Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Musical Musings V

- Listening to The Essential Bruce Springsteen brought back a pleasant memory.

There was a Philips ad in the early 90s where the guy and the girl get stuck in an elevator and the light goes out. In a pre-AXE deodorant, more innocent Doordarshan world, our man switches on his boombox and they dance to... 'Dancing in the Dark'. Before I knew it was by Springsteen, I remember getting drawn by the hooksy melody of that song. 'can't start a fire without a spark..'

As I listen to it and other tracks on this fabulous 3-CD collection now, I understand why The Boss is known as such a great songwriter. Through blue-collar early Americana/Folk-inspired 'Jawsey* boy' all the way to mature, thoughtful middle age, he manages to convey so much through his songs.

- AG pointed me to someone singing Hallelujah on American Idol. It's triggered a major interest in the Jeff Buckley version of the song which this participant channeled. And why not. As a Buckley junkie, I'm not too unhappy.

- The Once soundtrack is full of romance, longing, genuinely heartfelt music and complete awesomeness. I haven't seen the film yet, but an unexpected gift (yo, AG - thanks!) lit up a miserable week highlighted by extra work, a cold and an unexpected allergic reaction.

Falling Slowly won the Oscar for Original Song this year. I liked it a lot, though I do wonder about the Academy's choice in songwriting at times. In addition to that track, there are other songs on the album which work really well including Fallen from the Sky, Trying to Pull Myself Away and If You Want Me. Many of the songs are spare acoustic pieces recounting all parts of being in love and breaking up. 

There's a certain Damien Rice vibe to the songs, especially because Marketa Irgalova's voice is so similar to  Lisa Hannigan's. The songs manage to hit all the right notes and I need to watch the movie now.

- Radiohead inspires shock, awe and rabid devotion among its sizable chunk of fans throughout the world. However, frontman-vocalist Thom Yorke's solo release 'The Eraser' showcases a completely different side to him. Retaining the ambient, ethereal sound of his band, Yorke explores electronica. Tracks And it rained all night and Harrowdown Hill shine, making for essential earphone listening on the bus.

*(that's Jersey for the rest of us. Springsteen's from New Jersey)

Previous takes on an abiding obsession - I, II, III and IV

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