Desperate to allay fears that he has turned into a teenage girl from listening to Taylor Swift, Chen Mian Kuang reaffirms his macho-ness by first drawing your attention to two albums brimming with phallic symbolism before heaping accolades on the said Ms Swift.
(Ed – are you sure you’ve got this review right? Didn’t you file this CD under “dirty house music”?)
Tenacious D are partners in crime, Jack Black (of Nacho Libre fame) and Kyle Glass. Apart from both being physically rotund and sporting A minus cup size breasts (see album cover), they share a common interest in rawk and comedy. Interspersed between songs are snippets of conversation between the band members deliberating on weighty topics, such as “Cock Pushups” and “Inward Singing”. The highlight of the album is a song called “F**k Her Gently” where Black, assuming the role of a lothario, reveals his tender and sensitive side. Accompanied by acoustic guitar strums and occasional strings, he espouses the merits of a gentle start to lovemaking before proceeding to rougher play, his vocals climbing in tandem and reaching a satisfying crescendo at the end of the song. This is the perfect tune to put on when you wish to hint to your partner that you want some.
TAYLOR SWIFT – “FEARLESS”
How do you write songs that will spread like viral ads and stick in minds like alien facehugger parasites? This is the million dollar question facing every frustrated musician. Well, Taylor Swift has found the formula. Using mostly basic major and minor chords, she has the ability to tease out very congenial melodies that compel you to press repeat play. Young megastars who compose their own songs are a rarity these days; even rarer are those who are able to compose good songs. Ms Swift is only 21, but having been nominated for 131 music awards over the past five years out of which she has won 73, she has achieved more than what most people can in a lifetime.
“Fearless” is her second album; the original version had 13 songs, whereas the platinum edition has six additional songs. The six extras are not fillers; they give the original 13 a run for the money. Although labelled as country pop, it’s more pop than country. Hearkening back to the days when tunes matter, the music is not banal. Ms Swift also has lyrical skill; her songs tell autobiographical stories of rollercoaster teenage love and relationships. The subject matter may be adolescent, but it is well articulated.
Particularly catchy are “Jump Then Fall”, “SuperStar”, “The Other Side of the Door”, “Fearless” and “Breathe” (a duet with Colbie Caillat). And there’s “Love Story” of course, her superhit which just grows on you and refuses to let go. To cement her reputation as America’s pop princess girl next door, she sings a tribute to her mom in “The Best Day” (aww!). There is a palpable positive spirit in her songs. Listen to them first thing in the morning and you will start your day off on the right footing.
Mian Kuang‘s favourite musician is Lord Bobo. His Supreme Eminenceness is well known for his ability to play a total of 25 instruments, and to compose, perform, and produce his albums all by himself. A veritable one-manmonkey band (some say control freak), his career started its meteoric rise in the mid eighties with the release of his soundtrack to a movie starring him and the babelicious Apollonia Kotero. His songs about smooching, velvet rain and crying birds are considered modern classics. Waitaminit! Is His Supreme Eminenceness the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As ……