Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chum Onah - A Michael Jackson Tribute

It's been a surprising display of collective good taste that the amount of post-mortem MJ covers has been kept to a minimum. What him and Quincy put together is just unfuckable-with to a degree not even the Beatles attained. As long as there is still a habitable earth 100 years from now, "Billie Jean" will still be getting played somewhere every Friday and Saturday night and people will still freak when it comes on. I don't even need to convince you of this fact, it's something we all know together. That's what MJ means.

But let's put that aside for a second and engage in a quick thought experiment: what if you had to put together an MJ tribute album? What would it sound like? Well, for one thing, there's no beating Quincy at his own game, so you'd have to forget about topping his glossy production. You'd also want to engage artists from a whole bunch of different genres, to underscore his impact on nearly every type of popular music. A lo-fi mishmash, ideally - capturing the blissful essence of MJ's songs, but in a way that brings their monumental status down to size.

So good news: the bloggers over at BUTTERxFACE have done exactly that, assembling 12 lo-fi luminaries to deconstruct some of the world's best known compositions. The crystal clarity of the originals is swapped for smooth patina, the loss of precision resulting in an underlying warmth. When the songs works best, as on Toro y Moi's "Human Nature" and Family Portrait's "Will You Be There", they seem less like Important Pop Music Covers and much more like a version of a seemingly eternal song, like an "Amazing Grace", one that's sung around campfires by memory and has no discernable birth or death or beginning or end. As they should be.





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4 comments:

William Wren said...

excellent blog

Amit Gupta said...

true MJ Is The Greatest....
amit.blogspot.com

Caley Brown said...

I was listening to Jackson on the way home last night and i have to agree. MJ will be played in a lot of clubs all over place. But it's timeless music that works in all kind of different situations be it personal, with friends or in clubs.

Anil Godavarthy said...

As long as the weekend party culture prevails, you would hear Billie Jean being played and that itself is a fitting tribute to the legend.