Of Lobsters and Reynolds Wrap…

Was just listening to Adele‘s ” Rolling in the Deep“, and admiring the rootsy could-be-blues-gospel-bluegrass-country approach to it. Great voice with just one guitar and a kick drum for accompaniment, and when the background vocals come in, it’s damned close to glorious. Produced by Rick Rubin, who has an uncanny ability to just know where to” put stuff ” for best effectiveness. Real nice.

But that got me to thinking…in the last few days, I’ve heard some other really surprising vocal material, and I realized that the way I think of musical things is …changing. I’m supposed to be a music snob who derides everything ( almost ) and hates pop music. ( Well, that is generally true…have you seen some of the synthetic crap that is being fostered on the dumb-ass public? Come on…)

Well anyway. I recently found myself noticing something extraordinary about two musical projects that I never had any use for; the B52s and AbbaI don’t like either in particular; have no interest in early New Wave, plastic lobsters or blondes wrapped in aluminum foil ( or was that the little guy with the electric Ovation -what a strange guitar that was). But I suddenly took notice of the vocals.

They both have in common  a two-female vocal structure. All their material is based on it. I don’t care much for the actual material or its respective production qualities; but the tone and texture of the female vocals is pretty amazing. Someone, somewhere knew what the hell they were doing. Those voices are phenomenal. Too bad they ended up doing what they were doing, when they were doing it. But in their defense, if anyone remembers anything about either of them, it’s only because of them.

Wouldn’t it be something if we could lift those signature vocals right out of their element, and find a better home for them? I could imagine the B52s girls working with T-Bone Burnett on all kinds of roots-based stuff. Or Adele, maybe…and the Abba girls would add significantly to anything. Just have to keep them away from the Reynolds Wrap.

So now, I’m listening for other stuff that might share in the Secret of the Two Girl Singers. There must be a whole lot out there.

I know…I’m weird. But this is fun for me. And I just thought of another one…Dark Side of the Moon. And how about…I Shot the Sheriffwho are all those  girls? Are they all in some kind of a union? Do you think they all know each other? Do they get together for holidays? Do they bring pie? Apple, maybe? Yeah, probably apple…with ice cream? Who makes the best pie? Who gets the ice cream? Baskin-Robbins? Ben and Gerry? You don’t think they get store-bought pie, do you? Well, do you?? They wouldn’t do that, would they? Could they? I’ll bet they’ve got a secret hand signal, too. Just like Spock’s, but with the middle finger bent…so that we’ll think they’re just flipping us off…hey,wait, I’ve seen that… a lot, actually…

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. (not two girls, but…) remember the effect of the girl-voice on Sunshine of My Life? (Talking Book) As I listen to it as I write this, I am having that awful memory crash so common to old memories.*
    damn…made me want to grow up or be sophisticated or something…

    What the hell!! I just listened to the whole dame song and the wonderful female voice appeared only once!! And where the hell did the cackling background noise come from??!
    I want to stop remembering now.

    *when you go back to childhood physical places and the rope swing that was so death defying now appears to be a Goodyear tire suspended a good 5′ over some gravel on a slight incline.

    • You refer of course to the legendary ” hawk swing” in the woods by the Glenlyon playground in Rumford. But no tire at all, just a knot at the end of the rope. The gallows pole to many an 8-yr. old. ( although I don’t recall anyone actually getting hurt on it )

  2. Yes, I agree. Rolling in the Deep is very fine. I will have to listen to more of this young lady’s music as I do like her voice very much. The song has a rather simple, yet catchy beat.
    As to the 2-female thing I bet you would be surprised at the projects these women of the 80’s have and currently are involved in. Certainly would be a shame to let go of any talent never mind one involving one’s voice. Speaking of old timers, Deborah Harry has re-united with original band mates and will release “Panic of Girls” on Sept. 13. She’s 66. But what does that really mean anyway…..

    Speaking of “what does that mean” did you read my very last comment at the WD on the Hall, Bonjour, Hidy post. Went in this a.m. What do you think?

    • I think that you got my point very precisely. Thank you for that. There are always alternative perspectives, and they’re no less valid for being so. If you see something one way and I another, the truth is likely that the object has elements of both. That is entirely possible and probable, and so that object’s inherent truth should be allowed to stand unmolested.
      Don’t mean to get so heavy-handed. It just worries me a bit to see the new WD acolytes being concerned over what the “right ” answer to things should be.

  3. hey, this has nothing to do with your Post, but you gotta go listen to the first 45 seconds of this video (I won’t take the fun out of it, but just listen to Leslie ‘work the crowd’ ) lol

  4. I don’t listen to pop music myself. But recently I discovered Adele. Yes, I agree that her vocals are wonderfully “rootsy.” Another good one by Adele is ‘Set Fire to the Rain. Check it out…’

  5. Will do. So far I like her a lot.


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