05 February 2004

songs listened to on a car ride home:
the verve, "bittersweet symphony" (wplj)
coldplay, "in my place" (k-rock)
roberta flack & donny hathaway, "where is the love?" (cbs-fm)
twista ft. kanye west & jaime foxx, "slow jam" (z-100)
outkast, "hey ya!" (k-rock)

as "bittersweet symphony" was released, richard ashcroft went on endlessly about the layers, all the tracks that the band (of course, meaning himself) layered one on top of another, trying to lead the listener away from the fact that the song's core isn't ashcroft's bittersweet diatribe about life, but the string sample pilfered from an old symphonic stones record. and so, yeah, tonight, the track sounded simply adorned in a coat of strings, with the double-kick drums tugging one back down to earth and an occasional steel cry echoing through the evening air. paired back-to-back with coldplay's "in my place" with its high 'n' lonesome guitar lines, i was wondering when the heat would kick in.

one can usually depend on donny & roberta to bring the heat -- not for nothing that biz markie sampled them for "it's spring again." sure, one can look at the donny & roberta team and despair of the fact that they, along with sympathetic motown refugees, brought to soul the sense that heart wasn't enough, that lyrics was where it was at (and, thus, covers of, um, "you've got a friend.") but it seems like so much quibbling when those voices blend and the bass starts to move. whatever happened to nimble bass players?

and whatever happened to slow jams? waylaid by the narcissism brought on by cribs culture? and why on heaven's name did kanye give this track to twista when his own (i.e. kanye's) output can't be heard on top 40 radio? or is that the point? and forget about his aborted solo career, does anyone remember jaime foxx, full stop?

and will everyone forget "hey ya!" long enough to get another andre 3000 track on the radio? he's lucky outkast are a known quantity and so "hey ya!" won't develop into the kind of millstone that nickelback will be forced to bear for eternity. (but don't they always sound like they're carrying some heavy load -- or need to drop one?) and if they were unknown, would anyone make it through that span from 0:36 to 1:10 where the two word chorus is made to support the entirety of the song without switching stations?

i often wonder what "hey ya!" would have been like if the monkees had gotten to it first. there's no way don kirshner would've put up with that chorus, handclaps or no.

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