So, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, then.........

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
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Postby marios » 18 Apr 2006, 06:41

If you guys can't be swayed on Crazy at least let's all have a lovefest to the sounds of Ghostface Killah's The Champ, mentioned earlier in the thread.

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Postby PENK » 18 Apr 2006, 11:23

= marios = wrote:If you guys can't be swayed on Crazy at least let's all have a lovefest to the sounds of Ghostface Killah's The Champ, mentioned earlier in the thread.


Yeah I like that. It doesn't have a chance in hell of charting though (at least not over here), because the Wu aren't news any more - ODB might have the odd hit were he still around but the moment's passed for the rest of them - and it's not conventional enough to make any headway as commercial rap.
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Postby Owen » 18 Apr 2006, 12:07

Chris Chopping wrote:I still think the songs ok but some of the posts I've read here have kind've confirmed my own opinions.

What I still dont understand is the near hysteria around it. My housemates heard it and were texting me at work about it to see if i knew who it was, another friend was asking me to put it on a cd for her. ALL the DJs seem to really love it and it's been a massive number one from downloads alone. the reaction is out of the ordinary and i don't know how to justify that.


Because our idea of what is 'good' and what people actually react to are very very different.

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Postby Carl's Son » 18 Apr 2006, 14:08

Yes of course, but the regardless of our judgement on it, the reaction to this track is very much out of the ordinary.
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Postby PENK » 18 Apr 2006, 17:15

Chris Chopping wrote:Yes of course, but the regardless of our judgement on it, the reaction to this track is very much out of the ordinary.


It's probably because it has the ironic cool going on; it's got a clever marketing campaign and plenty of publicity aimed at each sector of the audience. In a way it got lucky through its success as a download, in that that provided a kind of novelty aspect that's ensured it will stay in the headlines long enough to permeate everyone's consciousness. And even though I don't like the song, it is successful in its aim to appeal to a mixture of people: it mixes a serious pop aspect in the vocal with the club-friendly, bass-heavy beat and while us knowledgeable types can obviously see past all this the majority of people, who don't take music as seriousy as us, will just hear the tune, think "that sounds a bit unusual, what is it?" and investigate further. It's popular because it's been marketed as much as your average pop effort whilst being sufficiently different to pique the interest of those who wouldn't normally pay that much attention.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

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Postby Snowdog » 18 Apr 2006, 18:44

It's alright. I quite like it in fact.

I dunno. Sounds like a track written by Prince for another vocalist to me.
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Postby Molony » 22 Apr 2006, 10:38

Hear the album at:

http://www.myspace.com/gnarlsbarkley

For those interested...

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Postby Carl's Son » 22 Apr 2006, 11:35

I've been listening to it some more and although I like it having read comments here I cant help noticing that the beat is a little pedestrian. Some of the sounds on it are great though
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Postby Owen » 22 Apr 2006, 16:36

There was a silly earnest singer songwriter version on the radio this morning, sure sign a song is getting to a bigger audience than normal.

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Postby PENK » 22 Apr 2006, 17:07

Yeah, one of the nondescript local indie outfits I saw (OK, happened to be in the same bar as) last night briefly launched into a version of it to the pretend amusement of those watching, it does seem to be gaining the same kind of credence as Hey Ya!, there's not really much else in the way of pop that most people have allowed themselves to like of late.
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Postby PENK » 22 Apr 2006, 22:59

Leg of lamb wrote:I think I'd go even further than Owen's point which compared the Sugababes to Rogue Wave and say that, at their best, the Sugababes are just qualitatively better than almost anything that a recent indie band (or any, for that matter) could release. There's something artistically more exciting about someone preaching to and successfully working within a broad church. It's almost by definition necessary to ditch a certain amount of characteristics which would have limited you to a milieu and make an inclusive statement. Of course, when this doesn't work it will be banal, irritating and all the rest - but when it does work, there's something amazing about it because all that bullshit which would surround and smudge the music has been deforested. This isn't a question of agreeing with their goals or aesthetics; there's something about the steps you have to go through to reach a wider audience which makes it intrinsically better when it's good.


I just realised I never replied to this, so this will just be an addendum to the thread really rather than an attempt to get it started again, pretty much everything has been said I think.
Anyway what I'd meant to say before people's digs at my inability to finish sentences distracted me was that I really agree with this. I think it takes a hell of a lot of talent to write music which, almost by definition, has to stick closely to a certain set of guidelines regarding its nature. OK, it's maybe not that hard to write shite music like this but when you're catering for a very specific audience who have the same kind of well-defined demands as the current chart fans do, it's clearly a hell of a challenge to keep coming up with the goods without making the songs too esoteric to work in their context.
Being in an indie band, or any other kind of outfit for that matter, gives the artist complete freedom really in that they've got licence to throw in any kind of sounds or ideas in an attempt to get out of jail when stuck for songs. That so many of them are content to just carry on performing at a certain level and avoid straying from whatever sound they've made their name with is seemingly at odds with their desire not to sell that many records, but I think they realise that whatever they aspire to in terms of image, they are essentially in this business in order to make a living and so they have to ensure they retain their appeal for their core fanbase.
So yeah, the Sugababes perhaps are better in one sense in that they can consistently come up with decent stuff despite the knowledge that they only have a very small area to work in, whereas a lot of more supposedly more credible bands are let down by their failure to recognise there are plenty of different avenues open to them. It's a sign of quality when a band do try and avoid being pigeonholed like this and can successfully incorporate all their different ideas into the music in a way that makes it sound natural, as if reedy folk strumming and skittering electronic beats are a necessary combination for what they're trying to do, but it's rare that attempts to mix these different elements don't just sound like tokenism or wilful disregard for musicality.
Gnarls Barkley, in fact - to bring this back on topic - just don't convince in this way, in that the combination of straining soul vocals and pounding shards of bass sounds exactly like what it is, a combination rather than a mixture: the two different elements are there, they're going on at the same time, but they never really seem to be essential to one another as far as the song goes and it sounds more like a rejected remix, the two halves, as it were, never really linking up into one coherent whole.
Last edited by PENK on 22 Apr 2006, 23:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Owen » 22 Apr 2006, 23:00

Edit

fuck that, good post

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Postby PENK » 22 Apr 2006, 23:02

It's the stream-of-consciousness thing again, I don't think in paragraphs.
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Postby PENK » 22 Apr 2006, 23:03

Oh right.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

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Postby Owen » 22 Apr 2006, 23:03

Penk is the Drug wrote:It's the stream-of-consciousness thing again, I don't think in paragraphs.


no, once i took the time it was good, got the, nothing much to do with Gnarls Barkley, debate we were having down well, hard going though.

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Postby Carl's Son » 22 Apr 2006, 23:52

Penk is the Drug wrote:.
Gnarls Barkley, in fact - to bring this back on topic - just don't convince in this way, in that the combination of straining soul vocals and pounding shards of bass sounds exactly like what it is, a combination rather than a mixture: the two different elements are there, they're going on at the same time, but they never really seem to be essential to one another as far as the song goes and it sounds more like a rejected remix, the two halves, as it were, never really linking up into one coherent whole.


I'm not entirely sure how the Gnarls Barkley creative partnership works, but is this failure to gel perhaps a product of a creative process where the producer creates the track competely by himself then getting someone else to come in and sing some words over the top, as apposed to some sort of creative teamwork or a joint vision?

I've read an interview with Dangermouse and Cee-Lo and far from being joint architect of the sound, Cee Lo seemed to be saying it took him a while to get his head round the music.
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Postby The Write Profile » 23 Apr 2006, 00:04

Penk is the Drug wrote:
I just realised I never replied to this, so this will just be an addendum to the thread really rather than an attempt to get it started again, pretty much everything has been said I think.

Anyway what I'd meant to say before people's digs at my inability to finish sentences distracted me was that I really agree with this. I think it takes a hell of a lot of talent to write music which, almost by definition, has to stick closely to a certain set of guidelines regarding its nature.

OK, it's maybe not that hard to write shite music like this but when you're catering for a very specific audience who have the same kind of well-defined demands as the current chart fans do, it's clearly a hell of a challenge to keep coming up with the goods without making the songs too esoteric to work in their context.

Being in an indie band, or any other kind of outfit for that matter, gives the artist complete freedom really in that they've got licence to throw in any kind of sounds or ideas in an attempt to get out of jail when stuck for songs.


That so many of them are content to just carry on performing at a certain level and avoid straying from whatever sound they've made their name with is seemingly at odds with their desire not to sell that many records, but I think they realise that whatever they aspire to in terms of image, they are essentially in this business in order to make a living and so they have to ensure they retain their appeal for their core fanbase.

So yeah, the Sugababes perhaps are better in one sense in that they can consistently come up with decent stuff despite the knowledge that they only have a very small area to work in, whereas a lot of more supposedly more credible bands are let down by their failure to recognise there are plenty of different avenues open to them.

It's a sign of quality when a band do try and avoid being pigeonholed like this and can successfully incorporate all their different ideas into the music in a way that makes it sound natural, as if reedy folk strumming and skittering electronic beats are a necessary combination for what they're trying to do, but it's rare that attempts to mix these different elements don't just sound like tokenism or wilful disregard for musicality.

Gnarls Barkley, in fact - to bring this back on topic - just don't convince in this way, in that the combination of straining soul vocals and pounding shards of bass sounds exactly like what it is, a combination rather than a mixture: the two different elements are there, they're going on at the same time, but they never really seem to be essential to one another as far as the song goes and it sounds more like a rejected remix, the two halves, as it were, never really linking up into one coherent whole.


There's some very good points in there and worthwhile to extend into a grander discussion on indie when someone has the time- its appeals and my basic suspicions about a lot of it (which can be one and the same, incidentally). I think Chris Chopping might be right in terms of the song's design (for want of a better term), Cee-Lo clearly sounds like a hired hand in his vocal, it helps that he's got a reasonable voice, but it doesn't quite come into place.

As for your other points, there's some digressions to make. Just looked at the tracklisting for the last Sugababes album, and it seems they have a song on it called "Joy Division," which can't be coincidental and probably refers back to what Owen was saying about how they're being geared to towards a certain subsect (namely indie fans who are slightly suspicious about the "pop" music but can be told what to like). What's interesting is that, as a piece of music, the single that still makes the greatest impact is Freak Like Me, despite the fact it's essentially "Are Friends Electric?" put through a blender and spat out.

The girls sound very uncomfortable indeed with the words they're singing in that song ("the dog in me" has to go down as the clumsiest comeon line ever delivered by a teenage girl in pop music), and in that regard it doesn't work quite as well some of their later stuff lyrically. But then, a has already been widely discussed on this thread, their singles release schedule is based around one "poppy" number per trite ballad (or vice versa). So it's not as if they have any control over what's being released. here.

Where am I going with this? Not entirely sure really, except to say that it's interesting that the publicity behind a girl group like them (and their supposed credibility) rests on them being (apparently) being more "authentic" and having greater control over their material. That's a sham, of course, and ultimately bears little relation to the final product- good, bad or otherwise

I'll continue this when I gather my thoughts properly together (just woken up)
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Postby PENK » 23 Apr 2006, 00:10

Chris Chopping wrote:
Penk is the Drug wrote:.
Gnarls Barkley, in fact - to bring this back on topic - just don't convince in this way, in that the combination of straining soul vocals and pounding shards of bass sounds exactly like what it is, a combination rather than a mixture: the two different elements are there, they're going on at the same time, but they never really seem to be essential to one another as far as the song goes and it sounds more like a rejected remix, the two halves, as it were, never really linking up into one coherent whole.


I'm not entirely sure how the Gnarls Barkley creative partnership works, but is this failure to gel perhaps a product of a creative process where the producer creates the track competely by himself then getting someone else to come in and sing some words over the top, as apposed to some sort of creative teamwork or a joint vision?

I've read an interview with Dangermouse and Cee-Lo and far from being joint architect of the sound, Cee Lo seemed to be saying it took him a while to get his head round the music.


The thing is though that with a lot of hip-hop the producer and rapper will often be working separately, especially if it's not a collaboration in the sense that both will have their names on it - if it's just a solo thing then a number of different collaborators might be drafted in, and what'll often happen is that the producer will come up with a track and just get the rapper to fit a lyric to it, or vice versa. The problem, I find, with Crazy is that the two parts don't really seem to have been matched very well: they're in the same time and key signatures, share a tempo but don't really sound like they've been written with each other in mind, there's no sense that the one was designed to fit the other and there's a definite separation in there.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

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Postby Carl's Son » 23 Apr 2006, 00:31

The Right Scarfie Profile wrote:
As for your other points, there's some digressions to make. Just looked at the tracklisting for the last Sugababes album, and it seems they have a song on it called "Joy Division," which can't be coincidental and probably refers back to what Owen was saying about how they're being geared to towards a certain subsect (namely indie fans who are slightly suspicious about the "pop" music but can be told what to like).


Although interesting, when i found out that Snow Patrol had recorded a track called Velocity Girl that wasn't a a version of the Primal Scream song I thought they were a bigger bunch of wankers than ever.
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Postby Owen » 23 Apr 2006, 00:34

Chris Chopping wrote:Although interesting, when i found out that Snow Patrol had recorded a track called Velocity Girl that wasn't a a version of the Primal Scream song I thought they were a bigger bunch of wankers than ever.


how would you have felt if it was the PS song?