England’s star striker and late in life hair-growing expert Wayne Rooney took the pitch for the first time in the Euro 2012 tournament today (and scored a goal to boot), but before he did he tweeted out his pre-match playlist. It wasn’t exactly a classic pump-up mix.
1. “Real Gone Kid” — Deacon Blue
This song is about as ’80s pop/rock as it gets. And truthfully it’s not a terrible way to start a pump up mix, if that’s what you’re into. It’s a synthy, moderate tempo song, that builds but never explodes. But that’s okay, it’s the first track. you want to ease into your music-induced adrenaline rush. Don’t want to peak too early.
2. “Riot Van” — Arctic Monkeys
Huh. Well this is a weird choice. The Arctic Monkeys definitely have a few songs that would work on a punp-up mix (“I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” comes to mind), but this one? Sitting at my computer, I could literally feel myself mellowing out. My head began to fall back as I zoned out. Kevin Lincoln had to hit me in the face.
3. “Maybe Tomorrow” — Stereophonics
This is even mellower than “Riot Van.” What’s happening here? Does Wayne Rooney nap right before the game? Is that what we’re supposed to take away from this? Is that how he got that totally natural, luscious hair to start growing after years of baldness? Do the follicles respond well to eyes-closed grooving? They must right.
4. “It’s My Life” — Bon Jovi
I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Bon Jovi song, but here goes: THAT’S MORE LIKE IT! Now this is a terrible song. It literally has the lyric: “like Frankie said, ‘I did it my way!’” That’s atrocious. But at least it resembles a classic “pump-up” song. Screaming sing-a-long chorus? Check. Up-tempo? Check. Saving Wayne Rooney’s mix from totally putting you to sleep? Check.
6. “Father And Son” — Cat Stevens
Sorry, I can’t even write this section because I’m so sad. BRB calling my dad. (And not because I want to tell him how pumped up I am.)
7. “Delicate” — Damien Rice
This is the musical equivalent of a whisper. And not a scary, “I see dead people” whisper, but a “I’ve loved you for so long and I need you to know it” sweet nothing of a whisper.
8. “Up” — James Morrison & Jessie J
Fake Jim Morrison and Adele’s classmate sing a sad song trying to convince their lover to turn their lives around. At least it has the idea of “turning things around” which can pretty easily be applied to sports. Personally I prefer my inspiring songs to not sound like howling animals over soft-rock. But you know that’s me.
9. “Tears in Heaven” — Eric Clapton
Are you fucking kidding me, Wayne? This has to be a joke. Where are the cameras? Am I on some terrible British version of Punk’d (that actually probably came out before our terrible version of Punk’d)?
10. “Streets Of Philadelphia” — Bruce Springsteen
WHAT?!? WAYNE, THIS SONG IS ABOUT AIDS. HOW DOES IT INSPIRE YOU TO PLAY BETTER FOOTBALL?!
11. “Doesn’t Really Matter” — The Hummingbirds
This is a pretty enjoyable song, but is it the last thing you want to hear if you’re about to go play an International sporting event? I mean, I know it is if you’re Wayne Rooney, but what if you’re just a regular, sane person?
What does Wayne Rooney think of my criticism?
My working theory:
Wayne Rooney is known for being a hothead and a thug on the field. In fact he missed the first two games of the Euro for a red card he received for excessive violence. So, while the rest of us would need to pump ourselves up to be ready for a game, Wayne actually needs to pump himself down. If Wayne Rooney listened to, say, “Eye Of The Tiger” or DMX’s “Party Up” he’d be liable to murder someone on the pitch. So unless you’re a person who’s susceptible to rage blackouts, this playlist would be better used putting you to sleep than preparing you for athletic battle.