Top 10 Songs About Cameras and Photography
6. Pictures of You -- The Cure
Goths all over the world rejoice in this whiney, syrupy lost-love anthem from the Cure's 1989 "Disintegration" LP that sounds like New Order on a really bad day. The "pictures" in question are all that the heartbroken narrator is left with after the object of his affection decides to say "goodbye, cruel world," which is what I felt like saying after listening to a seven-and-a half-minute-long live version of this downer-jam on YouTube. (M.S.)
5. Kamera -- Wilco
"Dude, I just realized something. A camera looks OUTWARD, but it's really a reflection of what's going on, like, INWARD. It's a periscope for your soul or something, man. But even if you see what I'm seeing, are you really SEEING what I'm SEEING, you know?" That's totally what this song is about, we think.
4. I Turn My Camera On -- Spoon
Despite the cute dancing robot in the video, this Spoon song is pretty depressing once you dive into the lyrics. Jilted lover, hiding behind his camera, absorbed in apathy as a defense mechanism for his busted heart, et cetera. Still: FUNKY BASSLINE BEGETS INFECTIOUS GROOVE. Try getting this song out of your head for the next couple of weeks.
3. Freeze Frame -- J. Geils Band
"Freeze Frame" is a shoo-in for the top 5, even before you factor in the bonus points earned by its mandatory 1980s horns. First of all, the song's lyrics serve up a slew of photography-related double entendres, from "lipstick reflex got me wound" to "darkroom sweet-talk" to "zoom-lens feelings," whatever those are. What's more, the J. Geils Band must have had a thing for photography, as their most famous hit, "Centerfold," was about two forms of exposure.
2. Photograph -- Def Leppard
I love this song. Not in an ironic way either. I really love it. I don't really want to; I just do. It puts on no airs. It's a well-crafted pop song with a huge hook from a British soft metal band called Def Leppard. The lyrics are not clever: Boy meets Girl. Girl gives Boy photograph of Girl. Girl departs. All Boy has is photograph. Boy looks at photograph and decides to sing a song about it. SOFT ROCK MASTERPIECE ENSUES. (M.S.)
1. Kodachrome -- Paul Simon
Not only is this the most detailed song on our list in terms of describing the color fidelity of Kodak film, but it also settles the debate on whether Paul Simon shoots Nikon or Canon (it's Nikon) and whether he prefers the artistic look of black-and-white shots (nope, everything looks worse in black and white). Despite the digital revolution, this is a timeless song that deserves the number one spot.
Honorable Mention: Video Phone -- Beyoncé, featuring Lady Gaga, which gets our vote for, uh, most-intriguing video; Picture Book by the Kinks, because the Kinks are just cool. Photograph -- Weezer, which gets bonus points for reminding us of "Buddy Holly"-era Weezer; Cameras -- Matt and Kim, which has a video reminiscent of a Bruins-Canucks game; Into the Lens -- Yes, which is, like, 100 minutes long; and Cameras in Paris -- The Fixx, which is the best song about Auto mode.