iainpj: man with headphones (howie with headphones)
([personal profile] iainpj Jan. 5th, 2016 11:24 pm)
More after the song.

Honestly, if this doesn't get picked up as some sort of new civil rights anthem, someone isn't paying attention. Sadly, given the modern world, this is entirely likely.

It's also sadly true that a new civil rights anthem would be entirely appropriate. But that is outside the scope of this entry.

I picked this version over the one that's actually on her album (also strongly recommended) because the album one feels like it goes halfway to anthem state, and then it pulls back. The first half isn't much different from this version, but then the background singers come in. And ... well, that needs to be a gigantic gospel choir. The sort of thing that would properly be billed as "Andra Day (featuring the Somewhere Tabernacle Gospel Choir)". It needs to soar, and it doesn't, quite. To be fair, the song itself may simply just not be structured so that it will work that way, but it feels like it should. On the other hand, the acoustic version, I think, manages to be both somewhat intimate, and to soar at least a little.

She also has a bunch of covers from earlier in her career -- not on her album, but on her Youtube channel -- which are generally very good, and even when they aren't as good, are at least very interesting. There is one that isn't on her channel, probably for rights management issues more than anything else ... but it's also one of the more spectacular creative misfires I've ever heard.

I'm not going to link to her version of "Mississippi Goddam" from the Nina Simone tribute album, because ... it's kind of awful. And yet, I kind of get how you could wind up there. After all, what's the point of doing a cover of a signature Nina Simone song on a tribute album unless you're going to either do it her way -- and risk sounding like a pale imitation -- or do it some way that sounds very different? The problem is, I'm not sure that song works unless you do it Nina's way. More than anything, that song is furiously angry. And Andra's version sounds like ... like someone who had just smoked a really impressive amount of pot was watching the news, and hearing about the terrible events that inspired it, and wanted to be angry, but was just too damn mellowed out to get there.

* * * * *

And that's all twelve nights. It was an interesting thing to try. Not sure I'll do it again next year; we'll see. Hope you enjoyed some of the sounds along the way.

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