Why Wasn't This a Huge Hit?: Poe's 'Haunted'

Poe_lI don’t post blog items on Easter — hey, it’s my version of Linda Evangelista’s quote about not getting out of bed for less than $10,000 a day! — which is why yesterday came and went with no PopWatch birthday shout-out to uni-monikered singer/songwriter Poe.

To make up for this oversight, today, I’m posting an item about my very favorite Poe track, 2000′s "Haunted," a song I have been known to play 15 or 20 times in a row just to bask in all its moody glory. I’ll admit, I don’t really know what the heck Poe’s singing about here ("Time to gather up the splinters/Build a casket for my tears"… yikes!), but I do know this much: In a year where the top 5 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 year-end airplay chart included Faith Hill’s "Breathe," Santana’s "Smooth," and Creed’s "Higher," America really should have been humming along to Poe and her litany of "ba-da-ba-bas." Listen to the song yourself (it’s embedded after the jump) and then tell me (if you can): Why wasn’t this a huge hit?

addCredit(“Poe: Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)


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  • Court

    Yay Poe!!! That entire album is like a weird, melancholy, deeply disturbing dream you don’t want to wake up from. It’s GORGEOUS, and I love every song. It’s even more fun if you read her brother Mark Z. Danielewski’s ‘House of Leaves’ while you’re listening to it. Both brilliant.

  • ben

    THANK YOU Michael for drawing more attention to this album. I listened to it for a year straight almost every day. It’s one of those albums I buy people as a gift because I think they need to hear it. We’re all waiting for her next one. Tick tock tick tock…. Saw Poe live in concert once too – she swam through the audience in NYC. There’s a whole community of POE addicts called “Angry Psychos” if you want to join something that scary sounding…. :) BEN

  • jen

    My favorite off that album is “control” love it, love Poe!

  • jen

    My favorite off that album is “control”- love it, love Poe!

  • Marci

    I love Poe and I absolutely adore that album. Haunted is such a wonderful song and it means so much to me (as does the whole album).

  • Stephanie T.

    Probably because at that time the whole feminist folk alt movement was pretty much reaching its apex with Fiona Apple. Not to mention her brother Daniel, a writer whom she brought along with her during her 2001 tour with Depeche Mode was a bit too intelligent for most people.

  • Stephanie T.

    Btw: I was referring to Poe.

  • laura

    Thanks so much for writing about Poe and “Haunted” because maybe more people will now search out and buy this album, beyond her die-hard followers. All of her work is incredible, and she is sadly underrated in her field. I have also listened to “Haunted” and “Control” on repeat! That album in particular is a work of art.

  • Snarf

    I like her work with Conjure One. Talk about haunting/haunted.

  • Drew

    Ew. To me this sounds like Poe is half-asleep, congested, singing over some slowed down carousel bells, with angsty guitars, and the the most emo lyrics ever written. Thank GOODNESS this was not a hit.

  • Lynny

    Why wasn’t this a hit? Cause it’s boring.

    • Stan Lee

      Why are you here?

  • Vicky

    Love this song! I bought this album back in high school and I still break it out every now and then. But I think Haunted is just a beautiful song and Poe is really talented. There’s only one thing that might throw people off. At the beginning and ending of some of her songs, she placed old recordings of her father talking. Whenever I hear his voice, it kind of creeps me out.

  • Courtney

    You are so right. I have been in love with that album and Poe for a very long time. Many of the songs off that album are still in heavy rotation on my iPod. It’s true that some of her songs don’t make the most sense, but I love everything about them anyway. Finally, a shout out I can get behind!

  • Bruce in NC

    This was a good album (could have done without the answering machine recordings though) but the real winner was the seriously rocking Not A Virgin. That song was the ‘hidden track’ on a few of our wedding CDs back in 2002.
    We made sure my grandmother did not get that version.

  • dala

    I HAVE THIS SONG ON MY PLAYLIST TOO!!! i heard this way beack in like 1999 or 2000 from a mix cd and i was taken back by how spooky this song is !! i love it!!

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