Friday, November 1, 2013

Song #406 (and 407 & 408!) of 9999 - "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia (plus 2 bonus songs!)

Song #406 of 9999 

Title: Torn
Artist: Natalie Imbruglia
Year: 1997 
Album: Left of the Middle

It's Friday. I'm tired. These are weak moments. And so it makes sense that I should feature one of my many "guilty pleasure" songs. (A close friend reminds me regularly that I don't seem to express any guilt at all about liking these songs—he's right, of course.) But it's also a good night for high content and low input!

So yes, I give you Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn," a song that I admit is not holding up well. I set out to determine why I liked it so much in 1997, what with her wispy voice and its generic arrangement. I drew two conclusions. The first: she was just too damn cute. "Torn" was a Siren song and I a sailor being lured toward mediocrity. This is a reasonable conclusion.

Song #407 of 9999 

Title: Torn
Artist: Ednaswap
Year: 1997 
Album: Wacko Magneto

Before I get to the second also very reasonable reason, check out the original version of the song by little known alt-rock band Ednaswap. No-one could blame me for enjoying this version, with its fine guitar work and emotional vocal performance by frontwoman Anne Preven. Preven would go on to pen songs for most of today's top female artists, including Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Jordin Sparks, Mandy Moore and Beyoncé.

Song #408 of 9999 

Title: 4 Chords
Artist: Axis of Awesome
Year: 2011 
Album: Animal Vehicle

But finally, let's address the second reason I succumbed to "Torn" in 1997. It's the chord progression. It hypnotizes you. Yes, "Torn"'s chorus is of the I-V-vi-IV variety. As cleverly revealed in Axis of Awesome's medley "4 Chords," I am not the first fool to fall for such a simple trick.

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