The five hundred fourty-first song: Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

Having mostly heard the refrain of this song recontextualized in a Sufjan Stevens Christmas song, the haunting, hollow sound of the vocals in its original context hits so much more. There's a sadness and lack of energy that seems to foreshadow so much, more of an acceptance than you might expect form post-punk music. The unenthusiastic repetition builds on this, a dark and depressing mood that gets you the right feelings.

The five hundred fourty-second song: Wardance - Killing Joke

On the other hand, the distortion of the loduer Wardance doesn't grip me as much, the sound feeling off putting and not leaning as much on any sort of recognition of the lyrics despite what they're claiming they're saying. For me, I think this has pushed too far in the metal direction, without taking on any other aspect that I'd find listenable.

The five hundred fourty-third song: Ace of Spades - Motorhead

Ace of Spades does it that bit better. Yeah, the driving guitar is there, but with a bit less distortion and a repetition that really gets you to hook in. It's got punk, it's got metal, but there's enough to hook you in even if you're not as fond of all of that.

The five hundred fourty-fourth song: Start! - The Jam

It might be the comparison from what it follows, but The Jam's throwback to sixties pop rock has it get a bit lost. The harmonies are nice, the hook is there, but it feels a bit toothless. We're going to get pop to develop it further, but it feels like it's still teetering on the edge of starting that, still not leaning into it as much as I would have liked.

The five hundred fourty-fifth song: Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads

There's a built-in looseness in the structure of the song, the keyboard jingle offset from the rhythm in a way that encourages it to stay a bit off balance. The lyrics may still feel get simple,but there's a complexity that you can't quite grasp at any time and instead keep you wondering when you can grab it.

The five hundred fourty-sixth song: Vienna - Ultravox

Starting off small, Midge Ure's vocals suppressed to the point of barely being comprehensible, the piano providing variation in a song that's otherwise quite structured, until it swells into a more orchestral piece with violins and a more triumphant vocal (even as it repeats the same line). It's an odd song, good in its hook, but not something that I felt I really got.

The five hundred fourty-seventh song: Caballo Viejo - Simon Diaz

It feels like we get one of these per batch, a song that isn't in English and may not have made it out of their countries, but made it big in, in this case, the Spanish speaking world. It's a folk song, but one that incorporates some excitement in its bridge, like a Dylan song with a bit more spirit and the occasional shouts and whip cracking. It's good at what it does, sure, but I feel I miss too much context to really get what comes out of the song.

The five hundred fourty-eighth song: I Got You - Split Enz

As with Start!, we have a poppier song here, but here a pop rock styled piece that has the prog rock bits, a bit of other rock influences, falling under the wider new wave moniker. It means a mostly quite happy, accessible song, often exploding as a louder track out of a more subdued verse. It's a pretty accessible song, doing quite a lot while still feeling like it could be live without relying on its production too much.