The recipient of this award must be a musical arrangement with an ability to “get stuck in one’s head”, but at the same time, also be of a high enough quality that one does not get sick of said song. It must instill the desire for repeat listening, even immediately after a previous listening occasion.
The craft and structure of the song should demonstrate some form of thought and intelligence on the part of the songwriter. The composition should show originality and innovation. Generic dance beats need not apply.
The specific content of the song should never be spoon-fed to its audience. It needs to be open enough to interpretation that listeners may emotionally identify with it on their own terms, and also never having one’s own theories of “what it’s about” be contradicted. And in such a case where the listener is unable to decide the meaning of the song, it should still be enjoyable for them to experience on an instinctual level.
While a good song stands upon its own, regardless of the performer, the recipient of this award demonstrates a symbiotic harmony with its performance and performing artist. While skill is a factor, it is overshadowed by sincerity and conviction on the part of the musician(s) involved. They must demonstrate an honest connection with the material, whether it be an original song, or a “cover”, as well as be able to convey that connection to the listening audience.
Former winners of this award include:
“I’m Not Over” by Carolina Liar (previous winner)
“Human” by The Killers
“My Delirium” by Ladyhawke
“Pretend We’re Dead” by L7
“Angel’s Wings” by Social Distortion
“Dream On” by Aerosmith (repeat winner)
“I Wish I Was a Nerd” by the Attery Squash
“Mad World” performed by Gary Jules
“Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)” by Pandora’s Box
“Ice Cream” by Sarah McLaughlin
“Who Will Take Your Dreams Away?” by Marianne Faithful & Angelo Badalamenti
Joining this esteemed company, I present the newest, and current winner:
Mumford & Sons
Released in 2009, this song is finally starting to receive its due airplay on radio stations around the country. The selection committee discovered this song through KROQ out of Los Angeles (via Internet Radio), and was immediately taken aback by this folk quartet out of London, England. At first, it appears so out of place amidst the stations usual genre selection of modern and hard rock, but quickly solidified its rightful position alongside.
With its 2 main verses offering a very personal story, it smoothly and gently builds to a heartstring-pulling crescendo emphasized by its simple, yet emotionally-charged chorus that makes one feel they’ve been punched in the chest, yet at its conclusion, inspires the words, “Thank you, Sir. May I have another?”
Even its central and unavoidable placement of the granddaddy of all curses, the famed “F-Bomb”, it is neither gratuitous nor unnecessary. In a rare feat, it is truly the best word for that moment.
Mumford & Sons have achieved in one acoustic song, more energy, power and emotion then most any other modern artist armed with the loudest amplifiers known to man.
Thank you gentlemen, for demonstrating you don’t need an electric dial to “turn it up to 11”.
I present to you all… my favorite song of right now. (I just hope the embed works)
Mumford & Sons // Little Lion Man by Stayloose