Today’s chapter of my 1000 Minutes project has an inordinate amount of parentheses. After a relatively rainy month of June here in Western New York, this week is set to heat up into the mid-80’s. Both of the songs in today’s post reflect that warmer weather outlook.
To me, Beth Orton and Conor Oberst may as well be the same artist. Before you think I’m crazy, the comparison isn’t because they sound alike, but because every single time I buy one of their albums, I end up disappointed. None of the other songs sound like the one I’d heard first, and I don’t listen enough to move beyond that initial letdown.
I suppose it’s fitting, with that background, that the Beth Orton song that makes my list is not even the original version, but one aided by the track’s producer – David Roback of Mazzy Star.
Roback’s production speeds the original up, and adds a futuristic vibe to the song, which compliments Orton’s smoky vocals better than the stripped down original. In doing so, the song’s lyrical outlook becomes much more hopeful, and, personally, much more pleasing to listen to. Having been released ten years ago, it’s a song that accompanies good memories, and I appreciate it all the more for that.
I often find that the appeal of rap is lost on me; I don’t purchase hip-hop albums regularly because I lose interest beyond the initial singles. This year, for example, I’ve only purchased the (excellent) new Mos Def album that was released two weeks ago.
This is not the fault of the genre, but of pure preference. With Camp Lo’s “Luchini,” conversely, there has never been a decrease in interest. When I first heard it, I was with my friends, driving around in their cars, sneaking pulls on 40’s before being dropped off at home. Outside, it was sticky hot. From the initial horns through to the end, I didn’t understand much of anything the two members were rapping about – and still don’t – but that didn’t matter. It’s a song with a laidback vibe – itself a throwback to a different time – but one that still seems as fresh as the first summer I heard it.