Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No Lennon, No Cry

Interestingly, two of the entries for this week blend rock with reggae. I dunno what's up with that - maybe the ghost of Bob Marley has been haunting Bonnie Raitt and Ringo Starr!! Anyway, here they are:

"Cough Syrup" by Young the Giant: Every rock star has his/her sensitive side, and that includes recent ones like Young the Giant. "Cough Syrup" is an especially interesting ballad, musically it is almost like "Hey There Delilah" with electric guitars and drums instead of acoustic guitars. Unlike "Hey There Delilah", which is clearly a love song, "Cough Syrup" deals with tougher issues, like the bleakness that life sometimes offers and (from what I can tell), drug addiction. Never thought a band like Young the Giant, who don't exactly seem like the "softest" band in the world, could pull off such a bittersweet, affecting song like "Cough Syrup", but they do a good job at it! "Cough Syrup" also bears slight similarities to songs like Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle" and Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody", which makes me want to nickname Young the Giant, "Jimmy Eats Leon"!!

"Right Down the Line" by Bonnie Raitt: After 7 years out of the limelight, Bonnie is back!! One of my fave critically acclaimed rock musicians does it again, with...a cover of a song by '70s soft rocker Gerry Rafferty?!? Hmm, wasn't expecting that! Oh, yeah, and did I mention it is also a REGGAE version of that song?!? What the?!?! Seriously?!? A bit of a weird stunt for Bonnie to pull after three years short of a decade, but she does manage to make it work here!! The trademark bluesy guitar solos are present in this song, and Bonnie makes a song that was once a relatively benign song with somewhat lukewarm emotional quality sound steamy, even sexy in comparison! One more interesting aspect to note about Bonnie's cover of Gerry Rafferty (the latter of whom, sadly, passed away in January of last year) is that she changes the word "woman" in the original to "baby".

"Wings" by Ringo Starr: Not only is this the only other song in this edition of my music blog by a musician that has been active for a little over 40 years, but it is also the only other song in this entry that blends reggae and rock together ("roggae"?!) "Wings" was originally a song that Ringo did back in 1977, and it had a bit more of a rock 'n' roll sound than this version does. However, Ringo blends the reggae beat and rock instrumentation well enough here that it becomes an enjoyable version of the original "Wings" (which, by the way, is NOT about Paul McCartney's post-Beatles band, like I originally thought it would be). Hey, at least this is better (WAY better, I think) than what the other surviving Beatle released this year!