Friday, February 29, 2008

Mariah's "Touch My Body" - the video

I can't get this outta my head, and I don't wanna. Written by The-Dream (who's better with other artists than himself), produced by "Tricky" Stewart (MJB's "Just Fine," for starters), and delivered perfectly by MC. This really gets better with each listen. As for the video: her most humourous clip since "Heartbreaker."

OMG Gayest Post Here EVAH!!!

Sex and the City: the Movie. The trailer! At LAST! 5/30/08, kids.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bangles - "Hazy Shade of Winter" (Less Than Zero Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Def Jam 1987)

Not only is this the hardest-rocking item in the Bangles' catalog, it's also easily their best single. It made it to #2 on the Hot 100, as did "Manic Monday" (which got stopped by its songwriter, Prince, and his "Kiss"). Compare that pair to their two #1s - the dated-upon-recording "Walk Like An Egyptian" and the fairly execrable "Eternal Flame" - and weep a little. But as for "Hazy Shade": those harmonies! Those hot licks!* (The Bangles were, frankly, underrated as musicians.) And the fact that they took a Simon & Garfunkel song from the land of pussydom and made it rawk, putting their stamp on it and making it entirely their own (a la Aretha's "Respect").

*Soto informs me the lead is actually played by George Drakoulias, who went on to produce the Black Crowes, among others.

Mariah Carey - "Touch My Body" (E=MC2, Island Def Jam 2008)

("Video" is the song cut to the "Don't Forget About Us" clip.)

Wanna know why Mariah can pull off this kind of come-on and Janet can't?
1. Mariah keeps things light'n'girly, as Rich has pointed out so well. They carnival-ride keyboards, her insistence on cooing her way through half of the damn song - she's like Hello Kitty as an American singer!
2. Mariah doesn't sing about S&M. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it's not exactly the formula for monster pop success.
3. Mariah's hotter, period. Janet's starting to look ever-so-slightly like her brother (check out the nose job), and let's face it: the Jacksons aren't known for aging well. Whereas Mariah, well, is facing down her 40s (I believe she's about 37) with aplomb.
4. And don't forget about this: Mariah just gets better songs than Janet does. Compare the singles from Damita Jo (which is actually worse than you think) to those from The Emancipation of Mimi (which may actually be better than you think, especially once "Don't Forget About Us" got tacked on). There's really no comparison.

"Touch My Body" isn't great Mariah, but it's definitely good Mariah, and I like it a lot. Like a virus in your hard drive, it insinuates itself in your brain (Mariah does love her hooks, and for good reason) and doesn't leave. Which is fine with me. Welcome back, Mimi, it's good to see you again.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mary Jane Girls - "In My House" (12" Version) (original version on Only Four You, Motown 1985)

Damn, the guitar at the end of this (I assume played by Rick James) is as jingle-jangly as Peter Buck on his trusty Rickenbacher, especially considering this was 1985. I mean, damn!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tim McGraw - "Suspicions" (Let It Go, Curb 2007*)

Not only is "Suspicions" the late Eddie Rabbitt's finest single, it's now one of McGraw's best as well. Tim's cover of this sultry '79 country-soul nugget is super-fine - Rabbitt's range is very well-suited for Tim (especially on the higher end), and the sweet southern gumbo of "Suspicions" fits Tim's band, the Dancehall Doctors, to the proverbial "T." This is a distinctive song given a distinctive re-rub, a sensational vocal from McGraw, and an about-damned-time revival for one of the tightest, most unfairly unsung songs of the cusp-of-the-'80s. Now that it's a single, call it the early frontrunner for single of the year (be nice if the CMA remembers it come fall) and wonder to yourself how sweet it'd be if Tim did an entire album of Rabbitt songs.

*The album's 2007, but the single is 2008.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More reviews

Freemasons and Jermaine Dupri, both of which were in my 2007 top 10. Coming soon: more takes on dance comps with bikini-topped girls on their covers. Really.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Back on the block

I'm finally writing somewhere other than here again, and it's quite a thrill: I'm now freelancing for Allmusic, the best music resource on the web, hands down. I'll keep up with links to my reviews and bios on the sidebar, but here are the first three:
Anne Murray's Duets: Friends & Legends
Kenny Rogers's A Love Song Collection
Total Dance 2008

Best college basketball photo of the 2007-08 season, so far.

Final: #10 Butler 71, Valparaiso 68. It doesn't get better than Hoosier hoops, baby. (For those keeping score at home, even if you're alone: with the additions of Notre Dame and my beloved Purdue this week, there are 4 Indiana teams ranked in the AP top 25. [Indiana is the fourth.] Thank you very much.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Snoop Dogg - "Sensual Seduction" (Ego Trippin', Geffen 2008)

I know I posted it before (though the YouTube link went dead), but I'm posting it again because it still RULES - it's easily still the best single of the past 4 months or so. I'm thrilled it's becoming a smash (top 10 R&B, and closing in at pop), because it's kind of out there - not just for Snoop, but period. (Oh and the video is one of the best things EVAH.)

Monday, February 04, 2008

"I drink your milkshake!"

It was inevitable.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Senator Clinton's remark that it took a Clinton to clean up the mess(es) left by the first President Bush, and it might take a Clinton to clean things up again, was the highlight of last night's historic debate for me. The fact that a presidential primary debate between the last two candidates standing was between an African-American and a woman makes my heart swell (don't need to hear your snark on this one - I'm a proud idealist). For many reason I'm not going to go into - this isn't a political blog at heart, though politics is something I love - I'm endorsing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

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