20 November 2002

songs to download & sing: in this order.
thrills, "santa cruz (you're not that far)"
-times change, i suppose, but what true-blue smiths fan could've imagined that morrissey would endorse a reggae outfit? none, and with good reason: the thrills are about as far removed from rock n' roll (and reggae) as can be. what starts out unnervingly like ben folds' "brick" soon assuages fears with banjo and barrelhouse piano, and ends with a leisurely gait akin to "raindrops keep falling on my head." is this what badly drawn boy records are meant to sound like?
roots ft. nelly furtado, "sacrifice"
-nelly plays the diaphanous dolly on the choruses, leaving the ragga ching-ching-chanting alone. what impresses most is the airiness of the track, elegant keyboards playing off of thrumming guitars.
fabolous, "this is my party"
-itchy and edgy, with a hopped-up organ part courtesy of timbaland. an aside: is fabolous (a) an unwitting misspelling (b) a dialectal thing, like "herre" or (c) an intentional misspelling because "fabulous" is oft-times associated with drag queens?
blur, "don't drop the bomb when you're the bomb"
-the parting with graham now plays like a refutation of guitar rock. oh, that bbc america would broadcast top of the pops so i could see this appearance: the band in basic black, armed with strap-on 80s keyboards and powerbooks, 'playing' with their backs to the audience.
joe ft. jadakiss, "i want a girl like you"
-for the neptunes, retro-minimalism sounded neat; for timbaland and missy, it's something of a tract. for rodney jerkins, it's a cash-in, but i can't quibble with the results. this almost puts me in mind of make it last forever.
robbie williams, "come undone"
-it's about the pitfalls of fame; about robbie's divided soul; about his love/hate affair with the england that made him. but let's not shit ourselves: it's about the chorus, and it soars appropriately.
slum village ft. ms. jade & raje shwari, "disco (remix)"
-conscious rappers set science aside in favor of the busting of moves. ms. jade teaches them the newest steps.
erick sermon ft. al green, "love iz"
-e-double jax another track -- "love & happiness," this time -- and the sampled artist has the good sense to be alive. al green on a hip-hop record seemed inconceivable at one point but, hey, it iz about love.
mariah carey, "bringin' on the heartbreak"
-starting at 2:58, i finally hear what many reviewers indicated about the xtina album, i.e. she's cracked. mariah shows that la aguilera has still much to learn, and what could be a better object lesson than an overblown orchestral remake of a def leppard hit? of course, the preceding 2:57 proves why sensible people don't listen to mariah carey records.
bobby darin, "i think it's going to rain today"
-the discovery of this version of the song makes me consider cloning mike's 'clowns' project. judy collins, manfred mann, melanie, bette midler, joe cocker, dusty springfield, rick nelson, ub40, neil diamond, francoise hardy, the animals, helen reddy, nina simone, ritchie blackmore (!). very tempting.