Quick Mix: Pictures and Sound, Clipse, White Town, The Tough Alliance, and Friendly Fires
Coming in from all angles, yet again, this week’s track list should have something for everyone. Featuring everything from a one-hit wonder of the 90s, to a recent release from The Neptunes, and a standout dance punk single, the only consistent theme here is that each of these songs deserves at least one play, if not many more depending on your inclinations. Let us know though what strikes a chord with you individually, for the better or worse, in the comments below. We can always use a reminder of musical tastes beyond our own heads. So hit the jump to get listening.
“It’s You” by Pictures and Sound
As steady as they come, this casual top track from Luke Reynolds & co inherently sounds like something you should listen to while riding a bike. Breezy and girlfriend approved, clearly this lackadaisical song is made to be easy on the ear drums for those moments when System of Down or Metallica just won’t do. Be aware though that the ringing guitar line is not easily shaken from the head, nor is the urge to mosey throughout the rest of your day.
“I’m Good” by Clipse
The hip-hop duo known as Clipse is composed of brothers Gene a.k.a Malice and Terrence a.k.a Pusha T Thorton. Originally helped by Pharrell Williams and The Neptunes team to leap into the rap game spot light, the group has had trouble maintaining any prominent position in the scene. However, that hasn’t halted Clipse from releasing singles or the flow of good production will they continue to garner from the Neptunes. “I’m Good” is the latest track to come out of the partnership and for the most part stays true to form. Its squeaked electronic effects over light R&B piano is a classic beat born from the mind of Pharrell. The same is true for the plodding, cocky jibes made in Clipse’s verse (they even reference Shamu). In someways different, and in someways more of the same, it’s still perfectly suited to back up the sound of popping champagne bottles and giggling ladies.
“Your Woman” by White Town
If you ever paid attention to MTV in the early 90′s, there’s a good chance this song floated into your head at some point. Sadly, as the epitome of a one hit wonder though, most would never be able to recall the name of the song despite its repeated presence in the chorus, or even have a prayer of remembering the name of the group. Duct taping hip hop and strange hermaphroditic lyrics into one strange ball, “Your Woman” urges most people to dance. However with such an odd pace and overall feel, non professionals simply lack the knowledge or confidence to do so.
“New Chance” by The Tough Alliance
Sounding somewhat like Rusted Root with the hippie swapped out with hipster, “New Chance” is a cluster of poorly reproduced synth pads, mimicking everything from bongo’s and steel drums, to your basic piano. That’s not to say the song isn’t worth a listen though. In fact somewhere in this mess of poor production and weakly emitted vocals is something that latches on and won’t shake off. As always though it’s a matter of personal taste and I’d be curious to see if anyone else agrees.
“Skeleton Boy” by Friendly Fires
Well known in the dance punk scene, this track from Friendly Fires is one of the best examples of their ability to mix conflicting genres into something capable of standing on its own. Claiming to be influenced primarily by Prince and techno originating from Germany, somehow those sounds don’t eek through as much as you’d think. That said, it’s hard to complain about the overall result. Starting off on the dance side of things which then filters out to louder, rock-like tones, “skeleton boy” is far from stagnate and definitely evolves right to the end. So despite being played in I’m sure what amounts to every over hyped social spot in the country, it’s still a great song worth adding to the mix.