So, how many of you are up to traveling halfway around the world for this event?
Sing it, David! Sigh. I miss me some Soul David, not gonna lie!
One of the things about the passing of a singing star from yesteryear – as with the case of Etta James, whose funeral was held this past Sunday – is that you do a nice soul music trip down memory lane. And you wind up listening to gems like her bluesy I’d Rather Go Blind or the laid back Sunday Kind of Love. And you realize how you really miss something as simple as a love song.
Even before this opportunity to revisit real music, I remember coming across an article on CNN back in December, asking: Where is the love in R&B music? We’re not talking about that electronic nonsense, in which today’s youth croon (if you can call it that) to some poor unsuspecting, naive young gal about how she would look better with the lights off (how insulting!) or that he just needs a quickie (seriously! No romancing or courting, just get to the point? What is this porn culture coming to?). When I talk real soul music, I’m talking about folks like Otis Redding or Earth Wind and Fire or Barry White or Stevie Wonder singing like they know how to court a woman, not just bed her. Sure, the bedding always came later (that’s why these songs are affectionately called “baby-making” songs). But what always, always came first was the LOVE. Or what Michael Jackson used to always say about music: do it with L.O.V.E.
The men singing these days leave so much to be desired since I do not feel or hear any L.O.V.E.
Not that the women are any better. If Rihanna isn’t singing from a dark place (as much as I love the techno beat and play this on repeat, I still cringe at the nihilism expressed in this “love story”), or if Lady Gaga isn’t caught up in a narcissistic love affair, then newcomers like Lana Del Rey (as I mentioned in the previous post) offer cynical songs that sound like they’re stoned because they’re so unfulfilled in their love life. And do I need to mention the sappy fluff coming from the likes of Justin Bieber?
Revisiting the music of Etta James, Otis, Stevie Wonder, Barry White, Chaka Khan, Rick James and Teena Marie, Anita Baker, etc. reminded me what is missing in today’s music. It’s not just a question of “where is the love?” It’s more like: Where is the love between a grown woman and a grown man? It’s all so juvenile the music offerings.
And yes, I hear more grown-a$$ love in 10-year-old Michael Jackson singing “Who’s Loving You?” with the Jackson 5 than I hear in any of these new pop songs of late. It’s why, more than anything that came from David’s time with Jive, the great failure for me is their lack of development of David as a “soulful soul” singer, balladeer. A genuine CROONER (see above video).
You know what I’m talking about. Forget his inexperience in the love department and think about how he could always bring it on a song, especially on a ballad. He raises his voice in song, and he raises the hair on my arms and my body temperature with one smooth falsetto. With a roll of his r’s and the curl of his tongue, with the smooth-as-butter melisma in the Voice and the effortless glory note only David can deliver as unexpected highs, I’m so in another place. Love. L.O.V.E. That’s what I’m talking about!
But of course, in this vast musical wasteland called electronic hip-hop pop, we don’t get any love, and David’s style of singing is labeled “outdated” (seriously?!). No wonder David is taking a “break.” Let’s hope when he returns two years from now, the musical landscape would have changed, and a new generation is ready to hear some grown love expressed in the best “soulful soul” that the likes of David can produce. Let’s hope David is in a different place where he’ll be all too eager to fill this void.
Thanks to a link to a funny spoof on the Nandito Ako script leak (or not really as the case may be), we get some lovely pics (image on left) and great funny imaginings of David and his imagined plot line over in Manila.
We need to just call the whole thing
THILLER IN MANILA: THE SEQUEL!
On a more serious note, is it just me or is David looking so, soooooooo relaxed and extremely comfortable in his own skin? Maybe that’s part of his own maturing process, but I do wonder how much of it is related to:
1. being away from Utaaaah..
2. being away from Hollywooood…
3. just being away. Full Stop.
He’s goofing around, feeling comfortable enough in a love story (this from a guy who didn’t feel comfortable singing about love, mind you) and just having a good time.
I see David over in Manila, and I’m actually relieved that he didn’t land in the clutches of a major label who would have him completely transformed.
Take the case of Lana Del Rey. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the latest “rising star,” but Lana Del Rey (real name Lizzy Grant) has courted controversy when she received negative reviews for her recent performance this month on Saturday Night Live:
The latest creation from Interscope Records, I have to say that what disturbs me the most about this performance is her complete lack of joy. Nothing can take that sheer joy and pleasure in singing that David exhibits so effortlessly. Other folks are up in arms because they believed Lana Del Rey was an “organic” star who built a fanbase online with her own “self-made” videos uploaded on You Tube.
It never ceases to amaze me how people still get duped at these obvious “plants” from big studios (remember the “organic” discovery of Greyson Chance on You Tube that the likes of Ellen Degeneres had made, and remember how I exposed it for the stealth video that I thought it was?). Nothing in the above video looks “home made.” It looks like what a professional attempt at “home made,” vintage 60s grainy image and all, would look like. I mean, c’mon already!
Ever since Island Records “planted” the You Tube “discovery” of Justin Bieber, I’ve been rolling my eyes at the latest You Tube sensations. And please note that all these “organic” discoveries of the latest music artist on You Tube happened AFTER big business got its hands on You Tube and started planting all their commercials all over the site – I do not doubt for a minute that they even rig the number of views certain videos get just to create the necessary buzz around their studio plants.
This is the current climate of American pop music, and I think it’s sad that for any pop artist to get any real opportunities, they have to basically lie about their musical origins just to follow a studio script about these sudden “finds” and “rags to riches” success story (Lana Del Rey apparently comes from a very wealthy family). All this hoopla is occurring before her album drops on January 31, mind you.
But these kinds of ridiculous music concoctions (i.e. I don’t deny Lizzy Grant has talent, but this completely manufactured Lana Del Rey as some kind of “throwback” personality to “real music” is beyond silly) remind me of something. If David’s label had wanted to market David for pop star success, they could have and would have. The question remains: was it the label who dropped the ball, or did David just not want to “play the game”?
If David didn’t want to play the game, that’s understandable. He prizes authenticity and sincerity above anything else. But if his label didn’t want to bother, what were the politics behind this choice? I said it before, and I’ll say it again: before Island gave us Justin Bieber, Jive had David Archuleta. They could have banked on David with the whole “bubblegum teen pop” thing and didn’t. When did that spectacular breakdown occur?
At the end of the day, I still say it’s for the best. I don’t think David wanted to get stuck with that image, which would be so much harder to grow out of. And sometimes I still think Jive had an idea to “grow” their artist, but due to their financial and political woes, just didn’t.
If taking a “vacation” in Manila allows David to grow in his own way, at least he can emerge into a different kind of artist: one who didn’t have to sacrifice his soul to play the game. And one who didn’t have to embarrass himself on SNL, exposed to the world as a studio plant with not one shred of authentic bone to his body.
Thanks for posting this vid, Rae!
Seriously, is there any other pop star out there who would attempt to sing a song like this? Beautiful as always…
Forget about already starting to miss David (and he has yet to take off on his mission). I’m missing his fans!
Valbraz…Burkey…Peter… and a host of other “regulars,” I haven’t seen commenting here. Have folks already taken off?
Are people just lurking now because there’s nothing to say?
I don’t mind wanting to keep my blog open, but the fun of that is having the fans around. So, I was curious to take another poll and see what folks are feeling.
Help me out here!