Wednesday, February 20, 2008


One of the saddest things is the death of R&B/soul. Every R&B singer sounds the same. Maybe they have different voices but it's all the same style. They all try to overdo it. Honestly, I think the last song I heard that had any driblet of soul was "No Diggity." Why? Its foundation is in that sacred-meets-secular style that sired soul. (Holy alliteration, Batman) R. Kelly? While I enjoy his comedy, he lacks soul. And I don't mean rhythm or "blackness." I mean there's no guts, heart, balls, soul in there voices. Terence Trent D'Arby had more soul than R. Kelly, Chris Brown, Usher, you name it. Somewhere in the 90s, R&B decided that it wanted to be more hip-hop. They eliminated that last shred of the musical texture left over from the 80s and made synthesized it. Thanks for nothing.

What brought on this post? I don't have cable and I'm between Netflix shipments. So I began digging through my roommate's VHS collection. I stumbled upon a blank tape. To my surprise, it was Otis Redding on Ready, Steady, Go!, the British counterpart of American Bandstand. He plows through 3 songs in a row and just keeps going and going, then he brings Eric Burdon of The Animals on. And Burdon kills it, but not like Otis. They just don't make them like they used to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Tell you what tho'.. While neither of them could hold a candle to the Soul singers, Ne-Yo manages to emote songs pretty well, and Mario, while not a great technical singer, has a knack for picking well-written songs.

Still tho', It's sad to see what happened to R'n'B. What I wouldn't give to hear an old fashioned ballad that didn't have a club beat or doubletime flourish.

Nice drop.