Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


iPod song of the week – angsty vox

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On June 24, 2007
At 7:45 pm
Comments : 9

I’m going to tie together a bunch of old posts with this one (and even a post from someone else), so be forewarned, it’s a link bonanza! And it’s full of sound clips so make sure you’re somewhere you can sit down and listen and nod like a musicologist.

This week’s iPod Song of the week is inspired by two things. The first is that a CD I’ve been listening to a lot lately reminded me of another CD I used to listen to all the time many years ago. I was pondering this (see? this is why I don’t need a “things to ponder” widget) as I listened to this album walking home just before I got lost the other day. I know I promised to order Muse back in March and that’s when I put it in my Amazon shopping cart but, well, we all know I didn’t actually place my order until a few weeks ago.

The second is a post of Kay’s over on her blog where she questioned, in light of the recent Sopranos-induced-Journey-buying-madness, why anyone liked Journey. Even her husband Nigel the Brit, whose musical taste I greatly admire, snickered at it. Now, I am/was not a fan of the Sopranos and am glad it’s over because now people will stop talking about it and making me feel left out, but I am a fan of Journey. Why? That brings me back to why Muse sounds like our current iSotW.

In short, it’s the singing! That angsty, drawn out, histrionic vocal! That’s what I loved about Journey and Kansas and Styx and all those other overblown 70’s and 80’s rock bands. Whereas many bands I liked sounded like this (sound clip), these bands sounded like this (sound clip).

Guess which school Journey fell into? (sound clip)

And guess where Muse falls? (sound clip)

Which brings us to our actual song. Finally, finally, I realized who this singing reminded me of, it’s Remy Zero! You may remember Remy Zero from such short-lived publicity spurts as the lead singer’s 11-month marriage to Alyssa Milano and the opening song on Smallville. But before “Save Me” came their brilliant first album which I adored so much that I listened to it pretty much every day before putting it away for nearly ten years. But now I’ve put it on my iPod and so should you. You’ll probably go for the Smallville song or maybe a single off the first record, but this was always my favorite, plus, like Steve Perry, something’s happening to him and he wants to tell you about it with a fabulous voice and an over-the-top singing style.

Remy Zero – Gramarye

Streaming audio available on the iPod Song of the Week page.


9 Comments for this post

  1. kay says:

    I think I got here within seconds.

    This gives me something to ponder but I’ll confess that I’ve never listened to Journey’s vocals that closely because the rest drives me mad. I can’t stand Kansas or any of those bands for the same reasons.

  2. Soxy says:

    I love Journey, but, in all fairness, I was 3 in 1981, so I missed all the hype. I did see them with faux-Steve Perry at the Big E a few years ago, and was in my glory. “Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin” will be my signature karaoke song if I ever get the nerve (read: get drunk enough) to sing karaoke again.

  3. Becca says:

    Kay, I have a friend who’s exactly the opposite with Pearl Jam. He hates Eddie Vedder’s voice so much he can’t get to the music at all. But if I had to rank rock voices I’d put Steve Perry at #2 just behind Jon Anderson of Yes, who has, IMHO, the greatest voice I’ve ever heard.

    Soxy, I will make it my business to get you drunk enough. Lychee martini?

  4. kb says:

    I’m sorry I kinda didn’t know what exactly your blog entry was about this time … maybe it’s that my brain is still sleeping, but it kinda went like this for me: “blah blah blah Journey blah blah blah Muse blah blah blah Kansas Styx Journey Muse NEW GROUP!”

    And since I like Journey (isn’t one almost required to like the popular songs from your senior year in high school?) and I love Muse and I like Kansas and Styx (and Supertramp, since we’re still in the decade), I figured I’ll probably like this New Song you offer. And I do. Thanks for sharing.

    Another thing I love about Muse is that the chord changes and beats are complex and play off each other and the singing. Songs are interesting and don’t get bland after listening over and over. Which I do.

  5. sarpon says:

    I can’t believe you lumped Journey in the same category as Queen.

  6. Becca says:

    kb, no that’s pretty much the whole post in a nutshell. The only thing I’d add is that the NEW SONG is actually from 1998. But it’s new to you!

    I love Supertramp too but the vocal style didn’t fit into the theme of the post. But you’re right about Muse, the music is glammy and complex and rich. I love that whole CD which goes right back to my warning about “if you just buy tracks you may be missing out on really good stuff.”

    Sarpon, I knew someone would say that. Vocally, yes, I’d compare them.

  7. KP says:

    All of those groups remind of special times from my younger days. I appreciate all of them for what they are/were.

    Remy Zero = Smallville to me so thanks for giving me another song to listen to.

  8. kb says:

    This sorta seems like the right place to post my Random Question For Someone In The Music Biz Although Probably Not You But I’ll Ask You Anyway Because You’re In Front Of Me:

    WHY did they add violins to “Hey There Delilah” on the release?

    The song is extremely simple but catchy and sweet at the same time. It was one of those songs that I listened to over and over for awhile and kinda didn’t get tired of (except for the very end). It held rainy-day significance for me, and I would almost hold my breath waiting for the line:

    “Hey there Delilah I know times are getting hard /
    but just believe me girl someday I’ll pay the bills with this guitar”

    there was something about the combination of words and chord change right there that stirred something in me. Anyway, I had the song about nine months before I heard it on the radio, and now they’ve added violins to it! Not that I don’t like violins, but whoever added them kinda screwed up the chord changes and now the song is REALLY bland.

    I also heard a third version on a different station, a totally unplugged, probably live version. SUCKY! The guy cuts off the ends of his words and takes the sweetness from the song.

    I’m really upset. In a mild, non-life-changing way.

    Anyway, rant over. Thanks for listening.

  9. Becca says:

    KP: I’ve never actually seen Smallville. But I did hear that they used that for their theme song, which ups the coolness factor in my book.

    kb: Yes. No. What was the question again?

    Feel free to vent here anytime! I provide a forum to all. All who don’t send me hate mail. Anyway, you might think about republishing your rant/asking your question here:

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