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by Dan Weiss

August 24, 2014

Softies Rocking Out

by Dan Weiss  |  August 24, 2014

Songwriters and singers who are predisposed to the modes of soft, sad and slow can’t be melancholy all the time. That’s just the law of averages. If you stick around long enough, you’ve got to produce something a little more raging, too, even if it’s just relative to your other music. Often, artists like Rufus Wainwright (“Between My Legs”), Regina Spektor (“Your Honor”) and Randy Newman (“I’m Dead [But I Don’t Know It]”) relegate their fun novelties to the margins of their respective catalogs, but compiling such tracks side by side can give a whole new feel to artists you thought you had pegged.

Conceiving of Coldplay as a guitar band because of “Shiver”; dancing full-speed to Tori Amos’ disco-damaged “Raspberry Swirl”; getting late-'80s nostalgic with Joni Mitchell’s (late-'90s-released) “Lead Balloon” — these and other curveball numbers simply open up new ways to hear your favorite, typically down-at-the-mouth acts. Plus, all these songs rock! It’s win-win.

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