Saturday, August 22, 2009

Number 3: THE LAST DAY ON EARTH Kate Miller-Heidke

Kate has a nice voice, she reminds me a bit of Angie Hart from Frente. She almost disappears into kooky girl land, but stays on the right side of 'wierdo'. The form of the song is familiar verse-chorus stuff. The song seems to be a word painting of a scene from a tragic alien invasion movie. The two lovers hold each other tight while the alien death rays blow up the world around them. If it were Star Trek, of course they'd be beamed up in the nick of time. Then we find out in the bridge section that it was all a dream and really it's a girl in the suburbs missing some guy. However, the line "I ache, I ache, I ache inside" really works for me. Its direct simplicity cuts through all the metaphorical haze of the verses and choruses, and is genuinely touching. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the rest of the song is setting you up to feel that one line. The music is nice, but unremarkable.

Number 2: I GOTTA FEELING The Black Eyed Peas

This track is no verse-chorus song, yet if you look at the form it is. Curious ain't it? It's definitely ABABCBA, but instead of the B section being the chorus, they've made the A section the chorus, and instead of closing with B, they repeat A again. Simple idea. Damn I wish I'd thought of it. Never mind, it's abstract enough to re-use. Full marks to the Black Eyed Peas for producing a track that's fun and fresh.

Number 1: David Guetta's "Sexy Bitch"

We've being hearing tracks like this since the 90s in clubs. There's nothing here that's really fresh musically, but it'll be fun to dance to.

In the verse, the protagonist tells how he wants to meet this particular hot chick. He's trying hard to control himself, to speak to her without being 'disrespectful' but, he gives up and launches into the chorus of 'Dam you'se a sexy bitch'. This works well, because any bloke with half a brain knows that the type of being respectable he's referring to will never get you anywhere, so we're all relieved when he finds words that are to the point. I've known numerous women who've ended up with guys who told them exactly this sort of thing while out on the town.

It'll be forgotten in 6 months time.

My take on the critics: Brian Wilson's SMiLE

I've been toying with the buying SMiLE for a has a 97% on Metacritic and is one of the highest rated albums of the decade. It's interesting to compare the critic's views to the users' views. The users give SMiLE 79%. So who is right? The users or the critics? Is the best work one that polarises people, or one that everyone likes? A business oriented person would surely say that the only thing that matters is who is actually buying. On that ground, SMiLE is certainly not the greatest album of the decade. It certainly did sell, but was easily outsold by many other records.

I found SMiLE a refreshing change from my usual listening. The attention to detail in the harmonies is amazing, as it always was with the Beach Boys. The opening track has more in common with Thomas Tallis or John Taverner than 21st Century pop music. However, nothing has really stuck after one listen. There are no words or melodies I want to repeat again and again, except 'good vibrations', but that was a hit for the Beach Boys already. As a whole, I'd say that there are too many short sections of music, ideas are not sustained and developed for long enough for me to get comfortable. It's as if Mr Wilson is trying to cram too many ideas into too few minutes. Something I've been guilty of in the past, but not something I'd have expected from him, however, many of those sections are awesome.

I'm impressed with Mr Wilson's musical skills, but what's missing from these songs are compelling characters, stories and catchy lyrics. In one of the interviews I read, he said that he and the lyricist worked at this material in 2-bar sections. Perhaps that explains this disjointedness. In all, I'd probably with the user average on this - 80%, not 97%.