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Archive for December, 2009

LG Chocolate Advert – ???

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

What a mystery this is – I remember seeing the advert on TV and thinking the song is BRILLIANT, but after searching for ages online, scrambling across advert websites trying to find out who it was by, all I could find was a blog comment saying that they commission people to make 30 second clips for adverts etc and this was one of them. Poor guy/girl getting no credit for this great dance track. Wish it was longer. But part of me loves the mystery.

As for the best part….come on, it’s only 30 seconds long!

LG Chocolate Advert by massime

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Sia – Breathe Me

December 28, 2009 1 comment

A beautiful song which I heard during the trailer for a film I’ve always hoped would be made from the book.

The book is super significant in my life – it was essentially me coming of age. A fellow employee whom I worked with during my gap year at Ottakars (now Waterstones), would spend every day telling me about the opportunities in life. I remember how narrow-minded I was, even questioning why anyone would want to volunteer in Africa as you wouldn’t get paid and it’s full of mosquitoes. It cringes me to even write that. She also gave me the book ‘Way of the Peaceful Warrior’ to read, and I swear it changed my life. I ended up leaving the band which I was committing to (we just got signed to Blue Mountain and I wanted a gap year before uni to see how things would go), desperate to travel, to find what else I’d love, and to go to uni and meet loads of new people.

All terribly fascinating, but it’s been a hard journey to this day trying to ‘catch up’ with lost knowledge and fill in my gaps of ignorance. it makes me depressed often, feeling so second-rate with other people my age with so much more basic knowledge and intellect. But overall, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

My first favourite bit has to be the beginning with the haunting piano chords and if you listen closely you can hear Sia breathing. Brilliant and relevant.

My second favourite bit is from 3:07 where the marimba is heard (one of my favourite instruments which I also learnt at university), and then suddenly everything comes back in for a great instrumental finale, ending on a great cello bow.

Breathe Me by massime

Eels – Climbing to the Moon (Jon Brion Remix)

December 27, 2009 2 comments

I unfortunately had to miss my final months of my final year at university due to an operation that I needed to have. Subsequently it went wrong, and this resulted in me being housebound for weeks, and weeks, and weeks…and weeks. I ended missing my final exams (this is good), missing my graduation, missing saying goodbye to friends, missing Tim and Sam’s Band supporting the Bowerbirds, and it just made me into a fat turnip as I’d sit every day on my laptop as it was too painful to move.

But one good thing to come out of it was that I discovered the Eels‘ hits album Meet The Eels. What a wonderful, varied album! Every track is brilliant. But what I love is how you’re just not sure if he’s singing with optimism or if it’s all sarcasm and cynicism. He has had a pretty shitty life, with a lot of his close family unfortunately dying. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were all the latter. I’m just not sure how some people can keep going on in life with constant disasters. I really want to get round to reading his biography, and I’ve been told by close friends that it’s great. Sometimes I feel that grand things are so much more easily achieved when you are armed with severe emotions – whether they’re great or extremely low.

Climbing up the Moon was pretty much on repeat whilst I’d sit on the sofa. It’s just so beautiful. The initial guitar strums into the rasping snare drum hit at 00:14 secs sets off such wonderful lyrics which I can only presume are about his sister (see above). But it is the chord change at 1:01 to the relative minor, enhancing the melancholy after he says Climbing up the moon. It’s as though the flute melody which follows it signifies what is to be seen when she arrives. But it is when it returns at 2:50 where the lyric and chord change is repeated many times with newly entering strings and other instruments which is where the piece peaks in it’s beauty. It feels as though it represents her triumph in climbing to the moon, escaping this world.

Climbing To The Moon [Jon Brion Remix] by massime

Muse – United States of Eurasia

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment

So what if it sounds like Queen or the second half (Collateral Damage) is nearly a note-for-note rip-off of a Chopin Etude? Muse have been doing this for ages and so has every single music artist ever to have graced our ears. No one is completely authentic, but they are all creative – and if something enjoyable comes out of their creativity then surely that’s the most important thing?

And with that in mind, this absolutely killer track by one of, if not Britain’s best bands does exactly that – entertains with sheer unique creativity. With pastiche’s to Queen and Chopin, it is still obviously Muse – no one sounds like them.

Interestingly, my favourite bit is neither the Queen homages or Chopin recital, but actually the Middle Eastern & TOTALLY ROCKING OUT section:

Starting from 1:34 we hear these amazing bass slides and Umm Kulthum style piano and string unison harmonic minor melodies. And before I continue, come on – how GOOD is the production? If you’re listening on good speakers, the sound is so big, yet still so raw.

Anyway, from 1:58 the track basically enters the ‘rocking out’ section with a great drum & hi-hat beat going on whilst the bass and piano are just wacking out Eb’s. Then at 2:09 the piece epically changes to the relative minor (C Minor) with great, slightly more pissed-off lyrics about the corruption and apathy of world leaders.

This all then gets repeated. Annoyingly, only once. I just want to keep looping this section. Alas. Hail Muse.

United States of Eurasia (Collateral Damage) by massime

Paramore – Ignorance

December 25, 2009 2 comments

Yes Paramore, I’ve been waiting for this day to talk about you for making what is, without a doubt, my song of 2009.

This track has pretty much been listened to every day from the beginning of August when I started working at the Beeb and found this CD in the box of ones to be thrown out. I’ll never look back, exposing myself to such a gold record.

It’s so gold, I really can’t pick one fave bit, I can pick so many. To be precise, if I say that every second is a fave bit, then I can have 219 favourite bits… That’s a lot of bits.

The track starts with an explosive introduction of bass slides (first heard at 00:05 secs), thumping drums and ridiculously well-produced guitars – a perfect start for me.

Everything – the constantly changing drum beats, Hayley’s immense vocals, the ever changing sections to the track. The particularly long bridge (first heard at 00:45 secs) could even be interpreted as the first of two choruses, with the second coming in at 01:10.

It’s this second chorus which makes the track: introduced by a brilliant drum and guitar breakdown (01:07 – 01:10), the chorus is so energetic, rocking, passionate, emotional, powerful, so perfect. But when she says “It’s nice to meet you so…” (01:15- 01:21 and then repeated) the song peaks in it’s energy with thrashing drums and descending chords. It’s just one big massive ‘fuck you’.

It’s so good to exercise to, if not dangerous – picking up ridiculous speeds that I’ll never be able to maintain because of the pure energy in this track. It’s good when you’re pissed off, when you want vengeance, even when you want to celebrate. At least, I use it for all of these occasions.

Just perfect. One of those tracks that I wish I wrote. I’d pay money to play this track with them. Am I bumming the track enough? I really don’t think I am. Forget Girls by Animal Collective, this really is the alternative track of 2009.

Ignorance by massime

Alicia Keys – Harlem’s Nocturne

December 24, 2009 2 comments

The intro track off Alicia’s second album, ‘Diary of Alicia Keys‘, a surprising album opener of melancholic piano before the equally good track Karma.

The whole track is great, really great for running to, especially from when we hear ‘drop it’ at 00:36 secs, which begins my favourite bit/basically the rest of the track:

When I used to compose for my first band, I was obsessed with a piano playing grand minor chords, alternating with diminished 7th chords over an electric bass and drum kit. In fact, the same formula got us signed to Blue Mountain (please ignore the awful quality). So I was so happy when I cam across this track – she composed a track exactly how I like to! It also has to have a grandly produced sound, which this track and the rest of the album has.

I then started to love choral/aria-like vocals…which can ALSO be heard on this track! So I was loving it when I could hear the backing vocals gradually build up.

My fave TWO bits have to be at 00:56 secs when she keeps hammering the minor key instead of going to the dominant and the drummer stops only to play hi- hats. It’s like this smooth dip in the song to then rise back up to the next part of speech in the song at 00:58 secs (I don’t think you can call these sections verses).

The second bit has to be when the piano and plucked strings rise up a diminished 7th chord, first heard at 1:08 – 1:13. I love that chord so much, I can’t seem to not use it when composing.

Harlem’s Nocturne by massime

The Shins – New Slang

December 23, 2009 3 comments

This is one of the most beautiful rock/pop songs I’ve ever heard. Perhaps because it’s from that beautiful film Garden State. How can you not like it? It’s perfect. It makes you want to fall in love, and this is why the song fits the soundtrack so well – it does both of these things. It comes at the point when the attractive (both in looks and personality) Natalie Portman introduces this song to Zach Braff saying “You gotta hear this one song, it’ll change your life I swear”. What a compliment to The Shins too.

This isn’t the version on the soundtrack – I found this version on my computer and it’s in a different key and sounds more raw. I’m not sure where it comes from, maybe from the album Oh, Inverted World? When I heard the soundtrack version I was disappointed in how polished it sounds. So I’ve gone back to this version now.

My fave bit has to be how it starts – it gradually builds up in volume with ‘ooo’s’ over such a wonderful chord sequence until 00:40 secs where the bass descends to the relative minor, G# (the piece is in B major) and then the verse begins.

The Shins – New Slang by massime