here they are:
"Do to Me" by Trombone Shorty: From start to finish, "Do to Me" is such a darn catchy song!! The feel-good New Orleans jazz of Trombone Shorty's sax player, combined with the juicy riffs of British classic rock guitar legend Jeff Beck go together remarkably well! There are only four chords throughout the entire song (including the F chord used towards the end of the song), but the rhythm, sax solos, and guitar solos make it so that it pretty much doesn't matter how many times the chords in this song are repeated. I highly recommend this song to fans of feel-good...well...anything, be it rock 'n' roll, jazz, blues, or R & B (as this song manages to combine all four effortlessly!!)
"Don't Give Up On Me Now" by Ben Harper: Once again, Ben Harper embraces his inner classic rock fan on his latest song, "Don't Give Up On Me Now". Unlike the usual Hendrix/Zeppelin type influences that pop up on his material with The Relentless 7, "Don't Give Up On Me Now" emphasizes more of a "roots-rock" flavor that one might picture Neil Young, Tom Petty, or John Mellencamp to use. It's not as though Ben does not do a good job at emulating his influences in this song, though, since he not only pulls off the typical instrumentation/distortion of a Neil Young type song in "Don't Give Up On Me Now", but also throws in the earnestness and strength of the typical Young (or Petty/Mellencamp) tune. Looking forward to knowing just how far Ben will go to show off his inner rock star next time around!!
"How Come You Never Go There?" by Feist: Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated song of the week is this one, from Canadian indie songbird Feist, best known for the deceptively childlike "1, 2, 3, 4". It's been four years since Feist last released something, so I was very excited to find out what her latest song, "How Come You Never Go There?" would sound! One of the best things about Feist is that you never know HOW she's gonna sound with every song she releases! She's done pretty much everything, from folk-y jazz ("Mushaboom"), electro-doo-wop ("Secret Heart"), icy cold alternative disco ("One Evening"), folk-pop ("1, 2, 3, 4"), dark alternative piano-rock ("My Moon, My Man"), and folk-rock ("I Feel It All"). "How Come You Never Go There?" could be considered a combination of quite a few of the (sub)genres I've already mentioned! It sounds a bit like a Fiona Apple song, but with more jazz piano (and rock guitar). Feist is as eclectic as ever here, and I don't think I could be more ecstatic about it right now!!
"Starlight" by Rachael Yamagata: Though Rachael Yamagata's work might not be the sunniest and happiest sort of music (except maybe "Be Be Your Love"), she has (so far) never gotten as dark (or rockin') as she has with "Starlight"! Copping a similar guitar riff to the main bass riff of The Zombies' "Time of the Season", "Starlight" takes on a mood that seems simultaneously angst-y and seductive, so much so, that I could easily imagine it being advertised on a promo for some show on HBO (even though I don't actually watch that station). The moody shift between A minor in the verses and the F and C chords in the chorus might also draw some comparisons of "Starlight" to Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon", which uses the same chords during (relatively) the same times in the song. To distinguish "Starlight" from both The Zombies and Fleetwood Mac, Rachael adds in a B flat in between the verses and chorus that neither of the songs I mentioned use. That being said, "Starlight" might just be the song that will get more rock 'n' roll fans interested in Rachael's music. What can I say, I can't say that would be a bad thing, that's for sure!!
"Wonder Why" by Vetiver: Got around a little late to reviewing this one, I realize, but at least my reviewing this song for this week will make my latest blog post end on a good note! "Wonder Why" is such a great song!! The melodic, power-pop-y feel of this song brings to mind a lot of the great "B bands" (i.e. The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Byrds, Big Star, etc.) of the '60s and '70s! It is so catchy, optimistic, and upbeat, that it's hard to believe Vetiver started out as a band that was more along the lines of the somber, decadent folk-rock of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith. To add to "Wonder Why"'s already nostalgic sound is an even MORE nostalgic music video, with talking houses singing along to the song!! (which can be viewed here - www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmpAXq7sq8s) So many great new releases/reviews for the week, but this one just might be my fave!! And on a final note, yes, I tagged "silly music videos with singing puppets" for this week's blog because of the video for this song, even though there's not actually puppets in the video (I figured singing houses done with what was probably computer animation was close enough!)