AJR – 100 Bad Days

“It’s an odd one.”

Tom: I’m driving round the US at the moment, Tim, which means that as I scan through the radio dial I have to play the game of “is this just an uplifting pop track, or have I tuned into a Christian radio station”. Harder game than you might think.

Anyway, I keep hearing this on regular, secular radio stations, and it’s an odd one. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to be doing that bubbling-up thing, where it was released a few months ago, but somehow it’s finding its way to playlists.

Tim: Hmm. There’s a lot to dismantle here, not least that video, which…I mean, I can’t even begin to imagine how the designer came up with that collection of bizarre ideas.

Tom: Leaving the interesting visuals aside, there is a lot to dislike here. I should hate those chorus lyrics and their two-tone playground chant style, and I should particularly hate the weird distorted acapella vocal that leads into the chorus. I don’t like them — but neither do I hate them either, which for something like this is saying something. Even that odd xylophone-and-shout middle eight can’t take away from the fact that this song just works for me.

Tim: You know, I’m the same – there are those occasional bits where I’m thinking “hang on, I don’t like this, I want to turn it off”, but I don’t, and then it soon gets better. I think it’s because the annoying bits are brief, but the good stuff stays around, and flows throughout it, so even with a bad bit you’re still reminded of the previous goodness.

Tom: I like the triumphant sound. Plus, the chorus and post-chorus are incredibly catchy: I was humming this after one listen. And in the end, “we’ll laugh about this one day” is a really, really good message.

Tim: True. Very true indeed.