Get me away from Train
February 15, 2011 5:24 PM   Subscribe

What songs sound like Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" but definitely are not "Hey, Soul Sister"?

I was in the car singing to the radio today and "Hey, Soul Sister" came on. It's not a very good song but I know all the words and was singing along and surprised that it was pretty easy to sing. This is very unusual for me because I have the vocal range of a turnip.

Question: is "Hey, Soul Sister" just a mind-numbingly easy song to sing? Is it in a certain pitch or range of notes or key that other, more critically received songs are in?

I want a go-to karaoke song that is as easy to sing but won't get me mocked. What songs are similar in ways that would matter to someone without any talent?
posted by amicamentis to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Most of everything by Counting Crows is pretty easy to sing, and the stuff off the first two or three albums is know...kind of good. David Gray's "Babylon" kind of fits the bill. So does Fastball's "The Way."
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:40 PM on February 15, 2011

You could try these:

Bad Day - Daniel Powter

Stay (I Missed You) - Lisa Loeb

Mr. Jones - Counting Crows

I don't know if they're acclaimed enough for you, but whatever ... sing them if you like them. Don't worry about critical reception. It's karaoke!
posted by John Cohen at 5:40 PM on February 15, 2011

Relevant info, for the sake of those who are answering: the OP is female.
posted by John Cohen at 5:42 PM on February 15, 2011

Lots of Jack Johnson songs have a similar tone. I'm thinking specifically of Banana Pancakes.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 5:44 PM on February 15, 2011

I cannot cannot hold key at all, but the only song that I do not ruin is All I Want to Do by Sheryl Crow. Might not be your cup of tea, but there it is....
posted by beachhead2 at 5:55 PM on February 15, 2011

I've always thought Gloria by The Doors could be sung by just about anyone.
posted by pecanpies at 6:00 PM on February 15, 2011

I was once complimented on my voice while singing "Your Winter" by Sister Hazel and that's about the only time I've ever been noted for singing. Maybe it's just somehow in my sweet spot (like, 3 notes), I dunno, but I thought I'd pass it on.
posted by maryr at 6:29 PM on February 15, 2011

"Hey, Soul Sister" always sounds to me like a direct ripoff of Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo╩╗ole's cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." It's uncanny.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 7:14 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

There was an article way back in the day (early 2000s? not sure) about how you could tell somebody 'hated music', or didn't know anything about it, or some other such snark by checking their CD collection for certain popular titles. I can't seem to find the article, and can't remember many of the albums, but think Bryan Adams, Queen, The Eurythmics, Dire Straits, Sting and the Police, Fleetwood Mac - middle of the road pop rock stuff, I guess.

Anyway, I was taken by how much the list looked like our CD collection. Were we really musically illiterate, or whatever it was the article claimed we were? I showed my wife the list. Why did we like these albums? The answer was simple: we could sing every damned song, even though we're both terrible singers.

So find that list, and get those albums, and sing your damned heart out.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:29 PM on February 15, 2011

Piano Man, Billy Joel.
posted by lhauser at 9:45 PM on February 15, 2011

I've always thought Gloria by The Doors could be sung by just about anyone.

Gloria, by Van Morrison.
posted by sweetkid at 10:09 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am a fairly bad (female) singer and I always feel pretty good about singing Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger and Don"t Stop Me Now by Queen (a good excuse to bust out the "jazz hands" at karaoke. I also like Squeeze's Tempted and Joe Jackson's Is She Really Going out with Him

My experience is that ballads get tuned out by the audience (unless you are very very good) so I avoid them. Songs where you can sing along to the chorus are good (YMCA!) Songs that repeat over and over and over again are bad (some disco songs are great for discoing but bad for karaoke.) Avoid singing a la Cake or Shatner (ooh, that reminds me of another song I'd like to sing at Karaoke: Common People by Pulp {Shatner did a pretty good version of this with Joe Jackson!} ) if someone else has already done so (because too many Shatners is like too many tribbles. Songs with super long musical breaks are bad (especially near the end like Baracuda by Heart! 56 measures then a "oooh yeah!" to end!)

yes, I have seriously over thought this plate of musical beans.
posted by vespabelle at 12:10 AM on February 16, 2011

(more) Sister Hazel: All for You
Del Amitri: Roll to Me
Stone Temple Pilots: Interstate Love Song
Soundgarden: Black Hole Sun (painfully long if you're singing in front of an audience, but great for the car)
REM: Losing My Religion
posted by giraffe at 8:18 AM on February 16, 2011

I've always thought Gloria by The Doors could be sung by just about anyone.

Gloria, by Van Morrison.

Oh, good grief. Yes, of course by Van Morrison. The cover by the Doors, however, is what always gets everyone singing along - at least in my experience.
posted by pecanpies at 8:27 AM on February 16, 2011

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