Monday, April 28, 2008

Something's gotta change

I'm not posting today's song because of quality, but more because I just need to finally get a chance to express my thoughts about it.

You Don't Know My Name

R&B/pop singer Danny K is a big star in South Africa, though admittedly one often criticized in certain quarters, one of the (less pure insult-oriented) reasons being that (according to some) though his albums are good for South African-created work (there's a lot of "is it international quality?"-type of talk in South African music reviews in general), he tends to mainly bandwagon jump onto whatever "international" stars are doing. I don't feel knowledgeable enough to speak to how accurate a criticism that is in regards to his three solo albums (though I will venture that I'd be more concerned about his image of recent times if I was trying to break him internationally--not that I've heard anything to think that's on the cards again--because it can be off sometimes), but I would say there was at least one moment in time where he was part of a decidedly original--and fantastic--project: his and kwaito singer Mandoza's collaborative Same Difference album.

That's jumping ahead, though: Danny K's second single is what we're talking about today. Released around 2001, "You Don't Know My Name" got Danny his second number one (after "Hurts So Bad") and, if you buy into that following international trends argument, you could probably link it back to Craig David's success that year and the year before, though it's not too difficult to imagine a boy band not afraid of mid-to-up-tempo tracks adapting it to their style.

The thing that's always bugged me about the song, though, is that opening. Not that it's bad--far from it, in fact: it's by far my favorite part of the song, a spacey light slightly electro opening that lasts less than ten seconds before turning into a much more traditional R&B-pop song (albeit with a quick reversion to that style for its middle section). I've got kind of an obsession with those opening few seconds, actually--could someone make a whole song that uses that actually goes off of that style instead of ditching it entirely? That said, the song we get instead is good--just not as exciting as it could have been.

I really probably should do some more writing about Danny K in the future, partly because he's done some songs I think are good and partly because there are some interesting things to say about him or his music; for now, though, I'll just say that you can buy his self-titled debut album here (physical). His third album This Is My Time is also available digitally (as DRM-free mp3s) here.

Oh, while we're speaking of Danny K, he's got yet another case of "I really like this bit of a song--can we take it out and turn it into its own song?" going on at the moment--he provides the hook on this classical music-meets-R&B track called "Crazy Party" that's supposed to be an "ooo, look at how young she is! And she can play the violin!" showcase for twelve year old In-Cha; I love me some strings in music, but not usually when they're used in this sense (it tends to seem a little too...indulgent for my more pop and vocal-oriented tastes), so the song is really all about the chorus for me--but I love that chorus for some reason.

Next up: maybe a remix of a song by an artist I wouldn't usually be likely to feature here.


Mike said...

I don't really like the music but he's pretty!

Paul said...

first I thought it was Faden (who did the Simon Curtis song Hypnotic) - they look kind of similar. Then I was too busy choking on my four finger kit kat at the Shorty video (white suit? Please!) Then I was busy being mad at myself for being vaguely attracted to him even though he was so needy and trying in that vid!

So i didn't get round to listening to the music properly, but i will say I'm not muscially snobby enough to say that i care when people borrow/steal sounds. If it sounds good it sounds good :)

Poster Girl said...

Ha ha--he's not really my type, but at least that's something!

"Trying too hard" is exactly how I'd describe his look in that video--though it's not so much the white suit there for me (well, maybe it would be more accurate to say I've got nothing against white suits on popstars in theory--if I'm remembering correctly, Ne-Yo's got one on in his new video [he's definitely worn them in the past], and it's fine there).

JoXxe said...

hey! please, i've been looking for the danny k's cd's (mandoza + danny k album & danny k album debut), Can you upload the cds to mediafire or any free server, please?