I’m the OCDJ… and the joy of repetition really is in me
Half the time I leave work for food a voice sings the words, ‘Break… for lunch’, in my head to the melody of Raze’s ‘Break for Love’. It wasn’t that funny the first time so why do my synapses insist on firing out the same inane joke over and over again whilst tirelessly working on any other vague connections between song lyrics and real life (where else would, ‘I wish I was little bit taller, I wish I was Steve Lawler’ pop into my head from?)? Someone told me last week that I have a song for every occasion. It’s not true yet, but some primitive part of my lower brain is working on it in the misguided understanding that it’s absolutely necessary for me to survive and propagate.
Speaking of primal urges, since it’s time for songs of the year my vote goes to James Blake’s ‘CMYK’. The sexiest piece of music in 2010, it avoids the bloated archetype of boy meets girls, boy propositions girl with grand declaration of love or boasts of sexual prowess and (a) boy and girl get together forever and ever or (b) girl breaks boy’s heart. Swap the gender roles around, it’s always the same old guff. But Blake’s take on a Kelis sample, which hints at the swirling forces of sexual jealously, pumps her full of a complete course of musical hormones, pitching the vocal chords up here and down there, to create an abstract polysexual paean which doesn’t underplay the unstoppable momentum of lust, longing and love by crystallising it into linear narrative.
The question is, where will he go in 2011? Having been snapped up by Polydor, the last we heard was ‘Limit to Your Love’, an underwhelming cover of Feist and Chilly Gonzales, in which he stepped in front of both the mic and the camera. Major label influence? Well, consider that Gonzalez has since spoken out to say that previous to the cover Blake had refused to remix one of the tracks off his new album, ‘Ivory Tower’. In Gonazales’ own words, “let me tell you James Blake, I was flavour of the year once… back in 2001! So you know, maybe you should reconsider.” While no doubt a good-natured, mildly miffed riposte, I can’t help but feel that while Gonzales last album was a joyful blast of verbose word play and confident, untempered piano, Blake’s recent comments and album song titles suggest the adoption of a dour, navel gazing aspect. Act your age and sound like it, please James. We don’t need another ‘mature’ troubled singer songwriter.
Anyway, enough ranting. It’s Christmas – the season to be jolly – in case you hadn’t noticed the marauding gangs of office workers in paper hats or the seasonal moaning about the weather as everyone, especially train companies, refuses to accept that it might get cold or snow… oh look, it has. What a surprise. Anyway, Tensnake’s ‘Coma Cat’ was song of the summer, as nu-disco came of age, and got snapped up by Defected (possibly what led the snake to say that he now wants to make Mount Kimbie style wonkiness instead). There is a point. Clearly The Revenge, king of the re-edit, has reached the end of the road too with nothing left for him to tinker with. How do we know? His version of ‘The Snowman’, a family friendly hit re-interpreted for hipster turkey carving. Merry Christmas everyone.