First, the REAL Sasha Fierce:
What a week! This captures it all and made me cry all over again!
I am obsessed all over again with Jennifer Hudson's warm'n'lovely single, If This Isn't Love. [Hear it now - not sure what the male voice is on the rip] The long bridge, from about 2:15 to 2:45, is one of the most uplifting pieces of music I've heard in ages. There are remixes floating around the Internets.
I've come to the conclusion that Vincent Frank - Frankmusik - is the male equivalent of Imgoen Heap. He streamed the title track to his debut album, Complete Me, and it's another wonder. This one has a more serious elegance to it (play it now). The details at the edges of the song, the piano and the pretty vocal scale in the final moment (which reminds me of Tori Amos's Cooling) suggest that he's far deeper than a club boy. Like Imogen, this is a DIY guy and we're watching his imperial moment. One brilliant song after another. I cannot wait for the album.
U2's new song. Garage band music. Why do they always insist of proving something with their music - that they are edgy and youthful. They are not edgy and youthful They are a mega conglomerate world power. What I want from U2 is grandeur, not rat-a-tat-tat.
Two of my friends went to the RIAA party for the Inauguration. Cher, my spiritual mother, was there and I was not! Anyway, my friend reported one droll scene at the party. RIAA staffer: "You look like Josh Groban." Shaggy-headed man: "I AM Josh Groban." Miaow. Rihanna only performed 3 songs before technical problems ended her set. Also heard that J-Lo and her horrible troll stayed at the Helix, which is a fun hotel, but not even close to grand.
The piece that YoYo Ma et al played the Inauguration was lovely. And it was mimed!
Sufjan Stevens released a whack new song - or maybe it's like 5 songs in 1 - this week called You Are The Blood. 10 minutes! It's a combination of classic Sufjan mixed with a new electronic blippiness. It's very martial at moment. When It comes to esoteric pop, I have tried to like the new Antony And The Johnsons material with no luck - it's just too somnabulant [how many scrabble points?] Sufjan is more my speed, even when he's this arcane.
For those who like indie folk pop, do do DO play Maria Taylor's Time Lapse Lifeline. Superb new single - to listen to it at her myspace.
Just Jack is back! His new song is a string-laden, almost choral epic called Embers. Wow! Thanks to Discopop Directory for the news. I LOVED Jack's last CD, but never did find out the words to Disco Friends. Anybody know them? The hook on the new song is fantastic and timely: "We are all embers of the same fire."
Oldies of the Week: Haunt Me by Sade. For some reason I've never hear Sade's third album, Stronger Than Pride. This song is a smooth gem with a pretty, almost flamenco guitar. It sounds very Brazilian, but not bossa nova. Also played Eve Gallagher's slinky 1991-ish song Love Come Down a lot.
Speaking of Eve Gallagher, she has a great line: "Some damn fool is trying to read me." A psycho on PopJustice - one of the webbies who wants to provoke and fight - likened me to a racist this week for calling Katy Perry a "skank." This apparently means all sorts of horrible. To me it means a sleaze. I find her completely unoriginal, banal and worse, disingenuous. I don't see my comment as hypocritical at all - I think she's a flamethrower.
What is the deal with Americans not being able to buy the CD format of Saint Etienne's Method Of Modern Love? Did anyone successfully get it in the US? Word is that if you put it in your shopping cart and then put in a US address, it will get knocked out of the cart. The band is promising an international version soon. Wot? An industry is tanking and simultaneously saying, "Oh, you want this product? Sorry, no."
For those interested in the music business, check out this Billboard interview with Don Ienner. He talks about the CD being a blessing and a curse: a blessing as new technology (and a way to get people to repurchase their collections) and a curse in the way it ruined the album format. The album-as-filler perception grew when artists had only 5 good songs on a 16 song album. And we all know what happened at that point...
Finally, in a shocking "Lazarus" moment, Tremble Clef, a great pop blog, reappeared in December for one post. Brittle Lemon, the writer, listed his top 60 songs for 2008. Definitely worth your time, though I'll believe this blog is back when it IS back.
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