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

Bills-LunchMoney Lewis

This terrific dance song is, arguably, an infectious “love-it-or-hate-it” piece of music, especially if your taste runs on the traditional side. But I do love it!  For starters,  when was the last time you heard a real piano on a pop dance hit? Let alone a really, really funky piano on a pop dance hit? Add a great jazz “walking” bass line, “gospel” drums and genuinely funny lyrics? For me and a lot of my clients, it’s a song that makes you want to get up and dance. The catchy, repetitive chorus is so beautifully simple that people can sing along before they’ve heard it for the first time.

Here are the lyrics:

I got bills I gotta pay
So I’m gon’ work, work, work every day
I got mouths I gotta feed,
So I’m gon’ make sure everybody eats
I got bills!

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At the very least, “Bills”  is an incredibly fresh sounding song, using real instruments instead of simple layering synthesizers on top of synthesized drums. I love the “feel” of this song.
Check it out, and let me know if you don’t at least have a smile on your face.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Doug

Ain’t It Fun-Paramore

“Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore is a fabulous dance song. It works terrifically well to get you and your friends up dancing. The accompanying video actually fits the lyrics perfectly. This song is called “Ain’t It Fun,” so instead of showing some heavy “green screen fantasia,” it merely shows the three lead members of the band….having fun. Those three are actually Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Jeremy Davis.
I actually wanted to go out and smash a clock with an electric guitar the first time I saw the video. Musically, I love that the repetitive 5-note guitar riff doesn’t just fade out after the intro. It keeps repeating throughout. It’s just a really fun song to play and judging from guests’ reactions at parties, it’s really fun to dance to.
Even the lyrics, which are sometimes completely inconsequential in a pop dance song, are funny, in a thoroughly appropriate though sarcastic way.

I don’t mind letting you down easy but just give it time
If it don’t hurt now, but just wait just wait a while
You’re not the big fish in the pond no more
You are what they’re feeding on
So what are you gonna do when the world don’t orbit around you
Ain’t it fun living in the real world
Ain’t it good being all alone
Where you’re from, you might be the one who’s running things
Well you can ring anybody’s bell and get what you want
See it’s easy to ignore trouble. When you’re living in a bubble
So what are you gonna do when the world don’t orbit around you
So what are you gonna do when nobody wants to fool with you
Ain’t it fun living in the real world
Ain’t it good being all alone……

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The unison fade out is just dripping with sarcasm as well:
Don’t go crying to your mama, when you’re all alone in the real world.

I love this song. Don’t let it “bum you out”.  It’s definitely an independence anthem and a bit edgy, but the song is bold and its guitar riff is irresistible. And that makes it a can’t miss winner on the dance floor, and a great song to work out to.

Enjoy. I’d love to know your reaction to this song…..Doug

 

 

 

 

 

Cinema Paradiso-Ennio Morricone

“Cinema Paradiso” is my favorite movie. It’s also the first time I was introduced to magnificent music of Italian composer Ennio Morricone. The score is so poignant that it almost always brings tears to my eyes. The movie itself was the first foreign movie that I had ever seen. (I should’ve said the first foreign movie I allowed my wife to drag me to.) Both the movie and the score have incredible resonance to me, because we were convinced that the little boy who stars as youthful protagonist “Toto” looked exactly like our son, Frank. Suffice it to say, we ran out of the theatre to go home and hug our son after this seeing this  beautiful gem of a movie. The entire soundtrack is gorgeous, but this theme just tears at your heart strings. But, like all of the very best Hollywood soundtracks, it never strives to overtake the emotion it’s meant to accompany. This makes a subtle and spectacular wedding processional. It’s also one of the few pieces of music that we play for processions  that people invariably come up to us and ask about the music.

Morricone’s masterpiece is always my go-to response when clients ask for suggestions for processional music. And if you haven’t seen the movie…rent, stream or buy it…immediatelly. It’s a must see. But make sure you get the original Italian edition (not the director’s cut…which basically makes the movie longer, not better.

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So, your assignment is to watch the original Italian version of “Cinema Paradiso,” then give another listen to the score. I think you’ll agree that this “Love Theme” makes a spectacular, and unique choice for either the Full Processional or the Bridal Processional. Putting this together with Rachel Portman’s Love Theme from “Cider House Rules” is a beautiful combination.

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

Tiny Dancer-Elton John

When I posted Elton John’s “Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters” as a terrific procession song suggested by our client for May 4, 2013, I mentioned that although it might not have been Elton’s most famous song it worked incredibly well because of it’s delicate, very strong melody.
Well, if “Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters” isn’t Elton John’s most famous hit, “Tiny Dancer” might possibly his most iconic song, thanks to Cameron Crowe, and the movie “Almost Famous.”
The two main reasons this song works so well as a wedding processional is the immediately recognizable sound of Sir Elton’s piano playing, and the temptation to sing along to the chorus. Getting your guests to smile during your procession adds an element of togetherness, as well as delight that you had the foresight to chose an unpredictable, albeit perfect choice, which truly can set a warm, easy-going mood for the entire evening.

In the iconic 2000 movie “Almost Famous,” Billy Crudup stars as a “B-level” troubled   egocentric “bad boy.” Following a near-disastrous encounter with teen-aged fans, Crowe selected “Tiny Dancer” as the song to represent the music that brings the band back together as a unit. He allows us to hear the song with only Elton, then each member of the band joining in until everyone’s singing the chorus in full voice “….Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer….” Great scene, great movie, unique and instantly recognizable processional choice.

As a side note. I’ve never heard anybody mention how or why Cameron Crowe cast a virtual unknown Billy Crudup to portray the troubled, charismatic shaggy-haired, 20-something, mustached rocker…who bears an uncanny resemblance to the young James Taylor. In case you were wondering, that’s Sweet Baby James on the left, looking a whole lot hipper than the tall, bald, ex-heroin-addict we will always love as the living embodiment of the heart-rendering  balladeer singer/songwriter/poet laureate of the Baby Boom Generation.

James TaylorUnknown

But getting back to Elton John, “Tiny Dancer’s” universal appeal remains a major part of the pantheon of great rock ‘n roll songs, certainly one that is fun and instantly recognizable.

Try it as the Full Processional, rather than the Bridal Procession, because of the length of the song.Let me know what you think.
-Doug

Baby I-Ariana Grande


I have loved Ariana Grande’s voice since I first heard her sing “The Way” three short years ago. There is no doubt that she has astonishing vocal technique and reminds everybody of a young Mariah Carey. But there is something fresh and exciting about every song Ariana sings. Her videos are alway upbeat, with her showing off her dimples, and proving beyond a doubt that there are an amazing amount of great hip-hop dancers in L.A.

“Baby I” brings her to a new level, by actually adding a genuine jazz-infused, Earth, Wind & Fire orchestration. The way she sings over, around and through these deceivingly complicated chords is extraordinary. And the ease with which she manipulates her voice to reach incredible heights is so effortless, that I am convinced she’s easily got the best voice I’ve heard since a 19 year old Whitney Houston.  

Plus, it’s a great dance song, and a blast for a band to play:
Enjoy

Baby I got love for thee so deep inside of me I don’t know where to start
I love you more than anything but the words can’t even touch what’s in my heart
When I try to explain it I be sounding insane the words don’t ever come out right
I get all tongue tied and twisted) I can’t explain what I’m feeling And I say baby, baby
Baby (baby I)
Oh baby, oh baby, my baby (Baby I)
Oh baby, baby I (baby I)
All I’m tryna say is you’re my everything baby
But every time I try to say it words they only complicate it
Baby, baby (Ooh oh)
This is a great pop song in it’s purest sense. It actually brings comparison to Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be.” But I guess I’m not the only Ariana Grande fan around. The video above has had over 127 million views as of today.
Let me know what you think,

On My Mind-Ellie Goulding

British Pop singer Ellie Goulding (pronounced Gold-ing) has become an international sensation with her third album “Delirium.” The beat of “On My Mind” is completely infectious and never fails to pack any dance floor. After listening to this song for the first time, I couldn’t stop singing “cause I got you on my mind” for days.

Ellie Goulding

At the same time that I instantly fell in love with this song, I couldn’t help but think how influenced it was by The Police. Starting with the incredibly familiar quasi-reggae guitar opening,try singing “Message In A Bottle” along with “On My Mind.” The two are shockingly similar. However, if you’re going to steal from anyone, you might as well steal from the best. But then again, as the beloved Pharrell Williams recently found out, there are definitely “blurred lines” between an homage and a lawsuit. Just sayin’.

What Do You Mean-Justin Bieber

I suppose that it’s time to acknowledge the existence of Justin Bieber as a legitimately solid force in contemporary music. The cover of the March 2016 issue of GQ pronounces “LET US NOW FORGIVE JUSTIN BIEBER.” His song “Sorry” is the first of twenty-five listed on last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine cover story titled “25 SONGS THAT TELL US WHERE MUSIC IS GOING.” The kid is getting harder and harder to ignore. After being discovered singing covers on YouTube, he started a bidding war between Usher and Justin Timberlake over signing this once unmoored but ever-blonde, sweet-voiced (with the face to match) teenager to a label. He really does have a terrific voice, despite spending more time being the lead story on TMZ, intent on fostering his partying, wannabe gangsta’, tattooed bad-boy image than he does in being thought of as a serious artist. But I’m here to praise “The Biebs”… not to bury him.

So… “What Do You Mean?” is a really great, thoroughly pure pop song. So is “Sorry.”  And so is “Where Are U Now”the first three releases off only his third studio album.. It’s no longer an embarrassment to say you enjoy Justin Bieber’s music. Things could be a lot worse. He hasn’t shaven his head like Brittany Spears, or become a complete career-destroying cautionary tale, like Lindsay Lohan. 

If being annoying is the worst thing you can say about him, I’ll give him a pass. The kid from Stratford, Ontario has a great look (he’s actually pretty in that compelling androgynous way) and is acknowledged as a legitimate global sensation. Born in 1994,he won the AMA for Artist of the Year at the age of 16, and did it again two years later, at 18. In 2016, he just won his first Grammy, for Best Dance Recording – “Where Are U Now.”

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While I can’t say I’m a total, true “Belieber” quite yet, I say it’s time to give the kid a chance. I must admit, the first time I really paid attention to him, and genuinely started to like him, was on his two “Carpool Karaoke” appearances with James Corden (who has an uncanny ability to make any performer seem like his best friend.)

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
-Doug