Saturday, March 17, 2012

My 2011 Illinois Entertainer Reviews: B

On a Mission

In “Easy Please Me” (this disco doyenne likes omitting words from titles), Katy B complains no “man” pleases her because “their lines are far too cheesy” and “no boy is on the level.”  Besides not knowing the difference between a man and a boy, she’s also a hypocrite: She herself isn’t on the level either.  “You don’t have to have a lot of money,” she sings.  “All you’ve got to have is fire burning deep in your soul.”  Yeah, right.  Beats like hers don’t grow on trees.  In fact, they’re probably the best money can buy.  They’re also the only aural detail of these songs that makes them seem special to the extent that they do.  Recurring subject: feeling good.  Recurring malaise: not making feeling good feel all that special.

The Singles Volume 10: 1975-1979
(Hip-O Select)

What bliss it must have been to be James Brown in the mid-to-late ’70s. Judging from these thirty-six A and B sides, all he had to do to get on the good foot was assemble his musicians, tell them to make it funky now, grab the mic, and freely associate on whatever theme happened to be occupying his mind at the time. If the jam went on too long for seven inches of vinyl (as was the case, for instance, with “For Goodness Sakes, Look at Those Cakes”), he’d just fade it out halfway through then bring it back up on the flipside. Biggest surprise: the David Bowie “Fame” sample in “Hot (I Need to Be Loved).” Best line (from “Woman”): “My mother was a woman--and she still is.”

My 2011 Illinois Entertainer Reviews: C

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