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Showing posts from August, 2008

Matthew Good Band - "Beautiful Midnight"

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"Beautiful Midnight" by Matthew Good Band is quite literally the best album no one remembers. Even though this album was a hit in Canada and they won two Juno awards (Canada's equivalent of the Grammys), it never quite caught on in the US. I remember some of their videos off this album being played on the now-defunct TV channel MuchMusic (now Fuse), which was a Canadian channel.

The music ranges on this album from slow, ethereal, and haunting to pounding and visceral. It showcases the versatility of the musicians. It is unapologetically hard rock music, yet it stands above many of their peers at the time due to the lyrics.

The lyrics stand firm as commentary on society, although at face value they could also describe romantic relationships or friendships gone wrong. "The Future Is X-Rated" attacks the disposable nature of the world today with lyrics such as "And now they've got drive through/And a video store where there used to be real live actors."…

Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" & the male gaze

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Katy Perry's song "I Kissed A Girl" has spent an impressive seven weeks in a row at number one this summer. Of course, similar feats have been accomplished by decidedly catchy but unimpressive songs like "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain (which spent 10 weeks at #1) and the infamous "Macarena" which spent a shocking 14 weeks at #1.

This song is incredibly catchy, that part is undeniable. It has just the right amount of computer-enhanced vocals to make it a hit, but just enough of Katy's voice to make her credible. I like the song well enough. Katy herself seems to be a mix of cute and tough, and she seemed likeable in her performance and hurried interview on The View recently. The small amount of controversy the song has generated probably has only added to its popularity (see Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus for example). But listening to it for the hundredth time today got me thinking:

Would this song be anywhere near as popular if it was a man si…

Diamond Rings obsolete in the Music Industry

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It is evident that long gone are the years of the Diamond album.

A Diamond album is one certified ten times platinum (10 million copies) by the RIAA. There are (by my count) 42 albums released in the 1990's that have achieved this status, as varied as Tom Petty & the Heartbreaker's Greatest Hits, the Titanic Soundtrack, and Kenny G's "Breathless". However, it is interesting to note that the two biggest sellers of the 1990's are both country albums: Garth Brooks' "Double Live" (21 million) and Shania Twain's "Come On Over" (20 million).

By contrast, in this decade, there are only 7 albums so far that have reached Diamond notification. One of these albums is the Beatles' incredibly popular "1" album, a 2002 compilation of all their #1 hits. In this sense, it is a compilation of previously released music that appeals to Beatles fans of all generations, not music that is a product of the changing trends of the new mi…