Penk is the Drug wrote:
The Right Scarfie Profile wrote:Unlike, say, Jamie Lidel, it wasn't merely lip service to old forms, darting around the surface of the song until it couldn't make its mind up whether its affection was sarcastic or genuine-
I still think people have the wrong idea about the Jamie Lidell, because while there may have been an air of artifice about his singing (personally I don't mind because it's still evident he has an excellent voice), a lot of people miss the fact that he's come to it from a background in electronica and IDM and is bringing a new approach to a genre which, let's face it, had been as good as dead for quite some time.
The hint of fakery was just down to the fact that it wasn't a straight soul album anyway, it was more an attempt to modernise the genre and if that meant making it a little more fun and hip then so be it, those are just more modern traits that wouldn't really have worked in the old-school stuff.
Lidell, though, is clearly working towards an entirely different aim, evinced by the inclusion of an incredibly inventive song like The City on there. There was always the sense that he was just trying to make the music as good as he could rather than trying to make himself look as good as he could.
True, but I'm not much of a fan of Bowie's "Young Americans" (title track and "Fame" aside), either. I know these arguments always seem to, regrettably, get back to Lidell, but the impression I get from the album is that if you're updating a sound (and I really don't know whether he is, certainly no more than best R'n'B stuff that charts), you can't be so detached and flimsy about it. It's a personal thing but I (slightly) "distrust" him, he seems like a talented guy who could set his mind to anything, but decided to settle on that, for the moment. That and the fact that it doesn't really sound like the music he's trying to update as well. Which is to say that musically, Lidell has got quite a bit going for him, but it's the vocals which reveal where his head is really at.
I suppose we can forgive Scritti Politi and their ilk for deliberately deconstructing songs (and genres) because it sounds like they've followed it through to the end. The (musical) inverted quotation marks are the logical extension, rather than just slapped on out of uncertainty.
I'm not sure where this is fitting in with the general tone of discussion except that there's something to be said about total engagement with the music you're attempting to make, and that goes for inverting it, too. Not that Gnarls Barkley necessarily have it, either (musically, it's followed through, but the pair of them are pretty smug, and Cee-Lo's bland quirkiness has often annoyed me)
Penk is the Drug wrote:I've just been to YouTube and found Crazy. As it turns out, I have heard it before, actually, but didn't know what it was or take any notice of it. It's alright, like. Sounds like someone's taken an old but decent soul song and put a mediocre beat under it.
Oh I don't think it's a great song, there's certainly been stuff in the charts over the last while that has grabbed me far more, but it's an interesting start point for a whole lot of other topics. Not least the fact that it topped the charts on downloads alone. It has a nice groove, is all. And I have time for Dangermouse, on the whole (DangerDoom was very annoying and summed up the worst aspects of his clowning though. Even though he likes Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
It's before my time but I've been told, he never came back from Karangahape Road.