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The Great HTF Music Challenge (2 Viewers)

John Dirk

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Yeah Jim Croce was the real deal. A very gifted singer. I love most everything from him. All great songs listed.

Apologies if this has been listed already

jim Croce - I got a Name

Yet another great song from a uniquely gifted performer.
 

John Dirk

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Pearl Jam

"Black"
Hmm. Smooth and listenable for sure but not at all distinctive for the genre. One of those songs I would listen to if it happened to be playing but wouldn't seek out.

"Alive"
I like this one better than the previous as it has an energetic feel that grabbed me right away. I could see this one being a fan favorite but it still feels rather generic to me overall.

"Even Flow"
They get progressively better. This one finally feels and sounds distinctive enough to be memorable. Some awesome guitar and drumming at work too. Easily my favorite thus far.

"Jeremy"
And we're back to that rather generic sound I've been hearing. Nothing here really jumps out for me. Just another Rock song.

"Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town":
Interestingly specific title. I like that this one is more folksy than their standard fare. Wikipedia has some background on both the title and the songs "inspiration."

I don't think I've ever heard anything from this group before. Musically they are sound, which is a welcome treat. I just found most of the material kind of bland except as noted.
 

John Dirk

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The Black Crowes

"She Talks to Angels":

Not a fan of the vocals here but I'm betting his voice will be perfect for some of their more hard hitting material if that exists. For a song like this I would just concentrate on the music.

"Hard to Handle":
Yep. The vocals are definitely better suited to this style in my opinion. Also, this track has "personality." See, that's a Rock song for you! Added!

"Remedy"
This one is a great musical showcase but, again, the vocals do nothing for me so I found myself just focusing on the music.

"Thorn in My Pride":
And here is the obligatory ballad. It's the music "business" so I guess I understand.
 

John Dirk

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Josh Groban

The River

Powerful voice for sure but the musical backing should probably have been toned down a bit to highlight his singing prowess. Nice track though.

Bells Of New York City
Again, powerful voice but way too operatic for my particular taste. It's a song I can respect but wouldn't really want to listen to very often.

The Fullest
He seems to be one of those artists who wants to cover various genres but just can't keep that operatic tone out of material where it's not called for. Also, the Kirk Franklin contribution was so minor that calling him a featured artist on this track might have been a stretch.
 
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BobO'Link

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The Whispers, "And The Beat Goes On" - Obviously a disco title, yet I like it. It's the bass line and the vocals that do it for me, and that it's just a bit on the "funk" side of things.
 

Malcolm R

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This is Josh Groban with more of a rock vibe, covering "Empty Sky" from Elton John's 1969 debut album. It's kind of long, though actually shorter than Elton's original which was over 8 minutes as seemed typical for many 60's-70's songs.

 

John Dirk

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Here are a couple of nice mellow tunes from an artist I was previously unaware of. I found both tracks very relaxing and will be exploring his catalog.

'Atlas Hands' Official Video (HD) - Benjamin Francis Leftwich​



'Shine' Official Video (HD) - Benjamin Francis Leftwich​

 

BobO'Link

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Benjamin Francis Leftwich, "Atlas Hands" & "Shine" - Both of these remind me quite a bit of the more mellow songs from Smashing Pumpkins with a little bit of Jill Sobule's style thrown in. His voice is quite similar to Billy Corgan's.
 

John Dirk

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Today's submission...

This is a group out of LA. I checked out several other songs from them but this is the only one that really grabbed me. Love that Rock/Swing sound.

Fitz And The Tantrums - Dear Mr. President
 

BobO'Link

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I've now listened to the album "Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm" from Benjamin Francis Leftwich. This album contains the tracks "Atlas Hands" and "Shine" that John posted earlier. It's pleasant enough but suffers from a sameness to everything. It's one of those albums where if you're not paying attention you'll never know when one song ends and the next begins due to the very, very, similar sound to each. It's also quite short, coming in at just over 30 minutes for its 10 tracks. That's a good thing as it kind of begins to wear thin towards the end. It's not bad but it's also not something I can see myself listening to for any length of time or even regular revisits.
 

BobO'Link

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Fitz And The Tantrums, "Dear Mr. President" - I enjoyed the song. Didn't care for the "audience participation" bits (one reason I rarely enjoy live recordings). He needs a couple more people in his "chorus" to beef up the sound a bit.
 

John Dirk

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Fitz And The Tantrums, "Dear Mr. President" - I enjoyed the song. Didn't care for the "audience participation" bits (one reason I rarely enjoy live recordings). He needs a couple more people in his "chorus" to beef up the sound a bit.
Excellent observation concerning the chorus. Here's the studio version which clearly shows the mixing engineer felt the same. I found this version a little too on the Phil Spector side which is why I didn't originally choose it.

 

BobO'Link

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Excellent observation concerning the chorus. Here's the studio version which clearly shows the mixing engineer felt the same. I found this version a little too on the Phil Spector side which is why I didn't originally choose it.


That's more like it! I much prefer that to the live version.

I actually listened to that entire album earlier today to see if the studio version was better as well as to get a feel for their style. Overall, I found the styles they use to be kind of all over the place. You'd have a classic blues/rock/soul song like this one followed by something that'd be right at home on just about any generic 70s dance album followed by something that was very 70s pop. On one of the tracks I'd have sworn it was Hewey Lewis doing the vocals as "Fitz" really sounds like him on that track. "Dear Mr. President" was one of the better tracks on the album.

Here's an example of one of the more dance oriented tracks (and one where I feel he's channeling Lewis):

Fitz and the Tantrums - MoneyGrabber:
 

John Dirk

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That's more like it! I much prefer that to the live version.

I actually listened to that entire album earlier today to see if the studio version was better as well as to get a feel for their style. Overall, I found the styles they use to be kind of all over the place. You'd have a classic blues/rock/soul song like this one followed by something that'd be right at home on just about any generic 70s dance album followed by something that was very 70s pop. On one of the tracks I'd have sworn it was Hewey Lewis doing the vocals as "Fitz" really sounds like him on that track. "Dear Mr. President" was one of the better tracks on the album.

Here's an example of one of the more dance oriented tracks (and one where I feel he's channeling Lewis):

Fitz and the Tantrums - MoneyGrabber:

I felt exactly the same about their style diversity. While that's possibly a good thing from a commercial perspective it did seem odd to me. I didn't really care for Money Grabber or any of the other songs on the album.
 

Malcolm R

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"Mr. President" and "MoneyGrabber" Fitz & the Tantrums

I prefer the studio version of "Mr. President". I'm also not a fan of live performances so much. I'm most familiar with this group from "HandClap" which seems to have been their crossover hit with the most mainstream radio play. All of these are pretty good. I like the music and arrangements, though the lead singer's vocals aren't really doing it for me.
 
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sleroi

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Fitz and the tantrums -

I didnt care for either version of Dear Mr. President. Musically it was okay, I did like the subtle swing-ness to it, but the audience participation in the live version was cliche and dreadful. And both the vocals and lyrics were kind of depressing. The studio version with the chorus replacing the audience wasnt much better.

Surprisingly I really liked moneygrabber. It had a wonderful sense of 60s hip soul to it. (Though it didnt remind me of Huey Lewis at all.)

Ill have to explore their catalog a little more and see whats there.
 

John Dirk

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For me, this one hits on all cylinders. Great soulful backing track, nice swinging tempo and sultry smooth vocals. Reminds me just why I love music so much! Will definitely be exploring her catalogue.

Miss Li - Forever Drunk​

 

John Dirk

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Yep. She's the real deal. All I can say is, WOW!!!

Miss Li - Love Hurts (Live "Moraeus Med Mera")​

 

BobO'Link

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Miss Li, "Forever Drunk" - I kind of like the song and it's blend of styles. Her voice, not so much.

Miss Li, "Love Hurts (Live "Moraeus Med Mera")" - She sounds better here, more bluesy, but I don't particularly care for her version of the song.
 

John Dirk

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Here's the original. With all due respect to Nazereth, I strongly prefer her version.

nazareth love hurts (1976)​

 

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