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Arts in Review

CIVL Shuffle: Abandoned edition

Feeling left behind? These songs about abandonment will get you through it.

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By Dave Cusick (CIVL Director of Programming / Love Captain) – Email

Print Edition: July 1, 2015

Feeling left behind? These songs about abandonment will get you through it.

Spoon — “The Ghost of You Lingers”

If you know only one album by Spoon, it’s their 2007 release Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. (If you don’t know that one, get on the Google, friend.) It’s full of catchy, singable melodies, whistleable horn sections, and fast tempos — except for the album’s second track, a plaintive vocal-and-piano ode to a lover who has gone.

Tommy James and the Shondells — “I Think We’re Alone Now”

You probably only know the Tiffany version of this, don’t you? (You know, the really ‘80s-sounding one, with the girl singing?) But the original predates it by 20 years, and is far more worthy of being alone with.

Arcade Fire — “Empty Room”

“When I’m by myself I can be myself / And my life is coming, but I don’t know when …”

The Magnetic Fields — “Seduced and Abandoned”

Prolific songwriter Stephin Merritt fronts the Magnetic Fields, who released a pair of albums, Distortion and Realism, the former drenched in Jesus and Mary Chain-esque noise, the latter all-acoustic. “Seduced and Abandoned,” from Realism, tells a story, from a woman’s point of view, of a man who has left her and their baby all alone.

Depeche Mode — “Enjoy the Silence”

If you really think about it, there’s some serious irony in making a song about how you want there to be no sound. But if it’s 1990, and you’re trying to win the affections of that special gothic someone, your mixtape could do far worse.

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