I became aware of Estelle through the hit American Boy (above) simply because my daughter had the radio tuned to stations that played it. Her part is great, but the pop/hip hop response format — Estelle and Kayne West in this case — always seems forced.
Another of the YouTube clips is Wonderful Life (below), which I like just as much. It’s a completely different, which demonstrates her talent.
This is what Wikipedia says about Estelle:
Estelle Fanta Swaray (born 18 January 1980) commonly known as Estelle, and formerly as Est’elle, is an English R&Bsinger-songwriter, rapper and record producer. Estelle was born in London. After meeting John Legend, Estelle signed a record deal with V2 and Atlantic Records.
In 2004 Estelle released her debut album The 18th Day, which peaked with in the top 40 of the official UK charts. The album released three singles “1980″, “Free”, and “Go Gone” which all charted with in the top 40 also of the UK charts. In 2008 Estelle released her second studio album Shine which was certified Gold in the UK. The lead single “Wait A Minute” failed to chart anywhere. The second single “American Boy” peaked at number one in the UK and also became Estelle’s first song to chart in the US at a position of nine. The album released a further three singles. In 2012 Estelle released her third album All of Me. The lead single “Break My Heart” featured American rap artist Rick Ross, the single charted at number 30 on the US R&B Chart. The second single “Thankyou” peaked at 120 on the US Billboard and 22 on the US R&B chart and the third single “Back to Love” was released. (Continue Reading…)
Here is the start of Estelle’s AllMusic profile:
Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legendto Roots Manuva singing her praises, Estelle Swaray got her start in London’s renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs and appearing with the likes of Manuva and Rodney P. Local hero Skitz asked her to appear on his 2000 album, Countryman, and soon she landed on albums by the likes of the 57th Dynasty and Blak Twang. She made her solo debut in 2003 with the Excuse Me 12″ on the Paradise Isle label, but her breakthrough track came in 2004 when “1980″ was released by the V2 label and reached number 14 on the U.K. pop chart. (Continue Reading…)
Here is Estelle’s website.by
CNN has an interesting piece about music and the inauguration, which is set for Monday. The show should be pretty good:
This year’s festivities include a Kids’ Inaugural Concert on Saturday and two official balls on Monday night. Performers for those events include Katy Perry, Brad Paisley, Alicia Keys, Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson — a mix of pop, country, R & B, Latin, rock and old-school hitmakers. (Continue Reading…)
Two old timers who have similar voices – which really isn’t a compliment to either – both have new albums, and both are getting good reviews.
Mark Knopfler’s Privateering and Bob Dylan’s Tempest are being lauded by critics, including those from The Associated Press. The AP writes that Knopfler’s album is “a moody and entrancing musical travelogue spread over two discs” while Dylan’s Tempest is “is one of the best discs you’ll hear by anyone this year, at any age.”
Who said so, what the criteria was and other details are missing. But the list, which is from 2008, is a good one. I stumbled on it while looking for the soundtrack to the movie Beast of the Southern Wild, which I’ll continue to try to find. It’s a great movie, by the way.
The top song is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird. Above is the band’s Gimme Three Steps, which logged in at number 27.by
The Troggs’ Wild Thing was at the top of the charts on this day in 1966. Some people, however, may prefer this 1967 version. It was done by a pretty good guitar player and included a sample of Strangers in the Night. The song actually was written by a man named Chip Taylor and originally recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965. That makes three versions in three years.
Frank Zappa was a singular personality in the history of rock music. He was as important for his iconoclastic views and role in the ongoing battles over public decency standards as he was for his music.
It doesn’t make sense to write much about him. It is best to let him define himself through Wikiquote:
The Ultimate Rule ought to be: ‘If it sounds GOOD to you, it’s bitchin’; if it sounds BAD to YOU, it’s shitty. The more your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don’t like. American radio listeners, raised on a diet of _____ (fill in the blank), have experienced a musical universe so small they cannot begin to know what they like.
Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts. Some of you like Pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read. Forget I mentioned it. This song has no message. Rise for the flag salute.
I’ll tell you what classical music is, for those of you who don’t know. Classical music is this music that was written by a bunch of dead people a long time ago. And it’s formula music, the same as top forty music is formula music. In order to have a piece be classical, it has to conform to academic standards that were the current norms of that day and age … I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it’s probably good for their mental health.
Here is Zappa’s site and a long bio at NNDB. Zappa, it always should be remembered, also was a fabulous guitarist. Here is an insight from guitarist Steve Vai on what playing with him was like. It doesn’t sound too relaxing.
Zappa died of prostate cancer in December, 1993 at the age of 52.by
This post presented two problems. The first was that as I was putting it together I had this sinking feeling that I have failed in that I haven’t listened to enough Ry Cooder. The second was more immediate: Each clip I listened to was better than the one before. How could I choose which to feature?by