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An Unlikely “Champion”

A long-time music milestone was broken this week.  LeAnn Rimes’ How Do I Live was toppled as the longest-running song on the Billboard Top 100, which held the previous record of 69 weeks.  So, you’d think such an accomplishment (I mean we’re talking a nearly five quarters, here) would be championed by the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift or any of the plethora of other bubble gum rockers that are always being thrown in our face.  But, no, this time the record goes to the unlikely champion of Jason Mraz, and his stalwart release, I’m Yours.

jason mraz

Now I love(d) this song.  I first heard it through my kid, who recommended it because he knows “my style”.  However, he liked it too.  So did his guy friends and of course, so did his girl friends.  Like most popular songs that are well liked, I’m Yours, spent several months around and on the top of the charts and got decent radio play, but nothing to indicate that it would still be around over a year later.

This song has lived since 2005, when it was written.  Mraz started performing it live in 2006 and the audience always had such a positive reaction that he eventually included it on his 2008 release We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.  (Yes, Mr. Mraz is quite amusing…for more, see his website www.jasonmraz.com)

But, 71 weeks with no sign of dropping off?  Why?  I mean, I’m Yours is catchy and highly entertaining, has great lyrics and is performed with great emotion, but isn’t it similar to Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry, Be Happy?

As far as I can tell, the song hasn’t had significant label backing, hasn’t been featured in any movies, isn’t attached to a mega star, and isn’t a novelty sensation.  It just keeps hanging around…and is now nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year.

Is it the coffeehouse delivery of Mraz that is so familiar?  Or, is it the simple pleasure of the song?  The appeal across age, ethnicity, or geography?  Is it the connection of the lyrics?  Is the simple “happiness” of the song?  Is the song just that good?   You tell me…

Take a look/listen to Mraz’s performance of I’m Yours and give me your theory as to why it has been “the little single that could”.

Note:  I included this extended live version because I think it really demonstrates the song the best.  Here’s the lyrics to review, as well…

Well, you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but your so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks, now I’m tryin to get back
before the cool done run out I’ll be givin it my best test
and nothin’s gonna stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it’s again my turn to win some or learn some

But I won’t hesitate no more,
no more, it cannot wait
I’m yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music at the moment people dance and sing
Were just one big family
And it’s our godforsaken right to be loved loved loved loved loved

So, i won’t hesitate no more,
no more, it cannot wait i’m sure
there’s no need to complicate our time is short
this is our fate
I’m yours

Scooch on over closer, dear
And I will nibble your ear

I’ve been spendin’ way too long checkin’ my tongue in the mirror
and bendin’ over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
and so I drew a new face and I laughed
I guess what I’d be sayin’ is there ain’t no better reason
to rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons
it’s what we aim to do
our name is our virtue

But I won’t hesitate no more,
no more it cannot wait
I’m yours

well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la one big family
it’s your god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved

open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la happy family
it’s our god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved

it’s our god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la peaceful melodies
it’s you god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved

 

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Rate A Record: In My Arms – Teddy Thompson…3.8

Thanks to all who rated and commented on the Teddy Thompson Rate A Record.  I appreciate all of the discussion and honesty.

Overall, Teddy rates a 3.8 at Music Maven.  The average in the comments was 3.7 and I skewed the rating just a little higher, due to the George Jones cover.

Some comments:

I like the song but Teddy’s voice is kinda of mellow for my taste. This would be a big summer hit if someone with more of an edge to his voice sang it.

Frankly, I like the mellow simplicity of Teddy’s voice.

The song is catchy, and not full of platitudes.

I actually kinda like that it’s mellow…. Really simple song, but it works.

I thought it was very repetitive….those background instrumentals with the organ made me feel like I was on a bad carnival ride.

Personally, I really like the song.  But, more because I love the Traveling Wilburys.  When I first listened to this song, I was like who is that…it’s oddly familiar…wait a minute…oh, yeah!….

  You Got It, Roy Orbison

with a dash of:

  Dwight Yoakam

and of course, the influences of Dylan, Petty and Harrison, as well:

  Handle with Care, The Traveling Wilburys

or maybe more appropriately:

  The Wilbury Twist, The Traveling Wilburys

Regardless, Teddy seems to be combining a little folk with a little country and a little old school rock and even a little soul.  THAT, is something I can’t help but like.

As skylight mentioned in comments, Teddy does a mean Ain’t No Sunshine:

But, the one that puts me over the top is the fantabulous Roger Miller staple, King of the Road.  As Teddy’s George Jones cover, She Thinks I Still Care, King of the Road takes me back to my Dad’s endearing rendition some 40 summers ago.  I abosultely LOVE the song and the duet with Rufus Wainwright is simply delightful.

  King of the Road, Teddy Thompson with Rufus Wainwright

Teddy is a nice reminder that there are still new artists out there that appreciate music across various genres, even those of yesteryear.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 31, 2008 in Emerging Artists, rate a record

 

Rate a Record….Teddy Thompson

Back by popular demand….RATE-A-RECORD!!

Here’s how it works.  Listen to the featured track and then give your rating on a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being highest.  I’ll compile everyone’s feedback into an average score and do a follow up post featuring your comments in addition to my own feedback.

Today’s submission is Teddy Thompson, son of folk rock legends, Rick and Linda Thompson.  (And no, she wasn’t engaged to Elvis.)  Rick & Linda were authentic hippies who raised young Teddy in an English commune.  (I know, oxymoron.)  Somebody sent me a heads up on Teddy and I’ve been checking him out.

Teddy recently released his new CD, A Piece of What You Need.  Teddy emerged from a back-up singer for Rufus Wainwright, who can be seen in a cameo in the video as Elvis rockin’ the organ.

So, without further adeui, Teddy Thompson and In My Arms:

 
25 Comments

Posted by on July 28, 2008 in Emerging Artists, rate a record

 

Let Me Hear It

ear2.jpg

Please, even if you usually just lurk…give me an opinion, a review, a comment, on the following tunes.

Danke Shoen

 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2007 in acoustic, rate a record, Reviews

 

Rate-A-Record – Bubbly – Colbie Caillat – 3.5 Stars

Ok. I heard you. While most liked Colbie’s sound, nobody was overly impressed by the song or the video.

As for my opinion, I liked (not loved) the song, and it reminded me alot of Feist’s 1-2-3-4 — maybe that’s why I liked it better than most of you Feist-haters. Like Feist, Colbie’s sound has a certain Cat Power influence even if some of you Cat purists disagree.

As for Bubbly, it’s certainly listenable and enjoyable. Bob Lefsetz has a very high opinion of this song and hears Colbie as reminiscent of James Taylor, Carole King and a “California” Norah Jones. If you go a little deeper into Colbie, you’ll find a couple of other tunes that are very honest and clear. That, I do like about her. Maybe it’s the acoustical nature of it, but the stuff she does with Jason Reeves does harken those old JT/King collaborations.

Realize

Droplets with Jason Reeves

Magic with Jason Reeves

As for the video, I LOVE IT! Maybe it’s my anguished desire to live on a private stretch of beach in a cabin just like this one, but I totally identified with the scenery and vibe. I particularly liked the soft lighting. Separately, I would give the video a 4.5, just for the beach feel. However, videos do not make the music, so it’s a 3.5 on the song alone. I must throw in that I think Colbie’s music overall is a 4.0.

Lastly, if Colbie Caillat is being regarded as a new “hot” artist, maybe the tide is turning away from some of the drivel that is currently being played on today’s radio. Even if these “viral” listeners are MySpace youngsters, it shows that the next generation might be looking for better quality music that can actually be heard and appreciated.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2007 in Artists, chicks, Music Today, rate a record

 

Rate-A-Record – Bubbly

An exercise in viral promotion, Colbie Caillat’s Bubbly garnered millions of plays on her MySpace before recently being released on her Coco CD. The daughter of record producer Ken Caillat who produced Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tusk albums, Colbie hails from Malibu, California.

Give me your opinion of the song and the video….

Bubbly – Colbie Caillat

 
11 Comments

Posted by on July 26, 2007 in Emerging Artists, rate a record

 

Rate-A-Record Response & Review

OK. Sir Paul’s Dance Tonight.

The overwhelming consensus from those of you who responded was somewhere between a 2 and a 3 on the 5 star scale. Some of the comments:

“I was intrigued by the mandolin. But then I got bored.”

“I think End of the End is a much better song.”

“I really wanted to like this song.”

“It feels rather like treason but there isn’t any saving grace in this song for me.”

“I adore Paul McCartney, but this song does absolutely nothing for me.”

“I find myself humming “Dance Tonight,” and smiling at its child-like hook. “

I think that perhaps the most applicable comment came from Wompuss:

” Just a happy lil ditty that reminds me of the old Beatles.”

She is actually right on the mark. While everybody certainly is entitled to their own opinion and may not like such pop dittys, Sir Paul has stayed as true to “his roots” as one can. I think that in these days of “shallow” music, those of us who really appreciate good music and respect the music history that has come before this new millennium, come to only appreciate music that is prolific and what we consider to be consistent with artistic integrity. However, what we might lose in the introspection is that some of the music that we love and consider to be classically prolific from the past are simply, “happy lil ditties”.

For me, this release is classic McCartney. And, Sir Paul holds true to The Beatles’ songbook and is very consistent to his sound. Truth be known, he has done so since the early ’60s. Dance Tonight is light, airy and fun yet it exudes talent by highlighting the mandolin. For me, it hearkens back to some of the Beatles “ditties” of:

Love Me Do

Eight Days a Week

When I’m 64

Penny Lane

Ob-La-Di

and then there are the Wings years:

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

Silly Love Songs

With A Little Luck

and we can never forget:

Ebony & Ivory

All of this is to make the point that Sir Paul is exactly the same Paul he’s been for 45 years. To think that Dance Tonight is out of character or “not up to his standards” is just preposterous when you look at his history and past works. I think Paul enjoys the “ditty” and the infectious “fun” that some of his songs provide.

As for me….I like Dance Tonight. I agree that it makes me feel good and I’m a HUGE sucker for the mandolin so this is right up my alley. For validation, I called up #1 son, who happens to be a Beatles and McCartney authority and asked his opinion. He likes Dance Tonight and Memory Almost Full, in general but admits that it’s not his most favorite McCartney compilation. He’s going to shoot me a copy later but says that Paul’s effort, at 65, is phenomenal considering his recent personal situation and the fact that he’s been in this business for 45 years.

Not out of pity or historical admiration, but because I really enjoy the song and it’s enthusiasm, I give Dance Tonight 4 stars…. ****

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 6, 2007 in rate a record, Uncategorized

 
 
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