May 09, 2004

Actually Relevant Women

With this whole Madonna/media effects flame war going on (and my strong desire to put off studying Property Law to the point where I'm willing to fail the class), I've been thinking about female entertainers are that are currently relevant to my life; unlike Madonna, who hasn't done much of late to really garner any respect from me or my generation (excepting "Hollywood" and the various remixes done by other DJ's). I realized that there are just 3 bands I really listen to these days, and all 3 are headed by fabulous women with beautiful voices and sensual, sensitive, funky souls that actually matter to my life now - not that they're in the media at all - but that just goes to show you that people aren't only watching, admiring and copying the parade of pieces of ass on MTV.

1. Olive - "Extra Virgin" is by far my favorite album of all time, in terms of being able to listen to it all the way through hundreds of time but never getting tired of it and always being entertained and lulled by the smooth beats and Ruth-Ann Boyle's haunting, soul-infused, powerful voice. My favorite tracks are "Miracle" (which I first heard in one of my favorite movies "Sliding Doors"), "This Time", "Killing" "Outlaw" "You Are Nothing" and "I Don't Think So", which has become my theme song, a la Alley McBeal. "Trickle" pretty cool as well, but I don't own it (for some sad reason).

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2. Everything But The Girl - Every since the first time I heard Tracy Thorn's voice, I've been a huge fan of this (like Olive) British trip-hop group. I first picked up "Amplified Heart" back in high school since I bought a Ruby CD that didn't have the songs I was looking for and this was the only acceptable exchange I could make for it in the entire store (no wonder Warehouse went out of business). While this CD featured their biggest "hit" - "Missing" - I actually like the acoustic, vocally-driven tracks better; with the exception of either one that the guy sings on, detracting from Tracy's graceful vocals. Anyway, Tracy has a beautiful voice that I never tire of listening to and their beats are so varied - ranging from melodic chill to full-fledged deep house - that their albums are extremely listenable, enjoyable and have been a staple in my music diet for years. "Walking Wounded" and "Temperamental" are fabulous albums and their "Back to Mine" is one of the coolest collections of tracks ever.

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3. Supreme Beings of Leisure - Relatively new to me (thanks to Cody), this bad has one of the smoothest yet jazziest styles of trip-hop out there. I've described it before as sensual, psychedelic spy-funk before and I think that's still a good characterization. Their self-titled album sported the single "Strangelove Addiction", which I first heard on my little sister's "Now Hits" CD, but I eventually got a copy and love the entire album. The tracks are varied in tempo and style, but they share a smoothness and sophistication, combined with Geri Soriano-Lightwood's melodic and ultra-cool vocals, that I cannot seem to either get out of my head or tire of. Tracks like "Under the Gun", "Golddigger", Never the Same", "Last Girl on Earth" and "Nothing Like Tomorrow" epitomize cool, modern music for me. Cody recently got me their second album - Divine Operating System - which took me a little while to warm up to since the style is a little different from their first album, but tracks like "Give Up", "Catch Me", "Calamity Jane", "Freezer", "Divine" and "Touch Me" manage to out-do the previous album in infectiousness of grooves and Geri's vocals are spot-on gorgeous and moving.

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Comments

If you like the Supreme Beings, before anything else, you should be listening to Portishead. But obviously, you probably do.

But if you want to hear another band in the same type of scene as Supreme Beings, you may want to check out Si-Se, an album by the band of the same name. The problem is, I lost this CD many years ago, so I can't even remember one song off the CD. Actually, it may be very bad, save for a few songs. But, as I do for any CD for which I can't account, I feel a little sad not having it; I'm sure there was at least one song that I liked.

I'm rambling now. Just check it out. But before you do, make sure to check yourself.

Posted by: Khurram A. Nizami at May 10, 2004 07:00 PM

I like Portishead, but it's a little too melodic for me... I like albums that have chill and fast tracks, just to change it up a big. Portishead, like Air, has a way of putting me to sleep. I'm sure there must have been a good track on that CD or you wouldn't be so sad.

Posted by: Kristina at May 11, 2004 12:38 PM
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