One of the reasons that I watch NBC’s The Voice is for the music. Because the judges are luminaries of the music industry, it stands to reason that they have the talent and skill and discrimination to match the talent on the show with music that makes them stand out. This season is becoming perhaps the best one in the show’s short history, because Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams are wizards.
Before this season, Blake Shelton was my favorite coach. He has the skill to let the artists stay in their areas of strength (as against Adam Levine’s approach of forcing them out of their comfort zones) and that produced a lot of great performances. Blake is still good, but he’s being eclipsed by the two newcomers. This week’s “live playoffs” where each artist performs a song chosen by the coach is evidence. But this post isn’t about that.
I greatly enjoyed the show with the teams of Stefani and Williams performing. I fell asleep during the prior show with Shelton and Levine’s artists. It was all about the music, and the performances. So, in recognition, I’ll run through the ten songs that were performed, and whether or not they were new to me, and some thoughts here and there.
1. OneRepublic’s “I Lived” (new to me)
2. Brenda Russell’s “Piano in the Dark”
3. Disclosure/Sam Smith’s “Latch” (new to me)
4. 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Amnesia” (new to me)
5. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”
6. Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” (new to me)
7. Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me”
8. Dionne Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer”
9. Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” (new to me)
10. Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You”
The five songs on the list that I know are all fantastic songs, with the newest of the lot being “Piano in the Dark” from 1988 and the oldest being “I Say a Little Prayer” from 1967. I’ve listened to the originals of the other five, and none of them really grabbed me. There’s been a lot of Sam Smith on the show, so I went through his whole album “In the Lonely Hour” and it didn’t make an impression the first time. The lyrics in particular feel a bit too literal. Will give it another listen later. OneRepublic has some catchy songs (particularly “Counting Stars”), but this one seemed a bit flat. I don’t need to listen to “Amnesia” or “All About That Bass” more than this once – they’re not the kind of thing I like at all.
The Weekly Music Carousel
So this section is for Sugar over in the UK by way of Lisbon. On that music post thing we were talking about. I’ve temporarily named it the “Weekly Music Carousel” (yes, very lame). Let’s keep it simple. Each week, one of us picks a theme or topic. It can be anything. Things as mundane as streets, bridges, taxicabs or skateboards. Abstract emotions like love, anger, fear, ecstasy, lust and hunger. Silly fun things like rubber balls, British royals, Portuguese Man-O’-Wars or Muppets. Anything under the sun. Each of us comes up with a post featuring three songs, and how each of those three songs connects to the theme. The connection can be as direct or abstract, obvious or personal, farfetched or reasonable as you like. You don’t even have to explain why, though it’ll be more fun if we can come up with a few sentences for each song. But sometimes, not explaining is more fun. The main point of this activity is discovering new music. Diversity in the three song choices would make it interesting, but I’d have fun coming up with three songs from the same artist answering to the theme, or even more complex stuff like the same artist in different bands appearing in each of the three songs. There really are no rules other than to have fun and maybe discover a new song or three to add to the ol’ iPod Classic 160GB dinosaur.
Quick and dirty example. The theme is Streets. I’m feeling uncreative, so I go with U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” (title has Street in it), “No Surrender” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (artist name has Street in it), and Dan Hartman’s “I Can Dream About You” from the Streets of Fire Soundtrack. Of course, I’ll think of ten more songs after that and waste far more time on this than I really want to!
If you agree, then have at it. Ladies first. Put up a new post with your choice of theme for this week, and let’s get this rolling. 🙂 I’ll pingback to your post with mine. Next week, it’ll be my turn to choose the theme. I’d normally do this sort of thing on Sunday nights, but whatever fits your schedule is fine. No fixed schedule, no pressure! Tag posts with WeeklyMusicCarousel for easy WordPress Reader action.
Now if anyone else has read this far out of morbid curiosity, congratulations. Everyone is welcome to join in. Just follow my and Sugar’s blogs so you can see when the theme post goes up, then pingback to the theme post with your music selections post for the week. No obligations, no commitments, just do it if/when you feel like it. If you’re feeling motivated and want to pick a theme, just ask in the comments. 🙂
Hmmm. I haven’t listened to “I Can Dream About You” in a very long time…