Monday, 23 July 2012

It's a Grower

Songs are like ice cream flavours. There are ones that you like instantly and will listen to time after time (see what I did there) then there are the ones that take you a while and a few listens to decided if you like them or not. Many Refer to songs they learn to like as "Growers"

These songs can go 4 ways

1. You decided - nope don't like that. I tried, but you just are not for me.

I shall name this: Strawberry Ice Cream.

2. Wow! Amazing! What a "Tune" and you play it over and over, while it is receiving hype. Until you forget about it. You Might dig it out at some point if you find it hanging around.

This for me is: Cookie dough

3. Nope it's awful. Oh it's OK. Actually I quite like it.

This shall be known as: Vanilla Ice Cream.

4. A song that connects, it has something in its melody and lyrics that awakens your soul. This song will forever be played for years to come.

This is known to myself as: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. (Best flavour!)

There are many songs released at summer. All straining to be those massive hits of your holiday.

There are 4 songs out this summer that have fell into these categories and my strawberry may be your mint choc chip. As always I ask you to have as open mind as I do.

Cookie Dough: "Drive By" by Train

Good pop song. Dance along to. BBQ to. It has sunshine in the rhythm. Drive by's are over in a flash this songs staying power is to.

Vanilla: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen

When I first heard this song I was puzzled as to what it was saying, who was singing and I hated it. Now having listened to the song masses. I have grown to enjoy it along with its many parodies.

Strawberry: "Call My Name" by Cheryl Cole

No No No! Not even being produced by my favourite dance musician Calvin Harris saves it for me. I tried to enjoy it but like the associated flavour. I wanted to lock it in the freezer and not try it again.

Mint choc chip: "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry.

I loved the lyrics and it's up beat tempo melody. A bit like "firework" when I first heard it on her Album. However I feel there is more to the song. As I mentioned in my previous blog (Waxing Lyrical) the lyrics are obviously important to the artist.

Give them a try and see if they awaken your taste buds too?

There is a flavour for everyone. There is a song for all. Have you ever met many people who say "Oh I don't really like Music."?  I have also not known many folks who say" I do not like ice cream" well except the lactose intolerant.

So enjoy music and eat ice cream.
Happy Summer!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Cover up?

Is there a song out there that should never ever be covered? 

We could share opinions and open up a debate that would last longer than the current Leveson inquiry. So what gives people the rights to cover a song. If it were a book it would be considered copyright infringement if the storyline were similar in anyway. You were punished at school for using someone else's work. I'm also sure you would face charges of plagiarism if you were to display a copy of a Monet painting as new work.

Many artists have released covers. Even more perform live covers at concerts. It has became part and parcel of being a music artist. I shall not get started on the television talent shows that provide the conveyor belt of covers that plagues the music industry of today.    

However is it lazy or is it in homage to the original work?

Some artists have no choice but to release cover songs as they are directed by their record company to do so. I would imagine that in some cases the original artists are thankful for the royalties, as well as the new found exposure to a new  audience of their sometimes forgotten work. Cover versions are great if the new artist puts their own spin onto the song. An artist who does nothing to the original work to me is lazy and not very artistic at all.

There have been many, many bad covers. My opinion of the worst cover to be released is Ronan Keating's version of "Fairytale of New York" originally by The Pogues featuring Kirsty McColl. I am undecided as to which reason I hate it for more. The fact that he misses out the "You scumbag, you maggot. You cheap lousy faggot"  lyric when singing it live. Or that he looks so happy and smug when singing. Unlike Shane McGowan who groans out the lyrics with such passion that to me cannot be imitated or replaced by a grin. 

One of the most successful cover versions in my opinion is Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" Originally by Leonard Cohen. It may even be unknown to many that it is indeed a cover. It's poignant, it's perfect and sang with emotion and clarity that was missing from the original. It is the song that raised Buckley's profile to new heights. Jeff's voice took Cohen's lyrics and exposed them to a new generation. Jeff Buckley's untimely death leaves the song even more haunting.

 So in answer to my intro. I believe that in respect to all artists despite how amazing I believe original songs may be someone may come along in the future and make it even better.