Tag Archives: Music

“How on Earth did this thing get so big, anyway? What were they feeding it?”

Hooks are overrated. Choruses are overrated. Oasis was overrated — in England at least. Tom Ewing on their 1998 number one “All Around the World,” destined to be most effective as a commercial jingle: Back on “D’You Know What I … Continue reading

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I’m not gonna crack

Phil Freeman on his Facebook wall: I feel like the sheer dullness of Nirvana’s music is what’s been most thoroughly whitewashed by oldsters’ nostalgrief over Kurt Cobain. Terrible, non-swinging rhythm section, rudimentary solo-less guitar, awful bleating vocals, singsong melodies…dull. Now, … Continue reading

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I still recall the way he led the charge and saved the day: Steely Dan

There is a welcome impenetrability to Pretzel Logic. Steely Dan’s third album, which I bought in February 1999, had pretty music and indelible choruses (“With a Gun”), pretty music and perplexing choruses (“Monkey in Your Soul”). It had a Duke … Continue reading

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Colour By Numbers: “the apogee of cheerful, uplifting eighties pop”

I’m still impressed by Marcello’s talent for finding what look like inapposite musical nods. In his review of Culture Club’s Colour By Numbers, he notes how Mikey Craig’s bass line in “Victims” reminds him of Bernard Edwards’ in “At Last … Continue reading

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Tara Kemp – Piece of My Heart

A forgotten nineties hit, “Piece of My Heart” followed the top three “Hold You Tight” into the top ten in July 1991, after which Tara Kemp vanished into a frizzy-haired ether, although not without sounding a track for the Beverly … Continue reading

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David Byrne and Biz Markie: they got what you need

I’ve waited my whole life for this.

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There’s more to love than boy meets girl: Jimmy Somerville

Writing this essay on Jimmy Somerville, I realized he was a mediocrity who wrote and sang a fistful of great dance tracks. To learn that Bronski Beat and the Communards recorded music incommensurate with Somerville’s personal radicalism and the monikers … Continue reading

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“Yeah, I’m the black sheep of the family”

Feeling this today. Happy Sunday.

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The consequences of outsider art

Sodden and schizophrenic, The Outsiders is Eric Church’s worst album. From 2006 to 2011, Church’s singing and writing improved bit by bit, peaking on Chief, an album for reactionaries and so-called liberals who lament the good days when Merle and … Continue reading

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“An entire school of thought about rock comes off the rails”: U2′s “Discotheque”

An awful lot to say about this post: U2′s working practise seemed to be to ride an approach till it flamed out. Just as Rattle And Hum had bounced U2 into backing down on pure revivalism, so Pop was cause … Continue reading

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“R&B remains a morally and spiritually resonant music about love and intimacy”

Jason King gets an R&B column at NPR. His definition of R&B makes sense to me: What links R&B across all that space and time is its emphasis on dance, sex and romance. At its best, R&B remains a morally … Continue reading

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“Artists of color in general are, evidently, disappearing from the upper echelons of the Hot 100″

Eeek: The product of this research is the first (top) chart. Blue indicates songs by artists of color, even if those artists were only featured on the song; red indicates the same thing except that it excludes features by artists … Continue reading

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