Monday, February 25, 2008

You've blinded me, it's all I can see

I've written before, here and elsewhere, about how convoluted the South African pop music scene is. When a pop act there comes out with a new song, you're almost safer betting on it being a cover than being original--surprisingly often, of a song with a Eurovision or national final connection, but in general usually from Europe (usually Sweden).

Take, for example, Jacques's new album, which I finally got today. It contains a cover of a song from mad-in-a-good-way Danish singer Ida Corr's second album Robosoul; it's a retitled version of "I'm Your Lady," here called "I'm Your Baby."

Many other songs on the album have that feel of being recycled to me, and I'm sure I'll be trying to figure it all out for a while. One song I really thought had to be a cover was "Set Me Free." Sounding like a Phixx track or something electro-rock out of the '80's, it was so different from the rest of the album--though great--that I was sure it must have been originally done by someone else. Imagine my surprise, then, when I looked at the credits and saw that it was written by Mark Beling. Mark Beling? Surely not! He's a South African singer known for doing MOR/adult contemporary sort of stuff...including a MOR-ified version of Swedish singer Evan's "The Moment I Miss You," retitled "The Moment." Mark Beling did this?! I'm still not entirely sure I believe no samples, at the least, were involved.

Another good song on the album is "Turn Back Time," which I think started out life as a dance track released under the name of one of its writers, Patric Sarin.

Some of the covers are obvious: track 13 is Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" and track 4, "Natural Born Hustla" featuring Akon, was originally done by Cyssero, still featuring Akon (correct me if someone did it earlier). The music and Akon's part are the same, with Cyssero's raps being swapped out for Jacques's sung parts. "Shake Shake" sounds like it must be a cover as well, but I've not been able to find proof of that yet.

Anyway, from the moment I first heard a preview clip of it, I was convinced "Love's Like A Breeze" sampled something really famous, something (electronica-ish) I knew and was going to be really embarrassed when someone pointed out to me what it was. Having got the album and being able to look at the liner notes, though, I still can't figure out what that would be. Even knowing that the only people credited as writers are Paul Rein and Graham Stack (both have written a lot of songs; presuming it's the same Graham Stack, he's part of Metro), I still can't figure out what "Love's Like A Breeze" is a cover of or is sampling or reminds me very very much of. I think it's going to drive me insane. Am I already crazy and this really is original and brand new or could someone put me out of my misery and tell me what the snippet below is from/sounds like?

Love's Like A Breeze (Short Clip)


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Yes, it's really funny with the SoutA artists.

Do you know a good sites with snippets of South African CDs?

Thanks in advance.


Poster Girl said...

You can't really purchase from it (I use another site for that), but I think the best site for listening to snippets of South African music is Pick N Play--it's about the best option there is, at least that I know of, though they don't have everything.

And thanks for saying it's interesting, though I suspect posts like these are just kind of self-indulgent ways to let me get my interest in this sort of stuff out of my system ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey there.

I'm not sure if this is the song you're thinking of but it kinda sounds like the Nightcrawlers "Push The Feeling On" - it was a big UK hit in the mid 90's. Not sure how it did globally though.
Anyways, i always enjoy the music on ur blog - thanks.


Len said...

Not exactly the same, but very reminiscent of the beginning of "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama.

Poster Girl said...

It totally DOES remind me of those songs! And I would never in a million years have come up with those on my own, but I think that could be been what I was thinking of. Thanks! :D I can now start breathing again.

No problem B! Thanks for reading!