First off, I did pick up the new Duran Duran this week (Red Carpet Massacre), but, after only a few listens so far, I can’t quite shake the feeling that I’ve already posted the two best songs from the album (“Nite Runner” and “Falling Down.”) The rest of it doesn’t suck, per se (not like, say, most of the Thank You album), but it’s just sort of OK, which is not what I was expecting from a follow-up to Astronaut. Subsequently, nothing new to post here.
On the other hand, the new Seal album, System, is fucking brilliant. The man has yet to release an album that I didn’t love. He’s back to concentrating on the dancefloor stuff of his earlier albums, moving away from the adult-contemporary-soul-balladry (apart from one very squishy and sweet, but perhaps ill-advised, track featuring his wife, called “Wedding Day (duet with Heidi.)” — yes, Heidi Klum singing. Not as bad as you’d suspect, but next to his voice, it’s like….well, something merely adequate next to something amazing.) Here’s the first track on the album: Seal – “If It’s In My Mind, It’s On My Face.”
I’ve been assembling various mixes from my collection, to use as writing soundtracks. One of the collections I’ve titled “Bond Music That Wasn’t” — a collection of music that could easily be soundtrack pieces from James Bond movies, but weren’t. This is a great example — a collaboration between Bond movie composer David Arnold and Icelandic songstress Bjork: Bjork & David Arnold – “Play Dead.”
A while back, I posted “Foundations” by Kate Nash. I’ve been listening to more of her stuff, and it’s really getting to me, even with her delivery of lyrics in an accent that makes me think I’m listening to a Catherine Tate character. Check out this one: Kate Nash – “Merry Happy.”
While we’re on the subject of women from London who sing, I thought I’d share this little bit from Amy Winehouse — those of you only familiar with her recent neo-motown-soul sound will be surprised to hear a classic jazz vocal from her first album Frank, much less on a well-known standard like this: Amy Winehouse – “Moody’s Mood for Love.”
Shifting from jazz to jazz-based hip-hop, here’s an amazing track by this European hip-hop outfit, Outlines. They’re based in Strasbourg and Paris, but work in English, and produce hip-hop that is steeped in jazz and entirely unique. Outlines – “Just A Lil’ Lovin’.”
A track that’s been used by Nintendo for their line of Wii commercials in the US — another brilliant mix of tradtional Japanese instrumentation and composition with modern Breakbeats: Yoshida Brothers – “Kodo (Inside The Sun).”
Lastly a nifty bit of mashup, mixing studio and live versions of two classic songs, “Break On Through” by the Doors, and “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin — DJ Zebra – “Break Through Love.”