Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Misc. Singles

I know a lot of people are more “singles” people than “album” people, and I can totally appreciate that. We can’t always commit to 9 or 14 songs at once. This is a collection of singles I chose to try for various reasons. Some hits, some misses, some kind of in the middle…

Relator (Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johannson)- First, I did not misspell the title of this song- not sure why it is spelled that way and am actually not discerning anything related to real estate in the lyrics. I was interested to hear what Scarlett can do and was intrigued by the pairing with Pete Yorn, who is pretty well respected. Turns out this is a good song! She has a nice voice and they sound good together. I would recommend this song.

New Fang (Them Crooked Vultures)- I was curious about this song because it is Dave Grohl’s (Foo Fighters) new “supergroup”. His sound definitely comes through. Overall, I’m neutral about it- don’t love it but don’t mind it either. It’s a little screamy for me. I’m not sure I would buy more songs by these guys.

You Must Be Out of Your Mind (The Magnetic Fields)- This was recommended to me, largely because of its quirky lyrics, which they definitely are! Any song that compares a relationship to the absence of anesthesia during an appendectomy is intriguing. I’m giving the song a little more time; it’s growing on me and I am still wondering if I’ll end up really liking it. I do have to say that the vocals grate a little, but the overall sound isn’t bad.

Bye Bye Bayou (LCD Soundsystem)- I bought this song because Rolling Stone magazine seems to love this group and I’ll generally try anything they’re very hot on. This is not working for me, though. It’s very techno, the kind of song I imagine they would play in a club that I’m not cool enough to frequent, where everyone is skinny and doesn’t smile (probably because they’re hungry). In all fairness, I chose this particular song to try by LCD because it was most popular on iTunes when I pulled up their songs. I would be cautious about trying another LCD song, definitely trying the 30-second version before plopping down $1.29 for it (although was this one $0.99? Either way).

Born Free (M.I.A.)- You might remember M.I.A. from her performance at the Grammy’s last year- she was 9 months pregnant and delivered the baby (you know, Ikhyd) just days later. I had no qualms about trying this song, which I had read about, because I really liked her hit song, Paper Planes, from Slumdog Millionaire. I am now finding out that Paper Planes did not represent her usual sound, but this song apparently does (unfortunately). Honestly it sounds like a high school band jamming in their garage (heavy on the drums) with her singing/yelling through the door in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with the music in the background. Not a fan.

Skinny Little Bitch (Hole)- American’s little sweetheart, Courtney Love, is back with her band Hole after being freed from her parental responsibilities and that pesky daughter. I swear you would think this song was sung by a male- her new drug must be steroids. I really liked some of Hole’s previous songs, but this one doesn’t have as much of a “musical” sound to it the way something like Malibu did. For this one I feel like she’s just yelling, and I’m not sure why she sounds so angry toward people who are skinny because the recent pictures I’ve seen of her look like she has an eating disorder (maybe she's singing about herself). Chill, Courtney!

Acapella (Kelis)- Kelis is newly divorced from Nas and also a new mommy within the past year (Kelis opted for a more traditional name for her baby than M.I.A. did: Knight). I’m not yet sure if this song has the same hook that Milkshake or Bossy had, but I think she has a pretty voice and it’s showcased well in this song. The music itself has a bit of a techno sound to it, but her voice is what’s front and center. As a bonus, there is an actual acapella portion of the song!

Tighten Up (The Black Keys)- I have to confess that I am completely unfamiliar with The Black Keys and bought this song because it was recommended by Rolling Stone (after reading this post you might conclude that it’s easier to just read Rolling Stone yourself). This is a good song! I’d have to try other songs by The Black Keys to compare, but Tighten Up has kind of a retro sound to it, different than what you normally hear on the radio, but I think it could EASILY be popular- great sound. Since I like the song, I did a little research on the group and found out they have been around since 2001 and had a song on the School of Rock soundtrack- instant credibility. Their album comes out May 18th, so if you start listening to this song you will immediately be cooler than all your friends.

In The Sun (She & Him)- I heard this one on satellite radio and was curious about it because “She” is Zooey Deschanel (of 500 Days of Summer fame or, if you prefer, Elf), and at least on this song, we hear “She” but not so much from “Him”. Zooey has a nice voice and this is a pleasant sounding song. Actually, I shouldn’t knock Elf because that’s where it was discovered that Zooey can sing.

To recap:

· Relator (Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johannson)
· Acapella (Kelis)
· Tighten Up (The Black Keys)
· In The Sun (She & Him)

· Bye Bye Bayou (LCD Soundsystem)
· Born Free (M.I.A.)
· Skinny Little Bitch (Hole)

Somewhere in Between:
· New Fang (Them Crooked Vultures)
· You Must Be Out of Your Mind (The Magnetic Fields)

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