The Best Song In The World Today

Best Song in the World Today: Fascination

Every once in a while someone here at the BPP latches on to a song and just can't let go.

It could be the melody, the lyrics. It could be the memories the song evokes. It could be old or new. It could sound bad but mean something good. It could be almost anything, but one thing that it surely is: The Best Song in the World Today.

My best song today is "Fascination" by Alphabeat. Before you click through to a link for the song, a little back story. I first heard this song on BBC's Radio 1 — I listen to it a lot, I record the morning show — or breakfast show as they say — and listen to it on the iPod after work. And I listen in the evening on Sirius. I did a little digging and found out a bit about Alphabeat: They're Danish, they speak great English, their song "Fascination" was a huge hit in Denmark last summer and their record was just released in the UK.

Radio 1 started playing this song a couple of weeks ago. When I first heard it I was immediately transported to my childhood home. Specifically I get that after school feeling — coming home, having a snack, watching MTV — or whatever cartoon was on. And I couldn't figure out why exactly it was taking me to this place until I was listening to the Radio 1 morning show and they started to talk about how the beginning of the song sounded an awful lot like this one:

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Yup, the theme song to Duck Tales. And I was, like, "Huh, it kind of does sound like that."

And then they pointed out that it sounded even more like the beginning of "Footloose":

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And I flipped out when they played it, because it all clicked at that moment. The opening beat of "Fascination" is so reminiscent of these two songs — songs that were ubiquitous in my elementary and junior high school days. That's why whenever I hear it I'm back in Superior, after school, three o'clock, on the couch in front of the TV with a bag of chips or cookies, or whatever junk I could find.

I'm still a bit amazed that a song so new can take me to such an old place. It was such a visceral reaction the first time — and the great thing is that still happens every time I hear it, which is why it is my Best Song In the World Today.

After the jump — hear "Fascination," by Alphabeat.

Matt, here's another "intersection" for you.

Have you noticed that it sounds quite a bit like "Modern Love" by David Bowie? In fact, that was the first thing I thought of before you even got into the song comparisons. For the first few seconds, I thought it WAS "Modern Love."

Sent by Phillip | 1:49 PM | 3-26-2008

The song has a nice overall upbeat 80s-ness about it. And its title brings to mind the Human League. What could be more 80s than that?

Matt, is there a breakfast programme podcast or do you DIY from the stream?

Sent by Maura | 5:05 PM | 3-26-2008

Yes! Modern Love! It's been bugging me for 2 days that there was another song and I just couldn't think of it. Go, Phillip!

Sent by Tricia, NPR | 9:05 PM | 3-26-2008

How did no one notice that that is almost identical to the opening of Close to Me by The Cure. Far closer than any of the other songs noted. Disappointing.

Sent by emily | 9:45 PM | 3-26-2008

Oh my god, Matt, we had the same childhood! At least the after school on the couch with snacks and cartoons part. The 'Duck Tales' theme song takes me back to my old house, my old scratchy green couch and a bowl of Pop Secret popcorn. Still wish I could swim through a pile of money. ;) (If I had some that is...)

Sent by Summer | 11:14 PM | 3-26-2008

I don't understand why there has to be a New Wave "revival". Weren't the '80s punishment enough?

I have to say, every time you guys have one of these "best song in the world" segments, I'm always incredibly disappointed. It's always some kitschy crap or the same type of music you feature on the rest of your show.

These are the type of songs that you would find six months from now on your MP3 player, and wonder how the hell it got on there in the first place.

Sent by Greg | 11:28 PM | 3-26-2008

Emily, you are absolutely right about 'Close to Me'. That's the first thing I heard too.

Sent by Cori | 4:51 AM | 3-27-2008

Greg, what would you choose for the "best song in the world?" No, I'm not being "snarky." I understand your criticism and it has made me curious. So, what's your choice?

Sent by Phillip | 5:55 AM | 3-27-2008

I find it a very catchy toon. Thanks Matt.

Sent by Nathan in Holland | 7:50 AM | 3-27-2008

I generally don't consider any song to be "the best in the world", even for a day....it usually just depends on my mood.

Here are a few of my faves;

Chia-like, I Shall Grow - Say Anything (or pretty much anything else off ...Was a Real Boy)
Degausser - Brand New
Jolene - Cake (in addition to many other songs off many other Cake albums)
Arcarsenal - At the Drive In
Malaguena Salerosa - Chingon
Any cover by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Stripsearch - Faith No More
Retrovertigo - Mr. Bungle
Cannibal Girl - Head Automatica
Please Please Please (Young Hollywood) - Head Automatica
Birth - The Faint
Air - Jeff Becker
Maggie's Farm (Cover) - Rage Against the Machine

Like I said, it just depends on my mood, and that's only a small sampling.

Sent by Greg | 10:01 AM | 3-27-2008

Greg, thanks for lovin' The Faint :) They're a hometown band for me. And Me First and the Gimme Gimmes since no one knows who they are anymore (at least it seems that way to me).

Sent by Sarah Lee | 9:00 PM | 3-27-2008

Sarah Lee, you're an Omahanian also? That's awesome! I live in the Midtown area, near the Mutual of Omaha complex.

Anyhoo, I've been a fan of The Faint for a long time, not quite since their first CD, but maybe the second. And yes, sadly, MFGG languish in obscurity.

Sent by Greg | 9:18 AM | 3-28-2008

Greg, that's really weird...I work for Mutual; sorry about that midtown construction mess around where you live, lol.

I'm going to recommend The Wholes. Their sound is kind of The Faint-esque. They may be breaking up soon since one of their memebers is moving back to Texas but the keyboardist/vocalist is forming another band. The Wholes have an AIDS benefit concert at The Slowdown on April 25 (last I heard, anyway).

Sent by Sarah Lee | 10:45 AM | 3-28-2008

Sarah, that's hilarious...I work for Mutual also. Are the Wholes the same as the Jazz Wholes? If so, I wasn't aware they changed their name. I think I saw them play at the Riverfest(?) 2 years ago.

Sent by Greg | 11:20 AM | 3-28-2008

Greg, The Wholes are the same as the Jazz Wholes. They changed their name shortly before they released their non-jazz album "Bella Vita" last Halloween. Local release, of course. They have a My Space page if you want to listen to clips of a few songs. For a while, the River played "When the Stars Come Out" a lot, in case you listen to the River.

Sent by Sarah Lee | 11:48 AM | 3-28-2008

I'll have to check it out...I'm also a big fan of Cursive, but I can't stand Bright Eyes. Generally I'm not a fan of local stuff, but I did see a band that opened for Say Anything at The Slowdown that impressed me...I think they were called Landing on the Moon.

Sent by Greg | 12:02 PM | 3-28-2008

I'll investigate Cursive and Landing on the Moon. I think I saw the latter on The Slowdown's site a few months ago when I was looking at upcoming shows. I haven't listened to Bright Eyes at all, mostly because all I hear is "so-and-so in the band is a total d-bag in real life, blah blah" and that, unfortunately, tends to affect what I think of their music.

Sent by Sarah Lee | 3:16 PM | 3-28-2008

Oh how cruel to get me hooked on a song that's not available on itunes!! What am I supposed to do now, go to a store and buy a CD?????? What a world, what a world!!!!

Sent by Margo Morin | 2:09 PM | 3-29-2008

OK, SO I FINALLY LISTENED...AND, YES , I AM 59 AND IT REMINDED ME OF THE UPBEAT POSITIVE UPROAR OF THE BEATLES...OK, YES, I DO REMEMBER THEM ON THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW!!! THEY'VE GOT THE BEAT....

Sent by jayn | 7:36 PM | 3-29-2008

And of course "Modern Love" and "Close To Me" are both sonically referenced in "When Did Your Heart Go Missing" by Rooney.

Sent by Dan Steele | 1:30 AM | 4-19-2008