This has been an odd week for me music-wise. My top 5 songs this week are more inspired by several particular momenta from last week in which a song played an important part...
Morten Harket - Out of My Hands
I reviewed Morten Harket's newest solo album earlier this week and since the album is very good it's only natural one of its songs finds itself here.
Out of My Hands is a gorgeous ballad on an album full of uptempo pop songs. It's probably the most "Harket" song on there, with a less current production it could have appeared on any of Morten's previous albums (or even on an a-ha album). I'm not a ballad person but if it is a truly exceptional song, a ballad can sometimes stay with you the longest.
David Bowie - Can You Hear Me
I listen to Bowie pretty much every day. A few days ago I was getting ready to go out and when this song came on my player I completely got lost in it and forgot what I wanted to do. I've been a fan of Bowie's for 10 years now. After all this time his songs can still do this to me. What an amazing musician/artist he is...
He was completely coked out when he made Young Americans. I'm not a huge fan of the album itself and it is true his delivery of this song lacks true passion a bit, Bowie pretty much only really needs to get laid - that is the message I take away from the song. On the other hand it's one of Bowie's best vocal performances ever. It's just a joy to listen to. Ooh.
Oh, do yourselves a favour and watch Bowie singing this song as a duet with Cher. Just priceless.
Sergei Rachnaminoff - Piano Concerto no. 2
I was watching Brief Encounter, an amazing British film from the 40's and at one point a familiar melody started playing. I wondered where did I know this piece of classical music from and why did it sound so pop to me? After some detective work I discovered the author and name of the piece and how Eric Carmen totally ripped off its main motif for the verses of his 1975 hit All By Myself which subsequently got covered to death.
The original music is so beautiful though, it will totally make you forget you are quite sick of that pop ballad. Plus, the piece fit the film so well, it almost felt like it was written especially for it.
Robbie Williams - Advertising Space
Michael Jackson would have turned 54 two days ago. I'm not an "MJ" fan but do recognise his talents. I was listening to the radio that day and when Robbie's song to/about Elvis Presley came on I immediately connected it with Michael and his life and death and it made me a bit teary-eyed. I cried when MJ died, not because I was sad about his death, more because I was sad about the weirdness and the loneliness of his life. And Advertising Space brought it all back.
I love this Robbie song. While I'm a fan of Rob's self-referential style as a lyricist I have to say Advertising Space stands out as exceptional from this point of view exactly because it's not straightforwardly about Robbie himself. Rob managed to take his experience as an entertainer who became very famous at a very young age and to translate it as a letter to one of his biggest idols.
There's no dignity in death
To sell the world your last breath
They're still fighting over
Everything you left
No one learned from your mistakes
We let our prophets go to waste
All that's left in any case
Is advertising space
Through your eyes
The world was burning
Please be gentle
I'm still learning
You seemed to say
As you kept turning up
They poisoned you with compromise
At what point did you realise
Everybody loves your life
Please be gentle I'm still learning is the key lyric for me and it makes me think about something else than just explitation. I hate seeing not only bored teenagers who don't know better but also adults moaning about and insulting very young pop stars. Okay, you think their music sucks and their fans are annoying. Does it warrant death threats, anonymous online attacks and general bitchiness? I find any form of online or media bullying a truly disgusting behaviour. These young stars might be poor musicians and might fade away soon but they are real people who are not bulletproof. Also, tastes are relative.
Lana Del Rey - Radio
Woah, it turned a bit heavy and deep this week. Radio might actually be the most upbeat sounding song on here! But sounds can be deceiving.
Baby love me cause I'm playing on the radio
(how do you like me now?)
I suppose Radio deals with the whole unhappiness with one's life and trying to cure it by becoming famous. Will I finally find love and inner peace if millions of people love me? Will this person finally approve of me because I'm famous now?
Btw, I recommend a 1965 British film called Darling for you to watch. The film's star Julie Christie won an Oscar for her portrayal of a model/socialite Diana. Calling Diana "amoral" is simplifying the whole story, the film's got to do with a human being's uncertainness and unhappiness with one's life and it's definitely an interesting, if imperfect viewing experience. Also, it co-stars my beloved Dirk Bogarde. So...recommended! ;)
If you read this far it probably means you have a bit of time on your hands. ;) If so, I recommend you to watch these two fan videos for Lana's Radio song. You might like them. One is here and the other one is here.
Thanks so much for reading, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to use the comment section and also feel free to share this entry on Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, or by e-mail. The sharing gadgets have been newly installed under this text.
Have a great week and happy September!
...until next time...
Peace, Love and Ringo!