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Song Stories

“You Are a Tourist”

Death Cab For Cutie | 2011

The 2011 album Codes and Keys found Death Cab For Cutie experimenting with layered arrangements and the addition of electronic sounds to their guitar-based indie pop. But when singer Ben Gibbard wrote the single "You Are a Tourist," he wasn't thinking about texture; in fact, he wasn't quite sure what the song was about. “That song is not meant to be a larger statement than it is," he said. "To me, it's just a series of affirmations and positive thoughts. It's somewhat telling that it's a single voice in the bridge underneath, a low register vocal that's almost whispering at you, after you've been shouted at."

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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