(7) Bob Mould, "I Can't Fight It"
Intensity of emotion has always been Bob Mould's thing. Through the Husker Du years, it was generally some kind of aggressive emotion (notable exception: "Hardly Getting Over It"); after the demise of the Huskers, Mould branched out into being intense in other shades of emotion. Thus: "Can't Fight It," an acoustic piece describing the end of a relationship with such overwhelming despair that you wonder if there was a bottle of hemlock in the studio. Mould's vocal melodies tend towards the mournful anyway; on his more aggressive songs, the distortion and drum parts hide this. Not the case here, with the spare arrangement offering exactly zero sonic fig leaves to hide the emotion behind. —Keith Pille
(10) Peter Murphy, "I'll Fall With Your Knife"
An intriguing matchup here with two solo artists better known for their work with their old bands, in Peter Murphy's case the legendary Bauhaus, which I've never really liked all that much aside from a couple songs. Just as with Mould, Murphy's solo work is where he steps out from behind the instrumentation and (some of) the makeup and is much more baldly emotive. Well, not super baldly: the song’s a little obscure, this being a Peter Murphy joint, and it’s not probably one of the more obvious songs in the bracket to the casual listener. The song proffers a strange sentiment (which might as well be a Peter Murphy song title): the song’s spoken to a lover, perhaps (the music leads us there), or perhaps simply a friend or a fan or a prophet (there are definitely religious overtones echoing through his work, even in the more obviously relationshippy songs like this one)? In the end, this is a song of consolation, though the consolation offered is that of the title: I’ll be with you, apparently, until you kill me. This is commitment.