Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Alfred and I email each other throughout most every weekday, and lately we've started playing "Taking Sides," a rockcrit parlour game popular over on ILM (simple version: pick one and defend your choice). Today I posited a TS: Usher vs Alicia Keys. He said...

-----Original Message-----
From: Alfred Soto
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 2:51 PM
To: Thomas A. Inskeep
Subject: You know that I'm proud and I can't get the words out

I don't care for either Usher or Alicia Keys, to be honest. The early singles were ok, and I got to like "Yeah!" after the first few hundred listens. "Confessions" always seemed like R. Kelly's "Ignition" without the sensual frisson. Alicia tries too hard to evoke her predecessors -- meaning, she evokes them without doing anything interesting with the influences. She's like a female Lenny Kravitz, who fetishizes mid '70s sensitive R&B balladry like Lenny did for cock-rock (how's THAT for an original analogy? Post it on Manchester, bitch). I do enjoy "You Don't Know My Name."

And by the way, Mr. Soto is wrong wrong wrong.

About both, or?

The original of "Karma" tops most of Usher's recent singles, IMHO, but I'm not a big fan of her other stuff (that I've heard) or "Karmastition", which gets played on the radio up here all the time.

In the latter's case, I'd just prefer to listen to both halves of the source material subsequently, you know?
the reggae remix of "YDKMN" (it's on Reggae Gold 2004) kills the original, which I also like.
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