Vere Views & Reviews; Music, Books &

Archive for March, 2013

C’est Nile Rodgers – Le Freak


English: at his Le Crib Studios.

English: at his Le Crib Studios. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Le Freak; An Upside Story Of Family, Disco & Destiny (Book)

Addiction, adulation, alcoholism, death, heroism, intimidation, mediation multiculturalism, murder. racism, radicalism rejection, drug dealing family members, loss, discovery and re-discovery, sounds like good ingredients for a film, however, these are just some of the themes running this biography.
Nile writes about his complex and complicated family life and how he was a little bit of an outsider. When you read that his parents where addicts, you hope that Nile has the strength not to succumb to drugs, however, as you later learn drugs become an important factor in both his and his families lives.

We learn that Le Freak the song initially came about after Nile Rodgers was refused entry into a club, a late night jamming session resulted in the song Aww Fuck Off, which was then re-titled Aww Freak Off Which eventually became the multimillion hit single (Aww) Freak Out. Niles also informs us that Lets Dance originally began as a folk song which David Bowie played to him on guitar.

Although it may seem like a scattergun approach with the diverse array of artists that Nile Rodgers has produced; when you read and then realise his views about music you understand that it is not scattergun approach at all., just some of the artist that Nile has worked with includes; B52s, Inxs, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Adam Lambert, Diana Ross, Thompson Twins, Carly Simon, Sister Sledge, Madonna David Bowie, Duran Duran and of course Chic.

Rodgers is very candid about his drug consumption, he informs that his accountant informs him to give away gold bars rather than his coke as pound for pound he would lose less money.

Not only is Le Freak is a captivating read, it also serves a musical history lesson for the reader. My only disappointment with this biography is the light insider gossip on the lets dance, Notorious and Black Tie White Noise recording sessions.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

Widescreen Woodkid

The Golden Age – Woodkid

You may already be familiar with his videos for Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry and Drake featuring Rihanna, you may already be familiar with the song “Run Boy Run” which was featured in a number of commercials last year, but are you familiar with “The Golden Age” the first full length album by Woodkid? If not then give your ears an aural treat.

I can hear detractors saying isn’t this style over substance and that all the songs sound roughly the same. Yes there is plenty of style to this project, with the black and white videos and the lavishly put together limited booklet and yes there is plenty of substance to this album. Finally the songs do have a similar feel to them however that feel is lavish and quality.

Woodkid’s vocals are akin to Antony (from Antony & The Johnson) sometimes fragile, sometimes close to breaking and at other times defiant like on the epic “The Conquest Of Spaces”.

Strident tribal drums & the French horn appear throughout on the standout tracks such as; “Stabat Mater” “Ghost Lights” and “Iron.”.

Woodkid hits pay dirt on “I Love You.” Melancholy lyrics of unrequited love set to a strident melody is equally striking as it is heart achingly beautiful. “Is There anything I can do to get some attention from you” sings Woodkid, he has by making the most innovative album of the year.

Woodkid feels more like a movement than a band, you can feel yourself marching along to the music, which you feel was made for cinema, you can almost visualise it in widescreen.

I cannot help but  think that they missed a trick with the song running order, how appropriate it would have been to have the title track at the end of the album, with Woodkid singing The Golden Age is over as the album fades out!

VView: I Love You – Woodkid

VereVeiw Rating VVVV/5

Goodbye Girls

Goodbye Girls Aloud

10 years in pop is a long time, many bands do not last that long, or lose a member, or have a revolving door policy when it comes to members.  However GA have come through relatively unscathed in comparison and along the way have produced a number of pop gems; The Loving Kind, The Promise, The Show; Something Kinda O000h & my personal favourite Call The Shots.
So as the curtains draw on their career for the last time lets look at the current crop of pop girl groups who are aiming to fill  the pop void  that Girls Aloud have left.
 The Saturdays apart from one or two of their early offerings most of their songs feel like a Monday morning; Sugababes can you keep up with the myriad of line up changes they have had? No neither can I ; Atomic Kitten may be Whole Again but how long until the claws come out? 
There appears to be a dearth of good girl pop bands around; who knows in 10 years time Girls Aloud may re-group as Women Aloud and still knock spots of the competition around.
Girls Aloud have thrown down the gauntlet for the next crop of pop Girl groups, although not exactly Something  new, I await with bated breath for the new material from MSK (The Original & best Sugababes). Goodbye Girls Aloud, now enter MSK, a newly vacated pop throne is yours for the taking.

VereView Call The Shots

Overlong Experience

Justin Timberlake‘s 20/20 Expereince

I thought that “Mirrors” was majestic and “Suit and Tie” was reminiscent of The Stylistics (think of the falsetto on “Betcha By Golly Wow“) I had high hopes for JT’s new album, but unfortunately that is as good as it gets. You cannot deny the quality in the song writing and production of this album, however, apart from the aforementioned singles and “Let The Groove Get In”, none of the other album tracks left a lasting impression on me.

If JT is compensating for not releasing an album in 6 years with this overlong collection then he should cut back on other outside commitments and spend more time making the quality tunes we know he is capable of. Quite frankly this 20/20 experience left me under whelmed

VereView Raring VVV/5
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