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Archive for January 2012

Columbian She Wolf in Paris

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For Shakira’s Live in Paris CD, released in December 2011, all 17 songs included on the disc should be familiar to both her English and Spanish-speaking fans. So I will not be necessarily commenting on the quality of lyrical content, although songs like “She Wolf” do drive me crazy. This, as with all live recordings, should be judged on performance. So based on that alone, half of this album is fantastic. Even the songs completely in Spanish, which after 6 years learning in school I only picked up about half of what she was saying, caught my interest and made me dance. Something should also be said for her audience, who brought another level to the disc by being so enthused with every single song. Her voice, when reaching it’s full potential, is as beautiful as a Spanish opera. But, when held back, it sounds like a cross between Madonna and Kylie Minogue, neither of whom I respect as singers, despite liking some of their music. I liken her to a Columbian Jessica Simpson, good voice, but not used properly sometimes. The biggest surprise on this album, and a must listen for everyone, is “Whenever, Wherever,” her first U.S. single. I admit when this song came out in 2001-2002 I hated it. But an extended version of it, with an awesome rock edge, mixed with a snippet of “Unbelievable” by EMF, brought the song to a whole different level. Her voice is magical on songs like “Underneath Your Clothes” “Inevitable” and “Ciega, Sordomuda.” However, after “Underneath Your Clothes,” the album pretty much tanks. “Sale El Sol,” one of two ballads on the CD, almost put me to sleep. The crash-and-burn disappointment of the record has to be “Hips Don’t Lie,” her biggest U.S. hit and the song Shakira is known for. She doesn’t show off her voice like she did in the studio recording, and with an amateur backup singer filling in for Wyclef, it makes for a skip-worthy track. It’s somewhat worth mentioning that Shakira is trilingual, adding French to the languages she can sing in. However, her one French song “Je L’aime A Mourir,” is not that special. This album is definitely worth more of a listen than last week’s massacre, but if you were buying it on iTunes, I don’t recommend the whole thing.

This is how “Hips Don’t Lie” should be sung: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUT5rEU6pqM&ob=av2n

“Whenever, Wherever” (Live Performance): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpBwPtlFfqk  

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Written by smschira

January 30, 2012 at 5:42 am

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Imperfect Harmonies (and Remixes) is Ironic

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The title is not lost on me folks. The 2010 album, and 2011 remix album, of former System of a Down lead singer, Armenian-born Serj Tankian, is an abomination of good music. It is quite apparent, albeit covered by heavy autotune and loud instruments in the remixes, that Tankian can sing about as well as an American Idol reject that makes you cry from laughing so hard. However, I don’t know what’s worse, the voice that can break glass or the lyrics that are so shallow, all you here are the same words time and time again. New track “Godd*** Trigger” sounds like something straight from a horror movie, which is funny, because I was horrified and might have nightmares from listening to this EP. The only song I heard a distinct improvement on, and I use that term lightly, was “Goodbye-Gate 21,” where there were more guitar solos, which meant less singing. This was also the song that, if you know nothing about music, Tankian might actually sound good to you. If paired with a different songwriter, the lyrics could’ve been good given the overall themes of the songs. I have never listened to System of a Down, nor do I care much for their style of music, and it has become quite clear after hearing Tankian’s voice, I never will. If you care enough to subject yourself to it, I have supplied you with some Youtube clips of the songs on these albums. Listen for yourself, if you dare.

Goodbye-Gate 21: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZobdNXT0Za0

Deserving?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmlpjTWru7o   

Written by smschira

January 23, 2012 at 3:59 am

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Barbershop Quartets still exist?

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Hello fans,

While doing research for my first post about music along the Arizona-Mexico border, I stumbled upon a Sonoran barbershop quartet called Sonoran Sound. While they have a website and a Facebook page, their Youtube channel only has two videos posted. I think the reason barbershop quartets are a dying art is because of the lack of publicity. Some people like the intimacy of small crowds and would rather have a few loyal fans than a crowd full of marginal ones. The problem with that is Sonoran Sound is actually halfway decent, so they should have more than 21 Likes on Facebook or 331 Youtube views. Theere’s more people than that in the largest class on the UA campus, let alone all of Tucson. Judge for yourself, these guys are good.

Website: http://www.sonoransoundquartet.com/

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?q=sonoran%20sound&init=quick&tas=0.5424216574416136#!/pages/Sonoran-Sound/243049749270?sk=wall

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SonoranSound/videos

Written by smschira

January 18, 2012 at 6:04 am

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Hello world!

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Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.

Written by smschira

January 16, 2012 at 2:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized