It’s almost impossible to find something that’s universally loved.
I know a guy who doesn’t like strawberries. I’ve met a dude who hates dogs. I’ve even heard of people who don’t like Star Wars, or Harry Potter. But honestly, in my entire life, I’ve never come across a person who, when hearing the opening of the song “Sail”, by Awolnation, doesn’t immediately start bobbing their head, grin, and say “I love this song.”
And I’m willing to bet it’s never not happened. Ever. That’s just the appropriate human response.
The song’s just awesome.
And yes, obviously, we’re spending some time with my good old friend Mr. Hyperbole here. I’m sure that if this article was read by enough people (or, like, any people not named “Mom”), some person would comment and say something like “yo that song sux.” And in almost any other scenario, seeing a comment like that, I would think to myself “everyone’s entitled to their opinion.”
But in this case, that commenter would just be ******* wrong. Like, less right than Jim Abbott. Because the song’s amazing. Why? I’m honestly not sure. This level of divinity is hard to explain outside of Immaculate Conception. But I have some guesses.
It might be awesome because it’s simple. This is not a song that suffers from too much going on. It’s not heavy on the lyrics, and the most memorable part is given to the musicians, not the vocalist. This means that the identity of the song is that very melody I can’t seem to get out of my head ever since I just started THINKING about the song for this article.
With most songs that get stuck in my head, my brain is limited by the one or two lines of lyrics that I know. With this song, just knowing the melody (and where to shout “SAIL!”) is enough. That’s like the whole song.
Another theory is that it’s really slow. Like, this thing is not in a hurry. Technically, the internet is telling me that the song’s at 119 beats per minute, but before I looked it up, I was going to guess an even 60 (almost exactly half time). Because this song (and forgive me, cool kids of 2012, there’s just no other word for it) swaggers along with a half-time pulse like that one six foot tall eleven-year- old you had to play in basketball once when you were a kid. They know they can’t be stopped by your scrawny ass, and this song is the same way.
It just saunters. And there’s nothing that can stop it.
A lot of songs that are trying to be cool think they have to be fast and up-beat, but Sail realizes that putting a lot of drive into a slow song gives it a lot of swagger (again, sorry, really. On an unrelated side note, though: I would never
call myself a fan of mumble rap, but those guys have figured this out too. Slow and confident is cool).
My last theory is that Sail is as cool as it is for reasons that someone as patently uncool as me (I did just use the word patently, after all) could never understand. It’s like that good-looking, tall, football star you used to go to high school with who just happened to be nice, funny, and a straight-A- student too.
It doesn’t have to make sense. It just transcends.
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