Shearer’s Spotlight: On the Road

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Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

As I’m sure you know, summertime is a great occasion for music-filled road trips.

I’ve already gone on a couple, and while enjoying music on CDs (yes, I still represent the format), an overstocked iPod, and FM radio; I observed the following:

Hit Song/Bad Lyrics
Though I respect Sia as an artist and songwriter, every time I hear her following lyrics on Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones,” I wince in agony: If I took you home, it’d be a home run. Ouch.

(A few weeks ago I was on a 1970s music kick, so the next four observations will reflect that era. Groovy?)

Better To Burn Out Than Fade Out
For such an incredible decade of music, it’s surprising that so many hit rock songs simply fade out, a production technique that is sometimes necessary, but one I despise.

Tears of a Mars
Why hasn’t Bruno Mars covered Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown” yet? It’s perfect for him.

American Mraz
Don’t know if Jason Mraz has ever tackled the rock classic “American Pie”—one that is over eight minutes long—but his voice shares many of the same qualities as Don McLean’s. I also respect the fact that this song is filled to the brim with lyrics, instead of taking the 1970’s approach to song making by including a lengthy instrumental interlude.

Jim Morrison?
Speaking of lengthy instrumental interludes, when listening to material from The Doors I always wonder what went through Jim Morrison‘s head during the band’s long jam-outs at their live shows. (Did he ever got tired of spinning around or playing maracas while waiting for the lyrical portion of the song?)

Did He Just Say That?
Though I’ve heard the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Rain Dance Maggie” countless times, I just picked up on the following lyrics: Tick tock I want to rock you like the ‘80s/Cock-blocking isn’t allowed. It’s well known the Chili Peppers used to rock socks on their cocks, but that’s the first time I can ever remember hearing a rock vocalist shout out the “cock-block” in a song.

It’s the Synth Maybe
As much as I resisted it at first, I too have been infected by Carly Rae Jepsen’s sugary pop hit “Call Me Maybe.” After studying the track closely, I’ve realized that the song’s key ingredient is its repetitive bursts of beefed-up, synthesized-strings. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve done “air-synth” atop my car’s dashboard.

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