Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Musical goodies

I'm playing Amerie's "Gotta Work" for the tenth time tonight. From what I understand (which, I'm afraid, is very little), I'm not the first indie rock* fan to proclaim fondness for this song. Nevertheless, I thought I'd share it with you. Amerie doesn't have a particularly original singing style - though it's nice to hear a mainstream R&B vocalist who's more Mavis than Aretha. Really though, it's all about the sound. The big funky pop in those drums, the richness of the horns, the bluesy back-up vocals - it will lift your soul.

I thought Christina Aguilera's version of John Lennon's "Mother" would infuriate me, but I rather like it. Aguilera has an undeniably powerful voice with great flexibility and range. On an intimate song like this, those kinds of assets can easily turn into liabilities. I believe the word is "histrionics." Christina avoids this by only occasionally varying from Lennon's phrasing, tucking in a well-placed melissmas and "mmm mmms" hear and there. She doesn't get mad enough at the end, but the wrenching way the first beat of the "Daddy come home " part stretches makes up for it.

Then there's this Buddy Rich drum solo. Very few people can claim to be the best in their chosen field. Buddy was one of those people.

*Indie rock fans like R&B and soul music that was made in the 60s and 70s, so we tend to go for this kind of retro thing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

On the beautiful game

Canada may not have scored any goals at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, but last night, we truly arrived as a soccer nation.