The only “revolution” that happened between 2001’s excellent Reptile and Back Home was Eric Clapton’s conversion to the school of light contemporary snooze rock, filling up his new album with instrumentally pedestrian and lyrically boring recordings; Clapton’s guitarwork is, as always, interesting, but that can’t save most songs from dragging on a minute too long (“Love Don’t Love Nobody” has no business being over seven minutes!) or the background singers from drawing a smirk.
Top Two Tracks:
“So Tired” & “Back Home”
“Love Comes to Everyone” (yes, the George Harrison song, recorded as a tribute following his death and recognized here for sounding so much like the original)
For the fogey-at-heart, Clapton is a trip down Memory Lane with a set of covers recorded on high quality modern doohickeys; for anyone searching for a creative pulse, turn your interests elsewhere — this is a Clapton who has yet to regain what was lost post-Reptile.
(And, for the record, I may dry heave if I read one more review praising the overplayed ho-hum predictability of “Diamonds Made From Rain” and “Autumn Leaves.”)
(P.S. I considered simply writing: “Clapton: the brilliantly original title says it all,” but I wouldn’t want to be harsh.)
Top Two Tracks:
If I had to choose, “Everything Will Be Alright” & “Hard Time Blues”
One of the key criteria in judging a solo act is in the singer’s range and catalog of material. From the sounds of his seven track sampler, professional vocalist Andi Dawson, also known as One Heart, has managed to not only select a wide range of rock and pop numbers for his repertoire, but also to master the subtleties of each of his diverse tracks.
From the first vocal notes of “Smooth,” the singer’s attention to detail is clearly evidenced by the vocal effect that is strikingly similar to the one used famously by Rob Thomas, who helped score a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Santana at the turn of the millennium. And yet, a few tracks later, One Heart has slowed down and, going back to the seventies, taken on the smooth tones of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” Gone is the bravado necessary for a rocker like “Smooth.” Instead, he delivers a vocal true to Clapton’s original, complete with subtleties in inflection and overall delivery.
Suitably, his voice drops an octave for the early sixties Del Shannon hit “Runaway.” His timing is impeccable on One Heart’s version of “Brown-Eyed Girl.” And One Heart has left no decade of rock music unexplored, faithfully translating Queen’s early nineties hit “The Show Must Go On,” Bryan Adams’ eighties hit “The Summer of ’69,” and a mix of fifties tracks in “The One Heart Rock & Roll Medley.”
The medley, the seventh and final track, fades with a take on “Rock Around the Clock,” originally by Bill Haley & His Comets. It is quite fitting for the set to end with the oldest songs presented, and yet with a number that is every bit as upbeat as their opening track.
Based out of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, One Heart is the perfect solution for anyone planning the music for an event such as a wedding. Judging from his tracks — available online at www.one-heart.co.uk — this solo vocalist will bring a wide range of popular music sensibilities to his performances. This seven track sampler alone draws from mostly top ten and top five hits from artists as diverse as Elvis Presley to Queen, from eras as early as the 1950s to as recently as the new millennium. This supports the promise on the official website that “One Heart is an act that has been carefully designed to supply entertainment to all present.”
Having contributed regularly to the “session-a-day” Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs project, I have quickly become an expert of sorts and indeed quite particular when it comes to judging the quality of covers. One Heart consistently demonstrates a mastery and a faithfulness to the original studio recordings of the songs he performs.
His music is solid, his vocal range is more than adequate for the range of artists he has chosen to cover, and his selection is vast — what more could you desire in one singer?
For J.J. Cale / Eric Clapton chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
Okay, so before I explain my song choice tonight, I have to briefly address the music video I just watched. I really do love music videos, and it seems a lost art. Interestingly enough, it seems that the MTV show “Total Request Live,” or TRL for short, both furthered the popularity of music videos… and led to their demise. I mean, what’s better than a show devoted to showing music videos? Oh, wait — TRL, not unlike commercial radio, ended up circulating only about ten popular videos on any given day. Oh yeah, and the show only aired clips of those ten music videos! What?! Who decided on this format? No wonder they finally took it off the air!
To be fair, I heard that the show had recently adopted a more progressive format, utilizing online resources to poll viewers, etc. But I stopped watching the show loooong before that.
Anyway, back to the music video I just watched. I was on Yahoo and saw a link to Coldplay’s new music video for “Life in Technicolor II” — it’s a great one! I was impressed with the overall progression of the video, as it documents a children’s puppet show that turns into an all-out rock’n roll concert that includes the puppet versions of Chris Martin and company playing their instruments, and Martin not only jumping around (hanging as though suspended in the air as he sings “Now my feet won’t touch the ground”) and crowd surfing. It ends with them being picked up, in true rock star style, by a helicopter that exits the room by smashing through a window. Which begs the question… how did it get in in the first place?
And this is wonderful…
…except for the fact that the Barenaked Ladies already did this! Certainly, Coldplay’s video is not a plagiarism of BnL’s music video for “Pollywog in a Bog” last year (I wonder if they even saw it), but it seems odd that they did a puppet show so soon after BnL. I guess that just goes to show how ahead of the curve they are. If you haven’t seen these videos, you should definitely go watch them. BOTH of them — it’ll be worth the six minutes of your life it will take! (Just search on YouTube for “Barenaked Ladies Pollywog” and “Coldplay puppets”). The BnL video is especially worthwhile, if only for the really cute animal puppets that look creepily similar to the respective band members. Such a fun and funny video!!
Okay, so back to my video for tonight…
Those of you who regularly frequent the blog will already know that my goal this year is to tie every “Chris Moore Monday” in somehow with the following New Music Tuesday. So, you may be wondering what a J.J. Cale song that is over four decades old has to do with new music… Well, J.J. Cale is releasing a new album tomorrow entitled Roll On, his first solo album since 2004. His most recent success was The Road to Escondido, an album recorded in 2006 in conjunction with Eric Clapton. This was certainly not their first interaction, as Cale wrote the songs “After Midnight” and “Cocaine,” both of which Clapton popularized. When I was growing up, my dad would often play his “Cream of Clapton” greatest hits, which included both of these songs.
Thus, it is my honor to bring you an old Cale track in honor of his new release, which (again) comes out tomorrow. This song may have been written in 1966, but he’s still writing and recording in 2009 at the age of 70, and that is nothing short of amazing!
Don’t forget to rush back tomorrow for an all new Jim Fusco Tuesday…