Who knew sitting on your ass could be so exhausting? After a day at the beach, I’m maxin’ and relaxin’ and ready for another edition of the Sunday Shuffle. Let’s get started!!
Track 1: “Room To Breathe” by Downtown Science
Downtown Science was a rap group consisting of Sam Sever (who at that point was best known as one of 3rd Bass’s producers) and Bosco Money (who had one of the most unfortunate rap handles ever invented). It took me ages to track this CD down on half.com, as it’s been out of print for ages. This song has a very airy quality to it with a looped piano riff and a fairly easygoing backbeat for the average hip-hop record. I like it more for the beat than anything else. Another thing worth noting is that Bosco Money sounds a LOT like 3rd Bass’s MC Serch. This album is also notable for featuring the recording debut of noted female MC The Lady of Rage. Wonder if she’s still rockin’ rough and stuff with her Afro puffs.
2. “Everloving” by Moby
“Play” was Moby’s lightning in a bottle. I haven’t particularly cared for anything before or since (actually, I kinda gave up on him after being completely unimpressed by “Hotel”), but, damn, “Play” is such a good album. This song has a very hazy, new age-ish quality to it, like a very slightly more caffeinated Enigma (without the Gregorian monk chants).
3. “My Ex-Girlfriend” by Tony! Toni! Tone!
“Sons of Soul” is one of the five best R&B albums of the Nineties. The smoothness of this track sort of obscures the fact that the chorus of the song goes “My ex-girlfriend is a ho”. It comes off as more funny than misogynistic. It’s got a pretty neat doo-woppy mid-section, too. Damn, what happened to the R&B band? There’s Mint Condition, The Roots, and…
I guess it ain’t cool for black folks to play instruments anymore.
Track 4: “I Miss You” by Bjork
OK, Bjork’s always been kind of weird, but as her career has progressed, her albums have gotten more and more obtuse. Her first couple of albums at least placed her weirdness in a danceable, poppy framework. Now, it’s basically just like “I don’t get it”. I hate most dance music made after 1990, but this and the rest of “Debut” is pretty damn good. Wacky horn part too.
Track 5: “Diamonds & Pearls” by Prince & the New Power Generation
This is one of the few songs-perhaps the ONLY song-where Prince plays second fiddle to another artist. In this case, Rosie Gaines hits this one out of the park. It’s one of Prince’s more lyrically slight songs, but this is one of those cases where the feeling overrules the somewhat Hallmark-ish sentiments. I’d post the video, but I don’t want to feel Prince’s high heel in my ass, so let’s just skip it for right now.
Track 6: “Trying People” by De La Soul
Hip-hop isn’t exactly overflowing with tearjerkers, but this song is near the top of my list. Over a dreamlike Laura Nyro sample (this song was one of several things that made me investigate her music further), Pos and Dave deliver subdued, mature meditations on life. Sounds simple enough, but man, rarely is hip-hop so nakedly emotional. Yet another stamp on De La Soul’s status as the most criminally underrated hip-hop act EVER.
Track 7: “Possibly Maybe” by Bjork
Wow…I wasn’t expecting iTunes to go Bjork crazy on me tonight. After the relative nuttiness of “I Miss You”, “Possibly Maybe” is the calming rain after. Just Bjork and a heartbeat of a drum machine. A perfect way to end this week’s seven. Good night.