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Archive for November, 2009

A.R. Rahman – Mausam & Escape

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

A.R. Rahman is the dude of Bollywood, he has scored so many great films including my all-time fave Lagaan. If you’ve never watched a Bollywood then start here. It’s not too wishy-washy and romantic (although that is one of the sub-plots) and has a great story line with loads of action, political undertones, dancing, music and a great game of cricket with a killer twist at the end.

Anyway, this track is from the super successful Slumdog Millionaire when the kids are running away from potentially being blinded by the dodgy “film director”.

What’s my fave bit? It’s got to be the drop to the ridiculously epic beat which follows. After what is a quaint and picturesque introduction suddenly becomes sinister with horns entering at 36/37 seconds to begin the buildup. Then the bass which comes in at 49 seconds really keeps it going, followed by some wicked drum hits at 57 seconds. Then finally enters the beat at 59 seconds. What a great snare sound!

P.s. I also love the entry of the funeral march-like strings at 1:36 to 1:46.
Mausam & Escape by massime

Kirk Franklin – He Reigns

November 26, 2009 1 comment

Good gospel music is quality. I mean REAL Quality. Perhaps the only decent way of musically proclaiming the Christian faith (from a musical perspective). When it’s funky and passionate rather than a lyrical way of just praying (that’s a subtle diss I guess not to gospel songs but generic Christian bands and their added 7th play-it-safe chord progressions), then it’s quality.

This Kirk Franklin track is my joint fave gospel song alongside Martha Munizzi’s Glorious which I’m sure I’ll post about in the near future.

The introduction is one long massive build-up which is done so well (aided by incredible production, especially on the drum kit – listen to the snare drum!) into the chorus. You can hear the gradually added snare hits from 21 seconds. Then at 36 seconds an amazing bass slide brings in the ridiculously catchy brass riff and basically the chorus.

So in short summary, I have two favourite things about this track:
1) the introduction
2) the drum kit. I mean, I could listen to this drummer and the drum sound all day. Check out the groove from 3:03 – MY GOSH. GET INTO THAT GROOVE NOW.
He Reigns by massime

Revere – The Escape Artist

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

This is one of those songs which I fell instantly in love with as soon as I heard it. Absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way – the structure, Stephen Ellis’ voice, the arrangement, the production. It’s a song I wish I wrote. The video is equally brilliant and you should definitely watch it. 

It’s hard to say what my favourite bit is because quite frankly, it’s all brilliant. For the sake of sticking to what my blog is about however, cast your ears to 1:57 and listen to 2:36. At 1:43 begins a great build up of texture and at 1:59/2:00 to 2:03 is an incredible wail with vibrato that suits the tension so perfectly. I look forward to it every time. Then at 2:12 is a great falsetto hold into the chorus, which features such wonderful harmonies such as at 2:32.

A epic track which I can’t recommend enough. Be changed – give it a listen and also watch the video. Well done Revere.

P.s. at 3:50 begins a great chorus – another great part.
REVERE – The Escape Artist by tomrobinson

Schubert – Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen

November 24, 2009 2 comments

Translated as ‘to be sung on the water’, this is my favourite aria by one of my favourite classical composers. You might recognise this piece if you have watched Battle Royal (from 3:30 in this video) If you haven’t, go watch it, it’s also one of my favourite films and it could be yours too once you reach the end.

My favourite bit is from right at the beginning with the descending minor melody on the piano. It starts so sad and depressing – fitting for the film. Then the vocals come in and consistently (but in various harmonies) harmonises with the descending piano melody (for example at 28 secs, 30 secs, 33 secs). Haunting timbre.
Auf dem Wasser zu singen by massime

Antony & The Johnsons – Everglade

November 23, 2009 1 comment

This is the final track from the weird Chichesterian’s latest album, The Crying Light. A typically eclectic and ultimately melancholic album but now on the subject of environmentalism, not with his confusions on his own sexuality.

Antony & The Johnsons is exceptionally good at orchestration and this track is a fine example of this. There is beautiful flute playing and orchestral accompaniment throughout. I particularly like the track from 1:37 where the oboe has a solo melody, intertwining with horns and strings. It’s so heartbreakingly beautiful – at times uplifting, and then other times the mood drops, for example, the low strings and brass from 2:26 until the end. A great finish to the album.

Everglade by massime

Paloma Faith – Upside Down

November 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Paloma Faith‘s debut album, Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? is my album of this year, and I only heard it about a month ago after her performance on Jools Holland and Johnathan Ross on the same night. EVERY track on her album is a hit and she can’t be compared to Amy Winehouse or Duffy, not because that’d be lazy journalism, but because she’s way better than both of them. So there.

I love her burlesque influence to her performances – the way she moves and the clothes she wears. Not to mention the equally flamboyant front cover.

But I mostly love this track, especially the way it begins. Great use of muted trumpet and it’s just SUCH a funky track! I defy you not to tap your feet or move your head. The only other song I know which is so equally compulsively groovy is Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman. So my favourite bit is from the beginning… and then the rim-shot triplets on the snare drum at 21 seconds is your cue to get on that dance floor and shake it. But then at 33 seconds you’re forced to wait through a great bridge buildup and then at 43/44 seconds comes the VERY CATCHY chorus.

Oh and one other mention, the cabaret harmonies at 2:08 – 2:10. Sexy.

Upside Down by massime

Rufus Wainwright – Do I Disappoint You

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

From what I think is Rufus Wainwright‘s best album, Release The Stars, is the opening track and one of my favourites.

Actually, I’ll extend my love for this man to this: he has my favourite male voice. Agree?

This song has an amazing chorus(?) where Rufus humms in harmony (first heard at 2:02). From 3:00 (“sensation”) it builds up to a climax (which paradoxically slows down in tempo) as though it reaches the top of a steep hill, and triumphs with fanfare to then lead to the magical humming section at 3:29, but this time with strings playing the same melody and then trumpets coming in at 3:47. It’s all so beautiful.

In a nutshell, the whole song is typical Rufus genius. The guy’s even done an opera to prove his flamboyant talents.

  RufusDoIDisappointYou  by  massime