Earworms 18 February 2013

Female singer
Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well, its all female vocal for you this week.  Sorry, Beth.

One of the good things about being worm-mother (vermater?) is that I would probably have dismissed this week (I’m not mad about female vocal either), but having listened to the tracks several times and tried to get a good playlist together, I can tell you there is some cracking music here. Enjoy!

Thanks to all, and remember to send your wormy contributions to earworm@tincanland.com.

Barbra Streisand – I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today
This is for those straight people who don’t understand the appeal of the Babs. It’s from her new album Release Me, and as always, she’s magical. (btw “tin can at my feet/think I’ll kick it down the street”… not a good idea) – tincanman

Esperanza Spalding – Radio Song
Can’t believe that I forgot this album was released in 2012, and so missed the opportunity to stuff the ballot boxes at the end of the year. This is fantastic in so many ways: the catchy tune, the vocals, the amazing bass, the heroic reclamation of the word “grooving” – Abahachi

Jazmine Sullivan – Good Enough
There’s so many offal “R&B” singers out there, but this one is the real biz. Like many an earworm, this is a great self-affirming anthem you can belt out when no one is around. – tincanman

Laing – Ich bin morgens immer müde
The surprise winner of Prof. Hachi’s beloved Bundesvision Song Contest… OK, it technically ‘only’ came second to a Big Name Act, but it’s been a massive hit. I defy you to keep all toes, fingers and hips motionless when this hits your ears. DebbyM

Love Psychedelico – Shadow Behind
This was the theme track to the really great and exciting detective series “Absolute Zero”  But it is also a typical Love Psychedelico track with a mixture of Japanese and English lyrics so actually no one understands it  ! ! !  But somehow I love the part where the singer (Kumi) sings “And I say to myself that I’m not afraid of love”  If only it was true ! ! ! – Sakura

Yanawaraba – Aoi Takara
Yanawaraba are two young ladies from Ishigaki Island, nearer to Taiwan than Tokyo. The influence of Okinawan music is plain to hear, one of them plays the traditional sanshin, in most of their stuff and particularly in this lovely song about ‘Blue treasure’. – Pairubu

17 thoughts on “Earworms 18 February 2013

  1. You know me, I love female vocals…

    1. Babs – I’ve never had much of an opinion of her either way, but this was exemplary. Not quite up there with Dusty Springfield’s version, which is forgiveable, as few things are – I like that the piano here keeps the discords used in Dusty’s string arrangement.

    2. Esperanza Spalding – Someone (Fintan?) posted “Crowned and Kissed” here last year, and it’s been on regular rotation here since. This wasn’t quite so immediate, but a good reminder to investigate the album.

    3. Jazmine – mm, OK, not really doing it for me.

    4. Laing – I’m always tired in the mornings too, but this helped. The words “boogie woogie” sound funny in German.

    5. Love Psychedelico – we’ve had a couple of their tunes from you before Sakura, haven’t we? This seemed to add a little grittiness to the West Coast pop sound – I liked it.

    6. Yanawaraba – So Pachelbel’s Canon has made it to Ishigaki island… very lovely.

  2. Thanks, Debby; I missed the Bundesvision Song Contest last year, and so have hitherto missed out on this very catchy bit of 80s-influenced electro-pop. The German music scene really is finding lots of ways to push my buttons at the moment; all I need now is the announcement of a new album from the Zentralquartett and I’ll be emigrating…

  3. Barbra: Weirdly, I thought I already had a version of this by la Streisand. But my iTunes says I just have a version by Neil Diamond. Which makes sense. This is better than his version but I’ve always found her over-enunciation a bit much. As if she’s telling us rather than showing us – in a bad musical theatre sort of way. That said, this is pretty understated for her and all the better for it.

    Esperanza Spalding: Bit too jazzy for me. Makes me itch. And it’s way too long. If she just got on with singing the tune directly rather than scatting and fluttering about, she could say what she has to say in half the time. I’m missing the point, aren’t I? (And there’s not really any scatting in there, is there?)

    Jazmine Sullivan: Ooh, I like this. That’ll be the 80s synths in the background then.

    Laing: I like the sparseness of this. Yeah, this could really grow on me.

    Love Psychedelico: Ah yes, we’ve heard from them before, haven’t we? (Which is fine!) In fact, I’ve definitely heard this one before – it’s on my iTunes. It’s not already been an earworm, has it?! I like it anyway. Rockin’.

    Yanawaraba: Well, this is a lot gentler than I was expecting (having only really seen that it was an Ubu offering). Lovely. Favourite this week, I think. Bit long though, which is the last thing I expect from tunes from this particular ‘Spiller!

    • It does seem to be a feature of Japanese stuff that it sometimes almost outstays it’s welcome.
      It’s like our unwritten “2 minute pop song” “rule” has been translated to “Four and a half minutes”.
      With Yanawaraba , though, it’s perhaps an “island thing”. No point in hurrying. Just stretch out on the sand and chill.

      • It’s like our unwritten “2 minute pop song” “rule” has been translated to “Four and a half minutes”.

        It’s the metric, innit

  4. 1. Not unpleasant but doesn’t really do anything for me
    2. Nope, too “fussy”
    3. Nope, too “unfussy”
    4. Ah ! That’s better, I’m getting “Teutonic Pointer Sisters” here.
    5. Like.Predictably perhaps.
    6. Love it, there’s just enough Okinawa in there to make it stand out from the crowd and I love the way they sing together. What genius sent this in ?

  5. 1) One of my favourite songs. Still not a Barbra fan, she trills too much for my liking, but this is a good rendition in its fashion. Etta James does a good one since you ask.

    2) Esperanza Spalding – Where do I know her from? Probably here I imagine. Great voice but I’m admiring it more than purely enjoying.

    3) Jazmine Sullivan. Yes, the real thing. Love this.

    4) Laing – Yes, The Pointer Sisters collaborate with Kraftwerk. Good one.

    5) A bit reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac (Stevie Nicks version) but that’s fine with me (it wouldn’t have been 35 years ago). Liked this a lot.

    6) Gorgeous. Best of the week. Soothes yer fevered brow.

  6. Hmm…let’s try a Bishbosh style live response…

    1. Enjoyed much more than I expected. Nice and restrained and all the better for it.

    2. Sorry Aba, way too Brand New Heavies for me….

    3. Took a minute or so to get into it, but enjoyed it by the end. A bit too ‘obvious’ for my tastes, but good at what it does.

    4. Ohh…I like it already after the first few bleepy seconds! Best so far – great!

    5. Promising start…..really reminds me of something, but I don’t know what. Really good though.

    6. Liked this a lot….yes, soothing indeed.

    Round of applause for all, especially the Germans!

  7. Hi Ali

    Sorry I am late to the party again ! ! !

    I really liked the playlist and I am starting to feel the Ali style i think . .

    Here are my thoughts.

    Barbra Streisand – I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today

    I love this song but I had never known this version of it before. She certainly has a lovely voice and I enjoyed her interpretation very much ! ! !

    Esperanza Spalding – Radio Song

    I am not the greatest fan of Jazz but I did enjoy this she definitely a very accomplished vocalist and the arrangement is really great ! ! ! I enjoyed this very much.

    Jazmine Sullivan – Good Enough

    This certainly has a 1980’s feel to the arrangement and I did feel like singing along and doing the dooh, dooh dooh and ah ah ah of the backing singers. Actually I often find myself listening to them more than the main singer! ! !
    Very enjoyable ! ! !

    Laing – Ich bin morgens immer müde

    The techno bass and synths remind me quite a lot of some J-pop actually but her voice is quite strange and maybe because I am not used to German it sounded almost scary because of that ! ! ! Very interesting and the beat definitely makes ma tap feet and click fingers ! ! !

    Love Psychedelico – Shadow Behind

    I do not think this was an earworm before but I have sent at least two as earworms before from LP. Their tunes are often built around very strong riffs and great guitar playing so they do tend to produce a lot of earworms ! ! ! I am getting impatient for the new album and have playing their old albums a lot lately. The new album called In This Beautiful World will be released on April 17th so I will do a review for you all ! ! !

    Yanawaraba – Aoi Takara

    Ishigaki Island is very close to my home island and of course I know this group very well and I love their songs very much indeed. This song made me tear up a little actually. Love it ! ! !

    Thank you Alis and everyone ! ! !

  8. Really late this week…………….Blame Mrs.blue and her twisted ankle.

    Only two songs that had me listening from this set. Never was ( maybe never will be ) a lover of Miss Streisand. She has a great voice but, for me, never convinces that she is putting anything but a voice into a song. Did not go much for any of the others except for Jazmine Sullivan and Love Psychadelico, which is my track of the week.
    Thanks Ali, sorry that I’m always late to ‘Worms.

  9. Every one a winner for me this week, each in its different way. Good work Ali with the playlisting, and all contributors. I think Barbra’s brilliant at heart, even if there is some overproduced material in her oeuvre. Esparanza was indeed groovy, and the bass reminded me a bit of Weather Report’s Birdland at the beginning.

    Jazmine is good and strong; last night we went to Opera North to see Dido and Aeneas, Dido sung by Pamela Helen Stephen, and Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine sung by Lesley Garrett. Both beautifully sung and played, but both featuring women who felt their life was over once their men were gone. So this was a fine antidote.

    Laing were damned catchy. Love Psychedelico a lot of fun, a little REM-ish and I can see what Severin means by Fleetwood Mac, in a nicely modest dose. Yanawaraba are charming.

    Thanks to all.

  10. Huh, Sakura and Anonymous think they are late. They’re not. I am. Again.

    For which, apologies.

    I’ve managed a single listen so far, but the stand out by a mile was Laing. In a strong field, may I add.

    Off for another listen while I wash up…

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