Can’t Stop The Feeling-J.T.

Justin Timberlake has a new feel-good dance hit. “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” I think Justin Timberlake is exactly what’s right about pop music. The man can do no wrong. The only person I can compare him to is Jennifer Lawrence. The man can do no wrong. At 36, he’s won nine Grammy Awards and 4 Primetime Emmy Awards. He’s won four PrimeTime Emmys for hosting and singing on “Saturday Night Live.”

Jennifer Lawrence, has been nominated for four Academy Awards in five years…winning one.  For those same four movies, she won three Golden Globes, and was nominated for the fourth. Let’s not forget starring four “Hunger Games,” and three “X-Men” movies Did I mention that she’s 26 years old, and that every talk show or red-carpet event makes front page news.

The most important thing they share is an innate joy at whatever it is they chose to do.  But let’s stick with Timberlake for now. He was the lead singer of the 90s boy band NSYNC, which sold over 50 million records from 1995-2002. In 2002, he started recording as a solo artist. In that 14 year period he sold more than 20 million albums from only three studio albums. The man simply can do no wrong. In that same period, he starred in half a dozen movies including “The Social Network” and “Friends With Benefits.”

“Can’t Stop The Feeling,” is JT’s first single in three years which would be a lifetime in most artists careers. Not Justin. It’s just great to have you back, JT, doing what you do best. The lyrics seem straight from the pen of his sometime producer Pharrell Williams.
I got this feeling inside my bones
It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flying up, no ceiling when we in our zone

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good song in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
You gon’ like the way we rock it, so don’t stop

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Welcome back JT.

 

Uptown Funk-Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s collaboration of “Uptown Funk” won the “Album of the Year Award” for the 2016 Grammys last night even though it feels like it’s been around for two or three years. The very first time I heard it, near the end of 2014, I was dazzled by its unabashed homage to 80s and 90s R & B giants Earth Wind & Fire and Morris Day & The Time. The prominent staccato Earth Wind & Fire horn line is as memorable as any of the lyrics. The groove, as well as the all-male dance line, is a loving tribute to Morris Day & The Time’s 1990’s “Jungle Love.”

However, Mars wasn’t finished in his loving tribute to the great funk music of the 80s & 90s. His performance at last month’s Super Bowl keeps all the elements of his original recording but adds a musical and visual homage to MC Hammer “U Can’t Touch This” and James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing.”  The dance moves and baggy pants are a direct, loving nod to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” The new bass line provided a more subtle nod to the undeniably identifiable James Brown classics. To Marc Ronson’s credit, he humbly thanked to great George Clinton, and his group Parliament-Funkadelic, as well as the late, great Earth Wind & Fire’s Maurice White during last night’s GRAMMY AWARD acceptance speech.

Bruno-Just The Way You Are

Bruno Mars is clearly emerging as the ultimate Pop Music Maestro of the 21st century. The man is a hit-making machine, and will hopefully keep churning them out, and performing them with his charismatic charm and astonishing dance moves. The best thing about Bruno Mars, missing in so many young Pop performers, is that he clearly LOVES what he’s doing. No matter how enjoyable it is to watch this remarkable sensation, he always seems to be having a better time than us.

Keep going Bruno. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
-Doug

Wake Me Up-Avici

There’s something “sneaky” catchy about this song. It starts out with a lazy guitar riff, and sounds like the beginning of a country song. But it gains momentum and by the time you hit the chorus, “So wake me up when it’s all over….”, you’re hooked. And as with any song we use at a wedding or any other party, everybody can sing along. The song really works. Check it out. It’s a really fun song.

Rather Be-Clean Bandit/Jess Glynne

‘Rather Be” by the British band Clean Bandit, featuring the omnipresent Jess Glynne,  is a terrific dance song. Following the rather unique violins opening the song, an electric piano takes over the rhythm, along with the drums and bass. However, throughout the whole song there are many truly interesting orchestration choices, which is very rare today when entire songs are done on synthesizers. Even the harmonies on the chorus really fatten up the sound of this really great dance tune.

“Rather Be” gets people dancing, right from the violin introduction. Give Clean Bandit’s hit a shot at your next party. It’s a guaranteed dance floor hit.

Here are some of the lyrics:
We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea
But as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be
I would wait forever, exalted in the scene
As long as I am with you, my heart continues to beat
With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay, strolling so casually
We’re different and the same, gave you another name, switch up the batteries

If you gave me a chance I would take it
It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can’t shame me
When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be

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This one is a clear winner. A terrific crowd pleasing dance hit at any party.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

 

 

Everlasting Love-Carl Carlton

Carl Carlton’s version of “Everlasting Love” is my companion piece to “Bad Mama Jama.” The lyrics are far more interesting, as is the melody. The song has been recorded many times, but Carlton’s version will always be my favorite.

Open up your eyes then you’ll realize, here I stand with my everlasting love
Need you by my side, girl, to be my pride, never be denied, everlasting love
Hearts gone astray deep in her, when they go
I went away just when you needed me so
You won’t regret, I’ll come back begging you
Won’t you forget? Welcome love we once knew
Open up your eyes then you’ll realize, here I stand with my everlasting love
Need you by my side, girl, to be my pride, never be denied, everlasting love
From very start open up your heart, feel that you’re falling, everlasting love

His music may not be groundbreaking, but it certainly does hold up for over 40 years.

Leave a message letting me know what you think.

Vivir Mi Vida-Marc Anthony

I have always loved Salsa music. There is so much soul invested in the unique percussion rhythms, the powerful horns, and the stylistic joy that makes “Salsa” almost impossible not to dance to. Even though the only two Spanish words I know are “hola,” and coño, which is a source of embarrassment since I found out what “coño” actually means, although having a good curse word or two can be pretty handy.

I had my band learn the song in its original Spanish and have played it at four weddings so far. I’m pretty sure none of the guests knew the song, but the dance floor was packed within seconds of hearing this incredible beat.

I promise you don’t have to understand a world of Spanish to love Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida.” If this is the first time you’re hearing Salsa,,,Bienvenidos Amigos!

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Vivir Mi Vida
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
 
A veces llega la lluvia
para limpiar las heridas
A veces sólo una gota
puede vencer la sequía
 
Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si así es la vida, hay que vivirla
 
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
 
Voy a vivir el momento
para entender el destino
Voy a escuchar en silencio
para encontrar el camino
 
Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
 
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Leave a comment, or a request for me to review.
-Doug

Glasgow Love Theme-Love Actually

“Love Actually” is one of the last great romantic comedies of our time, Many factors went into the success of “Love Actually.” The extraordinary international, mostly British, cast, the interweaving plot lines, and of course the delicate, sentimental, lush romantic score by British composer Curtis Armstrong.
One of the most memorable parts of the score is called “Glasgow Love Theme.”
There are other decidedly unromantically titled tunes such as “Portugese Love Theme” and “Prime Minister’s Love Theme”.  However, each melody is more lush and romantic as the one before.”Glasgow Love Theme ” is featured in this rather poorly edited montage. But it’s really one of the more touching plot lines in the movie, in which Andrew Lincoln’s (“Walking Dead”)  character serves as the best man for his friend, Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years A Slave”) who is  marrying the love of his life, played by a spectacularly gorgeous (20-year-old)  Keira Knightley.

It’s not as depressing as it sounds, basically because Andrew Lincoln acts the shit out of the scene. It’s a distinctly, lovely tear jerker.

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Standing on its own, “Glasgow Love Theme” is a simple, elegant melody, perfect for use as a Wedding Processional. I have to give thanks to Allison and Kyle who requested I play it for their wedding processional on May 21, 2016.
I was going to add this to my list of Processionals on my Wedding Wisdom Blog, on my own, but they beat me to it.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Want To Want Me-Jason DeRulo

Jason DeRulo’s song “Want To Want Me” is a truly infectious song, highlighted by DeRulo’s incredible vocal range. As a contemporary dance song. I can’t really see “Want To Want Me”
being more than a sensational song-of-the-moment. Yet… there’s a playful sincerity to DeRulo’s best songs, including “Want To Want Me.”  What makes this video particularly fun to watch as well as listen to is its split-screen format, with the vocals pouring in from country music superstar Luke Bryan, who looks like he’s having the most amazing time, just being a part of it all, trying to keep up with Jason’s “Prince-like” falsetto.This is a song to be enjoyed, and to dance to, rather than be analyzed for its musical complexities nor its  fairly inconsequential lyrics. “Want To Want Me”  is everything  it’s supposed to be, a flat-out fun dance song. Enjoy.

Here are the lyrics:
It’s so hard to sleep,
I got the sheets on the floor, listen to me
And I can’t take it no more it’s a hundred degrees,
I got one foot out the door, where are my keys?  I gotta leave, yeah
In the back of the cab,
I tip the driver, head to town. Give me the best.
I got your body on my mind, I want it back.
Ooh, just the thought of you gets me so high, so high

Girl, you don’t want, I want you to want me
And if you want, hey girl, you got me
There’s nothing I know I wouldn’t do, I wouldn’t do
Just to get up next you
Girl, you don’t want I want you to want me
And if you want, girl you got me
There’s nothing I know I wouldn’t do, I wouldn’t do
Just to get up next you

jason derulo:luke bryan

Great, fun, can’t-miss dance song. Congrats to Country Music superstar Luke Bryan for being game enough to attempt a duet with the soulful Jason DeRulo. He more than holds his own. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

This Is How We Do It-Montell Jordan

Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” is one of the most successful party/dance songs ever written. Released in 1995, the song was a monster hit for Rick Rubin’s Def Jam Records and Montell Jordan, spending seven consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top 100 Chart and ultimately winning Jordan a Grammy for Best Male R & B Performance. The beauty of the song is in its simplicity. There are two elements that make it so much fun for crowds to dance to. First, there’s the six-syllable a cappella introduction of the title of the song…which endlessly repeats itself over and over, making it easy and fun for your guests to sing along with. Someone at Def Jam also had the musical foresight to have the repetitive phrase being sung in simple unison, by what sounds like a random bunch of guys at a party, making it easy for those of us with less than great voices to sing along with.

The second element is the immediately distinctive bass line that starts immediately after the a cappella opening and continues unchanged throughout the whole song. That concept is very similar to Backstreet’s “No Diggity” which I wrote about last week. The use of that repetitive 9-note bass line holds the structure of song together, regardless of a less-than-memorable melody line, or lyrics. The combination of being able to sing along to the six word title, and being able to dance to the equally distinctive nine-note bass line, make this incredibly funky groove a truly inclusive song to enjoy, regardless of whether or not you’ve ever been anywhere near “South Central”.

Montell Jordan

This is an undeniably great party song that works every time. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
-Doug