Tuesday, December 28, 2010

50/50 - various artists (2010).

Jon Nelson at Some Assembly Required put together an astounding compilation this year called 50/50.  Sound artists were invited to create 50 second compositions using at least 50% recycled sound from broadcast media.   

References to social and political commentary are mixed with collages and mashups of popular music.  Jon did a fantastic job of sequencing and making sense of the wide variety of the 50 tracks.  Although you would expect a lot of experimentation with this kind of thing, I was surprised at how entertaining, and frankly hilarious, this comp is.  Apparently, there is something about sampling broadcast media that brings out the sense of humor in sound artists.  

My own track, Lifetime Pop Head (#30), is a mashup of fragments from Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads, and an EZPop popcorn TV commercial from the 1950’s.  I was a little concerned that my submission might be too whimsical, but I needn’t have worried.  The chilled austerity or barrages of noise often associated with a term like “sound art” is nowhere in evidence here.  50/50 is clever, goofy, ridiculous, thought provoking, and full of inspired creativity.  It’s never boring. The time limitation required composers to basically get in, make a coherent statement, and then get out in less than a minute.  I was impressed at the consistent level of wit and skill displayed by the dozens of composers involved.  It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to any music lover, not just fans of experimental electronic music.

After 12 years of hosting his radio show,  Jon is has recently made the tough decision to retire Some Assembly Required.  50/50 is an impressive way to close this portion of his career, which will certainly continue in some other form, we hope.

It’s worth ordering the CD for the cool artwork, or download it from the usual suspects.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lesley Duncan/Elton John/David Bowie. Love Song (1971).

Whatever you make of the flamboyant Sir Elton John now, there was a time around 1970, starting out as solo artist (after failing his audition for King Crimson!), when he was taken quite seriously as a critically acclaimed, sensitive singer-songwriter. His 1971 album, Tumbleweed Connection is, in fact, a flat-out masterpiece. But there is a track on Tumbleweed that he didn’t write, and it’s one of the very rare instances of Elton covering someone else. That haunting tune, simply titled, "Love Song," has always held a wistful allure for me. It was written by Lesley Duncan, and I always wondered who she was and how that song ended up on Tumbleweed. "Love Song" is singled out as the “the most memorable track on the album,” by David Prakel, in his book, Rock 'n' Roll on Compact Disc (1987).

I had just downloaded a compilation of British pop songs from the mid-60’s that includes a track credited to Lesley Duncan, and wondered if it was the same person. Doing some research on the Interwebs led me to learn more about Duncan and the legacy of "Love Song." I found it has been covered by more than 150 artists over the years, but Duncan was never able to pull off a successful career as a featured artist herself, although she sang backup on numerous records, including Dark Side of the Moon. Before Elton recorded his version of "Love Song," I was amazed to find out David Bowie had recorded it on a demo tape for his folk duo Feathers, with John Hutchinson singing lead. That demo helped Bowie get signed to Philips/Mercury, shortly before making Space Oddity.

Here’s Bowie singing backup and probably playing 12-string guitar on his demo of Love Song:

After years of singing with the stars and releasing a couple of commercially neglected albums, Lesley retired to Mull, in the Inner Hebrides, with her second husband, Tony Cox. She was well known in her town, not as a singer, but as a smiling, cheerful woman who was often seen working in her garden.

After struggling for years with cerebrovascular disease, Lesley succumbed in March of this year at age 66. A recording of "Love Song" was played to her as she lay on her hospital bed. Her husband sensed a tremor of recognition in her body while it played, just before she passed away.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Uffie. Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans (2010).

Uffie polarizes critics.  From “catchy, fresh-sounding and brilliantly self-referential” on MusicOMH, to “Uffie sucks at just about everything” on Tiny Mix Tapes, writers are at odds on whether Uffie’s debut is treasure or trash.  Critics hating on her get themselves tied in knots attempting to express their indignation: “This is an anti-review. It’s supposed to be bad. Therefore you cannot raise an objection. See?”  Or,  “I’d rather not have to endure seeing someone eat their own sick,” both of these from the charming  Drowned In Sound review.

Collaborating with French producers, Mirwais, Mr Oizo, and Feadz, Uffie came up with this debut album four years after she became a sensation at age 19 with only a few tracks posted on her Myspace page (where the stats for plays are stratospheric).  Since then she got married, got divorced, and had a baby.

As soon as I heard Uffie’s album I wanted to listen to it over and over.  Its appeal only strengthened with repetition.  Many of the tracks sound classic to me, in the sense that they could become reference points, or maybe already have done (see the debate over Ke$ha).  

Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is like a kinetic sculpture made of Jolly Ranchers.  The colors are bright,  it’s transparent, it’s sweet with a slight edge of tartness.  So, why all the critical objections?  She does brag quite a lot about being a success, and she outrages some by saying she’s not a lyricist, but just an entertainer.  Whether or not she’s a good or bad rapper isn’t even the point, I think she’s just using her voice as one part in a musical thing which we’ll call a “song,” for lack of better terminology.  I find her lazy lack of “flow” a refreshing relief.  I believe she’s playing a role that happens to be based on her life, similarly to how Andy talked about himself in the 60’s. It all comes off as a little too ironic and artistic to be taken at face value.  It’s not what it is, it is what it’s about (claro?).

I think I figured out what the fuss is all about.  Her music is neither ground-breaking Electro, nor is it innovative Hip Hop.  It’s actually just another hybrid sub-genre of Pop.  Hip Hop, Electro and Synthpop are simply reference points push-pinned up on Uffie’s personal inspiration wall.   And that irritates purists with no sense of humor.

Pop The Glock

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Edvard Grieg - Notturno Op 54, No 4, for Piano (1891).

I first heard this piece at an exhibit of Norwegian art at the Elvehjem (now the Chazen) Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin, around 1980.  It pretty much overshadowed the most beautiful paintings in the exhibit and stopped me in my tracks while I took in its chilling and deep mournfulness. 

Thirty years later, it retains its spell over me.  It's performed here by Mark Gasser:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Daphne Guinness - “Through art, you create your own world."

Lately, I’ve been deriving some inspiration from the career of Daphne Guinness.  An heiress of the brewing family, daughter of Lord Moyne, she spent summers in Cadaques, Spain, among a contingent of Surrealist artists, where Salvador Dali was a frequent visitor.  

Daphne is a designer, has directed a couple of videos, written articles on fashion, and created a scent for Comme des Garcons.  For me, she is reminiscent of characters, both real and fictional, from the 19th century who dedicated their lives to outré aesthetics.  She’s a throwback to artistic thinkers and writers such as Wilde, Huysmans, and Baudelaire for whom the pursuit of style was not an avenue for self-aggrandizing ostentation, but rather a process of spiritual discovery.  

In her own way, she has made herself into a work of art, as well as a work in progress.  True to the Surrealist motivation to “épater le bourgeois,” Daphne is well-known as a icon of eccentricity.  

Speaking of her outlandish style, she says, “I do it for the old people who laugh at me in airports.”  She did, after all, attend a prominent clown school in London.

Daphne explains her style (or attempts to):

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Pithy, poignant, and at times deep and bitter, the underrated British trio, Dubstar, gave the world some expertly composed and executed gems of Indiepop. Chris Wilkie played deft and tasteful guitar parts, while Steve Hillier crafted sophisticated harmonies on keyboards. The memorable Sarah Blackwell delivered her cool vocals with perfect intonation and a Yorkie accent.

Dwelling beneath the appealingly polished surfaces of their sound were profound observations of intimate human experience. Music this light has never been so heavy. The Day I See You Again is a positively chilling account of making a date with an ex.
Elevator Song is a sweet ode to promised fidelity. Ghost conjures up images of loneliness and loss (I'll trace the whole world to find your ghost, but wherever I go I'm alone) that any songwriter would envy.

Their biggest hit, the wondrous Stars, is simply a miracle. This is the place where mere Pop attains the plateau of bliss:

It’s best to go straight for Stars: The Best of Dubstar, as some of the previously unreleased versions of songs on it are better than the originals.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Strawberry Switchblade (1985).

Their Goth, proto-Harajuku Girls regalia suggested some kind of post New Wave, novelty act. However, despite their intimidating appearance, Strawberry Switchblade was actually a couple of nice girls from Scotland that worked really hard at writing and performing their original tunes. Jill Bryson and Rose McDowall only released one album as a duo, but it was filled with Pop gems as catchy as Bananarama at their best, and some lovely slow ballads that linger when they're over.

The album, produced by Queen bassist, John Deacon, has a crisp, punchy sound, and is full of deluxe and glittery, state of the art (as of 1985) digital instrumentation (I'm thinking, probably the Emulator II, or the Ensoniq Mirage: two cutting-edge, 8-bit samplers that came out in 1984).

They reached the UK top ten with the single, "Since Yesterday" (with a little help from Jean Sibelius' 5th Symphony).

The cheesy video is all you'd hope it would be:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Radio Dept.

Sweden has its share of death metal, doom metal, gloom metal, metallic metal, etc., but what the country has really succeeded in is its export of Pop music. ABBA conquered the world in 70's and we continue to be charmed or irritated by their evergreen oeuvre.

Every country has its Pop music, but unlike, say Poland, or Portugal, Sweden has successfully competed and pushed hitmakers past the US/UK hegemony of Pop
with bands like Roxette, A-Ha, the Cardigans, and Ace Of Base, et al. Less known, but no less worthy of attention, are The Radio Dept., The Bridal Shop, Cinnamon, and Action Biker (whom I've already written about and interviewed here).

Swedish pop is clean and shiny, and so pretty, it's all white and gold. The most refined example I can think of is Club 8, a duo so delicate it seems they might
break if they dare take a breath.

I do love The Radio Dept., a band that looks a bit rough around the edges, but make the most appealing fuzzy pastel noises.
Many of their tracks start with a beat that rocks out, only to be washed over with lovely, fizzing guitar strumming. Johan Duncanson always sounds like he's singing through a length of plumbing. I really admire a band that can write a tune called "Pet Grief," which is not meant as a metaphor, but is actually about consoling a friend (presumably feminine) going through that sad process. And it's done without irony or phony naivete. The song's plainspoken earnestness is sweet and poignant:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jim Sande. Harvest Bell Ride (2010).

American composer Jim Sande has had one foot in the Pop/Rock world and the other in the contemporary minimalist genre for years. He has led bands such as The Executives, and Boy In The Button, performed as a classical guitar soloist, and produced several CDs that meld a Pop sensibility with modern classical music. Much of his work has been written for, recorded, and performed by, The Jim Sande Ensemble. That ensemble, in existence for 20 years, has included a variety of vocalists, percussionists, keyboard players, and guitarists.

Sande is also an astute commentator on the financial and political aspects of life in the US. He shares these observations daily on his blog, Sande.

As a solo composer, Jim has completed several CD's of carefully orchestrated chamber/Pop music, including Prim (2001), and Particle (2006), both of which collect instrumental and vocal pieces. With his current release, Harvest Bell Ride, Sande dispenses with the reliable conventions of popular music
(vocals/guitar/drums) and dives into the deep waters of the virtual digital orchestra.

On Harvest Bell Ride, Jim Sande presents a collection of compositions that display his skill at orchestration, balance, and thoughtful arrangements. Ideas flow at an accessible pace, the sections of each piece relating to each other as reflections or contrasts to what preceded. Sande employs a vast array of timbres with a sensitive touch. Textures remain light and transparent. The instrumentation is never occluded by density. We can savor individual parts as they are fitted into ensemble structures. Although orchestral in nature, the effect is more chamber orchestra, as one can sense the air between the lines, which may have resulted from the mix of varying reverb settings. It's a CD that one should settle into and spend time with, as the pieces seem to benefit from being taken as a whole, rather than piecemeal. In that way, it is more of a complete work, rather than a series of random tracks.

I asked Mr. Sande a few questions about his latest CD:

All of your work on disc includes at least a few vocal pieces, did you intend from the beginning of this project not to have any?

Yes, I planned on making an all instrumental CD. The work on "Harvest Bell Ride" is less about song form and more about longer forms and through composed music. Pretty much all of my singing has been in the context of my music work with songs. The songs on my previous CDs and the music on "Harvest Bell Ride" are still basically put together in the same way though, part by part, section by section. So in this sense the songs and longer works are similar. Overall for me its all about trying to make a complete piece of music. If you sing it has to work as a totality, if you use found or modified sounds its still about the total overall piece. I work on songs and long form music from the perspective of a music writer/composer rather than as a singer or instrumentalist.
On the other hand when I am working and piecing things together, I find a few instrumental parts by singing a melodic part for an intended instrument. So there is singing in this way throughout all of it.

This new record, for the most part, features the sound of acoustic instruments that we associate with classical music. Was finally having access to convincing digital reproductions of these instruments any impetus for the composition of the pieces?

Yes, as you know when you get a new toy it can be inspiring. There's something to be said about that too. I like to try to freshen up at least some of my palette of sounds when I start on a new disc. If I didn't do that I would still be working with a Roland XP-10. This is the thing right. When we work with computers everything is evolving, sounds change, some samples get better, especially the way a company like Vienna Instruments can sample orchestral instruments. There are very smart and talented people out there who have a good sense about how to do these things like make sample libraries and they learn new tricks and keep upgrading. I do like details in sound. If the sampled violin gets closer to a real violin, well that's just heavenly. Still it's not the same. There are limitations. However I can't bring myself to use sampled guitar sounds. I couldn't do that. But I have no conscience about using virtually every other instrument from a sampled library. If I am going to use guitar, I have to play a real guitar. In truth, I do some manipulation to many of the samples, either with panning, delays, eqs, and sometimes filters. The sounds from orchestral instruments like the oboe or bassoon are so rich. They make a wonderful basis for electronic manipulation because they are so rich.

In your own description, the music on Harvest Bell Ride has something to do with forms of contemplation. Was this intentional from the outset, or was it more something that emerged as a theme during the writing process?

The theme emerged while I was in the process of working on the disc, maybe about 25% of the way into it. This is something that I have learned to do over time and the years. Its not a comfortable thing to do, but just start working without a clear picture and see where it will lead you. It seems to work for me so far on the personal level. I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying this. The disc has the theme of these non formal contemplative activities that we all do without thinking of the activity as being contemplative. An example might be when we watch a fire in a fireplace, we can let go of our major concerns, soften the intensity of our worries, and open up some healthy space in our minds. As the fog about where this music project was going away and this idea became clearer in my mind, the work on the music becomes like a type of research. You begin thinking about the theme, you might contemplate the idea when you're out for a walk, and you do this over a period of time and learn something. Music writing like any creative activity can do this, it can teach you something if you're willing to suspend at least a part of your absolute control over the process. You might even go and do some supportive reading and such. So I got a new disc out of the process, but I also got a better understanding about one facet of our shared human behavior and how we get on and along in our lives. Its helpful.

Through most of your career, people have remarked on your skills as a guitarist (Sande was a student of renowned classical guitarist, Oscar Ghiglia). Apart from one instance, the guitar is nearly absent from this recording. Are there limitations to that instrument that made it inadequate for your current work? Or did it just
not sound right in this context?

My history with music starts with voice as a choir boy in grammar school, guitar as a tweener, and then teen on piano. My first idea about what to achieve with music was to be a decent guitar soloist in the style of the rock idols. In music school the spark of wanting to put together orchestral work began when we went through the history and theory of Western music. I approached this for a long time with classical guitar study as a way into classical music. This incidentally has its limitations. So I have had this intention for a long time to work on producing orchestral music. When I'm put on the firing line and I have to choose what my main interest in music is, its music writing, even though everybody around here keeps asking me if I still play the guitar. Over the last ten years I have been formally studying piano again, going through classical repertoire. The way into putting together orchestral work on the do-it-yourself computer is through the keyboard controller with MIDI using sampled orchestral instruments. That's the name of that game. I never even tried a guitar MIDI controller. Guitar as a composing device has its limitations for me. A lot of my music is harmonically driven and the notes are simply clearer and more understandable even simply looking at it on a keyboard rather than a guitar, and I know my way around the guitar reasonably well. The guitar seems to impose patterns and shapes that are idiosyncratic to the guitar which is perfectly fine and nice, but it has problems for me. People have obviously done amazing things with writing on the guitar. If you write music on the guitar, it's going to be that, guitar music, whether its clean, distorted, harmonized, digitally manipulated, etc etc. On the other hand, I once heard that Berlioz wrote on the guitar. After that comes, I don't know maybe Villa Lobos. There are others and the work is wonderful. I do have the intention and spark to do a guitar based disc. I am curious to see if the approaches to music that I've learned recently will translate in guitar music.

How much extra work is needed to mix what is essentially a chamber orchestra, compared to a Rock band arrangement?

They are different animals. A rock mix is strong and drum punchy and the method to do that is an imperative for the music. Since this disc was primarily orchestral sounding I decided to forget about the rock mix completely. Basically I hit on the idea of mixing each section pretty much as I completed that section, otherwise it would become a nightmare to go back and mix 60+ tracks which is the number on the title cut. So if I got an introductory section to my liking note-wise, I would immediately pan the instruments and do a 90% done mix before I would move on to the next section including eq, reverb, and such. Incidentally panning in my opinion is underrated. The panning effects in DAWs are outstanding and in themselves can create unique sounds, especially the dynamic panning effects. Also I would color code each section's grouping of instruments. You need to keep it orderly or chaos will ensue. I found that doing the mixing as the section was completed would reveal what instruments I wanted to highlight. This helped if there was an abrupt segue, one without preceding space or silence, then the next dominant instrument could be centered with supportive parts surrounding. At the end of the process I would go through the piece often many times to remove any internal digital distortion as best as I could and then to finally add a little bit of compression to give everything a slight lift. Inter-channel internal distortion is problematic in DAWs. When your studio is based around a laptop, the meters do not indicate internal distortion so you have to listen closely and sometimes raise the volume a bit otherwise you can miss it. That's my experience so far. Some people recommend using -3 as the base setting instead of 0 to help with this. The short answer is yes, it takes a lot of time, and you need to have an orderly plan or else it will get messy fast especially when you want to mix.

Having a virtual orchestra at your fingertips allows you to play any instrument, which one was the most fun to try out?

That's easy. Its the saxophone. Vienna has very good sax sounds. When I find the sampled sax sound that has the honking and polyphonic Sam Rivers/Ornette articulation, I will get it without question. We may like the guitar and the piano but to try to emulate some inspired free jazz sax player, that would be a real joy in the context of any type of music.

Thanks, Jim!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lush. Superblast! (1992).

Working on
my own songs recently has led me to revisit bands whose sound has influenced what I like about Pop music. Prime among those would be the British band, Lush.

They didn't really take off in the States until their third album, Lovelife (1996), by which time they had embraced a trendier Britpop sound, and I had started to lose interest. They effectively broke up soon after that with the tragic suicide of their drummer, Chris Acland, although it took a year and a half of mourning before they could even announce that they had quit as a group.

Their first album, Spooky (1992), reached #7 on the British charts, and includes one of my favorite tracks of theirs, appropriately titled, "Superblast." It epitomizes their appeal for me: icy cool vocals, and radiant layers of distorted guitars strummed in shimmering harmony:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Faye Wong. Fu Zao (1996).

Faye Wong is a legendary C-pop diva, songwriter, actress, and model. Beloved by fans who call themselves "Fayenatics," she has sold almost 10 million albums, and is wildly popular across China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Her name is often preceded by the designation, tiānhòu , meaning Heavenly Queen. She has been attuned to and influenced by Western music, and names Cocteau Twins as one of her all time favorite bands.

Fu Zao, Faye was ready to take artistic risks, resulting in one of her more experimental albums. It remains Faye's personal favorite, however her audience in Hong Kong and Taiwan were not so receptive of its style. The Fayenatics loved it and made it a cult hit. On Fu Zao, Faye actually collaborated with Cocteau Twins, as they wrote two of its tracks for her just prior to the breakup of the band. Subsequently, Robin and Simon of the C. Twins continued to write for Faye.

It is evident that Faye pays homage to Cocteau Twins throughout this CD. We can hear the arpeggiated guitar parts through delay lines, the flat planes of sustained harmony, the simple drum loops, and the abrupt endings associated with the revered Scottish trio. Faye even mimics the vocal mannerisms of Elizabeth Frasier, not an easy task to accomplish. Although the C. Twins' overall approach to sound is iconic, and highly influential, I can't think of anyone else who's ever dared to attempt to emulate Frasier's beautiful, but eccentric, style of warbling. The two songs actually written by Cocteau Twins, track 4, "Fracture," and 8, "Repressing Happiness," fit right in with Wong's originals. In fact, if forced to guess, you might fail to surmise exactly who wrote what, although "Fracture" does kind of stand out as having greater depth compared to the other tracks. Myself, I would bet "Repressing Happiness" was a Faye tune, and "Decadence" would be by the Twins - I would be so wrong.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jon Hassell. Last Night The Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street (2009).

Jon Hassell has been doing pretty much the same thing for over 30 years, yet he always sounds up to date. I wouldn't say that his most recent CD, Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street, is necessarily "stripped down," since that would imply something is missing. But it's almost as if Hassell said to his band, "Let's make a groove, now take away the 97% of stuff that isn't necessary." It's like listening to ice melt. It's cool, it's light, but also deep and dark. Hassell plays and composes like a natural phenomenon. Imagine you're in a forest, listening to the play of wind, birds, creaking trees, distant noises. It may coalesce into something like a concert or composition, but it's your brain making sense out of gentle chaos. Hassell is elemental that way. Ideas are dropped and evaporate in a perpetual hazy present. The way time is kept in these tunes is remarkably subtle. Bassist Peter Freeman mostly keeps a hesitant pulse, while the drummers, Helge Norbakken and Pete Lockett, have more of an ornamental and filigreed relationship to time.

Part of Hassell's genius is with whom he chooses to play, and how, I suspect, he coaches his collaborators to proceed. I'm thinking of his album, "City," which made monumental and occasionally aggressive statements. Twenty years after that release, he plays with different personnel but some of the same sonorities appear to be revived, now evolved into the most ethereal of forms. His current band, Maarifa Street, are marvelously sympathetic to Hassell's vision of sound.

A good friend and jazz aficionado told me connoisseurs value a player's tone almost above the notes they play. Hassell's tone is certainly part of his music's appeal. Ghostly, and disembodied, it's like a wordless, vibrato-less, mezzo-soprano, or an alto flute. His style of playing epitomizes the disappearance of the artist, at the same time affirming the intelligence he imparts with the power of a few well-chosen notes over a flurry of tones. North African violinist, Kheir Eddine M'Kacich, achieves a gentle vocal style as well, and beautifully matches Hassell's approach.

Hassell has always been inspired by the real world, yet his sound has always been other-worldly. Now he seems to be playing from some plane beyond reach. If it sounds silly to use descriptions like that, and much too new-agey, Hassell's music forces you to confront the limitations of language. One is tempted to be effusive, while the music remains ineffable.

"Fourth World" is a term Hassell has used for decades to describe his "continual exploration of ways in which exotic musics from the tribal cultures of the Southern hemisphere might be fused with the technological possibilities of the Western World" (from the Jon Hassell website). That "continual exploration" has led on this disc to an incredibly refined and empyrean realm.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Annie. Don't Stop (2009).

Annie's followup to her brilliant debut, Anniemal (2005), finally arrived last November after years of tantalizing frustration. My daughter has almost doubled in age since Anniemal came out, which she loved.

So, how does it compare?
There's nothing quite as sticky as "Chewing Gum," on Don't Stop. For that, you'd have to get the single, "I Know You're Girlfriend Hates Me," which was released earlier in 2009.

The new album is less bedroom electronica, with fewer digital squiggles, blups and buzzes. The new songs are still pop, but with more of a filled-out rock band arrangement. Guitars are a lot more prominent, and the drums and percussion sound more "live," (whatever that means in 2010).

The songs on
Anniemal frequently revealed a touching sensitivity, with occasional flashes of a confident and analytic sarcasm. The ratio is reversed on Don't Stop, with most of the songs displaying self-assuredness, humorous cattiness, challenges, and kiss-offs. It's pretty amusing, and fun. On the whole, it's spunky and perky pop with a rockier edge, although Annie is working with a variety of producers here, so some of the tunes have a completely synthetic glow:

Songs Remind Me Of You

Some high points: the tribal drum corps and chanting in the opening "Hey Annie," which starts out very Missy, and ends up quite cosmic, and the song built around the ultimate insult for a musician: "I Don't Like Your Band."