Friday, December 12, 2003

I am a music geek, yes. Call this an "odds & ends" post if it makes you feel better...

Sasha Frere-Jones is spot-on even when I disagree with him. Especially spot-on? An mp3 he just posted of his instrumental funk track "Landslide" (no, not that one), and his review of Sting's autobio Broken Music from the Washington Post.

Speaking of mp3s (and music geeks), Matthew's been getting hella traffic this week, after posting one of the new LCD Soundsystem single, "Yeah (Stupid Version)" - which the music geek cognoscenti have been going beserk about over here. It's good, of course. It is not, however, superior to "Losing My Edge." God bless him, Mr. Perpetua also gives us a great song sequel this week, in the form of "Ice Cream Part 2" by Raekwon featuring Method Man and Cappadonna. It's fucking great. I certainly hope this augurs well for Raekwon's forthcoming The Lex Diamond Story; he and Ghostface Killah have always been my favorite Wu-bangers. And one more from Matthew: The Onion's Least Essential Albums of 2003. Hi-fucking-larious.

Why does everyone seem to hate on Room 5? Their (UK #1) uber-smash from earlier this year, "Make Luv," is a mighty nice piece of simple, love-filled pop-house, kinda akin to Junior Senior w/o all the cheek. Featured vocalist Oliver Cheatham is the poor man's Alexander O'Neal. [It's likely to make my year-end C700 Go! comp, though not my top 50 singles.] The too-long-in-the-waiting followup, "Music & You" (and by too-long-etc., I mean that it barely limped into the UK Top 40 at #38 a couple weeks back) cleaves to a similar template, only ripping off the Chaka Khan "Fate" guitar riff which propelled Stardust to such immutable greatness, and comes across as a desexualized Alcazar to my ears. Which is, perhaps, its problem? I mean, their mighty Chic-sampling ("My Forbidden Lover," no less! Have you heard this?) "Sexual Guarantee" is a goes-down-easy (read that both ways) monster, and a solid lock for my '03 top 50, trust. Room 5 are alright, they just don't seem to try hard enough.

Why wasn't Elephant Man's "Pon De River Pon De Bank" an international smasheroo the way Sean Paul's "Get Busy" was? Well, besides the fact that Elephant Man's clearly 'ardcore dancehall to Sean Paul's Shaggy-cum-Shabba Ranks-dom. Oh, that's the answer, innit? Where "Get Busy" made me nod my head (but damn if that single doesn't have a killing burn factor), "Pon De River" makes me wanna holler, and hear another three albums' worth of his material.

If 1991 was The Year Punk Broke, obviously 2003 will go down as The Year Crunk Broke. So why all the mad love for bottom-feeders like Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz (Lil' Jon 2003 = Luther Campbell 1989) and Ying Yang Twins (the Insane Clown Posse of the genre?!), when the marvelous Field Mob get so unfairly ignored? "Sick of Being Lonely" is one of the year's premiere dirty south singles, mixing great squishy production (Jazze Pha, the red-headed stepchild of hiphop '03, take a bow), a creamily-femme-voxed chorus, and the bizarro no-teeth-thief raps of Boondox and Kalage. There's also a mix adding a fine verse from southern queen supreme Trina, who makes everything better - even records like this, which don't need the boost. Another body-rockin' dirty south record which shoulda been #1 for months? Trina's own "B R Right," featuring king Ludacris. Would someone please lock that dynamic duo in the studio and make them cut a collaborative full-length? Please?! Oh, and don't forget what might well be - aw, fuck it, it is and ya know it - the most gleefully great XXX record of the year, Luda's "P-[ussy]Poppin'" featuring Shawnna and Lil' Fate: "your lips downtown just made some familiar faces" indeed!

For a much more personal musical reminiscence, don't miss Joe's recollection of a late-night drive with The Queen Is Dead.

Yes, their cover of "You Make Me Feel Brand New" is pure excrement. But try as I might, I'm incapable of hating Simply Red's mondo AC hit "Sunrise," and in fact have a secret catch-me-in-the-right-mood love for it. And it's not even the Hall & Oates-jacking (of "I Can't Go For That"); it's the sheer sunlight of the chorus. I mean, love really is "indescribable," isn't it? But boy oh boy, Mick Hucknall's voice has not aged particularly well.

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