PopCornucopia is all about free associative pop culture tidbits as they strike my fancy, just like kernels of corn exploding into fullness at a random and unpredictable pace. And of course, the cornucopia is the horn of plenty.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Namesake

Sharp contrast to my Desai fangirly musing of yesterday, check this trip back to the old school from the fresh group Soul Jazz Orchestra, which I caught at Rotown (2 minute walk from the ol' homestead)just a wee while back.

It's the groove that gets you. So so solid.

Also, did you know my Chinese name is Beautiful Lotus Flower? I think I'll adopt this one as my theme song instead of the Zombie's melancholy Rose for Emily

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Monday, May 03, 2010

Fair: Not a carnival, not a dispensation of justice, not a rating. Just a pretty good collection of songs gleaming with the promise of the future

I could see a killjoy reviewer saying something like, "'All Is Fair' is just that. Fair. Not bad, not great, it's all just fair." That was the thought running through my head as soon as Anoop Desai announced the title of his indie EP.

People, I was afraid. Mortified. I heard the first single, and indeed its got a modicum of swagger and tongue in cheek finessed pretty darn well, so I breathed a sigh of relief. A solid first outing, but I was teetering on the edge of dishing the fair verdict myself.

Although an unabashed fangirl to the max, for someone of my analytical temperament, I cannot love without problematizing in all honesty. The EP drops tomorrow May 4th, and I found some acoustic versions of the album tracks in full.

My favorite cut is "Lost and Found". Its a great slice of sensuous babymaking soundtrack. Especially in this raw acoustic form. In the previews mix I've heard a snippet of the produced version and they're all a bit too slick for my liking, often borderline cheesy, and slightly detract from Anoop's phrasing, musicality, and the catchy melodies. Still, I understand well enough, that very production is his argument that he is can be relevant in the current pop music market.

But I can't help but be a bit angry at the addicted to your drug trope that is so worn and tired and so obviously cribbed from the Ne-Yo playbook. So minus that, this is like a scintillating Neruda poem set to music.

But here's what I love about this performance too: Anoop breaks his smoldering delivery to comment, presumably on someone in the audience, "That's right you can do that." and then jumps right back into the sexy. It's why Desai is one of my faves, his range from humorous candor, to verbal acuity, to utterly focused loverman, all the while rocking the geek specs with unheard of hawtness. He never takes the stud thing too seriously and that moment shows it. Woe were he to be so committed to trying to be the ladies man that he could not see his unapologetic nerdiness is so integral to his charm. So while it is unlikely that All is Fair will be a tour de force it is a good first foray in a serviceable direction. He's well on his way to breaking through the pop charts, I just hope he keeps pushing the envelope and works the quirks without going gimmicky. I'll be watching and rooting him on.

Bonus pick n' mix:

Carnival by The Cardigans:

D.A.N.C.E. by Justice:

Fairly Oddparents:

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