Showing posts with label David Gray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Gray. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 4/2/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Empire - Shakira

I may be reading into it too much but the whole runaway bride could explain why Shakira has yet to walk down the aisles with her baby daddy. And I usually do not comment on these sorts of things, but whoever the cinematographer Shakira has been working with needs some sort of award because her last two are just absolutely beautifully shot.

Supernova - Ray LaMontagne

Listening to the new Ray Lamontange song and its seventies pop-rock vibe and hearing that he brought in The Black Keys Dan Auerbach to produce made me think that the singer is finally trying to be an actual rock star. He even released his very first music video. Sure it has the production value of your average lyric video, but hey, its baby steps.

Gulls – David Gray

Recently Coldplay went full Bon Iver for the first song off their upcoming album and it sounds like David Gray has been listening a lot to the Minnesota woodsman too. He even combined that sound with a trippy music video. Coldplay quickly followed up that Bon Iver sounding song with a more traditional sounding song, I hope the same goes for David Gray, but I am not really digging this new musical path.

High Ball Stepper – Jack White

As previously mentioned, I thought Coldplay releasing a Bon Iver meets Radiohead type song was a weird first impression to make. But at least it had words; the first song we get to hear off the upcoming Jack White album is an instrumental. But the paint and glitter in speakers motif of the music video is all sorts of awesome.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Betty Ford, oh, Won’t You be My Valentine

White Ladder - David Gray

Throughout the nineties artist tried to marry rock with electronic music, even Eric Clapton devoted an album to attempted genre mashing (check out Pilgrim) to little effect, but no one made that merger as successful until David Gray came around. Babylon was a folksy song that was easy to sing along with, but underneath was a beat that sounded like a rap beat stripped of its bassline.

Once you listened to the album that Babylon was found on, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, White Ladder, you found more of the same. Where Babylon took the acoustic guitar route, Please Forgive Me when with a driving piano line to go along with the frantic electric percussion track before a head bob-along-bass part gets added to the second verse.

The marriage of folk and electric is most notable on drug fuel We’re Not Right which mixes advanced towards former first ladies and bouncing computer blips and booms. That’s not to says Gray fully rests on the gimmick, even if he still remains one of the few that can successfully make eclectic folk. The stand out track on White Ladder (which recently ranked as number 18 on The 100 Greatest Albums of the 00’s) is the a track that only features his voice and a piano, This Year’s Love, a sweeping ballad that deserves air time at every prom and wedding reception until the end of time.

Gray could also do a stripped down guitar song as heard on the album closer, an acoustic reworking of Soft Cell’s Say Hello, Wave Goodbye. No, seriously, Soft Cell had a song not called Tainted Love and Gray took the new wave, very eighties sounding song and turned it into a reflective, acoustic nine minute gem and fitting end to a classic album.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. LXXI

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan

Adam Sandler once famously proclaimed “Bob Dylan was born a Jew, then he wasn’t and now he’s back.” And now for his first holiday album, Bob Dylan is saluting the patron saint of Christmas in this odd song (he inexplicitly slices recent US presidents with reindeer names) with an even weirder video where, for reason only Dylan knows, he wears a stringy wig. Someone needs to keep off the eggnog.

¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe! – The Killers

The Killers are also ready for Christmas with their new festive, albeit south of the border, tune. Complete with a video, half that looks like outtakes from the When We Were Young video featuring a bearded Luke Perry look-a-like, the other half looks like outtakes from a Mexican horror film. Feliz Navidad.

Full Steam – David Gray and Annie Lennox

This video reminds me of the classic age of music videos when all of them had vague narratives that morph into a performance piece in some non descript area that really has nothing to do with the song. And I couldn’t stop laughing at their movements and especially David Gray’s weird mouth thing. It is too bad this won’t get enough attation because there could have been a decent SNL spoof here (the video is funnier than any Digital Short in recent memory).

I Wanna Rock – Snoop Dogg

In a story I broke Tuesday, Snoop Dogg has a new album out (see: Boss Dogg Chilin, Lookin Like a Million) and this is really the only song worth listening to. And it looks like Snoop wants to add superhero to his already long list of extra-curricular activities.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Everyday Is a Different Version Of

Draw the Line - David Gray

At the start of the decade, I would have put money on David Gray would at the end of the decade would be one of the biggest. On White Ladder he effortless mixed a singer-songwriter and electronic music with a pop sensibility better than anyone had before. But some tragedy between albums led to a darker A New Day at Midnight and Life in Slow Motion didn’t get much sunnier. So with months until the end of the decade I am glad I am not a betting man.

But that is not to say Gray didn’t deserve to stay in the public consensus as there were plenty of great songs on those two albums. And he has put out another strong effort with Draw the Line, the first album without longtime contributor Craig McClune. Without McClune, the album has a folksier feel to it, dropping the electronic sounds of previous work. Gray also brought in a pair of singing partners, Jolie Holland adds some sweet harmonies on Kathleen. The other being a very angry Annie Lennox, whose voice I first thought was Meat Loaf until I looked at the liner notes, closes out the album with Full Stream.

Draw the Line starts off with the impassioned Fugitive which stands up with anything in the Dave Gray catalogue. And the simplistic Transformation is Gray at his best that starts with just him and the piano. But if there is a criticism to be had with Draw the Line is that as a whole it is a little too melancholy and you just wish he would let go like on Fugitive. Then there is Harder which gets too close like sounding like Run by Snow Patrol. But for those that have stuck with during his dark period will still find the classic David Gray on Draw the Line.

Song to Download – Fugitive

Draw the Line gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Ten Most Anticipated Albums of Fall 2009

Usually at the beginning of each quarter I list what albums are coming out chronologically, instead, this time I am counting down the ten albums I am most looking forward to listen to this fall. Then the rest I sorted by release date. If you are interested in pre-ordering the record from Amazon, click the album name (or the album cover where available). Click the artist name to be taken to their iTunes page to grab their current work. And as always, all dates subject to change.

1. Battle StudiesJohn Mayer (November 17): When I get around to making the Greatest Albums of the 00’s list, you could make an argument for any of his first three albums to land near the top of the list. Hopefully he goes four for four with Battle Studies.

Kamaal the Abstract - Q-Tip2. Kamaal the Abstract – Q-Tip (September 15): This should have been on the Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2002, but the album got shelved by Arista. The record takes the jazz samples of A Tribe Called Quest to the extreme of live instrumentation and even sees Tip sing long before Andre 3000 or Kanye with production from the late J Dilla.

Draw the Line - David Gray3. Draw the Line – David Gray (September 22): Even though he hasn’t gotten the mainstream following after striking it big with Babylon, Gray has put out consistently good music since. And from the signs of the first single Fugitive, it looks to continue.

4. Everything Comes and GoesMichelle Branch (November 10): Branch started off her career by making what may end up being the greatest pop album of the decade. Like many other artists this decade, she went country with her duo The Wreckers. Now back with her first solo album in six years, it sounds like she will continue straddling the pop / rock / country fence.

5. Kiss and TellSelena Gomez and The Scene (September 29): Just kidding, making sure you are paying attention. But seriously, their first single is disturbingly catchy. Don’t tell Chris Hansen I said that though please.

The Seventh Seal - Rakim6. The Seventh Seal – Rakim (September 22): Another rap album that has been taking too long to be released. I have been anxiously waiting for this album ever since Dr. Dre signed him to his Aftermath label back in 2000. He left three years later to sign with Dreamworks that folded shortly after. Hopefully there are no more snags between now and the 22nd.

7. I and Love and YouThe Avett Brothers (September 29): I was first introduced to the band when Friday Night Lights used it as the soundtrack to the Landy/Tyra coupling. Now with a Rick Rubin produced, they are posed to be the breakout rock act of the year.

Play On - Carrie Underwood8. Play On – Carrie Underwood (November 3): Unlike #5, this is no joke. Her debut was the guiltiest of guilty pleasures and the follow was exactly what you expect, save the last track Wheel that pushed her boundaries outward. From the sound of the first single Cowboy Cassanova she might be pushing further with the song co-written by Mike Elizondo, one of Dr. Dre’s co-producers.

Man on the Moon: The End of Day – Kid Cudi9. Man on the Moon: The End of Day – Kid Cudi (September 15): Consider me skeptic about a five act rap concept album, the recent three acts from Green Day was heavy-handed. But Make Her Say may go down as the best hip-hop track of year. And bonus points for being from Cleveland.

10. How I Got OverThe Roots (October 20): You would think after agreeing to be Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots would rest on their laurels, but just a year after releasing their last album comes a new one.

Here are some other albums you can expect to drop sometime before Christmas. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments or tell me what fall release you are looking forward to:

September 15
The ResistanceMuse
So Far Gone - Drake

September 22
BackspacerPearl Jam
Attention DeficitWale
Monsters Of FolkMonsters of Folk
Last Train To ParisSean “Diddy” Combs

September 29
Black Gives Way To BlueAlice in Chains
Brand New EyesParamore
Memoirs of an imperfect AngelMariah Carey
Can't Slow DownForeigner

October 6
Do What You Want, Be What You Are:The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates (Box Set)
Hello HurricaneSwitchfoot
Escape RouteJoe Budden
Is and Always WasDaniel Johnston
Have Guitar, Will TravelJoe Perry
The Listening - Lights

October 13
Christmas In the HeartBob Dylan
She WolfShakira
Evolution of a ManBrian McKnight
Dead by Sunrise – Chester Bennington
SliceFive for Fighting

October 20
Til the Casket DropsClipse
Colour Me Free - Joss Stone

October 27
Raditude – Weezer
Strict JoyThe Swell Session
Save Me San FranciscoTrain
If On A Winter's Night...Sting
Live At The O2 - Kings of Leon
Live At The OlympiaR.E.M.
The Essential Weird Al Yankovic
Halford III – Winter Songs – Rob Halford (this is a Christmas album. No, seriously.)

November 3
Before I Self Destruct50 Cent
In Love & WarAmerie

November 10
Untitled – Avril Lavigne

November 17
The FallNorah Jones

November 24
Stronger – Mary J. Blige

Date Not Yet Announced
Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1 – Beastie Boys
TBA - Alicia Keys
Lasers – Lupe Fiasco (December)
TBA - Vampire Weekend
Malice in Wonderland – Snoop Dogg
Light and Darkness - Christina Aguilera (November)
Relapse 2 – Eminem
TBA - Barenaked Ladies
Rise Up – Cypress Hill

And now for the obligatory, this may be the season that Dr. Dre releases Detox. Hey, we got Chinese Democracy last year so maybe it is possible.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. LXII

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Goodnight, Travel Well – The Killers

UNICEF, MTV and The Killers teamed up this thought provoking video to shed the light on human trafficking. Hopefully since they are involved, MTV actually shows the video sometime other than times when normal people are not sleeping.

Fugitive – David Gray

Back in 2000, I would have pegged David Gray to end up being one of the artists of the decade. As we close out the ’00 that sadly didn’t turn out to be the case aside from my own record collection as most people were turned off by his dark turn on A Day After Midnight. But still color me excited for Draw the Line out next month.

Melody – Kate Earl

iTunes use to find a lot of gems with their weekly free Single of the Week, but this year has been mostly misses. But that turned around this week where you can get this song from Kate Earl for the low price of nothing. As long as the banner below is of Earl, you can still get it for free. As for the song itself, I love the subtle doo-wop in the middle of the song.

Kate Earl free on iTunes

Relator – Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson

Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson teamed up for an album, so, um, yeah, that happened.