Sunday, December 24, 2006

I'm no genius but I know that they're wrong

Please excuse me as I do my first complete repost of songs I've posted before. However, they were from my second ever post (five and a half months ago) and it is the day before Christmas, so I'm hoping people will be forgiving. More importantly, though (and my reason for doing this), the songs are extremely relevant. Yesterday, UK TV channel ITV ran the documentary Whatever Happened to Gareth Gates? (which, thanks to an amazing fan and the power of YouTube, you can watch online--all links can be found here). Other people have far better commentary than I on it, but I did think it sort of strange that it glossed over everything from the second album era; I know the second album didn't sell as well as the first, but the singles charted highly, so I thought it a little odd that all the old footage of him showed him when he was really young (maximum visual contrast between "then" and now, I suppose). Some key facts:

  • I approve of the hairstyle.
  • Not only does he have popstar hair, he's also gone one step further: he now has a Ben Adams belt! (which might in fact be too much brilliant popstarness in one place at one time for me to handle)
  • He has a record deal.
  • He has a MySpace (all right, this wasn't in the documentary, but it was on his official site, so it's legitimate)
Really, though, how adorable was Gareth? I don't just mean cute, but him in general--he came across really well, and he wants this so badly. It was actually difficult for me to watch. Here's my wish for New Year's: a successful comeback for Gareth Gates, including some brilliant pop songs. Please, please, please among those hundred songs he's written, let there be at least one "cracking" lead-off single that he can win the world over with!

There is, though, one more thing I wanted to address: his music. I think the documentary only played clips from three songs, all ballads. They may very well be lovely ballads. However, if I know the pop blogosphere (and I might not), they may not be met with much excitement (though I want to hear more of "19 Minutes," and am definitely not saying I didn't like the songs--this is mainly a response to what I'm fearing the response might be in some circles). This post, then, is basically a plea: even if you weren't particularly enthused by the songs you heard--if you don't want an album full of ballads--hold off on your final judgement a bit longer. Not only (get ready for a lot of "not only"'s) do I have a feeling the best songs weren't in the documentary, and not only did we not get to hear the choruses for all the songs, and not only did the content of the documentary probably preclude the option of using more fun songs, and not only do reports of the gig say much of his new material is uptempo, two (admittedly old) demos of songs not on the album give extra reason for hope. There is a caveat here: the fact that they're not on the album could be a sign that Gareth has decided not to go in these directions. I, however, am going to hope that the fact that these songs--which in final produced versions would have been more than respectable album tracks--were passed up means that Gareth has even better songs out there.

Face Myself--the first time I heard these two demos, "Face Myself" was easily my favorite. It's got a little more guitar than most of the Gareth songs we're used to, but it's a far cry from the blaring guitars I can't stand--it still has that all-important sense of melody and hook. It's strong but not aggressive, and I think is a good indication that Gareth and guitar-based songs (which I think many of the new songs will be) can mix very well.

Something Right--I wasn't too captivated by this song at first--I liked it, but liked "Face Myself" a lot more. Now, though, I think "Something Right" is my favorite. I'm not totally sure why that happened; one day part of it just particularly struck me--somewhere around the second use of the "Statue of Liberty" line (the part right after that, with the reference to not being a genius). Instrumentally, it's closer than "Face Myself" to the Gareth we're used to hearing. It's also a mid- to up-tempo song that feels very pure pop (though I suppose you could make a case that it's got a bit of groove to it).

Neither of these songs are on an album to buy, but you can get Gareth's excellent second album, Go Your Own Way, here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: I can't guarantee a post on Christmas (and I suspect few people will be reading blogs than anyway), but there's a small chance that I might be able to type something up today and post it tomorrow. If so, it may be something holiday-ish or that remix. Either way, though, happy holidays to everyone!


Paul said...

we need to team up and create a world in which Gareth is rightfully a pop star with albums in the Darin mode. And while we are at it, we could get Andy Scott Lee famous as well. Ps , love the albeit tiny main page pic of cute gareth on his myspace. I don't understand why 7 top 5 singles is a flop?!?!?!

Digital Technique said...

I hope 2007 is the year of Gareths sensational comeback with #1 after #1. Although I would actually settle for him just being able to release some new material!! Another great post!!

POPtastic (Jessica) said...

Merry Christmas =)

Digital Technique said...

Hope you had a great Xmas!!!

J'ason D'luv said...

Merry Christmas!

Poster Girl said...

Paul, I so agree--although maybe we should split the Darinesque tracks between Gareth and Shayne?

David, you know, you have a point--I'd really love him to be successful, but failing that, I'd be happy if he just keeps releasing music that I can go out and buy! Thank you--the same to you :)

Thanks Jessica and J'ason! I had a great Christmas :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Poster Girl - thanks for the links to the documentary. I wanted to watch it badly since I'm not in the UK at the moment. I think today is all about Pop Idols, I wanted to write about Darius again for awhile and since you posted about Gareth, I thought today was the right day to do so. Thailand is amazing. I heard Darren Hayes and Jamiela on the radio today and it made my day - in a land of language that I don't understand! Electroqueer.

Poster Girl said...

Darren Hayes and Jamelia--it's a good music day, then! No problem--glad I could help with the links!