Saturday, October 22, 2011

Catty Micro Reviews - New Edition

From time to time I dip into YouTube by typing a single letter of the alphabet into the search line and seeing what comes up. Today I'll start at the end with Z: and what comes up is "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z with Alicia Keys.

It is always a smart thing to do a song that appeals to the biggest number of fans and Jay-Z is a smart guy and has a lot of fans in New York. This is a professional production and the Alicia Keys bits are charming enough. But I was pretty much bored to tears. Haven't we seen all these images and heard all these musical ideas a thousand times before? If you type Y in you get a whole lot of predictable Latin music, but down a bit there was this by a South Korean band called C N Blue:

The music sounds like generic 80s ballad rock. But those lyrics! Here is the first verse and chorus:
I know I've fallen in love when you're coming down to my eyes
wanna make you, wanna feel the beauty as you are
girl, I wanna tell you some I'm not a man who say in lie
wanna love you I wanna hold you can you be the part of my life

you can have it your way girl if you mind
I don't wanna bend you girl, all the life all the life
Well, I'm not a man who can say in lie, either! Three thumbs down. X doesn't seem to come up with anything but a whole bunch of contestants on The X Factor and one rap tune that I don't really want to listen to, so let's try W:

I'm not sure that is the absolutely worst music I have ever heard, but it is probably in the top ten. And it is the worst thing I have ever heard done to poor Carl Orff. I'm almost scared to try V, but here goes:

I'm not sure why this comes up under V, but never mind. This is original at least, though with not a lot of content. The lyrics consist of a string of disjunct metaphors that obliquely suggest a number of progressive ideals which I suppose appeal to a lot of people. How about U:

Which turns up another South Korean musician, Taeyang, a hip hop artist with tight dance moves. The interesting thing here is that rich Asian countries are turning out a lot of music and it all seems to be reproductions of American popular culture. Well, not all, Genki Sudo from Japan has some unique things going on:

That takes us right back to New York. By the way, Genki Sudo's first career was as a champion martial arts competitor and you can see some spectacular matches on YouTube. His second career was as an essayist with eight books published. This is his third career.

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