Which song do you think is perfect? Why?

post by Alexander (alexander-1) · 2021-11-27T11:06:16.575Z · LW · GW · 17 comments

This is a question post.

I am curious about what kind of music this community enjoys.

Music recommendation algorithms don't work well for me, not even the highly advanced almost-AGI-level algorithms of Spotify. They tend to be conservative and keep me in a bubble. I found my best new music by asking people for their favourite songs. This approach seems to offer a highly efficient search across the music graph.

If you can explain why you think that song is perfect, that would be a bonus!


answer by cousin_it · 2021-11-28T01:30:15.915Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've been playing music for many years and have thought of many songs as "perfect" by various musical criteria, melody, beat and so on. But deep down I think musical criteria aren't the answer. It all comes down to which mood the song puts you in, so the perfect song = the one that hits the right mood at your current stage in life. So it's gonna be unavoidably different between people, and for the same person across time. For me as a teenager it was "Losing My Religion", somehow. Now at almost 40, this recording of Aguas de Março makes me smile.

answer by Charlie Steiner · 2021-11-27T17:09:07.918Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Here's some diversity:

Perpetual e-motion: Freeze Britches / Road To Recovery / Opera Reel / Maudabawn Chapel

The Shins: Pink Bullets

DJ Earworm: Brazilian Diamonds

Dream Theater: Pull me under

Pentatonix: Aha!

comment by Alexander (alexander-1) · 2021-11-27T22:18:03.160Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Wait, is Aha! by Pentatonix entirely beatboxed? That's incredible. It is a very beautiful song!

answer by chris_m2000 · 2021-11-27T17:02:43.622Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The song Inama Nushif composed by Bryan Tyler with vocals by Azam Ali always tops my list.  It is a beautiful song.  Inama Nushif cleverly uses the fictional Fremen language.  I can't say much more without spoiling Frank Herbert's Dune novels and possibly future movies.  But when you compare the lyrical translation to the tragic fate of the described character, the irony will break your heart.

answer by Rafael Harth · 2021-11-27T16:12:57.605Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I definitely don't think any human-made song is perfect. (Do you claim a superintelligent AI would be incapable of improving it? If yes, I question your models; if not, in what sense is it perfect?) But if you're asking me for music that I think is extremely good, leaving it up to me to decide what that means, the first thing that comes to mind is Program Music III. I would recommend the best song but there only is one song, so I'll recommend the first 12 minutes.

comment by Alexander (alexander-1) · 2021-11-27T22:19:17.372Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I definitely don't think any human-made song is perfect. (Do you claim a superintelligent AI would be incapable of improving it? If yes, I question your models; if not, in what sense is it perfect?)

This is one of the funniest things I've read on LessWrong in recent times. I laughed out loud.

answer by spacecadet · 2021-11-28T13:45:05.046Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you like Steely Dan you may just get Weather Reports output from the early eighties - Procession, Domino Theory and Sportin' Life. Omar Hakim on drums and Victor Bailey on bass. Confians isn't typical of their output but it is so heartfelt. I am told it is sung in a Brazilian creole, but I have not idea what it is about. But then again, I do.

Shpongle consistently pushed the envelope of electronic music, always creative, always original. For example...

answer by wangscarpet · 2021-11-27T23:12:14.247Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fantasy by Eternity Forever: posthardcore supergroup with the grooviest instrumentals

answer by mobius · 2021-11-27T17:00:23.988Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Wow! No perfect music, except, perhaps, Beethoven's 6th.

My favorite song since '72.  https://open.spotify.com/track/3QcuZo6WLcFkqqLmDs0d95

Doctor my Eyes  Jackson Browne

answer by Yiar · 2021-11-27T15:31:45.770Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I love ’Be Real’ by Rasmus Faber & Metaxas https://open.spotify.com/track/4PEbNdnFtpko90iC0W9I2u

Perfection is probably not possible to find, but for me this song ticks many important boxes:

Meaningful aesthetic lyrics (even fairly rationality aligned) without being too vague. E.g. ”I forgot what you need, you forgot how I feel, I just want to be real with you”,

Not too complicated harmonies so most people probably enjoy it without a trained ear, which makes it easier to recommend to many people.

Well produced, though timbre of the sounds is seldom perfect for everyone’s tastes.

Groovy yet relaxing.


Curious to know what you think! 🙂

comment by Alexander (alexander-1) · 2021-11-27T22:23:22.523Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's a lovely song. The beat is so rich. The instrumental version is also excellent.

I love groovy songs. One of my favourite songs over the past year has been Glamour Profession by Steely Dan. It is insanely groovy.

Replies from: Yiar
comment by Yiar · 2021-11-28T01:03:26.803Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Glad you liked it! 🙂 Yeah, I love it when they add instrumental versions 😃

What a great song! 😃 Thanks for recommending!

Well if you like groove, here’s a little playlist I put together of groovy goodies https://music.apple.com/se/playlist/groovy/pl.u-pRomsWXGVP0?l=en

answer by Bjartur Tómas · 2021-11-27T15:36:26.111Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Love of the Loveless by The Eels:

answer by philip_b · 2021-11-27T23:32:18.885Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Somehow I love a lot of songs from a few radiostations of SomaFM radiostations:

  • Groove Salad - "A nicely chilled plate of ambient/downtempo beats and grooves."
  • Illinois Street Lounge - "Classic bachelor pad, playful exotica and vintage music of tomorrow."
  • Christmas Lounge - "Chilled holiday grooves and classic winter lounge tracks. (Kid and Parent safe!)"

I frequently listen to these and download songs I hear there.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Viliam · 2021-11-27T21:24:03.346Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Inevitability (translated lyrics)

Replies from: alexander-1
comment by Alexander (alexander-1) · 2021-11-27T22:34:47.738Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ok, this is too good. I wish I understood Russian.