In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: Our favorite songs under two minutes long.
The Smiths, ”Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” (1984)
I like short songs. They get in, get out, and get the point across. Short songs are especially good for acts prone to mindless pontification and noodling. Sure, there’s probably something to be said for The Grateful Dead’s epic jams, but I’d generally rather have “Touch Of Grey” any day. And while I like Morrissey, I’d rather not hear him wax rhapsodic about rabbits or the queen or whatever for more than a tight four minutes.
I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so partial to The Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.” A quick 1:54, the track finds Morrissey and the gang getting right to their moping peak. There’s no ramp up, no ramp down—just two minutes of pure depression, simple and easy. Plus, because it’s such a compact set of musings on the cruelty of life, it even rewards replays. I had a friend in college who always, no matter what, played “Please Please Please” twice back to back because he said once was never enough. Feel like having a cry but don’t want to get up to change the record? Throw this bad boy on repeat and get to weeping. Wrapped in Morrissey’s baritone croon, you’ll explore whole new levels of depression by letting this song just wash over you like a lukewarm and slightly damp blanket. Like so much of The Smiths’ music, “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” is the perfect soundtrack for that slow, slippery slide into sadness.