lay it on you for ninety-nine cents; it's where I got mine) - is "Killamangiro" by Babyshambles. The song, according to Libertines hagiographers, is actually a leftover from that band's latter days. According to me, it's a very nearly perfect pop song, whatever its genesis - it feels effortless, breezy, and if you're an American it practically dares you to make sense of it, which for me is a bonus. That it may have some backstory only makes it more tantalizing. Why are we so blessed, to live in an age when people make songs as marvelous and magical as this, scattershot collections of fourth-generation references that can't be put back together again, sad and brilliant and witty, which then land in the marketplace like raindrops in a great ocean? Why, indeed.
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