Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I just moved to Brooklyn with my girlfriend and between packing, moving and un-packing, I've been slammed. Look for posts later on this week.
Trying To Get To You
Saturday, September 09, 2006
As we all know, Monday is the fifth anniversary of September 11. I don't want to write about it, nor do I want to address politics in my blog. Suffice it to say that I believe our president and his administration are craven, shallow, fraudulent and incompetent men and women who have done incredible harm to our country and the world...in the name of what occured on September 11, 2001.
I'm including a link to a wonderful interview with British novelist Ian McEwan about faith, God and September 11. I'm not an atheist, but I was moved (especially) by the points that he makes towards the end of the interview - that in the end, all we have is love.
Posted by Ben Lazar at 9/09/2006 02:34:00 PM
Thursday, September 07, 2006
When Justin Timberlake's Justified came out in 2002, I, of course, paid it no mind initially. Being the rock snob that I was, I couldn't see why so many people were paying attention to it. Wasn't this the guy that was in N'Sync?
So I was pleasantly surprised by the album. As pop albums go, I thought it was pretty damn good, and if it was an album of surface pleasures, the pleasures ran pretty deep and repeated themselves well after many a listen. "Senorita," "Like I Love You," and "Cry Me A River" were all great singles that had a real spirit about them that made me think that this guy was a real talent who would continue to grow. So far, I've been wrong about that.
I've had Timberlake's new record, FutureSex/LoveSound for the past couple of weeks and I've almost taken aback by how disappointing it is. "B-level Prince" is how a friend described it to me, but "C-level Prince" is more like it. It's a record that exists only in the world of priveledge that it was created in - the world of clubs and super V.I.P. areas, where access is only granted to the famous, the wealthy and those that service them - and it's about as deep and rewarding. Timbaland's production doesn't feel tired, it feels exhausted; obviously in a Giorgio Moroder phase, he's looking to European techno for inspiration, and it's just not happening. (Nor are all the hip-hop cameos - if any marketing ploy has begun to feel totally played, it's this one.) It's light on the melody...and the beats ain't happening either.
FutureSex/LoveSound is about, well, sex. But it comes off like a facsimile of the real thing. When Justin sings about wanting to be some woman's slave, the results not only feel inauthentic, they're downright laughable. Sex is hot when there's you get below the surface of a person, finding out who they really are and what they want, and they you. The sex on this record never even thinks to get to a place like that - everyone is too busy looking in the mirror and thinking about how fabulous they are to concern themselves with the person they're with. Narcissism, despite what it's adherents might think, isn't sexy.
This is an absolutely terrible record.
Posted by Ben Lazar at 9/07/2006 09:15:00 AM
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Bob Dylan has the #1 record in the country this week. Modern Times, getting incredibly strong reviews, featured on an iPod commercial, sold 192,000 records this week. I’m still getting into the record; I love the sound of it, but the songs, so far, aren’t hitting me the way that the best songs on “Time Out Of Mind” and “Love And Theft” did. Dylan records have a way of creeping up on me, revealing themselves over time, and there's a strong possibility this one will as well. Dylan's production is wonderful; warm and intimate, with a very strong 40's/early 50's vibe.
I have to say though, it is fun to be walking in outside in a world where Bob Dylan has the number one record.
Posted by Ben Lazar at 9/06/2006 03:45:00 PM