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Embrace the Jangle: 3 of the Best Bitter Songs by The Connells

The Connells have a deceptively simple and sparse lyrical style which, when combined with the power chords of founder Mike Connell’s jangly 12-string Rickenbacker and frontman Doug MacMillan’s inspired vocal interpretation, reveal themselves to be both abstract and direct. So I have always found their songs to be eloquently reflective of the American South’s melancholy underbelly, and able to express such negative emotions as frustration and outrage without sounding too whiney or self-pitying, a quality I admire. Therefore, I have chosen what I deign to be their three best most bitter songs(not all of their songs are bitter), in the spirit of empathy and transcending the loneliness that such feelings represent.

3. New Boy. Almost tied with the equally bitter Disappointed from the same album, Ring, I could not resist the subtle build up of sounds in this song’s series of repetitive rhetorical questions which conveys vexation at otherwise indescribable levels.

2. I Suppose, the final track from Boylan Heights. A beautiful, soaring, retro-type melody almost evokes a Beach Boys ballad, but communicates a new breed of post-modern wistfulness. Using not many words, this song bears such regretful dejection I’m forced to consider that most of the album was conceived by mocking earlier comparisons to The Smiths.

1. Coming in at a VERY close No. 1 as the most embittered song by The Connells is the title track from Fun & Games. There is no mistaking the point here: the singer feels used and manipulated by someone toying with him out of boredom. It’s been a long time for me, but this is hardly an uncommon human experience and possibly part of the risk of getting close to others.
Listen up to that Rickenbacker, people, and embrace the Jangle! 😀

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