My ranking of Stranger in the Alps
Phoebe Bridgers is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer from Los Angeles, California. She released her debut album Stranger in the Alps on September 22, 2017. I am going to be ranking the 11 songs on this incredible album.
“Smoke Signals (Reprise)” – 11
This 33-second piece of music is the last song on the album and it is a continuation of the first song on Stranger in the Alps. Bridgers humming and playing guitar to the melody of the opening track makes for a great ending to the album, and I might have ranked it higher if it was longer.
“Would You Rather” – 10
Featuring Connor Oberst, a vocalist for an indie rock band Bright Eyes, this duet is about Bridgers’ brother and their relationship as kids. It’s a melancholic song, but I really enjoy the contrast in vocals between the two singers.
Favorite Lyric: “Next time I see you you’ll show me/a hundred different ways to say the same thing.”
“Funeral” – 9
The third song on the album, “Funeral” is about a close friend of Bridgers’ who died from an overdose. The guitar in this song is incredibly sad and gives me this feeling of dread and comfort at the same time. I can tell Bridgers lays her heart out in this song.
Favorite Lyric: “Wishing I was someone else, feeling sorry for myself/When I remembered someone’s kid is dead.”
“You Missed My Heart” – 8
“You Missed My Heart” is a song by singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek. It is a six minute long murder ballad from the perspective of the dead killer. It’s the final real track of the album, and she covered it because of how much she enjoyed this song.
Favorite Lyric: “The most poetic dream/Came flowing like the sea/Laying there my life blood draining out of me.”
“Killer” – 7
This song gives me a feeling that I can’t explain. It’s such a sad song, but the lyrics make me feel so vulnerable and calm at the same time with their relatability. It reminds me of falling in love with someone and the person knows deep down that it’s hopeless but refuses to be with anybody else. The piano and the background vocals for the chorus are what make this song really get to me.
Favorite Lyric: When a machine keeps me alive/And I’m losing all my hair/I hope you kiss my rotten head/And pull the plug.”
“Demi Moore” – 6
“Demi Moore” has an eerie melody and raw lyrics to back it up. To me, this is one of the songs that I play when I just want to close my eyes and think. It really reminds me of how much we care about how society perceives us and how much we crave validation from it. Bridgers’ lyrics in this song are breathtaking.
Favorite Lyric: “Laughed until I couldn’t breathe/Now I’m too tired to go to sleep.”
“Chelsea” – 5
The eighth song on the track, “Chelsea” is about the death of Nancy Spungen, who was claimed to be killed by Sid Vicious, the bassist of the band Sex Pistols. The song sounds delicate and is probably one of her most underrated songs in my opinion. It’s a sad song to those who know the past of the two people it is about.
Favorite Lyric: “Yes, I’ve fallen/right into the love I’ve found/Long before I reach one-hundred/i’ll have fallen to the ground.”
“Motion Sickness” – 4
Probably the most popular song on Stranger in the Alps, “Motion Sickness” was written about Bridgers’ ex-boyfriend, who has been accused of abuse by Bridgers and others. It is the most upbeat sounding song on the album and includes well-deserved disses towards her ex. The song always makes me feel better and reminds me of how I can get over the things I’m going through.
Favorite Lyric: “I hate you for what you did, and I miss you like a little kid.”
“Scott Street” – 3
“Scott Street” is pretty much about being extremely lonely and the lyrics talk about a past relationship and how it affected them afterward. I love how the instruments in this song come in at just the right time, with drums coming in just when Bridgers mentions talking to her ex and how he played the drums. The ending words, “Anyway, don’t be a stranger,” hits me like a ton of bricks because after relationships there’s always the awkward phase where the two are friends but not at the same time. The small talk gets less and less, and soon enough it’s like the relationship never happened.
Favorite Lyric: “Do you feel ashamed/When you hear my name?”
“Georgia” – 2
“Georgia” is about being in a relationship with the wrong person. The keyboard on this song makes me feel like I’m in a movie. The buildup near the end feels powerful, and the backup vocals add to this song. Her live performance of this song is my favorite live performance out of any other artist.
Favorite Lyric: “If I fix you/Will you kill me?”
“Smoke Signals” – 1
“Smoke Signals” is probably my favorite Phoebe Bridgers song of all time. I love all of the musical and lyrical references throughout the song, such as the death of Bowie and Lemmy. The bass notes hit me with a wave of nostalgia and the lyrics add to the vibe of this song. For me, I could listen to this song regardless of the mood I’m in.
Favorite Lyric: “I wanna live in the Holiday Inn where somebody else makes the bed.”