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|Written by Mike Cullen|
|Thursday, 03 March 2011 16:02|
The Beatles - Love
Alright, granted this album was first released nearly five years ago, but it has only just now been released on iTunes and it is my first time hearing the album, so I'm going to treat it as a new release. My credibility can be stretched a little further considering two bonus tracks were issues on the iTunes release that aren't available on the original CD. Or at least, I like to think I can get away with that justification as well.
Whatever you choose to believe, Love is an epic album-one that even the most of casual fans of the Beatles need to pick up and give a listen to. For those who are unfamiliar with the story behind the this release, George Martin, the original Beatles producer was approached by the performance company and worldwide phenomenon Cirque du Soliel to create a soundtrack to a Beatles inspired stage production. The company had the desire to introduce the Beatles to new audiences (there are still untapped markets?), and to also create a new experience in listening to the Beatles. Martin, with his son, Giles Martin combed the Beatles back catalogue and put together originally twenty-six "new" tracks for this production. It's all recognizable Beatles material, but much of it was reworked, with snippets of instruments used often for just mere seconds and songs spliced or segued into others in an almost megamix feel. It's reported that, in total, George and Giles Martin utilized some 130 tracks, whether they were full songs, partial instrumentals or in rare cases simply sound effects (notably form "Yellow Submarine"). It's breadth and depth shows a true testament to the impact the Beatles had not only on music but in popular culture as well.
This album is perfect if you want the experience of listening to Beatles back catalogue without having to listen to some two hundred full tracks. For those who are keen, hours can be spent trying to identify just what parts of individual songs are used, or it can be revered for its sheer brilliance: bringing the Beatles to the forefront of pop music. If you don't get this release, there's something seriously wrong with you.
Corinne Bailey Rae - The Love EP
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Corinne Bailey Rae released a five track EP called rather aptly, The Love EP. All of the tracks are covers of famous love or love related songs, and each is covered by Rae to perfection (even the rather indulgent thirteen minute plus version of Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera"). What this EP manages to convey is a sense of sensuality in the music, and the overwhelming notion that Corinne Bailey Rae can belt out cover versions just as well (if not better) than her contemporaries. Whether it is her cover of Prince's "I Wanna Be Your Lover" or Paul McCartney's "My Love", she demonstrates that she has the chops to blend any genre into her soulful bluesy voice.
Corinne Bailey Rae has been a long-time favorite of mine, and even though this EP is only five tracks, it's an excellent addition to my music collection; one that I know will be played often. This is definitely worth checking out on iTunes.
Adele - "Rolling in the Deep"
The young Brit with the big voice is back with the lead single for her upcoming sophomore album, 21. There a sense that while Adele has aged a couple years since her debut album, she really hasn't learned. "Rolling in the Deep" sounds like the companion song to her smash hit "Chasing Pavements". While "Chasing Pavements" contemplated leaving a lover behind for the unknown, "Rolling in the Deep" is the realization in a scorned lover that there's no turning back, no reconciliation and there is a sense that the protagonist of the song has finally seen the light. Adele's vocals have never been stronger, and she gives off this gospel/blues vibe that not only suits her delivery style, but is unlike anything else on the charts and the radio at the moment. Give this song a listen; you will be pleasantly surprised.
Lady Gaga - "Born This Way"
Lady Gaga is back, and in a big way with the title track lead single to her upcoming album. Reviews have been quite mixed when it comes to "Born This Way". Some of said that it pales in comparison to songs such as "Bad Romance", while others claim this is probably going to be her biggest hit yet. I fall somewhere between those two camps. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore this track and probably played it a dozen times the day it was released, but I tend to agree that it's not quite to the caliber of "Bad Romance". That said, this song will be an anthem, it will sound incredible live, and with the right remixes, this could be a huge cross-over hit for dance clubs. This song is poised to be huge if the stars align (and considering it's Lady Gaga, they probably will).
There have also been some strong comparisons to Madonna's hit "Express Yourself" both in terms of lyrics, and in sound. Again, this seems to have divided people into two camps; those who think it's brilliant and those who think it's just a copying act. I think it's brilliant. Lady Gaga is poised to be the Madonna for my generation, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Yes, the comparisons are valid, but honestly, it doesn't matter. It's a fantastic track with a great message that only going to add to Lady Gaga's global music dominance. Get this track.
Rihanna - "S&M"
This is probably one of the best tracks on the new Rihanna album. It's a bit on the dark side, and would have fit really well on her last album, but it has such a fantastic hook to it with a throbbing bassline that makes this song indescribable. When I first heard the album last year, this song stood out a lot more than "Only Girl (In the World)" did; it was the type of song that showcased Rihanna better. We know she's not the goody two-shoes she was originally portrayed as ten years ago. She's a human being like any other, and it's perfectly okay for her to want to sing about the edgy side of things. I'm sure critics will come down on her for subject matter, but honestly, are we not twenty years away from all of that by now? "Erotica" by Madonna was gasp worthy, but after all of the Britney's, Christina's and P!nk's, there shouldn't be any feathers left to ruffle by Rihanna. Excellent track, and everyone needs to give it a proper listen.
Previous installations of Rocking the Mike include:
Tags: anarchy, better open up an itunes gold account, cirque du soleil, corinne bailey rae, lady gaga, music, reviews, rihanna, rocking the mike, the beatles