Monday, December 19, 2005

Music, Vol. 3

It's been a while since we've done one of these, but music is probably my favorite subject, so it's worth revisiting.

So, let's start with some old tunes. Nikka Costa's new album came out in May, so if you're going to invest in that you're going to want to study some of her old stuff. Fortunately you don't even have to buy her old album, Everybody Got Their Something, to find out what her old stuff was. If you ever heard that Tommy Hilfiger commercial where the kids are getting freaky in the photo booth, you heard her hit single "Like a Feather," and more recently her title single was featured in a commercial for Sears. There were a few other commercial spots you may have noticed, but the point is her tunes are catchy and danceable. I remember telling a friend to listen to her music, and breaking him in slowly. I first had him listen to "Hope It Felt Good," the perfect breakup song, and then the two tracks mentioned earlier. Then I hit him with "Nothing," a stripped-down ballad that really lets the emotion through. It was at this point that he said, "I liked her earlier, but now I respect her." She's got a lot of depth and talent, going from soft slow jams to funk soul-fest. The album does her voice and style justice. I just hope her sophomore effort is just as good.

As for the new music, this time around I simply can't get enough of Pharrell Williams. This man is an unrecognized genius. As a member of N.E.R.D. ("No one Ever Really Dies") he lent his vocal stylings to their outstanding album In Search of... If you want a sample of their music, I recommend "Run to the Sun" and "Rock Star." In any regard, it didn't end there. He was also a member of the Neptunes, who released their album Clones and single-handedly skyrocketed a few careers, including Kelis, Clipse and N.O.R.E. He's a prolific producer for artists from Snoop Dogg to the aforementioned Kelis, including the all-too-famous "Milkshake." This man has so many tricks up his sleeve it's about time he got to take some of them for himself, and he did just that on his recent solo album In My Mind, a Japanese import with a small selection but a masterful chart-climber, "Can I Have It Like That," which you probably heard on the Yahoo! music commercial. So, I guess with Pharrell you'll get some old music and some new. Bonus! And remember, friends, CDs make excellent gifts.