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THE VT » Blog Archive » Sonny J ~ Disastro

Sonny J ~ Disastro


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If you’ve talked to me lately, you probably know by now that my album of the month is Sonny J ~ Disastro since I’ve told EVERYONE I know about it. If I didn’t mention it last time we met then I must have been scared to come off as one track minded, thought I had already mentioned it and decided not to risk doing so again (cue FT jokes).

Anyway, in short, to me this is the result of mixing Lemon Jelly with a bunch or motown(ish?) albums and sprinkling a few funky effects here and there. If you’re not interested at all into this style of erm.. “baroque” music (I lack a better term for it) then you are allergic to fun.

I like this album a lot, and as I’ve said before this is a very strong candidate to be my album of the year. My only problem is that well… yes, it’s fun, but that’s it. I don’t know if I’m unfair when comparing albums by other people with (mostly) original stuff with this other in which at the end of the day all Sonny J did was add a few well timed special effects to old songs and create a couple of original tracks (no extra credits for No-Fi nor for Sorrow). Another problem that I have with it is that as his first attempt I thought that most of it would be his own work, but in the credits it is mentioned that he got help from replayheaven ( http://replayheaven.com/examples.htm ) which may or may not undermine the value of his work (a bit at least).

Don’t let my concerns bother you too much, this is a great party album and I won’t worry much about those two things, at least not for now because I’ve still got a few months to decide.

Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d4L4hiSHNw
Impossible not to feel the Kill Bill-esque mood of the song, especially after watching the video. This is the catchiest track in the album, so this is probably Sonny J’s best chance to be the new Gnarls Barkley. The original song is by a Donna Hightower ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N0dKHNBLbw ). I like both songs.

Enfant Terrible
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gdIvC86tdk
Song is good, video is creepy. Towards the end, after reaching some sort of plateau, I like that left-right effect the song does which makes your ears tickle if you listen through headphones.

Can’t Stop Moving
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9e_4A7EKoA
When I first listened to this, I thought the sample was from some obscure track by the Jackson 5. I was wrong. It’s sampling two songs and an extra voice. I tried to look for the songs on youtube but couldn’t find them, and I can’t tell you which songs they are because I haven’t got the cd with me right now. Anwyay, the song is very cheerful, feel good, etc, the video makes me feel like I’m watching some 80s sesame street tv show. I like it.
Here’s a remix of the song that’s not bad, but it could be because it’s strikingly similar to the other http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8_dv95H9U0

Strange Things
Quite good too, its problem is that it pales when compared with the other three main tracks.

Cabaret Short Circuit
Doing the Tango
This is where it gets weird(er). Cabaret Short Circuit samples a Eurovision-esque (I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be an actual Eurovision song actually) song in English and Italian. The original apparently is by someone called Jack Jones ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j873JiKkAAc ). Sonny J’s version could either be about love for God or love for someone else, whereas the original song is about love for a woman. Doing the Tango is from a song by a Shirley Bassey called Puh-leeze Mr. Brown ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6c5R9-9ISI ). He changed quite a bit here, which is good.

Sorrow
Sonrise
Sorrow is an original song, and it seems to be the obligatory sad song in every happy album haha. I think it’s one of the best tracks actually. Sonrise is another partly borrowed song, I can’t remember the interpreter of the original, but I do remember that it’s called Sunrise haha. The ending is cute.

No-Fi
Another original song, and well.. ugh… I don’t like it at all. Uninteresting, boring, not even the left-right effect can save it from being weak, simple, feeble, barren.. myeh. I think it’s the track I’ve listened to the most because I’ve been trying to find a reason to label it as a rough gem, but.. no, I don’t see any appeal.

Earwax
This is a 50+ min monster. The strange thing is that it feels fresh all the time. It uses samples from Alanis Morissette (thank you), Presidents of the USA (millions of peaches), The Shortwave Set (is it any wonder), among other stuff. This works as both something to pay attention to and something to play as background music.
If you listen to this, please let me know if you can recognise the songs played at 22:40 - 24:15 (that funky song) and at 28:00 (after sagging bottoms), I really really like them.

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Bonus

I also spent some time listening to Jamie Lidell ~ Jim. From his previous album I had only listened to the main track (multiply, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkqIsSTWSsc ) which I thought was really good, but couldn’t be bothered to check out the rest. This album is very similar to that track in the sense that the main genres are r&b and soul. It is a very easy listen, its main problem is that he played it too safe.There are a few bits here and there that sound like 60s pop (where’d you go), a hint of the Rolling Stones (last few seconds of out of my system) and some Nick Drake (rope of sand).

Oh and another problem I have with this album is that I really don’t like the cover. I wish he’d used the yellow cover for the Another Day single instead, for it suits the mood of the album better.

Another Day
Birds in the intro, weird lyrics, catchy. The video is.. somewhat interesting ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89Qa5rNAeEs ) , at least it’s not as bad as little bid of feel good’s.

Greenlight
My favourite track. I like how in most of the rest of the tracks he seems vulnerable whereas here he seems to not care anymore and is even audaciously tempting someone. I like that line where he says “it’s only a sin if you make it a sin.”

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bric-à-brac

Santogold et al ~ Get it up
Remember M.I.A.’s “Piracy funds terrorism”? If you don’t then it’s basically an album where Diplo & others did some remixes of M.I.A.’s first album. Turns out that he’s (Diplo) doing the same with whom seems to be his new muse, Santogold. The name of this is Top Ranking, and here’s a track in which the following people participate: Diplo, Santogold, M.I.A., Gorilla Zoe and some sounds from Street Fighter II… in other words, this track is HEAVEN! I think they had to add whoever Gorilla Zoe is to prevent the track from achieving perfection.

Florence and the Machine - Kiss With a Fist
Cute. Been listening to this every morning. I wish this band gets a record deal sometime soon. It worked when I wished the same for glasvegas, so it might work again.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpsDegqioVA

Estelle ~ Magnificent
I don’t know how or why it happened, but i like this song, and I like that funky ballerina dress she’s wearing in the video.
Bah! she should have released this as third single instead of no substitute lover.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvN6oXQAV90

Annie ~ I know ur girlfriend hates me
Bought the single a week or so ago. It’s got the song, about 5 remixes, music video and a photo gallery, all for just £2. I haven’t listened to the radio lately, so I don’t know how well it’s doing so far. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=566k5h8M9f8

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Future

My main album will be The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Other albums I might check:

Santogold & Diplo ~ Top Ranking
I hope I can get my paws on this asap aarrgh!

Alphabeat ~ This is Alphabeat
I liked fascination, and I like fantastic 6. I might give them a chance if I find some spare time in this busy busy month.

Estelle ~ Shine
I started liking american boy once it left the charts, and I now realise that no substitute lover and magnificent aren’t too bad either… if I can find a cheap copy of this I might bite.

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