This week’s grab bag of songs are about as random as they come. In this installment, hear The Strokes lead singer Julian Casablancas’s new first single in his self titled solo act, a classic soul tune, one of the best storytelling raps ever written, and an overlooked 90’s gem of a rock song, all in one place. Click the link and let the shuffle begin.
“11th Dimension” by Julian Casablancas
This single off the soon to be released November 3rd solo album by The Stroke’s lead singer and song writer Julian Casablancas is very different from what you’d expect. Apparently known for composing first on the keyboard, and then transferring his work to the more guitar focused sound of The Strokes, it appears in his solo album that he’s finally sticking predominantly with the keyboard. Poppy and quite catchy, his hard pressing lyrics are clearly still there in lines like “America, nothing is ever just how you plan, I looked up to you but you thought I would look the other way” as is his well known voice. Overall this brief taste of the album has many excited to hear his work in full. What do you say Strokes fans? Is this something you can get down with, or should Julian stick to group acts?
“Stand in Line” by Rubies
Casual, and definitely something bound to appeal to most of your other halves, this California based quartet disguises subtle electro influences under light rock bordering on folk. Ripe for slow mornings, there’s something to be said for this particular tracks calming introduction that slowly switches to a more upbeat tempo late in the game. The best of their current work in my book so far, I wouldn’t be shocked if Rubies somehow snags playtime in future Apple commercial backgrounds.
“All Alone (No One to Be With)” by Slick Rick
There’s a reason why one of the cockiest of rappers in a field filled with the most arrogant men alive has an album entitled “The Art of Storytelling”. It’s because Slick Rick is truly a master of this well known hip-hop song format that many attempt but rarely execute succesfully. In this sobering song outlining the vicious cycle of life created by immovable class barriers, all can appreciate Slick’s ability to seamlessly weave lines end to end in order to paint a complete picture of one woman’s life. Despite being extremely sad, the song’s down tempo beat holds an air of swank that’s worth playing when a particularly cool vibe is required.
“I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners
As one of the most well known soul groups of the early 1960’s and 70’s, The Spinners went from boom to bust and back again during their time in the spot light, and in the mean time released some classic hits along the way. “I’ll Be Around” has been one of their most remembered, thanks in part to a mellow melody and quick chorus line that’s designed to stick in heads. Best caught in a random shuffle amidst other far reaching tunes, it’s perfect for a spur of the moment mood readjustment
“Last Goodbye” by Jeff Buckley
Arguably cut down before his prime, Jeff Buckley drowned swimming at night, while many believe he was high. As a talented guitarist and vocalist, his main appeal lied in his emotionally raw tone which shines in one of it’s brighter forms on “Last Goodbye”. This song will remain near the top of 90’s record piles as the years goes by and our embarrassment for Lil Jon’s success during our youth is too overwhelming to fill then oldies stations. In that moment Jeff Buckley will reemerge as the legend he never really became, pushed across the finish line by fuzzy memories and a need for taste vindication.