Archive | February, 2016

He Came, He Sang, He Conquered

28 Feb

Sometimes you hear a song and it immediately sounds retro. Sometimes it takes a few listens to feel the throwback vibe. With Christopher the Conquered’s “I’m Not That Famous Yet” the 70s feel has to sink in for a while before you can proclaim it as a retro sound.

There is no denying the writing or vocal talents of Christopher the Conquered, and the behind the piano exterior that Christopher the Conquered projects gives off some Elton John comparisons, like “Your Song.”

The glorious piano introduction sounds like something that could be played during a church service. It has a regal feeling to it, so it is most surprising when the vocals begin and bring a quiet a subtle touch to the song. As said before, Christopher The Conquered is a master storyteller, all he needs is a piano and his words, and his lyrics shine while still coming across as vulnerable and confident at the same time. “Jealous young guys will look at me as I gracefully dance from coast to coast/I’ll take their girlfriends back to hotel rooms but I’m not that famous yet,” he sings.

Right at the end of the song, just when listeners have settled in, things get taken up a notch as Christopher pushes his vocals in a soulful performance that will have anyone who is listening stand up and take notice. “Everyone will hate me for I’ve become,” he laments with a pain that just effortlessly oozes out of him. With such honesty and simplicity in the production of this song, this is one artist to be on the lookout for.

Discography: I’m Not That Famous Yet (2016)

Official Website: http://www.christophertheconquered.com/

 

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Slow DNCE

21 Feb

Ah, the cover song. A chance to hear a song like never before. Take internet sensations Postmodern Jukebox or even The Baseballs. They have mastered taking popular songs and making them sound retro. But what happens when the original artist reimagines one of their very modern hit songs as something all together from another period of time? Well in the case of this retooled version by DNCE of their hit “Cake By The Ocean” for the Grease Live special blows the original out of the water.

The song itself is the ultimate guilty pleasure, a tune with an unquestionably catchy melody that cancels out the subpar lyrics. But in this version more than half of the lyrics are cut out to fit the throwback theme. What is left is the first verse and the chorus that is repeated while there are long instrumental musical interludes. And it’s perfect.

Lead singer Joe Jonas proves that he has the vocal abilities of a performer that has a lot of range. When he hits the falsetto on the chorus one can’t help but swoon. You can totally picture couples slow dancing to this in the 50s. He turns into something of a crooner and turns the song upside down into the kind of tune that doesn’t feel so much like a guilty pleasure, but just a pleasure.

And for that I say, thank you DNCE.

Discography: Swaay EP (2015).

Official Website:

dnce.com

 

What It Is

14 Feb

 

Any track Pete Molinari releases is like opening a time capsule from the 60s-70s but that timeless essence is really captured on “What I Am I Am.” Channeling George Harrison, the track would fit perfectly on All Things Must Pass. A cross between “My Sweet Lord” and “If Not For You,” Molinari has a certain retro air about himself that carries over to his music.

This particular song has a twangy feeling from the instrumentation to the tone of Molinari’s voice. It’s sweeping and glides along with such an effortless charm that it is impossible not to fall in love with this track. There’s quite a lot going on in the background instrumentation, from rattling percussion to tinkling piano, and there is even an extended solely musical portion that ends the song, but it never takes away from Molinari himself. His vocal performance is a bit George Harrison, but also has some Bob Dylan, and John Lennon to it. Perhaps it is this mix that helps “What I Am I Am” propel itself into throwback territory.

The melody of the chorus, as well as the content of the entire tune, suits that All Things Must Pass feel. “Here what I say/Let your love stream forth my way/ My Lord/Sweet Lord.” There is such a spiritual vibe to this track that I would bet Harrison would give his approval to if he were still alive. And I don’t say that lightly. If you’re looking for something to help cure the absence of Harrison’s masterpiece album, check out “What I Am I Am” and maybe your heart will start to heal.

Discography: A Train Bound for Glory (2010), Theosophy (2014).

Official Website: http://www.petemolinari.com/