Monday, May 9, 2011

30 Songs, 30 Days (2010 Edition), Day Six: Strange Town by The Jam

And here we have another one of those bands that helped build my love of power (and other guitar-based) pop.

The song is fairly straightforward, with its lyrics about being the new kid in town, still being thoroughly clueless about your surroundings even after being 'here for three weeks now.' But what makes this is the signature Jam upbeat, uplifting melody acting as a place setting for the singer admitting to his feelings of isolation, confusion and awkwardness. And not just physically--there's a sense that the POV character is awkward socially as well, judging by the way he has to struggle to fit in, even if the music's too loud in the clubs and he can't find the kind of music he likes in the music shop. That tension between simple upbeat melodies and complex lyrics aren't as sublime as my own personal favorite Jam song, "A Town Called Malice," but it is effective.

The Jam sort of dissipated because Paul Weller wanted to get deep in touch with his inner white soul singer, but I think this band's music hold up today...

And here's the video....

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