Friday, July 22, 2005

Funky Friday Flashdance

I did a Deep Dish post last week where I talked about streaming a bit of their new album George Is On and not feeling it. Streaming audio over the computer is not the ideal method for listening to an album for me - I need to hear it at work, in the car, around the house - so I decided to buy it and give it a chance on those terms. I mentioned the remake of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams with Stevie Nicks on vocals - it's OK, but not as good as the original. The album is decidedly more "rock" in tone than the last one, and it's also more song oriented, with Richard Morel handing vocals and guitar all over the album. Right off the bat I was hooked by the guitar riff on the single Flashdance. A scratchy little riff, it's soon augmented by big booming house beats and the lovely vocals of Anousheh Khalili. It sounded vaguely familiar, so I checked the CD credits, and see the song is written by someone other than Dubfire and Sharam. Song called Flashdance? I get out the classic soundtrack to the '80s movie of the same name - yes, I own it on vinyl - and turns out that this is a remake of the song He's A Dream by Shandi. Guitar riff? Yep. Same lyrics. Same breaks. Just no house beats, and a lot more of that serious '80's legwarmer flavor. Shandi is still making music today, and has had a series of good gigs to keep her busy, including a gig as backing vocalist for Paul Shaffer's band on Letterman. This is a link to her website where you can read all about this song's journey to Grammy greatness. The DD update of it is pretty nice - a lot beefier for sure. I haven't had a chance to listen to the rest of the LP too many times so I won't offer any more of a review - it doesn't sound as bad as I though it did at first. In that earlier piece I also mentioned the sampling of Dire Straits' Money For Nothing - it's really more of a mash-up slash remix of the single Flashdance, and I will say this - I like the Dire Straits tune and I like the Deep Dish tune, just not together.

Additional Funkiness
A couple of recent releases I'd like to heartily recommend - they've been mp3ed all over the blogosphere so all I will do is hype them. Jamie Lidell's Multiply is fantastic, a fresh and funky take on classic soul a la Stevie Wonder, but with icy, modern sounds and glitches and stuff thrown into the mix - after all it is Warp Records product. I love it. Also sounding rather large pumping out of my speakers this week is We Are Monster, the new LP from German microhouser Isolée on Playhouse Records. It's a step away from micro house and into guitar riffs and squelchy disco and electro, and if it's fabulousness fails to move ya, you're a stiff.

1 comment:

Max said...

I'm with you on the new DD album--some of the songs are growers, but I can see myself completely ignoring several others. "Say Hello" is getting better with each listen, but nothing will top "Flashdance" for a while--it's a genius use of the riff, I think.

Speaking of, I have a longer and better version of the Dire Straits/Flashdance combo--it's got the "Money for Nothing" vocals (straight from the original) over the DD beats. I'd be glad to get it to you (via yousendit or other means) if you'd like. Drop me a line at max DOT jones AT gmail DOT com.

This is my first comment, by the way, but I'm a longtime fan of your site--I almost always LOVE your selections, and I appreciate your time and effort in putting them up.