Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Amazon were having one of their for one week only never to be repeated, honest guv, really how can you refuse? deals. In this case it was 10 downloads for £6.00 (or 5 for £3.50 which isn't a good deal) with their normal average price being 69p per download and more recent best selling stuff at 89p. Not the most generous of deals but enough for me to be interested. I'd been primed because I'd recently bought a download of something I thought was terrific. Can you guess what it was?  I'll give you a hint.
Well I didn't want to make it too hard.

So I thought I'd look for ten tracks. Rather than take the obvious route of checking out albums by artists I liked, which would have been typically me, I simply went to Amazon's list of tracks in best selling order until I'd picked ten tracks which interested me. Once I'd downloaded them, I brought them all together along with the download I'd bought a few days ago and put them in alphabetical order of artist.

 Here they are:

Adele: Rolling In The Deep. 
Simply amazing song and an amazingly expressive performance. How can a 21 year old sing so well? I watched her sing it live on an American tv show (via You Tube) and she really is good.

Adele: Someone Like You. 
What I just said, only the song isn't quite as amazing; still pretty good though.

Cee Lo Green: Fuck You.
I caught the Glee rendition of the song as 'Forget You' and rather liked it so I thought I'd go to the source. Oddly, I prefer the Glee version, though I do like this, only not as much.

The Imagined Village: Scarborough Fair.
British folk supergroup, sort of. This comes from their second album released last year. It's an attempt to reclaim it back from Paul Simon by taking it at a slow place utilising fiddle, guitar, accordion and sitar-like sounds. The vocalist is very strong but just not quite strong enough and misses the odd note here and there, but it's still pretty impressive. And, at 6.50, long.

Jessie J: Do It Like A Dude.
Heard a bit about her lately and, like all the others here, I played a sample of the track.Hi energy, heavy percussion, synthesised voice, some rude lyrics, some lyrics I didn't understand, and for some reason it just puts a smile on my face; dunno why but it just amuses me. She is an experienced songwriter and I like her image. She's openly bi, but then that's quite trendy these days.

Joanne Shaw Taylor: Going Home.
British guitarist Taylor, now in her mid-twenties and living in Detroit,  has been playing the Blues and her Fender Stratocaster professionally since she was sweet 16 when Dave Stewart gave her a job. She's certainly very competent and this piece of Blues opens slowly and builds. It's a nice piece but nothing you haven't really heard before.

Your homework for this week: Compare and contrast the above two artists.

Lady Antebellum: I Run To You.
An American three-piece band, 2m/1f sharing vocals, good harmonies in a soft rock vein. Very nice.

Lady Gaga: Born This Way.
I'm not convinced either way about the biological determinism argument as being responsible for sexuality. Some gay men and women report they've always felt attracted to their own sex while others report it as coming on during their adolescence and there are numerous accounts of women having a lesbian relationship in their 30's and older -I know two personally. Neverthless, anything which spits in the face of the religious right  and stands up for gay equality is fine by me. Plus I've always liked Lady Gaga who has consistently taken a stand on this issue.

The Oyster Band & June Tabor: Love Will Tear Us Apart.
Popular folkies get together for a jam session which produced this lovely version of one of my favourite songs by Joy Division.

Teddy Thompson: Looking For a Girl.
Just a good performance of a good upbeat  song by singer/songwriter and son of cult figure Richard. Teddy is on his way to being a cult himself -highly talented but mostly overlooked.

Tina Turner: Proud Mary.
It's probably superfluous to say anything about a living legend and the greatest singer of generation but this is just a great version of the song. It starts out slow and delicate before turning into an unstoppable monster as Tina belts it out for all she's worth and that is a hell of a lot.

So: eclectic or what?

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