I haven’t done a What’s on your iPod? in a little bit, so here ya’ go…
For those who haven’t followed my blog, I turn on my iPod on shuffle and review five songs that come up randomly.
“Single-Bilingual” Pet Shop Boys – I love this PSB song – it’s an awesome dance tune with a shuffling beat that has shades of groovy cocktail lounge music, too. The lyrics have Neil Tennant sing about traveling around the world, living out of suitcases and hotels. It’s from the band’s Bilingual record, which had songs in different languages, and in this single, Tennant starts to chant in Spanish.
“Who’s That Girl?” Madonna – This was the title hit from Madonna’s shitty 80s movie that tried to murder the screwball comedy genre. The song is produced by Patrick Leonard, and indulges in Madonna’s fascination with all things Latin, with the singer chanting in Spanish before the haunting girl chorus chants “Who’s that girl?” There are some horns, too, to give the singer that plastic faux Hispanic sound she tried out in the mid 80s (“La Isla Bonita”). It’s a good song – and even though it was a huge hit, it’s pretty much all but forgotten now – something that’ll happen if you have a billion hit singles, and have been plugging away at making pop records for over three decades.
“What About Love?” Diana Ross – This song is from The Color Purple musical, and from Ross’ final studio album I Love You which she released back in 2008. It wasn’t a great album, full of soggy covers of romantic ballads, but this is a good song because it employs Ross’ unequaled ability to make a tear-jerking sad even sadder. It’s a somber, piano-ballad that benefits from Ross’ fragile delivery.
“Sex Cymbal” Sheila E – this song is the title track from her last dance-pop album. It alludes to her biggest solo hit, “The Glamorous Life” with the intro that mimics the classic record’s iconic horn section, before the song becomes a good, if dated early 90s New Jill Swing number (it does sound a bit like something Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul set aside). The lyrics are about Sheila E being so famous that she has to struggle with notoriety and fame.
“Right On” Petula Clark – definitely one of the stranger entries in my iPod. Petula Clark is one of my favorite British pop singers – she had a huge hit with “Downtown.” She had a very pretty voice, and sang with a bouncy attitude. “Right On” came from her Memphis album, which she recorded after her fellow Brit Dusty Springfield released her classic Dusty in Memphis album. She tried to ape some of Springfield’s Muscle Shoals-style production and songs with more interesting lyrics. “Right On” is a self-penned tune in which Clark sings about the tumultuous 60s – it’s all pretty dated, but her commitment and desire to stretch her talent is admirable.