Song of the Week: Add It Up

With the new blog format, I’ve decided to change the format of my old music column from the olden days of Blurred Productions. Instead of the lengthy reviews of new music, I’m going to give shorter weekly blurbs recommending songs, artists, albums, or whatever.

To kick things off, I’m going to talk about a song that’s just about perfect: “Add It Up” by the Violent Femmes.

The song kicks off with Gordon Gano’s solitary, wailing voice. It’s a tortured voice. Not tortured in the Robert-Smith-lost-romance way, nor in the Morrissey-inability-to-find-romance way. His motives are far less noble. Gano just wants sex. Surely the most memorable part of the song is the increasingly vulgar verse, going from “Why can’t I get just one kiss,” to “one screw,” to “one fuck.” The entire song is a giant unglamorous confession of sexual frustration. It’s as rough and unpolished as punk rock, yet shockingly personal.

Musically as well as lyrically, it’s a song driven by rawness. The arrangement of the song is incredibly basic. It’s just a few major chords played choppy. Even the solo is played messily. Yet there’s an amazing energy coming from this unpolished acoustic sound. Accordingly, this is a song that needs to be heard at full volume.

If you’re looking for a copy of it, the studio version is off the album of the same name. However, the live acoustic version off “Viva Wisconsin” is just as good if not better.


One Comment on “Song of the Week: Add It Up”

  1. weekly = good. i really need to find my copy of the first violent femmes album

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