Thursday, 21 August 2008

Beating Dead Horse

I know I am boarder line obsessed with trying to remind myself that Madonna is an power house musical talent. 'Hard Candy' disappointed me on so many levels that I cannot even think about it without getting mad. I may even have to lover my 'B-' grade to a 'C'. Even 'Give it 2 Me' is starting to get boring.

What is getting to me is I an usually find a few tracks to grab on to, but aside from 'Incredible' there is nothing....nada...ziltch. Oh I hope she gets back into the studio soon. I even think I figured out what went wrong. It is all producers and very little Madonna on this record.

Anyway....enough Michael!! (I so need someone to come over and give me a Cher slap)

So I took the advise of Jose over at Movies Kick Ass and have gone through her entire back catalogue and will now give my top 15 album tracks that are better than anything on 'Hard Candy'.

15 - I Love New York - Just makes me wanna dance like a spaz.

14 - Back in Business - she will show us the brighter side of living in sin.

13 - Candy Perfume Girl - The only candy of hers I like.

12 - White Heat - I wore my cassette copy out listening to this.

11 - Secret Garden - She takes on jazz house and wins.

10 - Spanish Eyes - One of the best songs about AIDS ever written.

9 - Easy Ride - Musically this is stunning. Her album closers are always so interesting.

8 - X-Static Process
- One of the loveliest songs she has ever sung.

7 - Skin - just sonic-ally brilliant.

6 - Impressive Instant - Dance floor gold. Should have been a single.

5 - Nobody's Perfect - This is the album she took the most musical risks on. It paid off.

4 - Let it will Be
- Fantastic track and she performed the hell out of it on stage.

3 - Till Death Do Us Part - So emotionally raw and honest, hidden behind a light and frothy beat. Clever girl.

2 - Mer Girl
- Just...WOW (the video is a bit strange)

1 - Gone - Perfect. I do miss her ballads.

Looking back

While I struggle with my disappointment in 'Hard Candy' I will look back at the year she transcended Pop Star and became 'Icon'

Sunday, 17 August 2008

New Soul?

Ok. I was a big ole Amy Winehouse fan last year. She was a party girl who liked a drink or twenty who stayed up all the hours God sends. But unlike other young women in the drink/drugs/party spotlight she had the talent to back it up.
However, this year is a different story. she has been consistently out drinking and there are so many reports, you tube videos of the woman not only high as a kite and/or drunk as a skunk, but also actually doing drugs (I will not link, it is too sad). Now instead of thinking her just 'troubled' I think she is wasting her talent, and for me that is unforgivable.

The reason I have been thinking of ole 'Wino' lately is there has been an influx of young women going back to the roots of soul in their music. Each of these woman have been compared to Winehouse as though she was the leader of this trend. Adele, Duffy and Gabriella Cilmi have all been called Amy Winehouse knock offs. This is totally unfair on two counts.

Firstly, each of these women are very talented in their own right. Cilmi, only 16 when her album was released, uses her gin soaked sounding voice to craft not only energetic and angry pop tracks, but also juke joint sounding soul as you can hear in her hit single "Sweet About Me". The wonderful and sweet Duffy crafts reflective 60's soul drenched in melancholy. Her first hit single was the up beat "Mercy", but the rest of the album is much ore striking, more like gut wrenching "Warwick Avenue". And finally first out of the gate of these three we have Adele. Not a size zero and proud of it, this 19 year old has more soul dripping out of her than most of the R-n-B artists out there. Just check out her tracks "Cold Shoulder" and "Hometown Glory" for proof.
The reason Amy gets all the credit is because she is seemed to have popularize this sound. Critics and fans alike were excited by this throw back to the origins of Soul music, it was something new. Or was it? This takes me nicely to....

..... Secondly.
Wasn't Macy Grey doing this years ago? Weren't we all sing "I Try" at the top of our lungs so thrilled to have a new sound in the charts? I re-listened to her debut album and it still stands the test of time. She sung about murder, sex and heartache. She sung about men doing her wrong and drinking and getting high way before Amy did. Heck she even made a song about a suicide letter sound like the most uplifting, life affirming song ever!
So where is her credit and the ones who came before her? How easily we forget.

Perhaps it is because these other girls are all white that they are getting the success they do. Who the heck knows, all I know is that I am appreciating all of these women for what they offer up in term of music, and celebrating their differences.

Even Amy (Just sober up honey and stop wasting your talent!!)