Friday, October 26, 2007

"Love is war, I'm your soldier..."

When I first heard J. Holiday's "Bed," I was not impressed. I was driving into the city and Z100 had pegged it as the song for the fall/winter. It annoyed me lyrically as I found it to be a bit plain. The chorus, to me, was the worst part because it overused the repetition of its words.

However, the -ay chant that Rihanna makes use of is also present in this song, and it's effectively haunting. It imprinted itself in such a way, that while I hated the song, it stayed and grew to sound better than upon the initial listen.

Will it actually be *the* song for the fall/winter? I'm not sure. It's definitely not mine, but it's still nice and has a sense of ease to it that I think people will relate to. For the mainstream crowd that listens to Z100? Well, they might find that this song will stick around for just as long as they allow it to.

J. Holiday - Bed from Back of My Lac

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"I just can't refuse it. Like the way you do this..."

It took me a long time to accept Rihanna as a musical artist. Pon de Replay? Yeah, I severely loathed it. Her followup to that, Murderer, was not much better in my eyes.

Then Umbrella came along, and that evened things out for me. Even the Chris Brown remix of that song is excellent. Her latest song is pretty fun too, particularly because it samples Michael Jackson. That's just ballsy. For however much chaos he's created with his personal life, his music is still classic, and you don't see many people attempting to pave their way with his established body of work. So I give Rihanna props for being bold in that respect. The sampled chant really supports her song quite well, and is my favorite part.

Rihanna - Don't Stop the Music from Good Girl Gone Bad

Monday, October 22, 2007

"She be walkin' round actin' all stank. And now she at the party lookin at me..."

Here's the scene. A week or two ago when I was at home taking care of my dad after his shoulder surgery, one of my responsibilities became dropping off and picking up my mom from her workplace - an elementary school in Newark. In the afternoons, the kids would hang around outside, waiting for their families. The first day, I noticed that ours was the only car not blasting rap or hip hop. The second day, I rolled in with some Kanye, and when my mom got to the car and opened the door, the kids turned their heads our way appreciatively. I told my mom I was going to up her music cred by the time the week was out. One song that I heard everyday that it seemed everyone happened to be listening to was Swizz Beats' Money in the Bank.

And you know what? It is maddeningly addictive. I kind of wish I was Harlem shuffling to the chorus right now. Except, I never do that in public.

Swizz Beats - Money in the Bank from One Man Band Man

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"A little sweat ain't never hurt nobody..."

I have been on a bit of a hip-hop kick lately. So in the upcoming posts, you may hear from the likes of J. Holiday and Swizz Beats, amongst others. Just mentioning.

For now, here's Beyonce, because her "Get Me Bodied" song was stuck in my head after I saw everyone at Vlada simultaneously bust out dancing after my roommate Rebecca's cabaret show not too long ago. In their praise, there was not a poor dancer in the lot of them. I was signing some drink receipts so I could leave, but in that one moment, I had never felt a stronger urge to dance.

I think this song works so well because Beyonce never fights her inclination to be overindulgent with her voice. Her songs have a bit of excess in the rises and ways that she flaunts her ability. However, in this particular song, the beat and speed is overwhelming, so when she does bring her voice up and puts it to work in the "Baby, all I want is to let it go" segment, it's a welcome contrast to the rest of the number. It's an exercise in delayed gratification of sorts and it works in her favor.

Beyonce - Get Me Bodied from B'day

Also, seriously, where did this come from?

It further cements the idea that Pink is an excellent singer and entirely underrated. I think she's more talented than Britney Spears and Beyonce anyway.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"We've been lying to eachother. Hey, let's just call this what it is: oil and water..."

Good God I love Brandon Boyd.

One specific reason why is that I quite enjoy is his penchant for songwriting a little left of center. He's not the greatest lyricist ever (Example: Love Hurts - "love hurts, but sometimes it's a good hurt.") But instead of saying, "there is no umbrella that would shelter this weather, " he uses the word "parasol." Just little things like that.

That and you know, Morning View is one of the most perfect albums ever.

Incubus - Oil and Water from Light Grenades

Incubus - Wish You Were Here

I guess I've only ever seen the unreleased version. How odd.

Monday, October 8, 2007

"I feel your eyes burning holes straight through my heart. It's out of love..."

To those who read this, sorry for being so absent lately. I returned home for a brief period to take care of my dad, who had shoulder surgery. Anyway, I'm back, and with more really random music that I happen to be listening to at the moment when I choose to update this blog.

Today, I had Antony and the Johnsons stuck in my head. I was listening to it on the way to work. When I had first heard "You Are My Sister" back in the day, it took me a while to get used to his voice, but having done so, I always find myself lured in by the warble. To those who are not familiar, it truly is a quality that proves itself difficult to conquer, but is worth extra listens. Antony and the Johnsons' music has also garnered the attention and contributions of some great performers like Lou Reed, Boy George, Rufus Wainwright, etc and, if memory serves, was even progressively used in the film adaptation of V for Vendetta.

I've read a lot of reviews of live performances, and talked to a few people who've witnessed the act firsthand, so apparently Antony's live persona is mesmerizing.

Antony and the Johnsons - Fistful of Love from I Am a Bird Now

Antony and the Johnsons - You are My Sister (Live)