Thursday, May 21, 2009

Music Update

1 Giant Leap is a project from a couple of blokes in the UK. It's sort of a United Colors of Benetton for music (without the shock value). They traveled around the world, blending artists of different genres and nationalities, and then doing some nice mixing back home. Asha Bhosle is the youner sister of Lata Mangeshkar, who is THE female voice of Indian film music for many decades. Asha has a smoother (read, less shrill, in my book) voice than Lata, and also has expanded her horizons to include the occasional foray into fusion or world music. Well into her seventies, Asha still is able to bring her mellow and talented voice to the studio. Her duet here is with Michael Stipe, who I think is best known for singing "Furry Happy Monsters" on Sesame Street. This video is a composite/promo for the project, but has the song throughout, and I think it presents a great view of what 1 Giant Leap is trying to accomplish.

As I have mentioned in the past, some artists have so impressed me with their later work, that I was able to become a fan of their earlier work. Beck comes easily to mind; and so it has been with Green Day. I used to wonder, in their early years, how they defied statistical probability by creating more songs out of three chord permuations than mathematically possible. The album American Idiot changed that. Billie Joe Armstrong and company really stretched their horizons with a modern rock opera (mostly punk, nonetheless!) and while still putting out good sounds. Their new album, 21st Centure Breakdown is a more than adequate sequel. Divided into three parts, it follows a similar rock opera (or perhaps broadway musical?) type feel. Green Day continues to rail against the corporate and government establishment, but hey, it's what they do! The music culls from even more influences, one can almost here Floyd, Queen, Metallica, Harrison, The Offspring, and ELO at times. A couple (at least) of those influences can be heard on my current favorite track on the album, Restless Heart Syndrome.

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