Something new, something old and something older…

Here are a few musical recommendations of mine to savour if you will. One for each decade I’ve been alive so far, inadvertently so.

Something new…

Heartless (Airto singing cover)

First up the latest cover from my favourite Youtube foundling, Airto Edmundo.  It’s a smoothed out version of Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’.  In all honesty I found the original rather forgettable but once again Mr Edmundo works his magic and turns this into something new, improved and altogether gorgeous. I can’t say how many times Airto has made a middle-of-the-road song sound like the best thing you’ve ever heard. Courtesy mainly of his effortless, honeycomb vocals and simple, effective arrangements on the keys.  Check out his many covers and a few of his originals on www.youtube.com/Airto and your ears will be forever grateful.

 

Something old…

\’Keep Trying\’ – Groove Theory

From their eponymous 1995 album, this is Groove Theory’s ‘Keep Trying’.  For those who don’t know, GT were one of the best things to come out of the 90s; comprised of the ludicrously talented – and gorgeous – duo Bryce Wilson and Amel Larrieux.  Since their outstanding debut single ‘Tell me’ Amel’s has remained one of my favourite female voices.  Nevertheless, great as she is none of her solo efforts since the break-up of GT have equalled her work with Bryce IMHO.  Although I don’t think ‘Keep Trying’ is one of their strongest tracks, I chose this video because it harks back to a time when a beautiful girl could appear in a video dressed in a granny cardigan, wearing a headband, without it looking out of place.  In light of the barely-clothed women and rampant mysogyny in most of today’s videos, ‘Keep trying’ is a welcome, refreshing break.

 

Something older…

\’Wide Boy\’ – Nik Kershaw.

OK so I’m stretching the soul connection a bit with this one, Nik Kershaw’s ‘Wide Boy’.  I justify my choice by pointing out what a well-crafted melody it has and that a good melody in itself always has an element of ‘soulfulness’ regardless of genre, because of it’s ability to connect. Anyhoo, as a child of the 80s I tend to have a weakness for music from that era, in particular anything synthesised.  It was one of the most innovative periods for pop music and Mr Kershaw played his part (check out ‘Human Racing’ said to be inspired by Stevie Wonder’s ‘Ghetto Village Land’).  If I ignore the mindless babble by the frat boys introducing it at the beginning, ‘Wide Boy’ has to be one of the best videos I’ve seen from that decade.  A simple story commensurate to the lyrics -that fame and success alone do not denote good character- the video chronicles the rise and fall of an egotistical star.   The director did a superb job; I’ve rarely seen the simple premise of everyone in the video miming the lyrics used to such great effect. It’s camp and hammed up but on its own terms and not just because it’s a casualty of 80s cheesiness. Everyone in the video looks as if they want to be there – including the star- that they know what they are doing and do it with gusto.  There is just enough well-executed choreography to give it that feel-good musical vibe.  Plus it has the good grace to still be relevant today.  If none of that has sold you then watch it for Kershaw’s eyebrows alone, which are an event in themselves ;-).  
All in all the ‘Wide Boy’ video is good art.  It begs the question; When did videos stop being this creative and become so devoid of artistic vision? 

by Tola Ositelu.

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