October 22, 2006

NOW AND THEN: Pop/Soul divas

I was thinking this weekend how much Jamelia reminds me of Jody Watley. One similarity, besides the look, is that Jamelia is really more of a pop star than an r'n'b star. In American music now, if you're a black girl you cornered into r'n'b/hip-hop/soul, no pop. It's very limiting. Jamelia dabbles in a variety of styles, just like Watley did. Many readers will be too young to remember much about Jody, but I do, especially driving around in my hand-me-down old car, listening to her tracks on cassette.

NOW: Jamelia Beware Of The Dog

THEN: Jody Watley Real Love

On this tip, I thought I'd post some fantastic 80's/90's pop-soul diva tracks. If these were released today, I bet Popjustice folks would clamor for them.

Jody Watley Real Love
Karyn White Hungah
Miki Howard Ain't Nobody Like You
Pebble Mercedes Boy a classic!
Cherrelle Everything I Miss At Home
Brownstone If You Love Me

Coming next: A review of Amy Winehouse's new CD


Paul said...

i was into karyn white and pebbles in a BIG way in the early nineties. Hungah was an amazing track from her third vastly underrated album (i also loved Weakness and Can I Stay With You)and i adored Pebbles second album with giving you the benefit on and Love Makes Things Happen - tracks that actually stand up today as top tunes :) Remember as well Sheena Easton's What Comes Naturally? Oh see what you have done - now i will have to do a post :) Thanks for the prompt!

ADD said...

LOVE "If You Love Me". It is featured on one of my favorite soundtracks, from one of my favorite movies, "Living Out Loud."

Also, I hope the Jody Watley 2 gives full credit to Depeche Mode for ripping that "Personal Jesus" riff. She has good taste....

PinkieDust said...

Not be all doom but if this song doesnt do well its over for Jamelia. She seems to be like the Rachel Stevens for 06. Some great music but it doesnt appear to stick to anything serious. Its a shame. Maybe she should return to covering Danish pop stars instead of going all 80's on us.

Beware of The Dog sounds like something circa 2001. Something Sugababes might have picked over Freak Like Me. The 80's has been drenched to death. Its now the 70s or 60's(see Emma Bunton/Scissor Sisters/Elton John/Mika/Madonna). The 80's as a 'sound' must be put to sleep for the time being. If the tragedy of the Rachel Stevens second album told us anything it was that electro 80's pop might send us pink boys in neon induced frenzies but it doesnt wash with the charts.

Beware of The Dog would have been big when its sisters in crime Sound Of the underground, no good advice, can't get you out of my head, Round Round, Freak Like me, Strict Machine, Sweet Dreams My La EX and er Jamelia's very own Superstar ruled the charts but now it sounds very dated.

countpopula said...

I like "Beware of the Dog", and I usually hate these types of songs (although Rihanna's S.O.S. gets a pass as well). And sorry, I LOVE the 80's electro sound, and don't find the resurge dated at all, at least, not in the US where it hasn't hit yet (remember, we're about 5 years behind here). More wasps trapped in synthesizers, please! (And I think what happened to Rachel Stevens is a TOTAL TRAVESTY, as that was one of the top pop albums of last year.)

As for Jody Watley, "Still a Thrill" is a personal favorite. Check the video--I'm sure it's on Youtube--one of the best dance vids of the 80's, no doubt.

xolondon said...

Just because the British public didn't GET Rachel, doesn't have to mean it's over for Jamelia. Not sure what she should do to get attention though.

I don't think Dog sounds terribly 80s though and I think it could have TRL potential in America.