Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up the media player of your choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.
“Cameo Lover” by Kimbra (from Vows, 2012)
Singing the killer verse on the year’s biggest tune certainly opened up some doors for New Zealand vocalist Kimbra. Similar to her “Somebody That I Used to Know” partner, Gotye, Vows was actually released in her native geography in 2011 where it was quite successful. “Cameo Lover” was the second single released and is easily the most accessible cut on the album. I don’t usually gush over pop records, but this is pure gold. There are echoes of everything from Phil Spector and The Ronettes, to Björk; all with a hook that will stick for days. What is great is it isn’t even really indicative of what you’ll find on the record, which is an eclectic mish-mash of pop, alternative, avant-garde, and electronic music. This was one of my favorite records of 2012.
“Drive” by The Cars (from Complete Greatest Hits, 2002)
There are few tunes that can take me from joy to melancholy as quickly and efficiently as The Cars’ “Drive.” There is something so disconcerting about the juxtaposition between the detached, synth-heavy track and the emotive vocal delivery of the late Benjamin Orr. Damn, now I need a hug.
“You Be Illin'” by Run-D.M.C. (from The Essential Run-D.M.C. (disc 2), 2012)
“He gave a quarter and his order: small fries, BIG MAC!“
27 Years later and I can still recite this rhyme like I wrote it myself. Hell, I could probably start at “Peter Piper” and not skip a beat through the last verse of “Proud to Be Black.” Raising Hell was one of the seminal records of my youth; one that still gets play to this very day. Recently I sat down and started to curate an “Essential Hip-Hop” playlist to share with my 14-year-old. He recently started showing interest in Hip-Hop and I figured that it was my job to ensure he had the proper eduction. When I last left off the playlist is 150 tracks deep and I haven’t made it past 1993 yet.
“Welcome Home” by Elle Varner (from Perfectly Imperfect, 2012)
Miss Varner has that inexplicable ‘thing’ that I so desire in my R&B ladies. Maybe it’s the bit of bite to her voice, as if to say “hey, I can be sweet as pie, but don’t think I haven’t fucked a boy up for crossing me.” Her songwriting is definitely tight, though occasionally it borders a bit to cliché for my taste. She’s just starting out, though, so she gets a pass.
“Treat ‘em Right” by Chubb Rock (from The Hip-Hop Box (disc 1), 2004)
This is another cut featured on the “Essential Hip-Hop” playlist, and my cue to get the heck out of here. Have a great weekend, my faithful Fivers.
What’s on your shuffle today?