Monday, March 4, 2013

Knowing Nothing about Pop Music

Until Christmas, I had precisely 3 music CD's (Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and Marie-Lynn Hammond), some LPs bought before I got married, and  tapes the former partner cringed at. Married, I never had to buy music because the partner acquired it the way some people breathe: in large gulps.

It was obviously time to buy more. I started with CD's from the dollar table at 2nd & Charles. Lee Ann Rimes, Reba McIntyre, Kathy Mattea, Shawn Colvin because I'd heard and enjoyed Sunny Came Home. Aside from that one song, I can't stand the Colvin album. Turns out it is a divorce album. Feh. So is the Kathy Mattea. I sure can pick'em. Lee Ann Rimes Blue is a good wailer.

I bought James Blunt's Back from Bedlam because I hovered between being appalled at how maudlin the lyrics were and enjoying singing along. James Blunt said that for the videos that went with his first album, he allowed them to bury him up to his neck in the desert, and push him off a cliff into icy water. Now that he knows more about the music industry, he said, he'll stick to videos where he gets to stand around on a beach. He's charming and funny and has good comedic timing in interviews (also on youtube). It is best, I find, not to think too much about the manipulative song construction.

Now I've bought Josh Groban (partly because he has cute puppy dog eyes and was amusing on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a British show I devoured on youtube) but mostly because he can stay on key and is pleasant. I knew he'd sung a
duet with Celine Dion in Las Vegas. Dion's singing has always sounded loud and flat to me. I feel that liking Groban puts me firmly among the fogies. He's known for full throated operatic treatment of popular songs, but this album seems more operatic. It was not on the dollar table.

Also from the Pop/Rock stacks, I bought Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell II for I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That). The entire album is Jim Steinman tunes. The former partner HATED Jim Steinman tunes, calling them overwrought, over-emotional and manipulative (but how do you really feel?) I would never have bought it if Meat Loaf hadn't been so charming on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

 I'm less than thrilled with the convention of overprinting the lyrics onto        photos, and printing in 4-point type. And albums that don't include lyrics? I really really hate them.