Wednesday, June 6, 2007

And my favorite song for 2006 is...

"Me & You” by Cassie. Just like most radio songs, this song didn’t strike me as anything significant the first time I heard it. I thought it was just one of those samey, hip-hoppy R&B songs that people forget after a few spins. Not this one though. I thought this song has so many things going on in it that whenever I finish listening to it I go, “what the hell was that?” Could it be Cassie’s wispy voice? (By the way, she’s part-Filipina. Yay!) The lyrics? (Maybe not.) Or maybe it’s those beats and bursts of string samples that lend the whole thing a mysterious, sexy, but epic vibe. It seems that all the elements of this song clash with one another, that’s why I could not quite put my finger on it. Which makes it very interesting and impossible to get tired of. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving with every listen.

Cassie’s song reminds me a lot of Aaliyah’s slithery “We Need a Resolution” from 2001. It has the same “what’s going on here” vibe. Same with the classic 1997 single “What’s It Gonna Be?” by Janet Jackson and Busta Rhymes. Back then, a writer described it as “the aural equivalent of sex.”

I definitely feel the same mysterious, clashing vibe when I listen to Bjork’s “Homogenic” album, also from 1997. For years, my favorite Bjork album was 1995’s “Post.” It was hailed as a masterpiece when it came out, and I couldn’t agree more. But I found myself reaching for “Homogenic” instead as the years passed. The album not only features a fantastic string section, but also some primitive techno beats that seem to have been churned out by a kid toying with a laptop. Top it all off with Bjork’s unusual voice, and her soaring, emotional lyrics, and you have a very strange album indeed. It was ahead of its time. It’s a clash of old and new, of the archaic, familiar and extraterrestrial (unlike the very 1995, Bjork-turistic “Post”), that makes it more difficult to define and therefore each listen reveals a new dimension to it. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving.

Watch Cassie's video HERE
Watch Aaliyah's video HERE
Watch Janet and Busta's video HERE
Watch two Bjork videos from "Homogenic" HERE and HERE

Originally posted in January 2007 in

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