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Archive for the ‘Glen Campbell’ Category

The House Next Door: Music Video Round-Up (Beyonce, Sea & Cake, Glen Campbell)


“Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” doesn’t really have verses or even a chorus, it’s all-hook, moving from one high-energy Beyonce shout to another, never really letting up. The titular hook’s rushed through in the same double-time as that keyboard line on-speed and Jake Nava’s video similarly starts and doesn’t stop. It’s all performance on basically no set at all, Beyonce kinda lip-syncs, instead focusing on her and the other two dancers’ Bob Fosse “Mexican Breakfast” walk-it-outs with minimal lighting tricks with minimal cuts.”"

Written by Brandon

November 19th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

How Big Is Your World? Some Good New Rap Songs.

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-DJ Khaled featuring Kanye West & T-Pain “Go Hard”
Click here to download “Go Hard”
At the same time as the confessional “Love Lockdown”, we’re also being treated to a bunch of purposefully bullshit, joke guest verses from Kanye. On “Swagger Like Us” and most of this song, he’s spitting his increasingly out-there boasts (the extended “sick” talk gets genuinely gross). And while it’s not the tone-change of his sudden confessional on “Put On”, in the second verse, Kanye turns some self-mythologizing into a quick admittance that he’s sort of a dick and should’ve shut the hell up once or twice (“Maybe I would’ve slowed down/If I knew what I knew now…”) which is enough insight on a song like this. “Go Hard” is a good example of why Kanye’s an interesting rapper even if you think he can’t rap. While he’ll never achieve the grace or effortless flow of any of the greats, he’s got a rarified approach that keeps him relevant and turns another lame DJ Khaled reach for a banger into a weird and interesting song.

-B.O.B “Generation Lost”
Click here to download “Generation Lost”
The same way people who listen to rap and worry about lyrical content listen and say “[INSERT FAVE RAPPER HERE] is good, I just wish he wasn’t singing about drugs and guns all the time”, I hear something like this or Bishop Lamont or Lupe Fiasco at his most obsequious and think, “He’s a good rapper and all, I just wish he wasn’t rapping about how rappers all suck now”. Still, “Generation Lost” works because it really is as much about how B.O.B says as it is about what he’s saying. Like your favorite Southern rapper or the dumbest one out there, B.O.B embraces his accent and the specificities of how he enunciates and pronounces words, and he delivers his tough message in a lacksadasical Southern flow. He’s also having fun even as he’s telling you how it needs to be about more than having fun, bouncing his flow all around that piano loop. This song’s still fun and B.O.B knows he’s the outsider, bragging about his outsider status and joking about at the same time when he says shit like, “So, I’m a play my guitar/And rap about aliens and sing about stars”.

-Devin the Dude “I Can’t Make It Home”
Click here to download “I Can’t Make It Home”
Maybe the most overwhelmingly sad Devin song since “Doobie Ashtray”? The Dude’s entire persona’s based around being a scruffy fuck-up, so a lot of his songs have some sadness to them, but this song’s like, not even fun, like palpably sad. This isn’t a song about the fun kind of drunk (or drugged) driving, this is like, you’re still too drunk to leave, but the party’s ending and you feel weird chilling out for another forty-five minutes–especially “to sober up”–so you convince yourself you can drive home and it ends pretty bad. Really, the song has enough emotional pull and light humor that you can imagine it scoring the inevitable but still tragic drunk-driving arrest scene in some movie about a drunk or something. Especially effective and like cinematic is the way the first verse ends with Devin impersonating the cop saying “You Sober?”, it’s like fade-out, fade-in to Devin in the cop car thinking “I’m fucked.” What makes the song sadder is how Devin’s fairly level-headed about it all or accepting of it, describing it the same way he’d describe any other crazy adventure he stumbles into. Excellent use of rap and bullshit too, the chorus and the like, Freddie Jackson pianos add to the song’s pathos. Seriously, I sorta can’t get through this song, too real.

-Zilla Rocca “The First Order of Business”
Click here to download “The First Order of Business”
The hammering piano, squeaks of ghostly voices, and some space-age guitar in the hook, is appropriately cartoony for Zilla Rocca’s all over-the-place (in a good way) flow. Mid-way through Zilla’s second verse, the beat gets all flanger-y for a few moments and it doesn’t slow the song down or anything, it’s just some weird and fun switch-up, no different than the beat dropping out at certain points and the same fuck-it-all-I’m-going-in feeling as Zilla’s rapping. He stuffs more than one Frank Miller reference in there, a ton of other hilarious punchlines (“you’re a text message full of stupid-ass typos” is a personal favorite), and moves brilliantly between verses and a hook that doesn’t feel like the catchy part of the song or something, but just a logical extension of the verses and a breather before Zilla kills it again. Think about how a lot of 90s rap songs have these kinda long as shit chant-hooks that aren’t even really supposed to be memorable but just summarize the song or something, that’s what the hook on “The First Order of Business” is like. One of my favorite things about Zilla’s rapping is how he never affects any kind of “tough” or “street” or anything voice that even many good rappers do, it’s just his real voice and real Philadelphia accent dropping hilarious and insightful shit.

-Glen Campbell “All I Want Is You”
Click here to download “All I Want Is You”
Glen Campbell’s no joke and he’s always been no joke, and even though it’s easy to make “Rhinestone Cowboy” jokes and shit, his 60s lush country pop is incredible and warm and everything else. In a lot of ways, Glen’s responsible for the pop-country of the past twenty years–that’s not a negative although I see why you’d read it that way–and the album from which this U2 cover comes Meet Glen Campbell is a sort of quasi-comeback attempt, an updating of his lush sound, and showing all these dopey frat-boy country fucks how to make actual ballads and not the kind of ballads that get you Republican pussy at the State Fair or whatever. Comparing this album of covers to the Cash American Recordings series is superficial. This isn’t stripped down or emotionally bare, it’s a show-boaty and obvious as all of Glen’s work and it’s as full of longing too. The way he sings “all the promises we break” makes it sound hopeful but aware that we don’t keep all our promises and the wobbly, country solo in the middle is great because it’s covered by all these other instruments and never breaks-out, which is sort of what this song and this album’s about, an acceptance of what we have and what we can do with it, not all this sexy “dreamer” stuff that most songs are about.

Written by Brandon

October 10th, 2008 at 3:14 am