Friday, January 11, 2008

A FEW THINGS THAT KINDA GREW ON ME . . . IN 2007 . . . (Part I: Music)

Don't worry. This isn't a post about weird moles, foot fungus, back fat or anything else that, by all right, ought to run by the nearest family physician or neighborhood pharmacist. No, I'm not talking about that sort of growth.

I'm talking those things that you start out not really feeling, but for some strange reason you keep drifting back to and before you know it, you're straight, cold sprung on, like:

Jill Scott's "The Real Thing: Words and Sounds, Vol.3"

Like a lot of folks, I'd been faithfully awaiting Jilly from Philly's latest release. But when I initially brought home 'The Real Thing" and pop it on, I was like what the . . . ?! First of all, I was not feeling the new 'do or the cd cover photos. On the back she looked like like she'd just finished having a crying/hissy fit and on the front, I couldn't figure out if she was striving to look sultry, constipated or pissed. In any case, I wanted the old Jill back, the one with flaming red 'fro, the 'you ain't even ready for the likes of this' grin, and the slamming, all up in your face lyrics.

So for the first couple of days, the only cut I listened to was the one getting all the radio air play, "Hate On Me." But then one day, I slipped up, left it on and quickly found myself getting all caught up in the intoxicating groove of "Crown Royal." Jill, if you're listening, you really do need to come out with an extended version of that song, girl. You know, something along the lines of Marvin's 30 minute version of "Got To Give It Up?" I swear, I've played "Crown Royal" over so many times, I've nearly worn out the 'previous' button on my Windows Media Player.

Late at night, while I'm pecking away at the keyboard or surfing the net, I like listening to music with my headphones on. So naturally, I started turning to Jill to get my "Crown Royal" and "Hate On Me" fix. But pretty soon, I wasn't just stopping with those two. "My Love" with its telephone conversation opening sounded so much like the real deal, I couldn't help but stop and listen to a vexed and perplexed Jill tell some ole boy:

"Yo, I'm tripping right. I heard you got married. You got married? That don't really make any sense. I mean, its not like I didn't think you were seeing other people or whatever. I mean, I was seeing other people. But you know what this is. You know what it was. I can't say I really understand though." (from Jill Scott's "My Love")

Oh yeah! And then she goes on to put dude in check with a cool and collected that's all right, "cause my love is deeper, tighter, sweeter, higher fly-yer, didn't you know this Didn't you notice?" I guess she told him, huh? (LOL) Anyway, after getting hooked on that cut, I started taking a closer listen to the one after it "Insomnia" which breaks of a bluesy little ditty about a woman who's lying in bed, tossing and turning, watching the clock and waiting for the phone to ring. Yeah, a lot of us have been there, right? Okay, let me stop (smile).

The song that sealed the deal for me, the one that really renewed my faith in Jilly from Philly was the oh so funky, soulful and deeply political, "How It Make You Feel." It took me a couple of listens before I really "got" the message, not only because of the clever way it's posed, but also because I couldn't believe Jill actually owned the audacity to ask: "What if, poof, every Black female in the world disappeared? Tell me, how you'd feel if I was gone?"

For me, as a Black woman, this question is profound on a lot of different emotional levels, in particular given the indifference the media routinely exhibits in the disappearance of Black women. I could go on a tangent, but I instead I'll just say in reponse to Jill's question, a lot folks, including some within our OWN community would really give less than a d@m# if every Black woman (excusing their own mamas, perhaps) suddenly disappeared . . . Sorry, that's just how I feel y'all (smile). Anyway, Jill said it better and against a musical backdrop, no less.

And you know, as far as the "Real Thing" cover photos are concerned, I actually kinda like the ones on the inside of the cd and thought they were much more flattering. But hey, I'm not the one getting paid to make those decisions.

So, have you ever had a similar experience? Any particular cds, albums or musical artist ever grow on you? You started out hating it or them, but then something happened . . . you really started listening and suddenly discovered your were a fan? Do tell.


pjazzypar said...

Jill Scott is one of my favorites, in fact I will be attending her concert next month. I love the nouveau soul artist that have come along in the last decade...Badu, Arie, Musiq Soulchild, etc. At first I wasn't feeling Alicia Keys because I felt she was arrogant and should be more humble, I mean she had just arrived on the scene. By the second album and "You Don't Know My Name" I was hooked.

Lori said...

Oh wow, I'd give anything to attend one of her concerts. Sigh. If only I had a babysitter (smile).

I enjoy all of those artists you named and would add to that list, Maxwell, Kem, Raheem DeVaughn, Jaguar Wright, Eric Benet, Angie Stone, Kindred The Family Soul and a few others whose names slip my mind at the moment (smile).

I was a Keys fan from the jump. But I enjoyed India's first cd much better and thought she got the shaft, award-wise. Thanks for chiming in.

Ehav Ever said...

There is a singer here in Israel named Tziyon Golan. He is Yemenite Israeli and predominately does Yemenite songs both in Hebrew and Yemenite Arabic. He is real popular in Yemen and in a number Arab countries, even though he is Jewish.

When I first started listening to his music it seemed like all of his songs sounded the same. Originally I also didn't like the use of keyboards on every song. Yet, over time I began to really like his songs. I even found out that some other songs that I like, whom I thought were someone else, were him. Most of the songs he sings are more than 300 years old and he was one of the first in Israel to make traditional Yemenite Jewish songs popular.

One of my favorite songs of his is Ya Mehija. It is in Yemenite Arabic and is related to a Jewish wedding. It deals with Abraham's prayer that his servant find his son Isaac a wife.

Lori said...

Hey Ehav E.,
It's been a while since you've stopped by the Mix. Welcome back. Also, thanks for the contribution.

Sometimes I wonder if it's only a matter of getting past something we initially view as strange and/or different and discovering its hidden beauty (smile).

Emanuel Carpenter said...

You know, I've hated just about every Prince CD I've ever heard for the first time. But then that hate ends of becoming LOVE. This was especially true for the song WHEN DOVES CRY.

It's funny because now I'm at that age where buying music is not as important to me as it was back in the day. I bought three CDs in all of 2007 (Norah Jones, Kanye West, and Ne-Yo). I still love music but buying it hasn't been a priority. What I hear on the radio is fine with me.

I bought the first Jill Scott CD around the same time I bought the first Norah Jones CD. I haven't heard any of Jill's subsequent CDs in their entirety.

This year I plan on replenishing some of my old CDs that were lost or damaged, such as Zhane, Fourplay, and Joshua Redman.

I'm a big Al Green fan too.

Lori said...

Hey, Hey, Hey,
There will be no Prince hating up in the MIX! (smile)

To be honest Emanuel, about the thing Prince ever did that I really and truly hated was the movie "Under The Cherry Moon." I loved a lot of the music in the movie, but the flick itself STUNK.

I think Jill Scott is more of a woman's thing, so I'm not going to hold it against you that you haven't listened to much of her work. For a period of time there, I was playing "Golden" so tough, anytime my son heard it, he moaned and covered his ears (LOL).

I have a Memphis relative who insists Al Green cannot sing. But I love me some brother Green.

Thanks for weighing in on the subject.

shelia said...

This is Scott's best CD since her very first one. Another artist I'm looking forward to hearing his Erkyah Badu. I didn't get her music until I bought the live version of the songs from her first album...that CD still gets played over and over. I'm waiting on her to top that one.

Lori said...

I agree, as far as Ms. Badu is concerned. It's time for her to come back out hard (smile). I still enjoy her live cd too.

Jill's latest "The Real Thing" and her last "Beautifully Human" are still running about neck and neck for me. Lots of nice stuff on "Beautifully Human." Sistergirl is just super-talented.

Michelle Davis Petelinz said...

Lori, I have to say I felt that way about Alicia Keys's new CD. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a lot of whining, and wondered why everyone was raving about it.
Well, I listened again, and again, and now, though it isn't my all time favorite, I do appreciate what she's doing and saying on this CD now. Speaking of Prince (I agree, absolutely NO Prince-hating here!), her cut #14, Like You'll Never See Me Again is so much like a Prince tune it's crazy!...I find myself singing the end of Purple Rain over the end of it...listen, and I'll bet you'll agree.

Lori said...

I heard someone else, possibly my brother (the bootleg DJ) say the same thing about Alicia's new one. I know I haven't been moved to purchase it yet, but that doesn't mean I won't at some point.

That's funny about her sounding like Prince on that one cut. I kind of picked up a "Prince" vibe from her on her last cd. Who knows, perhaps she's a fan and that's just her way of paying tribute (smile).

Lawrence said...

When I first bought "Livin' the Luxury Brown" by Mint Condition I was really only feeling "Whoaa" and "I'm Ready." The more I listened, the more I began to love "What Happened" and "Sad Girl" and then "Half an Hour" spoke to me about the consequences of hastily-made lust-driven decisions. It's great to find yourself moving to those grooves that didn't necessarily jump out at you at first. On the subject, one song that I loathe no matter how many times I hear it is "Kiss" by Prince, despite being a HUGE fan. Different strokes, different folks.

Lori said...

Mint Condition is one of those groups who I don't believe really ever got their due. I love a lot of their work--"Pretty Brown Eyes, "What Kind of Man Would I Be?" Wow, just talking about them makes me wanna dig out my old cds(smile).

But wait, did you say something negative about Prince? Tsk, tsk, tsk. Didn't you read the memo? Okay, let me repeat. There will be no hating on Prince in the Old School Mix! LOL. Actually, I understand. My hubby hates that song too. But that's okay. Y'all just don't understand (smile).

Nerd Girl said...

I agree w/others. Didn't like Alicia Keys at all. Couldn't stand all of that "uh, uh, uh-ing" that she is wont to do. I like her now.

But the big one for me would be Anthony Hamilton. Didn't feel him at all until a few months ago, now he is on heavy rotation - at home, in the car and at work. Love him!