Posts Tagged ‘The Exciters’

You Call That a Shuffle?

August 2, 2016

New day, dif shuffle:

  1. The Exciters, Bring It Home To Me from Bring It Home To Me 7″. Three Stars.  A LatinAmerican soul band’s cover of the 1962 Sam Cooke song.  The keyboards and strings of the original get replaced with horns and the pace is slightly slowed down, but otherwise a pretty faithful cover.  Including the fact that both the original and this version are a B-side.  The problem is the Exciters don’t have Sam Cooke, and they don’t have Lou Rawls singing backup.  Given the song is really about the voices, it’s better to just stick with the original.
  2. Black Star, Respiration from Black Star. Five Stars.  Take two NYC MCs, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, at the top of their game, joining forces to create a hell of a late 90s NY hip hop album that features several great songs, including this one all the way at the back end of the album.  Producer Hi Tek takes a tiny snippet of Don Randi’s “The Fox” and transforms it into a beat that really captures the beautiful quiet melancholy of a late night in NYC as the city takes a short breath to recover from another bustling day.  Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli show their reverence for their city as well as frustration with some of the aspects of the city. The line “the shiny Apple is bruised but sweet” that Mos Def delivers is a good encapsulation of that duality. The two rappers have similar styles though Kweli delivers a faster staccato verse than Def here. Common, not a household name at the time, guests for the third verse and spits similar thoughts on his hometown of Chicago.  As the title implies, the MCs see their cities as a living organism and the poetic chorus nails it: “I can’t take it, y’all, I can feel the city breathing/Chest heaving, against the flesh of the evening/Sigh before we die like the last train leaving.”This is such a better NYC-banner rap song than that trash Empire State of Mind.  The Flying High remix by Pete Rock is almost as good as the original, check it out too.
  3. Can, I Want More, from Flow Motion. Three Stars. Can was always a band I read about as influencing a lot of modern music, but until recently I had not taken the time to listen to them. They are definitely an interesting band and I like a lot of what I’ve heard but this song just doesn’t do much for me. It ditches some of their heavier grooves for a more light synth driven beat. The breakdown that ditches (most of) the synth/piano for a funky guitar and bass redeems the song a little but then we get back to the main theme which veers too close to cheese for my taste.  Maybe due to that sound, it was their highest charting single in the UK.

Breathin’ in deep city breaths, sitting’ on shitty steps: