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What a beautiful dance we're living in stebanBeautiful Dance Jay & Luke
I immediately enjoy the bass on the right and guitar on the left, singer in the middle. It creates a live singer songwriter vibe that is easy to incorporate entirely at one pass. The guitars are played with finesse and style. The rhythm guitar is possibly too consistent, as opposed to the lead which is if anything underplayed or recorded too low. The singer has a bluesy voice, and he delivers the lines with sincere conviction. It is a short song that doesn't aspire to bridges and side trips, but I'm not fully persuaded what is here is enough. If there was even some small deviation in the rhythm guitar, it could have made a huge difference.
Take a spin in my 69 Cadillac stebanBig Dark Cadillac Elvis ate my Goat
There is a touch of James Gang on top of Smoky Robinson music going on, all while fusion Robert Palmer sings his head off about Cadillacs and other funky cool things to do on a Friday night. The words aren't genius but they are cute. Not too graphic, but they are striving to be sexy suave. This song just grooves, but it manages to have a lot of clever execution with drums, guitar, keyboard, and bass working their chops to the bone to create the illusion I have just timewarped to when hair was bigger as a rule and maybe hip hugger bellbottoms were in. The production has an old sound, maybe 8-track, and even still it sounds great, as if captured at the jazz club with a touch of noise in the mix. For me it adds a nostalgic vibe, and I prefer that to a newer era's values in production, even if it was produced to sound like this intentionally.
Gotta get around my wiring stebanGet the Picture Phlogiston
I like long low lingering tones on top those funky drums! This is like celtic postmodern funk, and then at two and a half minutes there's this little lead guitar riff part that adds a Little Feat level of complexity. The female singer is nailing this with Kate Bush ferocity. The harmony vocals are so creative throughout creating the strangest chords imaginable. I'm not sure there's anything else aside from that deep note beat that might determine a chord or melody, and with the human voice, not overly processed either, this entire song is composed. The words have a poetic strength, not directly saying anything about anything in particular, just conveying what is and what must be funk rock wisdom we expect from such a song. Thinking person's funk.
Good Vibrations? stebanHigh Expectations Pat
Taste my sugar cane? What's St. Nick doing? This is such a soft pedalled XXXMas song, I have to say. It is so softly pedalled you don't hardly believe it is. Will he let you taste his sugar cane tonight? I have no problem with it, just that it is a little incongruous, I suppose, lyrics and music. For example, the melody is simple and pleasant enough, but the words feel a little clunky as phrased. The whole candy cane line is just a lot for the extremely mild delivery.
Well, vibra my phone! stebanI Dream Of You Pat
Attention, all slow dancers on the dance floor now. This has so much generic about it I don't think I'd easily pick it out of a line up. Those some good parts of it nonetheless, like the sax around 4 minutes. The singer settles in the lower register mostly, has a french nasal feel for some reason, and for this song it works well. The lead guitar at the beginning would make Chet Atkins proud. There are tight transitions in the arrangement of beat and key, and in between all that are some cool jazzed chord progressions, and there is a pattern, a repetition, a revisitation. Not bad at all, even the whirly vocal echo effect. I am reminded of old Chicago, and it's not bad.