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by Raymond Cummings

August 9, 2013

Songs for Tonight

by Raymond Cummings  |  August 9, 2013

Pop music is impatient, symbolism-prone and fully consumed by a lust for drama and circumstance -- hence, night time is perpetually the right time, as in "tonight." Accept no substitutes. Nightfall doubles as crucible or baptism, acting as a pivot point for self-transformation, self-realization, self-actualization or one reckoning or another.

For Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, it's sinking a sap tap into the towering pine of his simmering, relationship-stoked rage and letting fly ("Break Stuff"); for Linkin Park, it's stepping away from a destructive habit, or a series of them ("Breaking the Habit"). For fun., the starry-sky'd present is pretext to party because it's there, and the bars are full of pianos and lost souls ("We Are Young"). Pink insists that anyone stepping to her at the club step off -- and jerk off -- tonight ("U + Ur Hand"). For Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes, night time is the right time for peppy, drama-club suicide role play ("No Conclusion").

Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake would like to show off his squeeze, his tuxedo and his dancefloor jujitsu tonight ("Suit & Tie"). Which, since evening equals nightlife equals dancing equals an attempt to savor life or shake off the day's indignity, is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg: From DeBarge's Jheri curled harmonics to the Black Eyed Peas' arena-quaking dynamism to Caviar's bummed-out, 'roid-riff bumpkis, the party is the point, it seems. Except, of course, when the aim is a one-night stand (The Outfield's karaoke terror "Your Love," Scarface's nursery-rhyme-y "Goin' Down"), the first score (Van Halen's "Feel Your Love Tonight") or a first kiss (Blake Lewis' "Here's My Hello").

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