“I Ain’t Losin’ the Fight” (Bryan Adams Cover)

Originally posted 2008-07-24 03:51:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to an all-new acoustic cover song by an all-new artist to the Laptop Sessions music blog…

This is Bryan Adams’ “I Ain’t Losin’ the Fight” from his 2008 album 11. The story behind the title of this most recent album is that it is his eleventh studio album. Apparently, fans have started proposing other hidden meanings of the number 11 for this record, but he has been clear in interviews that he never intended any deeper meanings. I tend to believe him, as the album is as straightforward as can be. It is a predominantly white cover, the booklet illustrated with pictures of Adams against white backdrops. The eleven songs are a fairly straightforward set of new rock music tracks that you would expect from Adams. But this is not to say that it is simply a mediocre, plain album. I have really enjoyed listening to these songs and I certainly plan to record more acoustic cover songs based on his work this year. I’ve really fallen in love with tracks like “Oxygen” and “Mysterious Ways” in addition to this track I’ve recorded for tonight, “I Ain’t Losin’ the Fight” — they’re such simple songs lyrically, but they are catchy and I love the sound he gets out of the mix of the instruments.

I think it’s worth noting that Bryan Adams was included in a top ten list last week of artists who should stop recording new albums. To be honest, I tended to agree with the other artists who were listed, with the possible exception of the Who (Endless Wire — I mean the album and not the attached rock symphony opera whatever — really wasn’t as bad as some music reviews made it out to be; I thought it had some solid, enjoyable tracks).

The inclusion of Bryan Adams in this list is not so surprising, as he is an easy target for those who like to write about “important” songwriters and bands. He also gets looked down upon for being a Canadian rocker, I think, which is patently unfair. I’ve always wondered how you can dismiss a new music artist based on his country of origin — just look at how many incredible albums the Barenaked Ladies, also Canadian natives, have released. Regardless, I thought it was also unfair that this top ten list dismissed Adams’ previous hits — “Summer of ’69” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” — wholesale. If you ask me, this was a chance for the writer of the top ten list to make a pun, writing that if Bryan Adams really did hold to his promise of “everything I do I do it for you,” then he would stop releasing records.

Ridiculous.

I can appreciate a good pun, but 11 is one of the most fun rock albums of the year. Groundbreaking? No. Predictable? Okay, I suppose. But it’s just a solid rock album and can’t we be happy with that?

And now, without further ado, I’ll come down off my soap box and give my musical nod to Bryan Adams’ latest work. I hope you enjoy it and maybe you’ll even want to hear the real studio version after watching my acoustic cover song music video. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for an all-new session from Jeff…

See you next session!



“Lay Lady Lay” (Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2007-12-16 18:28:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Back again for more Laptop Sessions! It’s been a while, but now that the planning is finally done for our annual Christmas/New Year’s party, I’ll be back doing more sessions more often! So, today, I’m actually putting four new videos online, as these were salvaged from my last laptop’s hard drive before it died. Props to me, though, because I uploaded these to my web space before the hard drive crashed! :-)

“Lay Lady Lay” is an oddity. If you listen to Dylan’s Greatest Hits/Best Of compilations, you’ll notice that this song stands out from the rest because of, dare I say it, his good voice! For the album “Nashville Skyline” (one of my favorites), he decided to try a new style of singing and playing. Chris and I put a new spin on this song with a guitar solo, and I hope everyone likes what we’ve done with it, especially because it took about 34 takes!

Stay tuned for part 2 of today’s 4 part Laptop Sessions extravaganza!



“You May Be Right” (Billy Joel Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-21 22:25:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Okay, so here’s a bit of an anomaly. Most of us cast members of WCJM.com Free Internet Radio will be surprised, if they’re not listening to the shows as often as I do, to find me playing a Billy Joel song. I want to take this opportunity to clear the air.

If you listen to the Beach Boys’ music through the ages, you’ll hear a progression in the music. The styles may be different as the years go on, but most of it is just building on what was previously there.

Conversely, you can listen to Paul McCartney or the Moody Blues through the years and notice that their song/music styles change with the TIMES. For instance, in the seventies, songs got longer, then got disco-y, then got electronic once they reached the eighties. Around 2000, you heard drum loops and “new age” production on albums from both McCartney and the Moodies.

But, their SONGS and the general “type” of music (rock or pop) stayed pretty constant. I’m not giving any free passes for horrible disco versions (Beach Boys fans can goan at “Here Comes the Night”) or electronica from the early 80s, but at least you still knew it was a “Paul” song or a “Moodies” song.

Billy Joel, for me, falls into two categories, both of which I’ll briefly address:

1. Overrated:

As you’ll note with the bands I like, I tend to stay away from bands that are generally “overrated”. Yes, the Beatles are lauded all the time, but it’s pretty clear they’re the ONLY band that deserves the accolades they get. But, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys NEVER won a Grammy for their songs (unless you count “Best Instrumental” for “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow” a few years ago- what an insult). The Moody Blues STILL aren’t in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t think America’s had a decently reviewed album in Rolling Stone since their first one.

But, look at who gets ALL the attention:

– Bruce Springsteen
– Elton John (who sells concert tickets like Tickle-Me-Elmos did the day after Thanksgiving)
– Bob Dylan, whom I’m convinced can fart on the microphone and earn a Five Star Rolling Stone review. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man, but he is overrated, as well.

Now, Billy Joel is playing TEN, yes TEN shows at Mohegan Sun Casino here in Connecticut and sold them all out. The man hasn’t done an album in like 15 years and is more popular than ever. I swear more people go to his concerts than have EVER bought his music. And THAT’S the kind of crowd that makes someone so overrated. The “Starbucks” crowd that loves what all the other soccer moms love.

The theme here: It’s not Billy Joel’s fault. I really don’t blame HIM for my dislike of his music.

2. He changes the TYPE of music he plays ALL THE TIME.

As I said earlier, bands I like have changed their styles through the years, either through progression, or just keeping up with the times. But, again- a Beach Boys song was a Beach Boys song, you know?

Now, Billy Joel:

Sometimes, he’s the crooner, singing in that horrid “holier than thou” voice about “regular people” from New York and their stories.

Then, out of nowhere, he’s formed a barbershop quartet in “For The Longest Time”.

Then, he’s some teeney-bopper singing “Uptown Girl”.

Then, 80’s rocker while singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.

And, finally, he’s a good old fashioned rock’n’roller on tunes like this one, “You May Be Right”.

What style of music IS this man? Epic piano numbers? Guitar-based rockers? Vocals-only diddies? What?

That question, I cannot answer. And maybe I’m being a bit too general here, as since I’ve noticed this trend, I’ve never gotten past the Greatest Hits.

In closing, I love this song, I love the style, and I wish this was the REAL Billy Joel. I hope you enjoy my rip-roarin’ rendition of this Billy Joel song! (What a rant…)


CD Review: Songwriter Sheryl Crow’s New Music is Personal on “Detours”

Originally posted 2008-02-10 21:44:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

RATING:  2 / 5 stars

By Chris Moore:

As an album, Detours is certainly not what its title would imply. If anything, this is a further return to form for Sheryl Crow – equal parts acoustic and electric, serious and carefree. At every turn, it surprises and engages and, above all, denies the listener the opportunity to get too comfortable. She is concerned about a series of social issues, yet she does not stop there—she shares some advice for getting back on the right track and, of course, some relevant personal tales.

The songs on this album can essentially be divided into three main categories—topical songs, songs about love and peace, and personal songs. The album kicks off with a selection from the first category, the acoustic-only “God Bless This Mess.” With lines like, “The president…led us as a nation into a war based on lies,” Crow establishes early on that she will not be pulling any punches. Then, if there was any question in the listener’s mind as to whether or not this album would be too simple, she thunders into “Shine Over Babylon,” spewing lines about teachers’ hands being “overrun,” cities “drowning under boiling fountains,” and scavengers handing us “all the junk that should have damned” us. Upon a first listen, I was happy to hear that someone else is very much unhappy with the state of affairs in our nation and in our world. She goes on to address, as the title implies, “Gasoline” and the priorities that some place in parties, reality-TV, and the like in “Motivation.”

If this was her only focus, then Detours may have been quite a downer indeed. However, true to form, Crow compliments her darker songs with an equal helping of tunes calling for us to embrace peace and love. In an almost hippie-esque fashion, she declares “Everybody’s making love ‘cause love is free” and later calls upon us to invoke the refrain, “Peace Be Upon Us” At times, these songs can end in a repetitive manner or come across as too simple, but overall they seem sincere and not so out of place on an album that asks us to strip everything down to the surface, from social issues to romantic relationships. And, if the protest song-undertones of songs like “Out of Our Heads” isn’t your cup of tea, then it is hard to ignore a catchy and upbeat rocker like “Love Is All There Is.” Ringo Starr would be proud.

What really brings this album home for me is the final category of songs, namely the personal tales that inhabit this release. Both the title track and “Make It Go Away (The Radiation Song)” come across as deeply personal and, again, very sincere. Coming on the heels of her recent treatments for cancer, these songs translate as authentic glimpses into her mindset as an individual. For instance, as she explained in a recent interview, detours is a term she uses to describe experiences that force us to reevaluate our priorities and our lives. Physical health isn’t her only concern; on the contrary, the emotions of new love shine through on “Drunk With the Thought of You” and the gloom of love gone wrong can be heard in every breath of “Diamond Ring.” I thought it very fitting of her to put “Lullaby for Wyatt” last in the track listing. After an album’s worth of sorting through the world’s problems and both advocating the importance of and considering the realities of love, she ends with the realization that she loves her son, but “love is letting go.”

When she released C’mon, C’mon in 2002, I had difficulty finding merit in its pop-based sound and mentality, and I wondered what her future albums would be like. It only took a few guitar strums and the first line of track one, “I Know Why,” from her subsequent 2005 album Wildflower to put any concerns out of my mind entirely. Now, Detours has reaffirmed my interest in Crow’s music, if only for its ability to cover so much ground—political, social, interpersonal—in such a sincere manner.

** EDITOR’S NOTE **

The 2 star rating (out of five) was added after the review was written.  This is an album that had very little staying power, and I was admittedly much more enthusiastic about the release than I should have been, most likely due to events in my personal life — i.e. the decision to buy more CD’s in 2008 to really experience a broader range of new music.  I hope you enjoy the album, as I did when I first wrote this review.  However, the rating should act as a warning from a wiser listener.  :-)