The Wallflowers – Three Marlenas

You might have heard this week’s news on The Wallflowers releasing their first album in 9 years next month. They even released its lead single already, which is okay, I guess, but nothing to write home about. While I’m not a die-hard fan of Jakob Dylan‘s band (I wasn’t even aware they had made an album in the last decade), they do have some really great songs that were very popular during the The Wallflower‘s heyday. Their most famous –and probably best– song is One Headlight, which won two Grammys and became the first song to top all three of Billboard‘s rock charts: modern rock, mainstream and adult alternative.

All that being said, I do have a soft spot for a far more modest single from the same Bringing Down The Horse album: Three Marlenas. It peaked at number 51 on the Hot 100 chart and is not the song most people immediately think about when they hear this band’s name, but it is that song for me. Take a walk with me down memory lane with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song.

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Twenty One Pilots – Trees

You can love them or hate them but you can’t deny Twenty One Pilots is one of the biggest musical acts out there. They hit it big in 2015 with their album Blurryface and basically every single song they have released since then has become a success. Until not that long ago, I thought that record was their debut album but, as probably know, I was very wrong: it was their third. In 2019, I decided to watch some of the performances from that year’s Reading Festival on video-on-demand, which included this musical duo from Columbus, Ohio. That was the first time I listened to Trees, a little gem from their second album, Vessel (2013), and that they used to close their show (which made me think it was a fan favorite). They put an amazing spectacle performing this track then (you can watch it below) and it blew me away. It immediately became a #musicalcrush.

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn are releasing a new album, Scaled And Icy, in May. While we wait for it, please enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry: Trees.

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4 Non Blondes – What’s Up

I wasn’t planning to feature What’s Up as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song when I mentioned it in the Marcelo Deiss‘ entry, but I’ve stumbled upon it quite a few times since then, I even listened to a nice cover I might feature in the near future. It is a great and extremely catchy song, don’t get me wrong, but chances are you know that already. After all, it’s a classic.

4 Non Blondes are considered one-hit-wonders but that’s basically because they didn’t give themselves another chance. The band broke up shortly after What’s Up became an international hit, and it was just the second single off their first and only album. However, lead singer/songwriter Linda Perry remained active within the music industry, founding record labels and writing and producing hits for other artists, including Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. By the way, Linda hated how What’s Up was produced for the commercial version we all know. She preferred her demo version but it hasn’t been released.

One final piece of trivia: the song’s title is never mentioned in the lyrics. What is mentioned, quite prominently, is “what’s going on“. However, there is a classic Marvin Gaye song with that name, which is why, in order to avoid any confusion, they went with What’s Up instead.

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Fireflight – Wrapped In Your Arms

Earlier this week I mentioned the Grammy-nominated band Fireflight and it is possible you hadn’t heard of them before (they do have a decent fanbase but they are not entirely household names either). Therefore, I think it would be pertinent to talk a bit about them in this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.

Fireflight are technically a Christian Rock band but not all their songs are about religious themes (I could be wrong but I think the track I’m recommending today is simply a love song). They are usually compared to bands like Evanescence and Paramore just because they are also female-fronted rock bands that often leaned towards the heavier side (Paramore not so much anymore). They were formed in 1999 and have released seven albums so far, including one last year. For Those Who Wait (2010) is their most successful record to date.

This band from Florida got quite a few nice tracks but my favorite one is this overlooked gem called Wrapped In Your Arms from their third studio album: Unbreakable (2008). It wasn’t even a single but it is a really outstanding song. The first half of it is very laid-back and features the beautiful voice of lead singer Dawn Michele’s prominently, but what I really love about this tune is how all of a sudden the whole band comes in after the second chorus taking everything up a notch. Hope you can enjoy this track as much as me.

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Vega4 – Life Is Beautiful

I will keep this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry short and simple after discussing Vega4 on Monday’s post. In summary, Vega4 was a short-lived band fronted by Johnny McDaid from Snow Patrol. They released two albums but the first one is really hard to find. The follow-up, You And Others (2006), is the one featuring Life Is Beautiful, which had a lot of exposure back then. This song is certainly special but the whole album is really good. I highly recommend it.

It’s sad that Vega4 didn’t release more albums but the silver lining is that the band’s demise allowed Johnny to join Snow Patrol and also write songs for other artists such as Kodaline and Example. As a piece of trivia, Johnny has been dating Courteney Cox since 2013.

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Parra for Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games

Parra for Cuva is definitely one of my favorite electronic music artists. Originally from Germany, I discovered him when the song being featured here today, his cover of Chris Isaak‘s popular Wicked Games, was featured on a now-extinct Youtube channel I used to follow. The track was a real hit, even reaching number 6 in UK’s official Top 40 in 2014, but, nevertheless, he remains relatively unknown. I mean, he should be more famous by now after that success and also because he has consistently released great track after great track (he’s already released one this year).

Nicolas Demuth, Parra for Cuva‘s real name, grew up in the same small town in Germany as singer-songwriter Anna Naklab and, naturally, they ended up working together in a number of releases, including Wicked Games. Her stunning voice is one of the reasons this song is so good. Event though it was a cover of a really well-known song, they managed to make it sound fresh. By the way, while we are talking about Parra for Cuva, check his remix of Mazzy Star‘s Into Dust (not available on Spotify). Simply outstanding.

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Frou Frou – Let Go

I mentioned this great song recently in another entry and I think it makes sense to feature it as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song. Frou Frou was a British electronic duo that released only 1 album, Details, back in 2002. They disbanded in 2004 but Wikipedia claims that they reunited in 2017. I don’t know if that is true or not but Imogen Heap, the lead singer, has had a successful career as a solo artist that predates Frou Frou. Her voice is one of those you can recognize right away.

Anyway, Let Go, which was part of the Details album, gained notoriety in 2004 when Zach Braff chose it as the key track on the award-winning soundtrack of his hit indie movie Garden State. The song was also featured prominently in one of its trailers (which you can watch below). The lush electronic strings and Imogen’s distinct vocals are impossible to resist in what ended up being one of the best tracks of that decade.

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Collective Soul – Needs

As I shared yesterday on Facebook, this great album, Dosage, was released 22 years ago on February 9, 1999. If you only know a few songs from Collective Soul (if you know them at all), chances are those songs are all from the band’s first two albums, as those were their biggest hits: Shine, December and The World I Know. All great songs, hands down. However, this band from Georgia is much more than those 3 tracks, as they consistently released good albums all the way through 2009. The pace slowed down after that year (two albums since then) as they focused on some side projects but they will probably release another album soon as they just dropped a small EP a couple of months ago. I will always have a soft spot for Collective because they were the first band I ever saw live and it was a heck of a live show. Seriously, if have never seen them live, you should prioritize that once rock concerts are a thing again. Ed Roland is one of the best performers I have ever seen.

Anyway, I’m digressing. Dosage was a great album and even though it had a couple of big hits in Heavy and Run, and contains several little gems, the record itself is not as famous as its predecessors. One of those gems in Needs, which, in my opinion, is just as good as any of the band’s bigger hits. Ed Roland’s vocals are great as usual but each component of this song (the strings, in particular) is just stunning. Please enjoy this #musicalcrush of mine as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.

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Republica – Ready To Go

While doing some research for yesterday’s post, I got reminded of this classic from the 90s. Ready To Go was an international hit in 1997 (even though it was originally released in 1996) and it is by far the most well-known song from the English band Republica. I can’t say I know much about them, but according to Wikipedia (which of course is always right), they were formed in 1994 and are still active despite releasing their only two albums before the new millennium (they’ve released some compilations afterwards). As an interesting piece of trivia, Saffron, their lead singer, was born in Nigeria.

Anyway, enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry!

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Eve 6 – Inside Out

Do you like the ‘heart in a blender’ song? If this question does not ring a bell to you, then you are not following Eve 6 on Twitter and, therefore, missing out on what has become one of the most entertaining accounts on that social media platform. Max Collins, the band’s frontman, became hyperactive with the account towards the end of 2020, tweeting whatever comes to his mind, from stories about other ‘nineties bands’ (as he usually refers to them) to his opinions about any subject. Sometimes he is joking and sometimes he’s telling the truth but often it is not obvious to figure out which tweet is which, with Max even referring to the whole stuff as a form of art. One of the funny things he’s been doing is asking different personalities and celebrities, from Kamala Harris to Taylor Swift, if they liked the ‘heart in a blender’ song. The Rolling Stone magazine even wrote an article about it.

Inside Out is the heart in a blender song and let me tell you, I’ve always liked it. It was part of Eve 6‘s debut album from 1998 and reached the number one spot on the Modern Rock charts. The band from Southern California broke up in 2004 but luckily got back together in 2012 and released a very nice album that year, Speak In Code. While they haven’t published any new music since then (other than a live album), they’re still together, although with a new drummer. Hopefully, there is some new music coming song. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday tune.

I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rinds

But the lack thereof would leave me empty inside

Swallow my doubt turn it inside out

Find nothin’ but faith in nothin’

Want to put my tender, heart in a blender

Watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion

Rendezvous then I’m through with you

Eve 6, Inside Out

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