My Top 1000 Songs #260: I Got You

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Sometimes a pop song is just a pop song. I can't say that New Zealand band Split Enz's 1980 single "I Got You" resonates with me on some deep emotional level, but damn, that hook! The song does manage a brilliant merger between synth-oriented new wave and more traditional guitar-based power pop, which gives it a distinctly early 80s vibe but doesn't feel dated. 

The verse kicks off with a dark, minor-key two-chord guitar riff and a spooky keyboard line, but for the chorus shifts into sprightly, major-key sunshine. Maybe it's that feeling of release, of a slow dark build pivoting into joyous catharsis, that gives the song its staying power. "I don't know why sometimes I get frightened," as the band proclaim upon diving into the chorus, is one of those lines that just magically appears in my head at unexpected times. Pure earworm delight.

Alternative video:

Live on Fridays (hey, remember Fridays? Hit-and-miss sketch comedy, but some great musical guests!):
Neil Finn, live in 2014: