Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Song of the day

Just listening to my randomized playlist and Oleta Adams's "Easier to Say Goodbye" pops up...and it occurs to me that, for whatever reason, Adams has never broken out of the jazz section into big crossover success. And that's a cryin' shame, and would be something of a surprise to me if I didn't know how random commercial success is and how little it has to do with actual musical excellence. (Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the reigning Queen of Pop...Miley Cyrus!) But once you've heard Adams's version of "New York State of Mind," for example, you can't (or at least I can't) ever again hear Billy Joel's version without being struck by the fact that he has no idea how to sing his own song. A rich and powerful and expressive voice over which she has complete control, and impeccable taste in song choice and arrangement...just an artist who should, I consider, be on the playlist of anyone who genuinely loves music; indeed it's practically impossible to find a bad Adams cut. "Easier to Say Goodbye" is one of the songs, along with the Dave Grusin cover of "I've Got Plenty O' Nuthin'," or the last movements of Beethoven's Fifth and Ninth Symphonies, or Shania Twain's "C'Est la Vie," or dc Talk's "Luv is a Verb," or Luis Miguel's "Sabes Una Cosa" or his Spanish cover of "SonrĂ­e [Smile]," or Josh Groban's "So She Dances," or Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," or Blestyashchiye's "Za Chetyrie Morya" or "Vostochniye Skazki," or Merle Haggard's cover of Jimmy Rodgers's "Blue Yodel No. 6," or Ella's "Things Are Lookin' Up" -- there are songs that I could listen to all day long, over and over, and literally never get tired of. Fifteen years now I've been feeling my heart leap when that first bass note and feather-touch percussion announces that "Easier To Say Goodbye" has rolled up to the top of the playlist again, and I'm not sure that in all that time I've ever gotten to the end of the cut and not reached for the back button with a hearty, "I gotta hear that again!"

Which I just now did, come to think of it...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Trenchant Literary Criticism + Excellently Bad Pun = Blog Comment of the Day

A commenter on a not-very-funny post at someone else's blog delivers this highly memorable piece of literary criticism:

"I always thought that the Bronte sisters needed a good editor. Less is moor."