While much of the Country music universe is still reeling from dubstep Taylor Swift, one of Pop music’s brightest star continues her move toward Country music domination. Exhibit A was her duet with Reba McEntire on a remake of her “Because of You,” Exhibit B came in the form of “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean, and Exhibit C was the re-recorded Country version of “Mr. Know It All.” The latest and most successful attempt comes in the form of “Don’t Rush.”
Can you say vintage 80s Country? Vince Gill is in my all-time top five Country vocalists, and his background vocals on the chorus only help to bolster Kelly’s Country cred, but this song is a smash with or without Vince’s vocals (or guitar from the sound of it). And don’t even get me going on the key change at the end of the song! “Don’t Rush” is one of three new songs on Kelly’s upcoming Greatest Hits, along with her current Pop hit “Catch My Breath” and “People Like Us.” The album hits November 19th, but if you can’t wait that long, the single is out on iTunes October 30th, and Kelly will be performing the song live with Vince Gill at the CMA Awards on November 1st on ABC.
I am loving this new Bruno Mars song way more than I should be. Any track that takes the instrumental from the Police’s “Message in a Bottle” and mixes it with Michael Jackson “Beat It” era vocals sounds sketchy, but damn it works. I wish the chorus was just a bit more catchy, but the verses more than make up for that.
I’m not sure what the video is supposed to be about outside the performance. Is Bruno a touring pimp?
Bruno’s follow-up to the ubiquitous Doo-Wops and Hooligans is Unorthodox Religion, and it drops on December 11th. If you can’t wait that long for a Bruno Mars fix, he will be the musical guest on this week’s Saturday Night Live.
So I know things have been a bit quiet over here at the ‘Notes, but that’s partially because I have begun writing for a website based here in Denver called MileHighGayGuy.com (clever, right?). My contributions have been a mix of reviews and artist features, but my favorite so far is an interview with Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light Bright Light) as he prepared for a three-night stand in New York. You can check out the full piece here, but I couldn’t help but ask a few questions that were near and dear to my heart that didn’t make the cut:
JH: On a personal level, I have been drawn into single after single of yours because of how relatable the subject matter in your songs is. Does everything you release have a biographical slant, or is there a lot of fiction in your songs?
RT: A healthy mix of the two. I’m glad you said “biographical” and not “autobiographical”. People often assume that a record is like a diary. I tend to be more of a storyteller, so I write about things that friends have gone through, or ideas I get from things I overhear on the bus for example. ‘Feel It’ is based on Laura Palmer’s diary (Twin Peaks) and the idea of desire, passion and giving in to something. So I write about a mix of things, but put them all in first person.
JH: Is there any concern for you in 2012 about writing material that is blatantly about another man?
JH: “Moves” to me is one of the best “what comes next” break up songs I believe I have ever heard. How does the structure of a song like that develop?
RT: Completely by accident. We [Jon Shave from Invisible Men and I] wrote and recorded it in 4 hours. We sat down, talked about a kind of sound we wanted to create, found some synth sounds, played around with chords and I wrote the lyrics as we went along. It was maybe the most naturally made song we did together.
Bright Light Bright Light is making three appearances in New York this week: October 9th at Westgay (a dance pop set); October 10th playing a solo piano set at Mercury Lounge and premiering a brand new song; and October 11th DJing at Nowhere Bar. The official release of “Feel It” is on October 29th, but his full-length Make Me Believe in Hope is out and available now. For all things Bright Light Bright Light, check out the website at www.brightlightx2.com.