Monday, December 05, 2005

Music: Last five iTunes downloads

A quick stroll through the latest additions to my playlist …

5 Black Mercedes • One Block Radius One Block Radius unabashedly taps the Outkast "Hey Ya" vibe, but it's too catchy to call it a rip-off. We'll call it an homage instead.

4 Cool • Gwen Stefani Had this come on the radio in 1986, no one would have batted an eye, so well does the new queen of pop channel that perfect '80s pop sound. Play it between "Voices Carry" and "Always Something There to Remind Me" and tell me it isn't true. A brilliant single in the spirit of No Doubt's wonderful cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life."

3 Crazy (James Michael Mix) • Alanis Morissette A natural choice for Alanis, given its wordiness. The electronic mix is nice, if perhaps a little too faithful to the original. This single, an offering from her new hits disc, might have benefited from a little more space between it and Seal's 1991 original. It's mildly interesting and not surprising that radio has completely ignored it thus far.

2 King of Pain • Alanis Morissette From her MTV Unplugged album, this Police cover is again a natural, wordy choice for the Queen of Pain. Her delicate delivery of that deeply hooky line, "I have stood here before inside the pouring rain …" is so good it hurts.

1 Keeping the Faith (Dance Remix) • Billy Joel In this age of remixes that bear little if any resemblance to the original song, it's easy to forget how much fun they used to be. From his new "My Lives" collection, this treatment of one of the many singles from his 1983 "An Innocent Man" album is a pleasant reminder. This twist on a great pop song makes you a believer by goosing the groove just a bit and adding some new percussive flourishes and choir-like background vocals.

6 comments:

Zack said...

Jebb!!! What's happening?
I have to disagree on your opinion of "Cool" - if I hear that darn song on my XM radio one of time I might have to change it to FM. And we don't want that .... Tic Tac raving about the liquor vote -please stop :-) What about Fall Out Boy - download their latest tunes for a great mix of music.

Anonymous said...

You are right that "Black Mercedes" is a homage but not to Outkast. Listen to the 1986 hit, "The Rain" by Oran Juice Jones and you'll see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

The Rain? Ah, who can forget "Did you miss me? You did? I missed you too, I missed you so much I followed you today" and "My first impulse was to run up on you and do a Rambo, whip out the jammy and flat blast both of you, but I ain’t wanna mess up this thirty-seven hundred dollar lynx coat.
So instead… I chilled (yeah)" and "You without me is like cornflake without the milk. This is my world and you're just a squirrel trying' to get a nut"

Jebb said...

OK, sounds like I need to check out "The Rain." I know my '80s music, but I don't remember that one. I probably never would have heard "Black Mercedes" if it hadn't been a free download on iTunes one week. That's one of my favorite things about iTunes -- free music!

Dee H. said...

Jebb, I have to disagree with you on Alanis's "Crazy". Is 15 years not long enough between versions? (That was the year we graduated, after all.) There are songs out that have been covered after only 5 years or so. I loved it when Seal first released and I think Alanis's rendition is decidely her own.

Jebb said...

Ok, maybe I was a little too harsh on Alanis' "Crazy." Her version works, but I can't help feeling it needed something a little more to distinguish it from Seal's. And what about Seal ... isn't it a shame that radio won't sustain an excellent artist like that?