Best of Jay: Matador Singles ’08

Artist: Jay Reatard
Title: Matador Singles ‘08
Label: Matador
Year: 2008

1) See/Saw- 10- My personal favorite from Jay Reatard. It’s heavy, catchy, funny, surely one to get stuck in your head! To me, it exemplifies everything great about Jay’s music. He creeps me out, but he creeps me in again.

2) Screaming Hand- 9.8- A nice tale about the young Reatard singer and how he was different from everyone else and started his band. I love the “You are my hero” and “oh No No No.” Extremely catchy. I find that SH goes well following See/Saw.

3) Painted Shut- 9.5- Simply Classic Reatard

4) An Ugly Death- 10- I try to avoid giving out more than one 10 on any album, but this definitely deserves it! I think this was the first Jay song I came across and it is very powerful to say the least. I love the epic guitar opener; it just makes my ears anticipate what will happen next. Even after listening to the tune a ludicrous amount of times, I still can’t get over those powerful, yet simple chords. When I’m shuffling songs and AUD pops up on my ipod, I can never muster the will to turn it down. My actual favorite part of the song is the “for you, for me, for all to see” the vocals and guitar are just perfect. I also dig the ominous lyrics meshed with the upbeat music.

5) Always Wanting More- 8.8- One of my least favorites on this compilation, but nonetheless a hooky and genuinely decent tune.

6) You Mean Nothing to Me- 9.0- Typical Reatard. It gets stuck in my dome from time to time. In terms of lyrics, People being meaningless to Jay seems to be a recurring theme.

7) Fluorescent Grey- 9.2- This is a Deerhunter cover. Having never heard the original, I don’t know how it holds up, but I enjoy it very much. Giving the nature of Deerhunter’s music, this one is a bit softer and more experimental than previous Reatard singles/songs, lacking the familiar chainsaw guitars and pop hooks. It works though and foreshadows future Reatard talents.

8) Trapped Here- 9.6- Haha, I always find myself laughing at Jay’s disturbing, malicious lyrics! Violence, particularly one villain torturing his victim and remind them that they can’t escape and that they will soon parish is a frequent theme in the long haired punk’s lyrics. Memorable lyrics include “Relax, Relax, Relax, my little victim” and “You have nowhere to hide and you have everywhere to die.” Haha, the music itself, menacing, perfectly compliments the creepy lyrics.

9) Hiding Hole- 9.4- Another signature Reatard tune. Extremely, catchy, loud, fast guitars, fast, shouted vocals.

10) DOA- 9.8- One of the more popular singles and it’s certainly easy to see why. One of the heavier and yet absolutely endearing songs from this album. It includes perhaps the best example of the classic Reatard technique of slowing down the guitars and drums and simply shouting one line over and over again till its burned into your brain. In this case “It’s No Fun! It’s No Fun! It’s No Fun!” for whoever is dying on arrival haha.

11) No Time- 10- Once again, a rare 10! I love this song so much! Completely Unreatard. One (you’ll see) of the softest Jay songs I have ever heard. When I first heard this I was confused, I thought I may have put on a different artist. In this number, we see a gentle Jay (it sounds so strange) expressing his deepest emotions. “It seems I never have the time to make my mind feel fine,” Jay’s best lyrics and one of the best lines I ever heard period!

12) You Were Sleeping- 9.8- It gets even stranger! I can picture this and the former pissing some Reatard fans off. Especially some serious Blood Visions motherfuckers. Most of the previous statements I made about “No Time” apply here. It’s a sensitive song, I couldn’t even imagine Jay playing live when I saw him.

13) I’m Watching You- 9.7- A fabulous closer to a fabulous record! Softer than most Reatard songs, but heavier than the previous two. Unlike the other two though, it’s an upbeat single, but it’s similar to them in the sense that they all violate the typical Reatard format. I always smirk whenever I hear the line “You see, to me, you always were a cunt.” Haha. This is much better than the Watch Me Fall version in my opinion.

Grade: A:One of the best albums (though it’s technically just a compilation of singles) I’ve ever heard and certainly of the past few years. Probably the best from 2008. Jay and the gang bring their roaring flying Vs with them from Blood Visions and Singles ‘06- ‘07 and mash them up with more pop and delve into previously unknown or unforeseen territories! Foreshadowing their next effort, Watch Me Fall. There’s a notable progression that is perfectly displayed here.


3 thoughts on “Best of Jay: Matador Singles ’08”

  1. About You Were Sleeping – you people know of Tyrannosaurus Rex, the precursor of T-Rex – both of whose members didn’t live to be 30? Their arrangements were always acoustic guitar and bongos with other various embellishments but always with the acoustic-bongo setup… just like this song! Only that Marc Bolan’s vocals were difficult to understand and they were about unicorns and black cats and wizards and that kind of thing.

    You Mean Nothing to Me – I don’t interpret that song that way at all. He expresses interest in the person in the song, says “you’re the kind of person I’d like to meet” and cannot approach this person – presumably a she – for reasons unknown, then consoles himself by saying that this person means nothing to him, when clearly if he’s singing about this person this isn’t really so – but the feeling is that he is used to such things and lets go easily and accepts that this person really isn’t going to be part of his life. I hope he didn’t have trouble looking people in the eye in real life.. it would have been such a shame.

    I’m Watching You has a similar theme. He takes the trouble not only to sing about the subject but to watch the subject and everything the subject does and then claims to be disinterested and not impressed with the subject as well as declaring that the subject was “always… a cunt”.

  2. Yeah, I don’t know too much about T. Rex, but I am a fan of their biggest hit “Bang A Gong” I have that on my ipod.

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